Can native advertising, notorious among many readers as deceptive, sit comfortably alongside journalistic output? BuzzFeed wasnt willing to roll the dice on Trump but it isnt running away from the idea
BuzzFeed has drawn some positive press for its Monday announcement that it was canceling a reported $1.3m advertising agreement with the Republican National Committee, blaming Donald Trumps controversial campaign.
In an email to staff, BuzzFeeds founder and CEO, Jonah Peretti, said that the company had inked the deal in April 2016 for a series of advertisements in autumn 2016, shortly before the national election and the time when, historically, most Americans finally begin paying attention to the campaigns in earnest. But in the months since signing, Peretti said, Trumps unique campaign, which is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world, made the agreement untenable.
The RNCs spokesman, Sean Spicer, told CNN: Space was reserved on many platforms, but we never intended to use BuzzFeed.
What was missing from the announcement (and much of the news coverage) is that the deal inked in April would not have been for display advertisements the industry term for ads, like those seen on the Guardians website, that appear on a webpages margins or inside an article. BuzzFeed doesnt run display ads at all: the advertising it solicits, accepts and places on its site and promotes on social media is native advertising, sometimes known as sponsored content, and includes sponsored videos. In 2015, two marketing companies calculated that the minimum buy-in for a native advertising campaign at BuzzFeed was $100,000; that gives some sense of the potential scale of the now-scuttled RNC campaign.
In other words, in April 2016, when Donald Trump was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, BuzzFeeds advertising department inked a million-dollar agreement with the Republican party to write or help write posts and produce videos to be placed on the site and, if the contract was in keeping with much of BuzzFeeds other ads, to promote on social media in support of Republican candidates, on behalf of the party.
BuzzFeed was tapping into what everyone expects is a huge potential market: the Obama and Romney campaigns spent $78m on online ads in the 2012 election, which was hardly as historic or controversial as 2016 is shaping up to be. But market research firm Borrell and Associates estimates that all political actors could spend as much as $1bn on digital ads this cycle driven, at least in part, by the declining return on investment for more traditional (and more expensive) television ads.
It was not BuzzFeeds first foray into sponsored political content. Perettis email noted that we accept advertisements from both republican and democratic [sic] candidates, and the site ran, reportedly unsuccessfully, a series of six sponsored posts for the Obama campaign in 2012. In October 2015, the site hired Rena Shapiro as its vice-president for politics and advocacy, and she promised to target political and advocacy groups as potential buyers of our shareable videos [and] our social posts.
But native advertisements are controversial both in and outside of traditional editorial departments: the UKs Advertising Standards Authority, for instance, ruled in January that a piece of BuzzFeeds native advertising ran afoul of UK codes that require it be clearly labeled as advertorial. And in 2013, the Atlantics decision to run a poorly labeled native advertisement from the Church of Scientology produced a short-lived round of soul-searching among many publishers struggling with ever declining display-ad rates and the need to nonetheless fund (hopefully quality) journalism.
And many readers find native advertising deceptive, when they realize they are advertisements at all. A 2015 study by Contently, a digital marketing company, found that the more trusted the brand, the less likely readers were to be able to successfully distinguish between native advertising and a companys journalistic output. (It also found that 48% have felt deceived upon realizing a piece of content was sponsored by a brand.)
While media companies accepting money from political campaigns (and organizations such as Super Pacs and advocacy groups supporting candidates) is a fairly standard practice, accepting money to run pieces of sponsored content that many readers will mistake for journalism in support of those candidacies is not and thats the deal that BuzzFeed nixed on Monday.
But that deal only covers Donald Trump; Peretti noted that BuzzFeed had already run sponsored content on behalf of political candidates, and the hiring of an executive last October whose job it is to do so strongly suggests that the company plans to expand its current efforts on behalf of candidates and other political actors as the election year wears on. BuzzFeed has already weathered many controversies about its native advertising program without having had an effect on its editorial operations. The question for Peretti is whether placing native advertisements for candidates and issues without regard for party or position alongside its well–regarded and award–winning news and politics coverage will be more trouble than its worth (even though, in all likelihood, it could be worth a lot).
