Blog-centric ad network opens self-serve ad platform to marketers of all sizes.
Ad network Federated Media is hoping to endear itself to small- and medium-sized business owners with a pair of initiatives launching today that will make it easier for them to advertise online.
First, FM is opening its self-serve ad platform, previously reserved only for large clients, to businesses of all sizes. This will allow small- and medium-sized business to gain access to FM's premium content, giving them more control over their ad campaigns.
Secondly, FM is launching the Online Marketing Idea Exchange, a virtual gathering place where business owners can discuss advertising issues with each other and ask questions of developers, vendors and FM itself.
The focus on small and medium-size marketers is not a result of cutbacks by larger marketers during tough economic times, said James Navin, VP of product development, but a result of the market itself reaching a maturation point.
"These are comprehensive resources we've developed for the small- and medium-sized business advertiser who could benefit from some assistance navigating the landscape of online advertising," he said. "We want to help the community and make them aware of their options -- and make them aware of the existence of the FM sites and community."
Access to the self-serve ad platform means smaller marketers will be able to see transparent site lists, view real-time inventory, and upload their creative. They can also choose to advertise on a single site or across an entire category, and select between paying for those ads on a CPM or flate-rate basis.
"Our sales force is focused on our largest brand advertisers and agencies," said Navin. "They're targeting the Hewlett Packards and Intels, who have $200 million to spend. Here, small businesses can get access to a platform where they can do everything they want to do."
The Online Marketing Idea Exchange will be open to all advertisers, and is divided into sections such as Community Engagement, Publisher Engagement, and Brand Building, as well as a resources section that contains a FAQ and glossary. To celebrate its launch, FM will be raffling off a creative makeover to one advertiser who uses the site.
The exchange "will be a place where the small-business owner can share ideas, get advice, get professional help, and just generally learn about best practices for online advertising for small business," said Navin.
"We're hoping [small and medium-sized businesses] are going to become a significant source of revenue for us," he added. "The bulk of our revenue we still expect to come from large advertisers, but we think there is a significant market out there for the small business marketer, specifically as it relates to display advertising."
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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