In the New York Times article, “Sponsors No Pay for Online Articles, Not Just Ads” the author explains how the world of online advertising is changing, and becoming more competitive. The days of ads via banners on websites is ending, market research shows that the ads are actually being ignored by even their target market. So advertisers are being forced to take a new direction, sponsoring editorial articles. Editorial websites like Mashable.com are the big winners. Instead of the traditional banner, or sidebar ads, advertisers are now paying to sponsor articles. When someone clicks an editorial, or news article, the margins and usually the space on the page after the articles are filled with information from the advertiser, or “sponsor.” The ads usually consist of a statement like “this article brought to you by *product being advertised*, or “this article sponsored by *item/company being advertised*. Usually followed by a company or product description, with a link to the company website, in the margin or after the editorial. This brings to question the legitimacy of the editorials, and if they are biased. But sites like Buzzfeed.com and mashable.com are reassuring that they’re articles are indeed editorials, and not advertorials.
The synergy between the brands being advertised and the editorial sites being sponsored by the brand is nothing short of groundbreaking. Articles can be priced by the editorial sites by the popularity it receives, just like the advertising slots on major search engines. Click through rates and revenue per click can be used in the pricing of each ad, and the more popular editorials can be priced the highest. But the real advantage here goes to the advertiser. The editorial companies work with the advertisers to write editorials that are inline with the customers brand. This should prove to be much more effective than traditional search engine advertising, because when people read an editorial they are interested in something specific. Then when they get to the editorial and see a content specific ad, they are more likely to engage it. This brings target marketing to whole new level, on a grander scale then ever before. Instead of search queries that can lead to skewed, sometimes unrelated results, advertisers can stable their brand or product to editorials and create a more direct avenue to their target market. This seems to me that this should be the route of advertisers moving foreword.