Now blogging on Boston.com: Advertisers

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Boston.com is giving local businesses a taste of “native” advertising with a new content marketing program that lets advertisers publish their blogs and other social media content on the Boston.com website.

The Insights program, announced on Tuesday, pulls in a brand’s blog feed and republishes it on a dedicated page in a contextually relevant section on the site. Advertisers can also include maps and other information about their business, as well as social media feeds.

“A lot of businesses are creating great content and providing a lot of value, but they’re not getting the type of exposure the content deserves,” said Rachna Agarwalla, business development manager for The Boston Globe and Boston.com. “[Insights] gives them a new opportunity to promote their business and develop a relationship with our audience by providing a different perspective and insight into their industry.”

Unlike other newish branded content programs from publishers such as Forbes or Atlantic Media’s Quartz, Insights posts are segmented from editorial content and clearly flagged as a “Special Advertiser Feature.”

The program is designed as a turnkey solution, requiring little hands-on content management from the advertiser or Boston.com staff. Once the RSS feeds are set up the vendor page is populated automatically.

Boston.com has one salesperson dedicated to selling Insights packages, since the program requires a slightly different pitch than the site’s traditional display offerings, Agarwalla said. “The concept of display has been around for a while, but this is new,” she explained. “It requires a bit more education to walk the prospect through what it’s all about.”

Boston.com has been piloting the program since the beginning of the year and launched full-scale last month. Agarwalla declined to say how many advertisers have signed up, though a handful of brands are currently featured on Insights pages for business and retail topics.

Boston.com offers three tiers of Insights packages, with prices ranging from $299 to $999 a month, plus a onetime $499 set-up fee. For businesses that don’t currently have a blog that they can syndicate through Insights, Agarwalla said Boston.com will also offer content development services. 

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