Marketing Pilgrim's "Advice" Channel

Sponsor Marketing Pilgrim's Advice Channel today! Get in front of some of the most influential readers in the Internet and social media marketing industry. Contact us today!

Why Product Placement is the Future of Blogging

By Jake Pitt

First, the boring crap:

According to a Nielsen Company report, total advertising spending for the first half of 2007 decreased 0.5% from the same period in the prior year. However, internet advertising showed to still be rockin’ strong, actually increasing 23.2% over this period.

What this shows is that the product lifecycle of traditional media advertising (TV, magazines, etc.) has reached the decline stage, which is characterized by decreasing sales due to market saturation, technological obsolescence, and a change in customer taste. This also shows that internet advertising is in its growth stage, absolutely rockin’ it with skyrocketing revenue growth.

An even more interesting trend has emerged, with product placement in the traditional media sources increasing over the last couple years at a mind-bottling average rate of about 50% each year, despite the slowing and now decline in total advertising. (Yeah, mind bottling. So crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle.) However, because there is a lag between the adoption of a new marketing tool in traditional media advertising and in internet advertising, product placement is rarely used yet in internet advertising, especially when compared with the use of other types of advertising (banner ads, text links, etc.) and the frequency of its use in traditional media advertising.

Now, onto the fun stuff, using the boring crap above to take your blog to the next level, the level that is at the cutting edge of internet marketing:

I’m gonna simplify this as much as possible, because as long as you get the big picture, you’ll be able to understand how to use it to your advantage. The lifecycle of internet advertising follows traditional media advertising. First, there is no advertising, as consumers are just beginning to adopt the new technology. Once the consumers are there, the advertisers come in, throwing their ads up all over the place (commercials, infomercials, etc.). Finally, advertisers wise up and realize that product placement is more efficient, more effective, and the best way to go, especially since big traditional ads are just plain annoying.

Why is it one of the last forms of advertising used? I don’t even think God knows, because it is by far the most effective advertising tool out there. My only guess is that most internet marketers aren’t smart enough to really think outside the box, to look further than 10 minutes into the future, to take the lead rather than follow the pack, to think about what consumers value most, which in turn drives traffic and the resulting ad money. They’re too caught up in doing what others are doing today. And that’s where I come in, baby.

Now, there’re at least three reasons why product placement is the most effective tool out there, why using product placement in your site will provide greater value to your advertisers, which will result in more money for you:

1) Product placement occurs within and as part of the content of your site. Rather than having an advertising section, the advertisements are included as part of your content, which results in more space for content and less space for traditional advertising. Do you think your readers like that? Yeah, THAT’s a rhetorical question if I’ve ever asked one. Now do the math: More value to readers = More readers, More readers = More demand for advertisements, More demand for advertisements = More money. CHA-CHING!

2) From an advertiser’s point of view, product placement is better than other forms because it ensures that the advertisements will reach all readers. While many readers simply ignore the advertising section of a site and instead just get to the content, by placing the advertisements in your content, you’re ensuring that ALL readers hit it up. Again, do the math: More value to advertisers = More advertising demand, More advertising demand = … You got it. YAHTZEE!

3) I’m always readin’ about how blog fans are gettin’ sick of how the blogs of several other big-name bloggers (who’ll go unnamed because this site would prefer that I avoid the controversy that I typically bring by tellin’ it like it is, which I can respect) are full of miscellaneous ramblings about last night’s dinner and product reviews. Biggest complaint about the product reviews? No credibility whatsoever. You think a reviewer’s gonna give a bad review about a product that sucks pretty hard? Hell no. Not when he’s bein’ paid to review it. With product placement though, the advertising is much more conspicuous, much more concise, and much more credible. Again, you know the math on this one, and it all comes out to the same answer. Product placement = $$$.

