Following LinkedIn’s announcement that it is to increase the focus of its content marketing platforms, Forbes is now following suit. It has unveiled plans to upgrade its BrandVoice offering and even provide a money-back guarantee.
BrandVoice is effectively Forbes’ platform for content marketing distribution. Now, companies that pay $250,000 will receive ad space and “at least” seven BrandVoice stories published over 60 days. Forbes is offering a guarantee that any brand taking up the service will see an increase in “brand lift” – or it will provide a refund.
Measurement will be undertaken by a third-party researcher who may be appointed by the customer. Metrics will include “brand awareness, brand favorability, message association and purchase Intent”.
“Marketers are looking for more proof that content marketing will help with brand lift, so we’re offering a guarantee to help further incentivise brands to buy BrandVoice and to help them feel confident in their purchase,” says Ann Marinovich, vice president, advertising products and strategy at Forbes Media. “We have findings from a study that show that the combination of branded content and display advertising is very powerful.”
But there are questions. Forbes’ ambitious strategy coincides with other stories about how it is blacklisting browsers with adblockers. So it is notable that the metrics described above do not mention traffic. Is that not important? Maybe in a B2B context it is not. Targeting is more important.
Additionally, yesterday’s LinkedIn story about how the company is increasing its offering for brands, and looking at new metrics and measurement, shows how the distribution platforms are all trying to offer more. They know marketers don’t know how to evaluate ROI and reckon this is where they can help.
The moneyback guarantee is both a novel idea, and the oldest trick in marketing. Potentially, if Forbes shows a significant uplift across a number of brands and sectors, it could be good for both the organisation and content marketing in general. On the other hand, should it fail…
Forbes offers content marketing moneyback guarantee is part of Content24, the online magazine for content marketing agency FirstWord.