In May, tech-focused blog network NetShelter began testing a new ad unit, inPowered Stories, so that advertisers could pay to promote an article that touted the brand or one of its products.
That ad unit became an ad platform and is now becoming its own company, inPowered Inc., of which NetShelter will be a subsidiary.
As NetShelter cofounder and CEO Peyman Nilfouroush sees it, inPowered has an opportunity to fill a hole in earned media advertising similar to the one Google filled in search advertising. “The whole idea was that the earned advertising thing is working well making [advertising] as seamless as creating a search campaign for a brand,” Peyman said.
Originally, inPowered ads only ran on NetShelter sites. A tech brand like Samsung could see an article on Phandroid.com reviewing Samsung’s latest Android smartphone and pay to promote the article within an ad unit running on relevant NetShelter sites. But now inPowered has plugged into a number of ad exchanges to run IAB standard ads outside of the NetShelter network. Tech content and advertisers remain the backbone of inPowered Inc., as with its previous incarnation as an ad platform, but the company has added auto as a second category, Peyman said.
Advertisers also aren’t limited to NetShelter content. Brands using the platform can type in keywords related to their business or products, and inPowered’s platform pulls articles through RSS feeds and sources of social signals like Twitter to recommend which stories would be best to promote. The ads are priced on a cost-per-click model with advertisers paying $5 anytime a user clicks through to an article and the article page fully loads. Advertisers can also connect their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to inPowered in order to publish the advertised articles to their social presences.
Peyman stressed how articles like product reviews can influence purchases and sentiment towards a brand, and inPowered’s platform seeks to measure that influence. Advertisers can see how many impressions an ad generated, the number of influencers who organically shared the promoted article to their own friends and followers and the number of people reached through those influencers.