February 24, 2016 Last Updated 1:03 pm

Forbes launches new native ad program: BrandVoice Premium

The magazine publisher Forbes appears to be doubling down on its native advertising efforts, rolling out a new product called BrandVoice Premium.

BrandVoice Premium allows brands to publish unlimited content on its BrandVoice platform on its website.

ForbesBrandVoice-screenI had to chuckle a bit when I read the release, which you can see below, not because the idea is bad, but because I tried a similar product over a decade ago. At the time my idea was to give advertisers a user account to our website for them to post as many press releases and other brand content that they would want. They would be charged for the privilege, of course.

My thought was that management was not likely to allow me to have as large an editorial staff as would be necessary to grow our website traffic, and I didn’t want my editors to be spending all day retyping in press releases into our CMS, so why not let the brands do it themselves?

I thought it was a good idea but it went nowhere because management was made up of blockheads (to be honest) and the reps really didn’t know how to sell it? “Isn’t that just advertorial?” Yes, but today it is called native advertising (I’m foggy as to why people think there is a difference, one is just a better version of the other.)

Obviously, times have changed, and Forbes stands a decent chance to make this work. Brands are ready, and so are the ad reps.

Here is the announcement from Forbes for its new BrandVoice Premium:

NEW YORK, NY – February 23, 2016 – Forbes announced today, during Social Media Week New York, that it has launched a new product called BrandVoice Premium. BrandVoice Premium allows partners to publish unlimited content on the BrandVoice platform on Forbes.com.  In addition, the product offers the following:

  • Strategic Influencer EngagementForbes is the first publisher to partner with Traackr, a leading solution for influencer management, to help brands reach their key influencers.  Through this partnership, Traackr will help Forbes identify and engage with topic-focused influencers who can contribute and promote content on behalf of BrandVoice partners. Traackr monitors over 20,000 websites and social media platforms to pinpoint the most influential people across industries and topic categories. Traackr scores influencers based on – Reach: Audience Size; Resonance: Engagement Power; and Relevance: Contextual Fit. Influencers who are selected will be invited to serve as guest contributors and publish content on behalf of Forbes’ BrandVoice Premium partners. Forbes will create a targeted social strategy to distribute the partners’ content to key influencers through social media.  Forbes will also offer to host a content event with each BrandVoice Premium partner and will invite influencers to speak or attend.
  • Enhanced Data Targeting: Forbes will retarget readers of the BrandVoice Premium partners’ content (as well as any relevant editorial content on Forbes.com) and serve them native ads and content ads containing BrandVoice Premium content.
  • Deeper Analytics:  Forbes will track engagement with influencers, reach and amplification.   The BrandVoice Premium partners will also have the ability to place on their BrandVoice pages a content analytics pixel (GA or Omniture-Site Catalyst) so that partners can track content engagement using the same metrics they employ to measure their owned media properties, corporate blogs or content hubs.

“Forbes is seeing a shift among marketers as they place a greater importance on reaching the right people and less on driving massive page views for their content.  Marketers today are focused on engaging with a more targeted and influential audience,” said Ann Marinovich, Vice President, Advertising Products and Strategy at Forbes Media.  “With the release of BrandVoice Premium, Forbes is making it easier for brands to partner with key influencers who can create and promote content that will have an impact on audiences that matter the most to the brands.”

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