Aug 7 2013 Jessica Burget Blog Strategy Can Blogs Show Their Value to Advertisers? As the digital landscape expands, new publisher offerings are coming to fruition on a daily basis. In particular, content creation through blogs continues to gain in prominence. Publishing organizations and networks, including Say Media, Glam Media, BlogHer, SheKnows and more continue to develop and invest in their digital offerings and content. The expansion of the “Blogosphere” is cultivating an audience that is seeking new ideas, trends and articles about their interests, and these blogs are becoming extremely influential. According to a recent White Paper released by Say Media, “How Independent Media Influences the Influencer,” the audience that is passionate and loyal to this form of media consumption is younger, more affluent and better educated than the rest of the online adult population. Of course, all blogs are not created equal, and some will have the opportunity to drive ad revenue better than others due to their audience, growth, content and sales strategy. For these networks to stand out against others in the marketplace, we have a couple suggestions: 1) Plan beyond the typical CPM pricing and offering. As the industry heads toward viewable impressions, publishers will need to incorporate units beyond the banner that can be bought across any pricing model. Can they guarantee viewability? How do they handle interest in sponsored content? How do they price audience engagement? A winning sales strategy utilizes multiple tools. 2) Create more video content, and then create even more. With the growth of video through YouTube, I suggest creating more opportunities where consumers can interact with the content of the blog through how-to’s, Q&A’s, etc. Provide content that is easy to consume and share, like short-form video, and let the user respond back in an open manner. This will capture the audience’s attention and potentially increase time spent on the site. Allowing advertisers to reach an engaged audience through video is going to be beneficial to funnel ad dollars to the publisher. At Centro, our agency clients are seeing the value in investing advertising dollars toward publishers that specialize in blog content. We have seen a YOY growth in spend with the publishers we work with who specialize in blogs. In 2013 alone, we have worked with 37 different blog publishers that cover a variety of topics including entertainment, politics, sports, technology, style, home & garden, etc. Whenever possible we are looking for creative publisher opportunities to engage with an audience beyond a banner ad – including sponsored posts, product reviews and giveaways. Blogs have allowed us to offer unique and differentiated ad products for agencies. This is the key for publishers to thrive in the digital media landscape.