Whither Online Content?

Sponsored content may not be new, but its role as a replacement for traditional advertising certainly is. So is the new acceptance of the collapse of the long-standing wall that separated content and advertising. What makes this new situation acceptable is transparency about the sponsor and assurance that the editorial content was created independently of the sponsor.

These were among the takeaways of a lively discussion among content and advertising experts about Content and Commerce organized by Gotham Media Strategies and Frankfurt Kurnit at yesterdays digital breakfast. Rick Kurnit, of Frankfurt Kurnit, moderated; Glenn Hall, of TheBlazecom; Eason Jordan, of NowThisNews; Scott Kurnit, of KEEP Holdings; Rob Rasmussen, of Story Worldwide and Rebecca Sanhueza, of Time, inc. were panelists.

However “native ads,” i.e., branded content, is not acceptable when it tries to trick people into believing it’s not advertising. And everyone agrees that advertising sucks when it’s annoying and intrusive. But even overt paid content, i.e., ads, can be great. Three campaigns were cited that have won universal acclaim; Nike’s advertising, which delivers inspirational content that empowers consumers; Dove’s, which establishes a relationship with consumers about beauty and how you see yourself and is more like direct marketing, and AT&T’s It’s Not Complicated series, which uses kids’ imaginations to turn boring brand attributes into pure fun.

Interestingly, online e-commerce businesses like KEEP, are bypassing advertising altogether and simply delivering thousands of products for consumers to buy and share.

So then comes the question can any brand create content? The answer is a flat No. Not all brands have the legitimacy to create content. They need to have both a point of view that carries throughout all the brand’s actions and audience respect for that point of view.

The big question about unbranded content, i.e., pure news, or journalism, is the business model. Originally, this relied on the monopoly of news media, which enabled content scarcity and exclusivity. Gone! Today, we have content abundance and ubiquity. One requirement has never changed: relevance to viewer/user interests and needs. So traditional media, like Time Inc.’s magazines, aim to serve both consumers and advertisers by delivering targeted niche audiences to advertisers and targeted content to those audience segments.

What TheBlaze is attempting carries this one step further, developing special content products appropriate to specific advertiser messages and also relevant to TheBlaze audience.

What’s the future business model for journalism? No one knows. But probably a hybrid of subscription fees and advertising with quite probably some commerce as well!

16 Comments

  • Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
    show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

    Feel free to visit my web-site … Film TV Master [Guillermo]

  • Greetings! Very useful advice within this post!
    It is the little changes that produce the largest changes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    My blog Green Up West (http://filmtvma.com)

  • Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    My web page: Did The Heat Sweep

  • Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!

    Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information much.
    I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

    Here is my web site; Ventriah

  • Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    Also visit my web blog Labraism (http://filmtvma.com)

  • What’s up, I want to subscribe for this web site to take
    hottest updates, therefore where can i do
    it please help.

    My page: farms

    • Have no idea how to do that but can’t you use RSS or something like that?

  • Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues
    with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of
    hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to
    protect against hackers?

    Feel free to surf to my webpage … Kanna Saver

  • Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely useful info specially the last part :
    ) I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular
    information for a long time. Thank you and best of
    luck.

    Feel free to visit my web blog raagdesh

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to
    be actually something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.

    I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    Feel free to surf to my webpage; prowebm

  • Truly when someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here
    it occurs.

    My web blog … raagdesh (dclobstapalooza.com)

  • I truly love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself? Please reply
    back as I’m trying to create my own blog and would like to
    learn where you got this from or what the theme is named.
    Cheers!

    Here is my website :: DC Lobesta PA Looza

    • Thanks. I’ll pass along your kind words to the wonderful friend responsible.

  • This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of
    your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

    my weblog – bestwebm

Join the Discussion

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>