Content is everywhere, and everything is content.

How can a business create and share material that will cut through the noise and reach their target audience?

First, it is important to understand that your business needs to be online because a brand is much more credible if it has an online presence. Consider this: when you’re interested in trying a different salon or looking to purchase new sporting equipment, you take a peek at what the business and its customers are saying about it online, right? Well, people are Googling your business in the same way too and if there isn’t much information online, they’ll move on.

Churning out content to keep your business’ social feeds and blog relevant can be incredibly difficult if your team doesn’t have the bandwidth or marketing experience. It is also hard to carve out a budget and hire someone in-house when you don’t know what you’re looking for or where to start.

The good news is, there are other ways to share your messages and get your brand online. One of the most effective ways is through sponsored content.

What is Sponsored Content?

Sponsored content is a form of native advertising paid for by an advertiser but crafted and shared by a publisher. The publisher will already have a healthy list of subscribers, making it easier for the advertiser to reach new audiences and convert leads.

Sponsored content is at the top of the funnel so it should be light and entertaining content that a reader would find useful—it is not an opportunity for businesses to promote and sell. Instead, the goal is to expand the public’s understanding of the advertiser as not only a business that is looking to make a sale but also as an expert source of great ideas and knowledge. Sponsored content positions the advertiser as a specialist in the field, and by partnering with a credible publisher, that positioning is verified. Once that trust begins to build, potential customers will organically take an interest in the brand and become curious about the products and services the advertiser offers. In other words, light the path, but let them come to you on their own.

Sponsored content is usually formatted in the same way as editorial, and it falls into the in-feed subgroup, showing up as part of the usual feed. Therefore, it is not intrusive like traditional ads that pop-up when we’re streaming content or tapping through Instagram stories. Instead, it shows up where the reader is already looking for something similar. When it is useful information, we don’t mind that it is sponsored.

In fact, sponsored content has proven to be more engaging than display ads, it drives higher brand recall, and readers trust the content when a publisher shares it.

Here at the Glacier Content Studio, we know sponsored content pretty well. Our community news and lifestyle websites draw in eight million cumulative monthly page views, which provides an opportunity for all kinds of businesses to reach a massive audience quickly and without having to do too much of the work themselves.

Here are the types of sponsored content we currently publish across our local news networks (click on the images to view each project):

Editorial Narrative Style:

  • Excellent storytelling
  • Local stories for a local audience
  • Human connection
  • Always relate to the facts (not fiction)
  • Introduce brand, products, services

Interview Style:

  • Humanize the brand
  • Increase the local profile
  • Communicate brand views
  • Position you as a thought leader

Quiz Style:

  • Engaging, persona-based marketing
  • Nurture the path to conversion
  • Drive audience to relevant content based on the quiz results
  • Giveaway strategy can also be applied for email list-building and segmentation

Microsite Experience:

  • Customized around a campaign
  • Increases interaction and engagement
  • Measurable clicks
  • Can drive users to eCommerce pages


  • Share of voice
  • Useful, bite-sized content
  • High engagement


Interactive Content:

  • Chronological experience
  • Visually engaging
  • Recognize milestones
  • Organize and explain hard to digest processes or stories easily


  • Dynamic presentation of information
  • Visualize data and factoids
  • Possibility for micro-animation
  • Visually engaging

The sponsored content packages we offer can also be bundled together in the same project, depending on the overall campaign goals. For example, a narrative-style article can drive traffic to a designated microsite with more information about an upcoming event. The microsite can include a built-in platform for consumers to easily purchase tickets. Or, an interview-style article featuring the founder of a company can drive traffic to an interactive content page designed to share the founder’s story in even more detail.

At GMD, the opportunities for sponsored content are endless, but the strategy that makes each project successful remains the same—provide time-driven, entertaining and useful content that meets consumer demands, builds brand trust, and increases consumer conversion rates.

There is much more to learn about sponsored content and don’t worry—we’re going to cover it all. Keep a lookout for our next post in the Content Series. Until then, if you have any questions, just reach out.