Each Roadmap topic presents a mix of sponsored content, magazine articles and original content written for the site. The branded copy is clearly identified and has a sponsor logo alongside each. "We like to make sure people know what they are downloading," Chaplin added.
Advertisers must commit to a six-month program. Each sponsor can post up to 12 articles and are encouraged to update them frequently. The website's advanced SEO tools help them gain search engine visibility and the Roadmaps are featured in the dropdown menu.
A Buyer's Guide "Storefront"
The typical online buyer's guide or product directory has not changed much from its print origins. Most present a company's name, address, website link and a cursory list of its products. Microwave Journal, a 45-year-old publication owned by Norwood, Mass.-based Horizon House, has taken this to an entirely different level by integrating a full range of web content and digital tools.
The Microwave Journal Buyer's Guide is billed as a "source for the latest product announcements [and] industry news." Companies are offered free listings. "We add listings for those who don't sign up," says technical editor Pat Hindle, seeing value in offering the most comprehensive source.
The real action is in the premium listings, which are branded as Vendor Views and promoted as a "storefront." Each is displayed at the top of its alphabetical grouping. The Journal achieves editorial structure by fully integrating these pages in its CMS. Any news story, press release, product review or video which mentions the advertiser is tied into the storefront. In addition to complete contact information, marketers can include as many products as they want, each with its own page. They can run white papers, image galleries, events, downloads and videos, and advertisers are able to upload all this themselves, saving staff time while empowering the client. Each premium listing becomes a microsite of value.
Andy Kowl is a journalist and entrepreneurial publisher with more than 30 years developing, marketing and growing publishing companies. He is senior vice president of publishing strategy for ePublishing Inc., the leading enterprise publishing system (EPS) provider which manages content, audience data, workflow, newsletters and e-commerce for hundreds B2B online publications. He helps publishers increase reader engagement and response by integrating behavioral data with contextual content, and shows them direct ways to monetize the results. Andy writes the B2B Beat blog for Publishing Executive magazine. His background in B2B includes publishing, editing and/or owning magazines and information products covering specialty retail, horse breeding, real estate, credit unions, Wall Street compliance and wireless technology.