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A little over a decade ago, blogging was something done by individuals, certainly not big brands - or brands of any size, for that matter. Flash forward to today; everyone's blogging. Yes, individuals and upstarts are still hard at work sharing their opinions, but major news organizations and brands have jumped on board, realizing the many benefits of blogging.
While brand blogging grew in popularity, traditional online advertising has been waning in both popularity and effectiveness. Oh yes, we have programmatic buying and DSPs, but that's a bit like one computer speaking algorithm to another. The net result is still an ad banner and, barring a few exceptions, that approach simply does not work any more.
Adrants Editor Steve Hall, writing for Central Desktop, has put together the top seven reasons a blog post is beneficial to marketers and why brand blogging is a vast improvement over traditional online ad units.
There's a simple truth about blogs--readers rarely, if ever, come to one to be marketed to. Advertising runs counter to the raison d'etre of the blogosphere. Ads are an interruption, a betrayal of the natural purpose and flow individuals expect of a well-written, informative blog.
Yet blogging and revenue-generation don't have to be at cross purposes. What many bloggers, online forums, product review sites and other "independent" sources of online content haven't yet embraced, is that the very thing people come for--credibility--is a trait that has economic value.
Apparently constricted by budgets that don't allow for original photography, two Vancouver art directors faced with using stock photography, Andrew and Bart, have launched Getty Critics, a blog on which they gleefully poke fun at the idiocy of staged stock photos. From poor framing to forgotten details to confusing messages to things that make absolutely no sense, Getty Critics has its way with the unrealistic world of stock photography.
Buzzfeed has launched a Social Storytelling Creator Program which aims to train agencies on the art of creating native advertising. Agencies that participate will receive official accreditation from Buzzfeed along with a badge they can place on their website and the ability to post stories to Buzzfeed. The program will be free to agencies that agree to spend a set minimum with Buzzfeed.
Writing on the HubSpot blog, I take a look at why the blog post is displacing typical online advertising. With recent interest in content creation, the rise of inbound marketing, and the latest trend, native advertising, the lowly blog post has, once again, risen to prominence in the eyes of marketers who now see it as a powerful method to connect with prospects and customers by delivering valuable, educational, and useful information.
And that is why the blog post is the new online ad unit. While clickthrough rates (CTR) are not the only metric by which you can measure a banner ad's performance, typical online banner ad units achieve a CTR of 0.10% according to MediaMind's Global Benchmarks Report, and that figure is on a downward spiral due to banner blindness, among other things. Couple that with "blind" network ad buys that prevent a marketer from knowing exactly where their ads appear and limited ad real estate on which to place messaging, and you've got an online advertising system that is very, very broken. But all is not lost! Here's why the blog post is so beneficial to marketers -- and why the typical ad unit just won't cut it any longer.
Like a moderns day Million Dollar Homepage, a Tumblr blog called Blogrtising has launched. As described on the site, the concept is simple, "Blogrtising is a viral concept where advertisers pay $100 to become permanent contributors on this blog. Once payment is made, they can post what they want (advertising links/videos/photos/...), when they want and as often as they want."
Likely, this will go nowhere but it's amusing to see there are still people out there who can milk an original idea to death.
Oh it's been a while since the "blogosphere" - to coin a humorous and long-dead term - got their panties in a twist over some stunt a brand pulled. But these "kerfuffles" - to coin yet another humorous term - are always great fodder for a good 'ol internet bitch-fest.
So what's all the hubbub about? In August, ConAgra Foods, parent to the Marie Callender's brand of frozen foods, invited food bloggers to a New York restaurant they were told was owned by TLC Ultimate Cake Off Host George Duran and where they would receive a special, four course meal.
But instead of a meal cooked by George Duran, the bloggers were served frozen lasagna from Marie Callender's. Hidden cameras were in place to record diner's reactions. As it turned out, about 62 percent of the food bloggers actually liked the dish. But they were miffed and claimed they had been misled.
Video ad network VideoEgg, tomorrow, will announce it has acquired blogging platform Six Apart. The new entity will be known as Say Media and will combine "VideoEgg's engagement technologies with Six Apart's social publishing platform to power advertising campaigns that are more conversational and interactive."
Say Media claims it will have reach to a global audience of 345 million. A platitude filled video on the site (currently password-protected) explains the offering which, in a nutshell, delivers the scale advertisers need from the individual voices of independent publishers.
- The ad campaign for the Sarah Polley Adrien Brody movie, Splice misled viewers into thinking it would be a horror click when, in reality, it was something else.
- Sony opens marketing spigot to combat iPhone.
- On June 23 during Cannes, Massive Music will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a party on the beach.
- Matt VanHoven is leaving AgencySpy where he was Editor for a position as communications director for New York agency Skinny.
- In fashion advertising, when out of ideas, shoot ass.
- W+K Portland's Jimm Lasser, Greg Rutter and Joe Staples give us a behind the scenes look at the making of the Dodge Challenger "Freedom" spot.