In the wide new world of online content – a world in which anyone can theoretically produce it – the jargon is ample. But clarity? Not so much.
That may change soon. The Internet Ad Bureau (IAB) is leading the way in establishing a core set of standards to help marketers and companies navigate through the terminology.
The IAB has released guidelines that categorize the general characteristics and commercial applications of four dominant content-related revenue types: brand-owned content, display ad formats, paid content, and native distribution.
The guidelines, issued by the organization’s Content and Native Advertising working group, represent a first stab at ameliorating the murkiness at the heart of much online marketing-speak. IAB’s baseline definitions, released in April, help marketers with more precise descriptions of the many varieties of content marketing, as well as a standardized definition of what they are and how each functions.
IAB senior program manager Clare O’Brien expects the document will help marketers and content providers to speak a sort of digital lingua franca.
“With content-based and native advertising distribution becoming the prime focus of attention for many marketers we felt there was no better time than now to launch this piece of work,” O’Brien explained. “We’re aiming for this document to help brands and media owners begin to share a common language around content marketing terminology.”
O’Brien said there’s “much more to come throughout 2014 from this very active and engaged group.”
IAB, headquartered in New York, is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. Members of the Content and Native Advertising working group include a range of agencies, media owners, and ad-tech companies including AOL, Bite, Buzzfeed, Facebook, Financial Times, Google, Guardian, Hearst, LinkedIn, Mediacom, Microsoft, newsUK, Twitter, Unruly, Vibrant Media, Yahoo, DigitasLbi, and Affilinet.