Many of us are ready to recognize social media as a standard subset of our B2B and B2C communications channels. Even the slow moving Fortune 500 is adopting public-facing blogs, according to SNCR. So it’s time to stop thinking about analyst-written blogs as a novelty and start thinking about them as part of standard analyst business practice. One of the central topics we can start talking about openly is vendor sponsorship. That’s right: analyst-written blogs as vendor sponsored content.
In the analyst business at large, most (maybe all) communications channels contain a portion of sponsored content. The mix varies by firm. Some don’t license any content to vendors. Others license any and all content. Most firms are somewhere in between.
Sponsored content represents a mature, steady stream of income for many analyst businesses. I doubt many of us were around when the first vendor co-branded analyst report was circulated as a sales tool. Lots of us were around to witness the first analyst appearances in vendor-sponsored microsites, webinars and podcasts. These are commonplace today. We accept them — even mine them — as a natural part of everyday communications channels.
Why imagine that blogs will be any different? Or Twitter? There’s nothing about blogging as a communications channel that makes it a poor match to sponsorship interests.
Think about it. Some analyst firms won’t buy into sponsored blogs / blog content, some will. The question is, will you buy-in?