Time for the obvious question: How really do you implement product placement in your site? I think the best way to answer that is by showin’ ya how it really works. Here’s an excerpt from one of my posts that should give ya a good idea:

From http://jakepitt.com/blog/largest-beef-recall-in-us-history/: “I’ll admit it, I’m no vegetarian. In fact, little compares in my book to heading over to Heartland Brewery on Union Square in New York for a big ol’ Heartland Buffalo Burger and a glass of Heartland’s own Bavarian Black Lager. (Yeah, I’m a dark beer drinker. None of that flavorless, light crap for me.) Or a beef filet at the restaurant Zealous in Chicago, paired with a bottle of ‘86 Mouton. (If you’re ever in Chicago and can afford a $1,000 meal, OH MY GOD!)…”

Check out more of my posts for other examples, but this gives ya the point, especially in the context of the rest of the post. Long enough to leave a lasting impression in the readers’ mind, short enough to keep the credibility and get to the main point of the post. That’s how you kick it.

So now my question for YOU: Are you gonna be like me, Jake Pitt, and take the lead in the internet marketing game, with advertisers lining up at your door, or are you gonna be a follower, chasing others around, always one step behind?!

Rock it, baby!

About Jake Pitt

Jake Pitt is The Fresh, New Face of Blogging. Check out more great stuff from JP at www.JakePitt.com.

  • http://www.kribaby.com Krista Neher

    Hi Jake – Interesting post.

    There is actually a company that does this – PayPerPost (now Izea). Marketers can post opportunities for both reviews or just mentions (ie. product placements). PayPerPost is extremely controversial in the bloggosphere since many see it as misleading and buying opinion. I think that product placement in blogs is difficult since many blogs are personal and pseudo-journalistic. Getting paid to mention or say something with or without disclosure breaks trust with readers. If I read your post and saw that you were paid for the statement, I would wonder if you had ever even been to that resturant….

    As a marketer I would rather create a great product and invest in PR and Community Building to create genuine and passionate product mentions/reviews than pay for a placement.

    Not that I have anything against product placement, but I don’t think that blogs are the right medium for it.

    Just my two cents.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    Right Krista and you can expect your Google rankings to tank once they find out your doing this, LOL.

  • http://www.whatimnot.com Piper

    I agree with Jaan. While their campaigns still appear to have an effect, it’s very obvious that Google is able to figure out which sites are using PPP, so I would definitely avoid spending much money there unless you want to appear on lots of low quality sites (at least in my experience, I can’t speak for all) and use nofollow tags.

    I’d much rather spend a little extra time locating good blogs in my niches and building real relationships instead of just randomly buying my way into a bunch of sites that don’t necessarily get the audience I’m looking for.

  • http://chasinggoogle.blogspot.com Mobile guy

    I never do product placement.

  • http://www.inshot.com.au/aboutus.html InShot

    We’re nuts about Product Placement, but prefer to use in-text advertising like SnapShots, Kontera or JargonFish on our own blog.

  • http://blog.ourchurch.com Paul

    Hey Jake,

    Product placement in a blog is an interesting idea. I’m curious though, how did you go about getting your advertisers on board for this article?

    I mean most blog articles are reactions or analysis of recent news. If I see something interesting I want to blog about, I’m going to blog about it right away while the news is fresh and the topic hasn’t already been blogged to death. It doesn’t seem feasible to then go out and start contacting companies that might fit for a product placement, explain the concept, close the deal, and publish the article the same day.

    Or are you finding companies that want product placement first and then finding something related to blog about?

  • http://prosperitywriter.com/ Prosperity Writer

    Paul, i think this is what krista was trying to say. if you use PPP, then they are not genuinely interested about blogging about the product, but does it anyway because they are paid. if you find a product first and then blog about it, i’m sure the readers will sooner or later see right through you and realize you are not sincerely writing your posts and they will lose trust.

  • Lisa

    I like what Piper said and I would much rather go looking for a good blog to put my advertisement in. I am a college student so my motivation for not paying to put an advertisement in a paid blog is because I don’t have the money to do it. I am not against product placement in the least and I don’t think it is the big bad meanie everyone makes it out to be. If I were to place an ad online I believe that with today’s techno world blogs would probably be the place to do it. Everyone likes to blog and leave there own opinion on the web, it is also a way to connect to everyone.

  • Jason Kuiper

    Yeah, we have thought about product placement as well. P have been a big fan of pay per click, but may start sending money in that direction.