When it comes to Trump, the answer is no. It remains to be seen to what the business department will say yes to next.Continue reading
One of the big HR startup stories of the last year has been the trials and tribulations of Zenefits, but news coming out today from another company in the space shows that there is still a lot of opportunity in the industry with the right approach.
Namely, a New York-based SaaS HR firm that focuses on mid-sized (100 to 1,000 employees) companies offering an all-in-one human resources platform, payroll and benefits services, today announced that it has raised $50 million, closing out a Series D totalling $80 million, which Namely said was the biggest round for an HR startup in 2016 amid some $2.5 billion in funding in a very fragmented market.
This Series D led byAltimeter Capital and Scale Venture Partners, withprevious investors includingSequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, and True Ventures also participating will be used not only to grow Namelys existing business, but to expand it into new products, Matt Stratz, theCEO and founder of Namely, told TechCrunch in an interview.
Namelyhas been one of the trailblazers in bringing HR into the cloud, applying data science to its aggregation algorithms, and offering its tools in a software-as-a-service model, but interestingly its newest product will take it back to more old-school parts of the HR world: timekeeping, and a new (its first) piece of hardware for businesses that employhourly workers and use punchcards to mark the time.
Straz said that this move was made in part to address a geographic area where Namely is growing fastest right now: the central and southern U.S., where there are more businesses based on the hourly working model who may be less interested (at least for now) in apps and SaaS to do the job.
The Series Dwas made at an upround compared to its previous valuation, butStrazwouldnt comment onwhat its valuation is. Sources say its not yet hitting unicorn levels of $1 billion although one investor hinted that its close. Straz a repeat entrepreneur whose other exits have included selling Pictela to AOL in 2010said he believes this will be the last round Namely raises before it goes for an IPO as a billion-dollar company.
Namelys ambitions to stay independent and go public are notable because the company has been an M&A target for several companies. They include Google, which weve been able to confirm with a source close to the company did indeed try to buy the Namelylast year, as part of a bigger push into cloud-based enterprise servicesand products that target mid-sized companies.
(While Namely has so far rejected acquisition offers from the usual suspects and others, in a way, it would be a perfect match for Google because of its application of search technology to finding appropriate benefits programs and other services for employees and employers.)
While Zenefits more than halved its valuation in 2016, lost its CEO, faced numerous regulatory issues and had to lay off a large number of staff, Namely which also competes against the biggies like ADP as well as other startups like Gusto paints a different picture of the world of HR startups.
Namely today has 650 companies ascustomers globally, totalling some 120,000 employees and $4 billion in processed payrolls.Its not yet profitable, Straz told me, but that is on our roadmap in the next couple of years, and in the meantime, the focus is on sustainable growth.
We are growing fast, but not at an unsustainable rate. Weve always had a different path, he said when describing why Namely is different from Zenefits. Part of that has included always focusing on compliance, and employees that are experienced in HR. Our staff is not populated by kids right out of college, as Straz bluntly put it. Recent exec hires include a new VP of product who is an alum of TurboTax andQuickbooks and a VP of compliance who came from MetLife.
And Zenefits losshas been Namelys gain in its target market of mid-sized companies. Weve had no negative impact from Zenefits in fact weve absorbed dozensof their customers, he said. The funniest thing thats happened is that a year and a half ago, investors asked us, Why arent you more like Zenefits? Now they are asking, Sohow are you different?’
