Somewhere during the struggle to reconcile the need to bring in revenue, and maintaining the “purity” of the medium, some bright spark thought she’d ad comments to ads. This idea grew a little, and we eventually had “story ads”. Neither of these attempts to take advertising into the conversational space is particularly groundbreaking. Its a painfully obvious step toward breaking out of interruption advertising and truly engaging the reader, but it is necessary.
Mallasch, who describes his strategy for the site as coming from the “Craig Newmark school of business” (a reference to Craigslist’s founder), says he’s had some success recently selling “advertorials” along with banner ads — “basically, a story page labeled as an ad where customers or potential customers can comment.”
And he seems to be doing a little better than I. We played with this over at Threadwatch a while back (I ran that site untill Performancing for those that didn’t know) and although it was fun, and personally I felt, and still feel it has promise, didn’t have a lot of success with it.
The biggest problem with running story ads is that as a group, advertisers are a lazy bunch, they want the world, and expect it for little or no effort on their part.
That could be a fault of ours, of mine, us the bloggers, who’d like to show ads that engage our readers, keep our content relevant and fresh and STILL bring in the $$$’s.
Unfortunately we’re a lazy bunch too. We don’t appear to be taking steps to change the advertisers opinion, to coax them over their fears of (omg!) the prospect of public criticism but like the advertisers, we still expect it to work, and at least for my part, are dissapointed with the results.
Im not sure. It really is a tough one for both advertiser and blogger, neither has the luxury of an effortless success, both risk public criticism and it’s a hard balance to strike with regular readers.
I don’t have an answer, but im all ears if anyone would care to offer one.
Some random thoughts I’ve had on this in the time its taken me to get to this sentence:
- Could advertisers be bloggers? Guest bloggers?
- Could the lure of the giveaway overcome the fear of a “bad comment” and keep readers relatively positve? // Do we want that?
- If not story ads, how else can we engage the reader, without overstepping editorial bounds?
- Perhaps we need to push editorial bounds, no pain, no gain
Interesting challenge isn’t it?