AOL advertisers as content contributors

Posted by on Nov 11, 2009 in Building Sales

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AOL Advertising has told Marketing Week that it will refocus its advertising efforts on publishing more original content and offering more premium display and videos around it, following its rebrand from Platform-A in July. The ad sales division of AOL, suffering ad revenue drops of 18-24 percent for the last three quarters, wants to increase its consumer appeal by introducing more magazine-style Web sites of its own. It will employ more journalists for the additional online content, which should then lure more premium display advertising around the content.

Advertisers will actually be invited to co-create online videos for AOL sites, which could then be syndicated elsewhere. AOL Advertising will also continue to work with third-party Web sites. Jeff Levick, president of global advertising and strategy for AOL, told Marketing Week: “The concept is to start with a specific channel and then expand on premium advertising opportunities through more niche topical subjects. It gives advertisers access to the target audiences that primetime television is not offering at the moment.”

The moves follow the appointments of Bebo Europe’s VP and managing director Kate Burns as head of its European sales division and Microsoft’s Christian Peck as VP of European advertising products and operations. They both plan to leverage their publishing platform with “high quality ad-funded content.”

Recent AOL advertising sales slow downs have been attributed to drops in paid search and display advertising on AOL sites and by reduced sales of ads on third-party sites.

Written by Sharon Hill

Sharon Hill has been a senior writer / analyst with the AIM Group since 2004, except for a two-year time-out to serve as sales and marketing manager for Suburban Newspapers of America. She worked at newspapers in California, the Carolinas and Indiana as a classified advertising sales supervisor and manager, and in newspaper circulation in Alaska. At the SNA, she was responsible for bringing in new members; lining up exhibitors, and helping develop programs for the classified conference and the classified alliance. She is also co-author of “Implementing and Managing Telework: A Guide for those who make it Happen” (Praeger Press) and a prolific blogger and social media user. She is based in Phoenix.