Associated Content Is The Place For Ace
Retailer Ace Hardware has tapped online publishing service Associated Content to help execute a Web-based marketing campaign for Labor Day weekend. Targeting adult consumers ages 25 to 54 who are considering home repair and maintenance projects over the holiday, the campaign includes original articles about gardening, home maintenance, and decorating written by Associated's roster of contributors.
The content will be spotlighted on AssociatedContent.com leading into the long weekend, featuring topics such as "How to Replace Your Shower Head," "Build Shelves to Organize Your Closet," "Trendy Outdoor Accessories For Fall," "Outdoor Lighting Fixtures for Your Patio," and "How to Lay a Brick Patio."
Visitors to the Associated Content sponsored articles will receive contextually relevant ads that drive them to retail locations for the Ace Hardware Labor Day Sale. In addition, behavioral targeting is being employed to engage consumers across the Web.
"This targeted online marketing campaign is designed to make these projects and our solutions even easier for consumers to discover through organic search," said Brian Wiborg, director of consumer marketing for Ace Hardware.
Like Helium and Gather, Associated Content has sought to fill the gap between professional and amateur content online by offering freelance writers and video producers a small share of ad revenue in exchange for their work.
Presently, the company claims over 250,000 regular contributors of text, photography, and video editorial ranging from weight-loss programs for new mothers to Bollywood dance lessons.
After about five years of operation, Associated Content has amassed a library of over 1.1 million pieces of content, which drew 9.3 million unique visitors in May, according to comScore.
Traffic is largely driven through search engine optimization closely tied to Google, Ask.com, Yahoo, Bing, and the like.
"With 90% of our editorial viewed at least once a month, clearly our organic search strategy is working," said Patrick Keane, CEO of Associated Content. A former CBS Interactive executive, Keane was appointed CEO in March.
Likewise, the company attributes its early success to its policy of giving contributors an up-front payment based on a Google-like algorithm, which calculates the likely popularity of a submission. The so-called "yield management system" determines a one-time up-front fee anywhere between $4 and $20. Contributors then receive roughly $1.50 for every 1,000 page views their work generates.
Originally backed by Tim Armstrong -- Google's onetime North American ad chief who was appointed CEO of AOL in April -- Associated Content is the brainchild of his former college roommate, Luke Beatty.