Selling Brand Sponsorships to Advertisers

Web advertising advice from Dan Ambrose, on creating brand sponsorship opportunities for your advertisers

In the words of Dan Ambrose, “On the Internet, EVERYTHING is one click away. Competition has never been so fierce.  But when you have great content, everyone who is interested can find it—and you can earn money from it.“

Advertisers are always looking for new opportunities to be “part of” rather than separate from the content of a website. Because your users already trust you, they also may trust the brand you associate yourself with, and vice versa.

This is where website brand sponsorships come in.

Dan suggests several sponsorship opportunities you can offer your advertisers:

  • Channel sponsorship
  • Branded tools by the advertisers who “sponsor” them.
  • White papers for lead generation
  • Webinars

Publishers like MensHealth.com let advertisers sponsor entire topics/channels. The advertisers gets every ad slot on pages under their sponsored channel.

Others like NYTimes.com and DailyCandy.com let advertisers sponsor online tools. When someone wants to email, print, save or otherwise share an article, they see the advertiser who is sponsoring those tools. AutoTrader.com also uses this method with their search tool.

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Still, some publishers, like Computerworld.com, offer their advertisers “Zones” where they can give away a free white paper in exchange for email leads that go directly to the advertiser.

White paper sponsorships can be priced on a per download (per lead) fee, or service + marketing (impressions) basis.

Many advertisers value a sponsorship opportunity for the distribution of white papers as an advertiser-marketer service.

However, Dan reminds us that “merely offering white-paper downloads is insufficient to profit handsomely.  The key value you offer is visibility; the marketing to get many customers to become aware and actually download the info.”

Some advertisers prefer events—a brand sponsorship package where they have the chance to talk to the consumer directly. In this case, the sponsor pays for ‘tune-in’ ads to promote the seminar. When a user registers, the user info is made available to the advertiser as part of their sponsorship package.

TheJournal.com is an example of one publisher who uses at least one, but occasionally several sponsors per webinar.


As a publisher or marketer, you’ve probably attended a free webinar once or twice. After the webinar, you might have received a phone call from the sponsor, or were automatically enlisted in an email newsletter series.

If you read the fine print closely, this orderflow for TheJournal.com tells the user:

“Your registration details will be shared with Cisco Systems. Your e-mail address may be used to communicate with you about your subscription, related products and services, and offers from this event sponsor.”

To learn more about selling sponsorships to advertisers, including pricing and placement, register for our webinar this Wednesday with Dan Ambrose called Internet Advertising Basics: Maximizing Display Advertising Revenue.

So, what type of sponsorship opportunities have you cooked up for your advertisers? Let us know in the comments.

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