(This is NOT a sponsored post. I did not receive any kind of payment for this.)
Did you know that OnlineSchools.org is currently doing some of the most creative, innovative, and spreadable digital marketing on the web right now?
On July 13, 2010 I received this email:
from Vivian Harcourt
date Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 2:03 PM
subject Content contribution.
I’m with a company that makes and distributes infographics. I was wondering if you’d be interested in posting our infographics and we’ll pay you $10 for each infographic you post.
Here are some of the works we’ve done with other blogs:
I could send you 3 a week. We’ll provide you content as well as pay you. All you would have to do is link us when you have uploaded, and provide us with your paypal and we submit payment.
What do you think?
Hrm? A little suspicious, isn’t it? I don’t receive many soliciting emails for my blog, and more importantly I never reply because I don’t do advertising. This one was intriguing, though.
It turns out that this was a solicitation for a very special kind of banner add. One that would appear as a compelling piece of content, presented directly inline with your original blog content, but would link back to the advertiser’s site – OnlineSchools.org. Advertising disguised as content.
I visited the links and immediately recognized the work. You probably will, too. These fun and well-designed infographics have been popping up all over some of the most popular sites on the web.
What do you think? Is this a smart strategy for earning a lot of impressions and clicks for a very low cost? Or is this a shameful bait and switch by the publisher on its readers? Or both?
And I’m sure you’ve seen others like this.
So what do you think? Is this a clever new kind of online advertising? Should we all be trying strategies like this? Is it unethical for publishers to use these graphics without explicitly labeling them as sponsored content?
Let me hear it in the comments.