Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Boston.com rolls out new 'Insights' advertising program to attract local clients who are blogging their own content

To attract potential advertisers who are blogging their own content, Boston.com from The Boston Globe has launched a new advertising program called Insights. Advertisers are featured within an ad placed in various locations on the Boston.com website and are linked to their own blog posts.

Boston.com's sales team are offering three ad packages which can include a dedicated business page, mobile-optimization, print listings and Boston.com Insights badges for client blogs and websites – each package includes promotion on appropriate web pages of Boston.com.

"We were looking at the needs of small and medium businesses, that is where we started, and the paying point we identified was that an awful lot of them were blogging," said Thomas Cole, Executive Director of Business Development for The Boston Globe and Boston.com.

The new program is one of the few new digital newspaper products I've heard of that has its origins outside of either the editorial department, or the web or app development teams. At the center of the program are the medium rectangle ads that drive readers to their advertisers content.
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The new ad program is not being sold by a specialized digital sales team, but is open to the staff to sell.

"It's something that is open to the floor, and we have a subject matter expert out there," Cole told me yesterday. That 'subject matter expert' is Jennifer Tyrrell who is listed on the product's media kit.

The advertising is priced at a flat rate based on the package bought, rather than by any performance metric. The pages and ads have been live for a while now, though Cole believes those getting the best results are following simple marketing rules.

"We are finding the blog posts that get most attention are the ones with the headlines that are most engaging. That if you write something that sounds interesting you have a much better chance of attracting attention," Cole said.

"It's a fundamental publishing principal, write things that people are interested in."



Here is the promotional video that Boston.com has on its site to promote its new Insights advertising program:

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