ClickZ works closely with its marketing partners to provide a variety of advertising and marketing services. Above and beyond providing an advertising platform with our publications we also develop custom campaigns, which can consist of content written or created by our editorial and creative staff, or introduced directly from our marketing partners. Funding from these partners provides an opportunity to develop content targeted at specific segments of our audience that our regular editorial budget may not cover. It also allows us to highlight thought leadership and excellence in product development with our valued partners.
We pride ourselves on publishing authoritative, high quality content that is geared specifically to keep our audience up to speed with the latest developments and provide hands on, practical advice. Therefore, we will only work with marketing partners who adhere to our editorial guidelines and work collaboratively with us to ensure that standards are met and that the audience is fully aware of the nature of the partnership.
Publishing online is gradually moving away from "interruptive" advertising models and tactics and evolving into more engaging customized ad integration. No doubt you have heard this divergence referred to as any of the following: native advertising, custom content, sponsored content, branded content, content marketing or even collaborative content.
Regardless of the nomenclature or terminology this shift in consumer engagement is based squarely on the fact that people likely will respond more positively to marketing tactics/approaches that don't look like advertising but, more or less, take the form of the rest of the content within the given medium.
Of course, this is not a replacement for any other form of advertising. In fact, collaborative content developed in conjunction with trusted brands can actually drive better results with display ads on the same page, for instance.
As with many other online publications, ClickZ is keen to work more closely with content partners to develop these new ways of marketing via brand integration, social campaigns and other innovative initiatives.
To that end, we're inviting selective partners to work with us as we introduce this exciting new phase of online publishing to our audience.
Commercially driven inserts originate from a direct approach by a potential sponsor or from ideas developed in-house at ClickZ and proposed to potential sponsors. This type of content is developed with the specific audience in mind and is clearly branded as collaborative. The terms sponsor and marketing partner are used interchangeably throughout this document.
Before a sponsored insert is agreed with a marketing partner, ClickZ sales representatives will present the idea to the special projects editor. The special projects editor may refer the concept to the editorial team for appraisal/approval. The special projects editor may accept, refuse, or request that conditions within editorial guidelines be adhered to. The ClickZ sales representative is responsible for ensuring that marketing partners are aware of these guidelines before the contract is signed.
The special projects editor is responsible for producing a credible, relevant and accurate insert no matter which marketing partner is sponsoring it. The special projects editor will conduct a briefing with the marketing partner and will produce a creative brief that takes into account the client's input and ideas but satisfies sound editorial judgment. ClickZ understands that the sponsor is a marketing partner but the special projects editor must ensure the insert contains a balanced view. Therefore, a range of views and even competitors' views and opinions may be included. The initial draft will be sent to the client for feedback. Questions of fairness and balance should be addressed and finalized at this time.
The special projects editor will not be subject to pressure to revise content once writers have been briefed and commissioned. ClickZ has no obligation to show copy to the sponsor until the proof stage, at which point the sponsor may check for factual errors and to ensure the brief has been correctly executed. The special projects editor must remain impartial.
Contributing writers for the inert/inserts need to be aware that they're contributing to sponsored content. But the special projects editor must emphasise to all writers that their reporting should be unchanged by the fact that a third party is sponsoring. In effect, this is not advertorial content.
The words: "In collaboration with [name of sponsor]" should appear in the footer of the insert. A link to a given URL/landing page will be included in the footer. The design, content and call to action at the given URL/landing page remains the responsibility of the marketing partner.
March 19, 2014