BuzzFeed’s SponCon lets display advertisers request editorial content for their target audiences

Digiday 02 Dec 2019 05:00

To bolster its display advertising business, BuzzFeed is asking marketers what kinds of people they want to reach, then having its editorial team create content specifically designed to attract them.

Imagine an alcohol brand that wanted to reach female millennials who like to drink in the summer, love nail art and are interested in LGBTQA issues. With its new offering, internally called SponCon, BuzzFeed might take that request and ask its edit team to create five posts that align with the initiatives of the advertiser. The content itself, however, isn’t sponsored or branded. The articles don’t mention the advertisers, but the advertiser owns 100% of the share of voice with on-page display advertising. SponCon packages come with impression guarantees, which BuzzFeed ensures it meets with a mixture of organic traffic and social distribution.

While this is a new selling approach for BuzzFeed, the model is reminiscent of how display campaigns were often sold in the internet’s earlier days, when ad buyers often worked with publishers’ salespeople to purchase a share of voice against specific types of content. The twist now is that BuzzFeed is creating new content specifically to meet buyers’ demands.

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