Namely is truly the leading HR platform for mid-sized companies everywhere, adds Stacey Bishop, partner at Scale Venture Partners, in a statement. Theyve made HR a differentiator for their clients providing the best possible experience for employers and employees alike. We are thrilled to partner with Namely as they continue to transform the industry.Continue reading
Content marketing facilitates creation and distribution of engaging content in front of its viewers / readers. In the process, it obviously helps to leave a positive impact in the minds of the present as well as potential customers. Therefore, it’s vital for activities such as lead generation, branding, and sales. Effective content marketing also increases the trust and awareness levels of your…
Did your mother teach you that it’s wrong to eavesdrop? Alas! Dear old mom was mistaken– it’s something a good content marketer has to do. It’s all part of creating effective content. Content isn’t effective unless it engages your target audience (= prospective customers). And you can’t hope to engage people unless you know what interests them– including their problems and concerns. Which brings…
You spent the time to create quality content to wow your audience. So, you set aside hours of your day to review and revise it. You might have paid someone to edit your content. Now that your final product has been published, you expected great results. Unfortunately, you only got minimal traffic. You may have received leads, but they do not convert.
Now, you are frustrated because, after days or…
10 ways to get more visitors to your websiteIf your website traffic has actually suddenly pertained to a stand-still, you could have to provide your website a promotional jump start. This is actually directed to Post Marketing (among the most effective markets around) however can easily actually be applied to anything. Right here are a couple of methods to grab your traffic flowing again. 1.Purchase hits with your website. Spend for targeted hits to your web site. You can easily do exactly what is called “pay every click” advertising. This is where you pay search engines every tine some one clicks regard your link with your web site. A terrific conveniences to this is it nearly immediately receives you visitors. 2.You can easily additionally send out an advertising email to the opt-in email list you Ought to be developing by providing free of cost reports or courses to your visitors. 3.Pay your competitors a flat fee to email your promotional supply to their lists. This is a terrific method to construct relationships along with your competitors. 4.You can easily do exactly what is called a Joint Venture. This is as quickly as you pay a person a commission regard sales as quickly as they email your promotional supply to their email lists. 5.You can easily Spend for marketing regard a person else’s website by paying a flat fee up front to position an ad, banner or link regard the site. 6.You can easily Spend for marketing by providing a commission to your competitors or any person regard sales as quickly as they position your ad, banner or link regard their site. 7.You can easily submit your website to search engines along with your keywords and website description. 8.You can easily submit your link to various other websites, and in return, include them to yours. 9.You can easily write a free of cost report or road to provide away to various other web sites in your doubt and enable them to position an affiliate link inside (so they have actually an incentive to provide it away), and provide that away with free. If its great information, it will certainly spread enjoy a virus. This marketing tip is referred to as “viral marketing”. 10.If you have actually great material you can easily have actually a good marketing edge due to the fact that people will certainly discuss the website due to the fact that the saw it. You can easily additionally supply affiliate services so your customers can easily earn commissions as quickly as they refer some one to Purchase your product . These Ought to provide you some great pointers to grab much more traffic, and possibly also spark some pointers of your own! finest wishes, Victor W.
230 I’ve been getting involved in discussions with other estate agents and entrepreneurs on various social media platforms. I think a debate, and the ability to have discussions, share ideas and generally talk about the industry with other people is heartening and useful. I’m mainly coming across useful content and discussions on LinkedIn social media site, under the Estate Agents UK Networking Group. Once on there, you can ask questions, start discussions, respond to other people’s content, or just have a read of what other people have put there. I have found posting specific questions about marketing get a good response and generally start a lively debate, where people share their experience of that particular subject and usually have some strong views about it. I have developed in other areas on LinkedIn as well, as I have started to make connections with people I have worked alongside in estate agency over many years in the past. I think that having a network of people that you have shared experiences with and can trust their opinion will give you a testing ground for ideas and marketing projects. On other social media, I have developed another blog, based on the property market in my town – the idea is that as my knowledge of the market develops, and the content specifically related to the town builds, then I will become an authority in the property market where I will operate. This should lead to me being trusted and being sought out both by home sellers and landlords, for my experience and knowledge. This is also being serialised on the Facebook page that I have set up relating to the town I will operate in. I am using the town for my photography practice, and posting these photos on the page as well. I also add links to local events and local news to ensure that the page stays fresh and interesting. I use Twitter to publish links to my Blogger pages, so that I can reach a wider audience with my blog, and likewise with Tumblr, where I can also share a lot more of my photos and my thoughts about them. All-in-all I am finding that the links I can make via social media are becoming more and more useful to establish my presence in the local market and to add to my connections with people who have a similar outlook and will give me honest feedback. I urge anyone to give it a go!
