You're Invited to the Marriage of...Content and Advertising

Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Published 5/16/12
Share This Post: 

Share This:

Today, advertising options online are dominated by display ads and search engine marketing. Google continues to be the dominate force here. However, social media sites, such as Facebook, are gaining ground. But the famous boxes of display advertising may be giving way to a different form of advertising - content.

To be more specific, sponsored content is what many see as the future of online advertising. No longer will there be the clear cut lines between editorial and advertising. Simply put, it will come down to the most effective way to engage your target audience: where they want, when they want, and how they want.

Sponsored content is what many see as the future of online advertising

Brands, now more than ever, are content creators, just like myself, my friends and my mother. And, we must embrace it. Content creation is the new norm for brands to engage with their audience, to stay relevant, and it's relatively easy to accomplish. As a result, we are going to need to make way for integrated partner messaging (sponsored content) in favor of traditional display.

Two years ago, the founder of Tumblr said in an interview they would never have advertising on the site. Last month, he ate those words as they launched a new ad platform - it's called a Tumblr post. No fancy new display advertising boxes. They are simply using the site’s Radar element, which was previously curated content only, to elevate a brand’s post and gain more eyeballs.

And Tumblr is not alone. Twitter offers sponsored tweets. Facebook has sponsored stories and has been transitioning into brand property/destination sites at a fast pace. This is executed through a myriad of approaches and yielding high audience engagement rates.

If you're a destination marketing organization (DMO), you can evolve your website and co-op advertising programs to capitalize on this trend.

  1. Define an integrated content strategy for your site and your social channels.
  2. Mobilize your editorial team to work in tandem with sales on executions.
  3. Make sure to label Sponsored Content as such and ensure the content is engaging and relevant to your audience. 

Want some ideas? Create sponsored content on your site such as video, photo libraries and 100% share-of-voice ad space. Open your social audience up to sponsored content with a three-post bundle including a “Spotlight” with photo library, a crowd-source question and a promotion.

Once you've introduced these new options, it's important to work with stakeholders to evaluate engagement metrics and then work together to develop a deeper strategy and relationship to further improve engagement, along with share of wallet.