Content marketing ideas continue to evolve as companies embrace the switch from the historical, interruptive advertising model to branded content and strategic alliances with other brands. This evolution is blurring the lines between content and advertising, as blog and social media posts are being shared across platforms and brands, resulting in content cross-integration.
Breaking Out of the Silo
Silos are what occur when business units tend to communicate only internally, resulting in an “ivory tower” effect where power is minimized from lack of synergy. This effect can happen in traditional marketing, where brands market as distinct entities instead of tapping into one another’s successes. Some, however, are realizing that piggybacking onto another brand can improve their own exposure.
In a recent press release by Boston.com, it announced the launch of the new “Insights” program. By combining advertising content, social media and blog posts from outside brands with related news stories, the site hopes to provide improved engagement for advertisers and a new way to place information in front of a highly targeted audience.
The bulk of the Insights program operates on the Boston.com website. News articles are combined with advertising posts, blog posts and social media streams for participating advertisers. Content can include everything from simple articles to streaming video. Positioning and integration with news content is optimized for both regular and mobile web browsers to allow for easy use and consistent viewing on a range of devices.
Boston.com sorts advertiser content to fit popular categories or locations, much like keyword-based or geo-targeted advertising campaigns, to ensure that the advertisements are relevant to the reader. Each piece of advertising content can contain links to other websites, sharing widgets and other items to increase exposure and promote engagement. These items are then combined to form galleries and collections on the site that readers can browse separately from the news content as well. Content is also listed and highlighted both weekly and monthly in the print-edition of the Boston Globe for increased exposure.
The Changing Face of Advertisements in the Digital Era
From web browser add-ons to the proliferation of set top boxes with digital video recorders, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that advertisements are actually seen by viewers. This has led to a shift toward integrating advertisements into content within many media types. This latest addition shows that websites and news outlets are no different.
The key to this new form of advertising is striking a balance between content and promotion. Ads are often formatted to seamlessly integrate into the article or content. This practice has been received with lukewarm opinions in many cases. Boston.com hopes to combat the issues that others have faced by clearly defining both advertising content and news content yet allowing them to be linked by subject matter to maintain relevance.