Is Advertising A Blog Appropriate?

by Jason Falls |

Working at an advertising agency, I have the good fortune of seeing the work of incredibly creative people on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the vast majority of what I see is never viewed by the public, or even the client for that matter. A good bit of what advertising creatives do gets left in file 13. (“Creatives” is agency speak for art directors, designers and copywriters.) Only a handful of concepts and campaigns that meet the client’s needs and expectations, or do a particularly outstanding job of communicating on their behalf are taken to the client for review. The rest, some pretty damn good work, is discarded.

Social Media Explorer

A couple weeks back, I was invited into creative review meeting. One example of work displayed was an outdoor billboard advertising a new blog we are developing for a client. Because it is a new communications initiative, the request for creative examples of how we would market the blog was put into the pipeline. Neither the creative folks nor the account management people had reason to question whether or not advertising a blog was appropriate.

While my efforts to educate those in the building not in tune with social media standards and practices have begun and are ongoing, our blog billboards are a microcosm example of how far the marketing and advertising world still has to go in terms of developing communications and content relative to social media.

My reaction to the piece was that it was certainly well done, communicated the message and successfully promoted this new venture. But just the thought of an advertisement for a blog, especially one connected to a corporation, just seems wrong. It didn’t pass the smell test for me. Perhaps other social media strategists would disagree depending upon the client or cause.

As the weeks have passed since, I’ve mulled over the work in my head and still have no real definitive stance on whether or not advertising a blog is appropriate. Certainly, we in the social media space often discuss how to promote your blog. Many of us have small, personal blogs we hope to one day monetize, but aren’t in the position of being able to purchase banner ads or even traditional advertising to drive our traffic. Even if we were, though, would we? What about the big corporations that can afford the media buy?

I want to know what you think. Assuming the blog in question has some form of monetization as a goal, even if it’s not the primary one, is it appropriate to advertise, via online or traditional methods to promote it? Blogs that would fall into the category of my question include:

When, if ever, is an advertisement for a blog appropriate?

[tags]blog advertising, advertising a blog, blogging, advertising, marketing, blog promotion[/tags]

About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).