Brands Are Well Positioned To Offer Valuable Content, But Will They?

Six in ten U.S. Internet users will be reading blogs by 2014. Yet, Read Write Web wonders if the people reading blogs today bother to make the distinction. What, after all, is a blog?
To further muddy the editorial waters, Forbes is now offering to create blogs for brands.
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Ad Age reports:

The pitch is this: We’ll sell you a blog, and your content will live alongside that of Forbes’ journalists and bloggers. This isn’t the “sponsored post” of yore; rather, it is giving advocacy groups or corporations such as Ford or Pfizer the same voice and same distribution tools as Forbes staffers, not to mention the Forbes brand.
“Marketers need to reach the audience. This is where publishing is headed,” says chief product officer of Forbes Media, Lewis DVorkin.
“Anything can appear in any place as long as it’s contextual — that’s the web and we are bringing that sensibility to the magazine.”

From my perspective, brands need to use what they have–namely money–to assure that their content is as good as it can be. In days of old, you might see a print advertorial and brush it aside, given its shoddy layout and clunky copy. But there’s no rule that says brand-sponsored editorial has to suck. Make sure it doesn’t suck and chances are good that people will care.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.