In part two of this series, I offered some tips on how to create effective corporate blogs. This week, it’s back to media buying with a look at the other way to market your business via blogs: with advertising.
You’re sure to have noticed this growing trend. Ads are materializing on blogs of virtually every theme and design. They appear in the form of buttons, text ads, and sponsorships, much like the placement opportunities available on niche sites and specialty portals. Like these sites, some blogs sell ad space directly, while others turn to ad networks for help.
The strategy makes perfect sense. Unless a blog has a considerable amount of monthly traffic and unique site visitors (a rare affair, given slow blog adoption among the masses), it isn’t likely to attract the attention of advertisers in need of sizeable audience reach. And like niche sites, blogs tend to cater to specific pockets of Internet users that tend to be rather concentrated anyway. By joining a network of other small sites, a strength in numbers approach, blogs cut out the complexity of having to work with numerous independent sites. They provide advertisers with the ability to reach multiple blog audiences in one shot.
Sound too good to be true? It very nearly is. Few traditional ad networks have to date welcomed blogs into their publisher-composed families. Lack of control over site content has been cited as a primary reasons for the reluctance. As more blogs prove their worth as solid sources of content able to attract a respectable number of visitors, this will likely change.
In the meantime, a couple of options exist for marketers looking for an easy, affordable, and effective way to reach a sizeable audience of blog readers.
Blogads will sound familiar due to its much-publicized recent survey debunking myths about Internet users who read blogs. A blog-specialized network, Blogads offers access to roughly 300 blogs. Impressions range from 2-4 million per month for the largest sites to 2,000 for the smallest.
Ads on Blogads’ sites are button style. They can include an image, multiple links, and up to 300 characters of text (most self-respecting bloggers don’t cotton to the traditional animated banners). Buttons, generally 150 x 200 pixels, are placed in columns on either side of the blog text. Ad rates vary from $0.50-0.70 CPM to $2 CPM for “premium slots,” which are larger and offer greater exposure by appearing at the top of the columns.
Graciously, Blogads has made it easy for most everyone to advertise on its blogs. One of the primary benefits of the network is ads can be autonomously launched with no need for a sales rep. Blogads’ site features an online order form and campaign platform that allows users to create and upload their ads by themselves (however, advertisers are responsible for tracking their own campaigns).
Ever run a Google AdWords campaign? Your ads probably already appear on blogs without you even knowing it. When you sign up for cost-per-click (CPC) text advertising through the AdWords program and choose the “Content Targeting” option (in which ads are contextually delivered based on page content), your ads stand a chance of appearing on individual sites, newsletters, Gmail and, yes, blogs.
Google boasts many blog sites among its network of thousands of publishers (Google owns Blogger). Though you can’t have your ads run exclusively on blogs, you can certainly benefit from the performance-based pricing, the unique content blogs possess, and the prized audience demographics they’re now known to attract.
With interest in blogs and blogging on the rise, it’s inevitable more options for blog advertising will emerge in months to come. It looks as if this medium’s here to stay. Now’s the time. Get to know the vast and varied world of blogs.
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