Risk & Business Magazine Gillons Insurance Summer 2019 Magazine - Page 12

KILL THE MEDIA HOW SPONSORED CONTENT COULD KILL THE MEDIA BY: JOE PULIZZI, FOUNDER OF CONTENT MARKETING INSTITUTE W hen I started out in the B2B publishing business almost 20 years ago (working at business-to- business media company Penton Media), sponsored content creation for our B2B advertisers felt like a second-class citizenship: Sure, my company liked the revenue, but sponsored content was not viewed as critical to our business; rather, it was seen as ancillary. Actually, that was even the name of our group: “ancillary media.” When Penton Media was sold in 2006, its buyers barely even looked at the revenues coming from content 12 marketing projects and sponsored content. They believed it was just “one- off” revenue and not important enough to value in the deal. Today, a very different story is being painted. Nearly every media company on the planet is selling sponsored content or incorporating native advertising into all their revenue offerings. In fact, Huffington Post, which started their partner studio with around 10 people in 2014, has hired more than 100 people just to work on clients' content projects; at The Atlantic, three quarters of its digital revenue is now generated from sponsored content. And for some businesses (like BuzzFeed, for example), sponsored content accounts for nearly all revenue. As the traditional media model of advertising continues to break down, publishers are increasingly turning to sponsored content as their savior. And why not? It has led to some amazing turnarounds – including those at The Washington Post and The New York Times. According to research from the Native Advertising Institute (in cooperation with FIPP), publishers’ price sponsored content significantly higher than banner advertising, and, on average, sponsored content comprises 19 percent of total advertising revenues. Soon, this number is expected to jump to 33 percent. Simply put, brands are buying this stuff…a lot of it. According to Business