Black Press launches branded content for local business

The new format is known as "native advertising."

Black Press announced Friday the launch of paid content for advertisers — the largest native advertising platform in British Columbia.

Regular visitors to Black Press websites and Facebook pages across B.C. might notice an additional source of information being made available to them.

Impress Branded Content has been added to introduce readers to some of the key businesses and individuals in their communities, while giving advertisers an additional way to provide information to consumers in a technology-driven era.

This format is known as “native advertising” and involves advertisers purchasing an “article” on the newsfeeds of Black Press websites.

An informational piece pertaining to their business appears on the newsfeed for seven days and resides under the “Impress” channel on the website for 12 months.

A link to the information is also added to the newspaper’s Facebook page and is clearly marked as “sponsored content,” so that readers know it is not a news story.

Andrew Franklin, Director of Digital Development for Black Press, says no more than two paid content stories will appear on any of the Black Press websites or Facebook pages each week. Some weeks, there won’t be any.

Advertisers have the option of paying to have a managed Facebook “boost” to reach a targeted audience – for example, young women living in Williams Lake interested in bridal wear.

Black Press has started this initiative as a business move providing multimedia solutions for advertisers, Franklin said.

“We need to look at ways to diversify our business into the future, and both online and print are important to us. We need to find ways to grow our business through opportunities online.”

All articles posted as Impress Branded Content will be “editor approved,” Franklin added, with the idea that they are providing useful information – for example, a car dealership providing tips for buying a new vehicle or a dental office offering suggestions for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. The key to native advertising is transparency. Paid content will always be clearly labelled.

Recent paid content postings, during a pilot period, resulted in high online interest, generating great feedback to advertisers.

Franklin said the paid branded content will translate into powerful storytelling for advertisers across multiple platforms, including desktop computers, smart phones and tablets.

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