It looks like ReviewMe is adding another product to their range – this time it’s Advertorials.
On their Advertisers page they share what they are:
- You can browse our marketplace of top blogs and choose the blogs to run your message which you remain in full control over.
- Advertorials also feature full impression and click tracking so you can measure your return on investment.
- Advertorials are a great way to generate buzz and traffic while controlling the message and measuring your results!
They don’t seen to have officially announced it yet but what it seems like is that instead of the blogger writing the review – advertorials have more input by the advertiser. I’m hoping that they’ll be marked/disclosed as such (as they require for reviews).
OK – so as a blogger, would you use this type of service?
I’ve always had mixed thoughts on review posts. I think if they are on topic, genuine and disclosed they are one option to explore as a blogger – as long as you don’t become obsessed by posting too many of them and as long as they give actual useful information to your readers (and realize that for some readers they can be a turn off).
I personally don’t do paid reviews because I don’t want to put myself in that kind of position with my readers – however some bloggers seem to be doing well with them.
With advertorials I’m feeling similar thoughts – although am probably even further away from running them on my own blogs than running paid reviews. While I guess ReviewMe will give bloggers full control of whether an advertorial is placed on their blog (after seeing the copy) I think there are a couple of downsides to this as a blogger wanting to develop a community and relationships with readers:
- Disruption of Style/Voice – one of the potential downsides is that the voice that advertorials are written in could well be different to the voice that you write your blog on. I guess this will be a case by case thing that bloggers need to assess – but most advertorials that I read in newspapers and magazines have a certain kind of ‘spin’ on them. I guess to be fair that this disruption of voice is similar to when you put a guest post up on your blog.
- Loss of Balance – the point of an advertorial is to sell something. Whether it be a product, brand or service – an advertorial is an advertisement of some sort and as a result it is not generally a balanced exploration of the pros and cons of that service. Is this what your blog is about – this is a call that a blogger will need to make for themselves.
I’m not about to reject the idea of an advertorial completely for all blogs – but I would suggest bloggers think carefully about running them or not (as I would encourage bloggers to do with any type of ad on their blog. Remember that everything that goes up on your blog either adds to or takes away from how readers perceive it – particularly those things that appear in the content areas of your blog.
They are my initial thoughts, having not seen many details of what the service entails. What do you think about advertorials on blogs?
PS: one last question that I have about this – will advertorials be unique from blog to blog? Seeing the same advertorial numerous times around a niche could become annoying to readers but also could have implications when it comes to SEO both of the advertiser and blogger – ie duplicate content. Knowing the smart SEO types behind ReviewMe I suspect they’ve given this some consideration and will be interested to see what they’ve come up with.
Update: Thanks to Patrick from ReviewMe who has made the following clarifications for us:
– all links within Advertorials are redirects, no direct links (this means they have no SEO benefit)
– all Advertorials BY DEFAULT are clearly marked at the beginning of the post as a “SPONSOR POST:” (good on the disclosure front).
Here in Australia if an article is an advertiorial they are actually marked with that word – I wonder whether this might be something to consider or stop confusion with readers wondering if it’s actually written by the blogger themselves. While I’m happy they are disclosing I think it worth pointing out to readers that a blogger did not write the post for fear of it being confused with a paid review that readers might think is unbiased. Just my two cents worth.