ORLANDO, FL: Sponsored content has become the latest form of marketing to move onto an automated exchange where brands can connect with influencers and dramatically shorten the process of sourcing and executing such material.
IZEA, a major business in Sponsored Social, launched its Sponsored Marketplace, which it claimed to be the first real-time marketplace for this field and described it as "a single destination where creators ranging from celebrities to everyday social influencers can converge and connect with leading brands and their agencies".
In addition, a layer of automation means that content can potentially be executed within minutes rather than days, as previously.
"Sponsored blog posts, tweets and videos are now common offerings from The New York Times and the Associated Press to Kim Kardashian and TMZ," said Ted Murphy, IZEA CEO and founder.
"While adoption has skyrocketed, brands still find it difficult to truly scale their sponsorship efforts. We aim to change that by creating an entire ecosystem around this space," he added.
And for the first time, creators will be able to proactively pitch advertisers on sponsorship opportunities, so helping the latter identify the best candidates for their campaign.
While Sponsored Social differs from other forms of native advertising in that bloggers, tweeters and other social media influencers create and distribute advertiser content through their own social networks in their own voice, they are still required to flag up the fact they are being paid to do so.
Federal Trade Commission guidelines state: "bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service".
The FTC held a workshop on native advertising towards the end of 2013 as concerns grew that the format was potentially confusing consumers.
Chris Laird, a P&G marketing director, said then that transparency was a brand imperative. "If it's not transparent, and it erodes consumer trusts, the ROI falls and we just won't invest in it anymore," he added.
Data sourced from CNN, FTC; additional content by Warc staff