BrandVoice is Forbes way of selling sponsored posts. If you look on their BrandVoice Page they fluff up this fact wonderfully, as any corporate giant would with great PR writers. BrandVocie is a type of advertising that says this:
is an integrated and by-invitation content-sharing platform that enables marketers to join the conversation with their own narrative and expertise.
Receive a dedicated landing page on Forbes.com to distribute content and engage with Forbes users, editors and contributors
Features are promoted all throughout Forbes.com and in the Table of Contents of Forbes Magazine
Lets take a look at where they publish this “sponsored content” with out calling it that:
Article (i.e. Blog Post)
Social Media Channels
Don’t you love their marketing of what really is a sponsored post? Bloggers could you copy Forbes?
Someone please copy & past a link to a screen shot in the comments below with any statement by the FTC that says you need to add on the top of your blog post “I was paid to write this review by brand XXX, they sent me the product for free, let me explain my whole life story to you in the disclosure at the start of my post so anyone that was interested in reading it stops.” You won’t find it. They only say you need to someone how, in someway get that point across to your readers.
Pick a Name
Content Studio, Brand Studio, BrandVoice, ThoughtLeadership, VeganVoices, FoodExperts, BeautyExperts, Wiener Dogs Are Funny Looking, it doesn’t matter what you call it, Pick a corporate name that makes a brand feel all warm and fuzzy inside. For example, The New York Times calls it T Brands Studio, which is really a part of their advertising department selling not traditional ads, but sponsored ads in the form of advertorial content instead of editorial….it is as easy as changing the e to a.
Fluff Up What You Are Selling
Why sell a sponsored post when you can sell “Thought Leadership,” or “Become a Voice In Your Industry,” or “Align Your Brand With Readers,” “Become an Expert on a Topic.” Forbes is basically renting out real estate on their website for brands to publish whatever they want, as long as it is not too promotional and aligned with Forbes goals. As a bonus they are “featuring” these posts on the home page as ads to create more exposure. Bloggers don’t you feature a sponsored ad on your home page once it is written?
Create a Dynamic disclosure
I love their disclosure. With out clicking on the drop down you already know the page is some sort of advertorial, so they are aligned with the FTC. Bloggers could you do the same? If you ran a beauty blog could you say: “YOURBRAND BeautyExperts – Connecting women to the YOURBRAND audience. What is this?” Doesn’t that sound so much more appealing to a brand who is looking to find an influencer to sponsor? Doesn’t that sound so much better to your readers….they may actually want to hear what this expert has to say if you enforce quality content from your brands.
Create a Landing Page to Sell It
Do the just have a page after that shows their media kit and how much they charge after that, NO. They go a step further in fluffing up this type of advertising by creating a whole section on why paying Forbes to publish a brands content is the best type of advertising they could do.