A new platform will enable brands to take those glowing blog posts and turn them into ads. The company behind that platform, OneSpot, has just raised US$ 1.5 million in support of that mission.
OneSpot’s service takes content about a brand or company, and converts it into a online display ad. Authors whose content appears in an ad can contact OneSpot and request their comments be taken down, if they so wish. Content can include either material created by the brand, or external content such as social media, product or service reviews, or news.
Brand endorsements or related commentary by actual users or reviewers can carry more weight with readers than canned ads, a fact not lost on the group that backed the most recent successful financing round. It included RSL Venture Partners, 500 Startups, Ralph Mack, Mike Maples, Sr. and Josh Baer.
For the brand, the process is straightforward — enter the URL of the selected content, and OneSpot’s platform will import the content and generate a banner ad using it. The ad includes an image, a tagline and sharing links to Facebook and Twitter. Currently, the platform supports display ads for websites, and the company said it will soon support social and mobile networks.
OneSpot allows for consumer targeting by location, age or gender, using its proprietary distribution model that determines what ads should be shown where, and analytical tools utilize a tracking code to measure performance, engagement and leads. A cookie is deposited once a consumer clicks on the ad, helping to funnel the customer to other ads on that site that try to obtain a specific outcome, such as an email signup or a product purchase.
CEO and Founder Matt Cohen said in a statement that, “for every piece of content your business wants people to see, you should have an associated distribution strategy to drive desired business outcomes,” including promotion of reviews and brand awareness as well as lead generation and nurturing. In 2009, OneSpot began life as a customized news aggregator that helped brands feature links to relevant news stories.
In announcing its new platform launch, OneSpot cited the experience of an early customer, Spectrum Brands’ Remington Products, which used the platform as part of their launch campaign for its iLIGHT Pro Intense Pulsed Light hair removal device.
Spectrum’s Ryan Koechel, eCommerce director, told news media that his company “always thought” it had a content strategy before working with OneSpot, in that it would channel relevant content through social media, its site or its blog.
With OneSpot, Koechel said, “we can get a piece of content in front of a ton of eyeballs on day one and then use the data to start building audience and re-target with relevant follow-up content,” generating an ROI with display ads “that we would have never thought possible” by coming “full circle with our strategy.”
OneSpot is not the only ad-focused company that is attempting to harness the power of previously created content. In late 2011, for instance, blog ad network NetShelter launched InPowered to help brands market positive content like reviews. The service was so successful that, in November of this year, NetShelter changed its name to InPowered.