Miruna Codeanu

Paid blog posts: good advertising is when…

In espresso on October 14, 2013 at 9:34 am

How do you judge a good piece of advertising? Of course, like anything that has been on this planet long enough, there are some theories about it, and some criteria have been developed. However, I still believe in the magic, rough beauty of advertising and I have one good tool for labeling something as and “Awesome marketing story”, be that branding, packaging, advertising, PR. Really good, awesome, incredible, magic advertising happens when it brings out emotions which make one forget or not tell that it is an ad. In some other words, really good advertising is when you can’t tell it’s advertising.

The matter for today: paid blog posts. Paid blog posts remind of that time when advertising on TV had no P, or product placement. We’ve seen much of that advertising failing. People develop a certain form of immunity against  certain marketing tools when exposed too much to the same one. So, times change, marketers develop other tools. People adapt again, marketers get creative again and so on, and they buy happily ever after. In the few last days I read 2 or 3 blog posts that were literally screaming “Paid content, paid content”. One for a sort of an online shop where users sell their things. Summary: the guy had a very good looking neighbor, whose house didn’t have any curtains and you could see her walking naked around the house. So, this bloggers was asking you to let him know about anybody who sells cheap curtains on that website, because he will offer them as a present. Wait, what? It’s what I call “cheap and kitsch” advertising. The kind of advertising that screams and shouts like a fake Vuitton. Want to fake your social status? Don’t have money for a Vuitton? Don’t wear one, but a Vuitton owner will tell yours is not an original and you don’t have the same status.

Second paid blog post: a new shopping center will open this week. This blogger, I actually usually like and value has a post about how this will be located in the center of Bucharest and how boheme it will be. Oh dear Lord. We’re not discussing positioning and targeting as those are probably already done by the agency dealing with this project. I’m talking about how to do better paid posts. If you just repost content from the advertising agency it will be obvious the advertising agency does not know your target, your readers and it did not adapt the content for your readers. Your reader will tell it’s paid content coming from the agency, or at least, in this particular case for this blog, her readers will tell it’s paid content.   Let’s do this: I work in the area where the mall is located and I live 3km away for Bucharest’s center. My job is 15km away from my home. Is this mall located in the center of Bucharest? Not quite? Not at all. I live 1km away from a shopping center which means that shopping center is 2km away from the city center, which makes it a bit silly to position another mall on the same level as another existing shopping mall. Will a shopping center be as boheme as one of most boheme places in Bucharest that no longer exist but where my generation practically grew up? Ugh, doubt it. Guys from advertising agency, you are wasting your money with these kinds of blog posts, better do some advertising in the area, this is where your customers will be coming from, because this is the most important advantage for this shopping center: it is located in an a business area with no other competition.

Hey, bloggers, posts that scream “cheap” aren’t chic! Same thing that I’ve been saying about marketing for some while now, apply to you: know your audience and contextualize.

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