Will Brands Ditch Blog Networks for a New Advertising Model?

blogger in field

Last year, Federated Media shut down their direct sales arm and started focusing on native and programmatic advertising. In an article published yesterday,  AdWeek, says brands are also looking to those two forms of advertising buys over the traditional blog networks to reach their audiences, perhaps making blog networks obsolete.

Wait a minute.. what is native and programmatic advertising?

Without overloading  you with jargon, in a nutshell, native advertising is sponsored content delivered in stream. Programmatic advertising, which is more elusive to define, is essentially automated buying and selling of digital ads in real time using algorithms. Programmatic buys have been able to increase effectiveness in ads as much as 59% according to Forbes.com, hereby giving buying ads in bulk in blog networks a run for their money.

Programmatic buys have been able to increase effectiveness in ads as much as 59%…

This new migration in ad buys signifies two things for bloggers. One, is an interest in larger publishers who are able to both create native advertising for brands and have an audience to broadcast to, especially advertisers who are interested in video as many smaller publishers do not have the resources to create such ads. The other is that brands are using software to purchase ads in real time to get to their customers in a more precise way, making buying ads based on broad numbers less appealing. Each of these means that blog networks are going to have to change their models to fit the brand's advertising needs.

What does this mean for bloggers?

For many bloggers, getting ads on their blogs is not only the easiest way to monetize, it's one of the first revenue streams for their blogs. Ads on a blog is one of the ways that bloggers signal to their readers “this is a monetized blog” as well as earning those extra dollars too. In the fashion blogosphere, bloggers tend to use Glam, Say Media (IFB uses Say Media ads), Style Coalition and Federated Media networks to supply ads to their blogs with little effort beyond the initial setting up.

It's probably not a big surprise to bloggers who peruse ad networks that the model is losing it's luster, however, it's good to know where the digital ad industry is headed. For smaller publishers, this will likely mean that will be less resources available on the mass scale, that if you don't have a huge amount of traffic and help you'll have to look into other forms of monetization like affiliate links, selling your own ads and services and the like. In the end, it's not much of a change, smaller publishers have been doing that for years.

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4 Responses

  1. Kimberly

    This is a good think — Ive never had any luck with banner ads as a publisher or advertiser.

  2. Ashley "Ashe" Robison

    To some degree (and as someone who benefits from an ad network), I’m not surprised to see this evolution coming. It’s become increasingly more difficult to sell banner ads as a small independent site (which is likely why more mid-sized blogs opt for that approach). So there was the growth of the ad network….. but I feel like readers in general are much more savvy to advertisements and train their eyes to divert away from them.

    It makes more sense to see native advertising on growing or intuitive marketing techniques. It makes users feel more connected to (says the girl who is haunted by Modcloth & Valentino rockstuds on every site she goes to).

  3. Alyssa Martinez

    This is definitely true. I both sell ad space and joined 2 affiliate networks to earn money from blogging but since late last year, I earn much more from this kind of advertising and I didn’t even knew that it was called “Native Advertising” when I started doing it last year, I just simply called it sponsored post. Right now there are 2 agencies I’m in touch with who offers me this kind of advertising and to be honest I like this much better.