The average American has a commute to work of at least 20 minutes every single day. For people that live in urban areas, a lot of this time might be spent sitting in rush hour traffic moving at extremely slow speeds.
• Listen to podcasts, webinars, TedTalks etc. It’s always great to stay up-to-date on the latest news and advancements in your industry. Download some podcasts, audiobooks or webinars that are relevant to your industry or otherwise valuable to your work and listen to them on the way to work. While you won’t have the ability to take notes on the things you hear, it’s still a great way to gain some new insights and ideas and keep yourself mentally stimulated while on an otherwise boring commute.
• Hold teleconferences, Skype or FaceTime. If you have a hands-free set that you are comfortable using, your commute can be a great time to hold teleconferences to catch up with a few employees or clients. This is a good habit to get into to make sure you’re maintaining solid communication practices within your company.
• Carpool, mass transit. If you have colleagues that live near you, you can save time and energy by driving together to work. This offers you a built-in way to discuss important action items in a low-key setting and get in some additional production during time that would otherwise be spent sitting in busy traffic feeling frustrated.
• Bring a laptop or tablet on the bus. If you take the bus or train or other type of public transportation, bring a tablet or laptop along and get some work done. This could be a great time to catch up on all of the emails you need to read and respond to before you get to the office and have a lot of larger, more complicated tasks to tackle.
• Outline your day. Think of everything you need to accomplish that day and put together a mental outline of what you need to do and when. You could create a voice memo if you have a hands-free system that you can play back later to remind yourself of your tasks for the day.
For more tips about staying productive even during your commute, speak with us today at Viral Solutions.
Copyright 2014 Viral Solutions LLC
Throughout my entire career, I’ve seen over and over again that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who truly believe that anything is possible. Sure, it’s a little bit of a cliché, but carrying that attitude with you through all of your work opens up so many doors that other people would otherwise never pass through.
• Seeing opportunity where others see impossibility. It takes a special person to create opportunity out of a seemingly impossible task. But if we never even give it a shot, can we truly know that it’s impossible? Successful entrepreneurs certainly don’t think so, and that’s a big part of how they become so successful. Those kind of risks have a way of paying off.
• Embracing wonder and curiosity. As an entrepreneur, you must always be curious and find ways to feed your wonder and curiosity. Learn new things, jump into new environments, look for interesting articles or speeches. These are all valuable learning opportunities that will help to make you a well-rounded person and entrepreneur.
• Never stop creating. The most successful entrepreneurs I’ve known are always creating something. An idea takes hold of them and they just have to work at it. Even when you’ve found success with one of your ideas, you should let your mind become obsessed with the next big idea so that you’re constantly creating and evolving, finding new methods and new products to offer.
• Looking beyond yourself. If you are not contributing to something bigger than yourself, it might be hard to find truly deep meaning in your work. It could be the satisfaction of your customers, it could be a charitable endeavor, it could be helping others to achieve their dreams.
• Understanding that you’re never done growing. If you have an insatiable thirst to continue growing and improving, then you’re going to be much less likely to fail. Keep reading, keep meeting people, keep learning. Why be content with the plateau when the climb is so much more exhilarating?
Do you think that you embody these characteristics? Then contact us today at Viral Solutions to learn how you can take your business to the next level.
The post As An Entrepreneur, Believe That Anything Is Possible! by Thomas von Ahn appeared first on Viral Solutions – Infusionsoft Certified.