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What Ad Buyers Still Don’t Get About Sponsored Content

Contently

BuzzFeed, valued at $850 million this past August, has invested heavily in sponsored content. Yet as a recent story from The Wall Street Journal reveals, advertisers still aren’t sure what they’re getting out of the new media giant’s primary source of revenue.

While virtually every major digital media property seems to have a branded content studio these days, none has pinned as much of its success on native advertising as BuzzFeed, which does not run traditional display ads on its site.

As such, you would have to think the company’s financial stakeholders were displeased to read that, according to one major ad buyer, only 15 percent of clients who syndicated sponsored content on BuzzFeed in 2013 returned for 2014.

From the sound of things, brands have been hesitant to return to BuzzFeed because they have not yet been able to directly link sponsored stories to product sales—a line of thinking that fundamentally misunderstands the role content marketing plays in a company’s long-term success.

As DigitasLBi’s chief investment officer, Adam Shlachter, put it to The Wall Street Journal, “Social lift and buzz is great, but I have to know if that means I will sell more toothpaste.”

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Crain’s BtoB and IDG Announce Second Annual Social Media Marketing Awards Program

BtoB SMMA 548x95 B Crain’s BtoB and IDG Announce Second Annual Social Media Marketing Awards Program

 

NEW YORK & FRAMINGHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BtoB and IDG–two leading publishers serving marketers, agencies, technology companies, and consumers—are seeking nominations for superior social media marketing programs in seven categories. Entries from marketers and agencies are due by February 18 at www.btobonline.com/socialawards. IDG Strategic Marketing Services (SMS) is the lead sponsor for the second consecutive year.

“We’ve moved rapidly from a trial phase to innovative programs built around the social web”

Finalists will be chosen for Best Use of Facebook, Best Use of Twitter, Best Use of LinkedIn, Best Use of Viral Video, Best Corporate Blog, Best Closed Community, and Best Social Media Integrated Campaign (across more than one social channel). The entry fee is either $40 or $50 depending on the number of submissions.

BtoB editors will select a winner and runner-up from each category that will be identified in the April 4 issue of BtoB and at www.btobonline.com. The editors will also nominate their favorite entries for People’s Choice awards and online voters will select a top tech and non-tech program. People’s Choice public voting will run from April 4 to April 15. Read more