Bringing our conference to a close, Andrew Wallenstein, deputy editor, The Hollywood Reporter, talked up advertising on celebrity content, or, as Wallenstein called it, the “straw that stirs the drink,” with Henry Copeland, CEO, Blogads and director, sales and technology, PerezHilton.com; Brian Fitzgerald, co-founder & president, Gorilla Nation Media; Mari Katsunuma, VP of digital, Bravo; Karin Kovacs, associated publisher, People.com; Dave Rosner, director of innovations, Initiative Media. The main points made were that while it may be safer to advertise on a better known brand, there’s still money to be made in the smaller sites. The idea is not necessarily to advertise your product or service on the biggest site, but to find the site that works best with your brand.
— Where to advertise: Fitzgerald: There’s always going to be a throng of new sites attracting audiences. At the end of the day all that noise and clutter creates a situation where as a media buyer, you have to be focused on delivering the most integrated, compelling platform for the marketer messaging across a particular audience. Copeland added: There’s so much inventory, so many places you can go. You need to go to a big property where you know people are seeing it [the site]. If you go to 50 small blogs, you don’t know who’s looking at it. Kovacs brought up that users aren’t going to just one place for their celebrity gossip, that they always come back to sites like People.com to verify the info. “They check us 3-4 times a day and from a marketer’s standpoint, there’s a role for each of those [sites].” Rosner: People are going to different sites to meet different needs and that completely helps us understand who we’re trying to reach. There’s definitely room — in the brand perspective– for everybody.
More on cross-platform sales and international initiatives after the jump…
— Cross-platform sales: Kovacs: This is one of the biggest trends. Last year and this year, most of our proposals asked for 360. People want to rely on the brand, our content. People want one idea that works across the entire brand. I don’t have to prove my brand; I just have to show how I can bring it together. With these custom programs you need to serve the reader, not detract from the experience, and create a platform with which you can communicate with advertisers. For example, we’ve got fan sites and blogs sending traffic to our blog, asking readers to vote for their favorite celebs on our poll.
— International initiatives: Kovacs: At the end of the year we’ll have an international strategy and mobile one. People have to check what’s happening with the entertainment world — and not just sports and weather — on the phone. It’s not enough to get the news a couple of times a day, you need it whenever you want. For international, People.com is one of the number one celeb sites in Canada and soon we’ll have a strategy how to monetize it. People Magazine is launching in India but most of our reach is in U.S. Fitzgerald: International is tough, especially in terms of monetizing the traffic. Copeland: Perez is big in Canada; he gets 20 million impressions per month. In Australia and UK he’s got readers but to them, he’s just another blog.