Native advertising may not be the sexiest area for a startup to be in, but Berlin-based Boomads is proving that it sure is a lucrative one. The startup has managed to win over a hoard of clients and bloggers to its native advertising platform since launching in 2011 – so many that Boomads now claims it is Europe’s largest blogger network. Already attracting big-name clients such as Axel Springer, Coca-Cola, Sony and Microsoft to its service, the startup is upping the ante this year with a European expansion and a host of new verticals.
We caught up with Boomads’ Managing Director Onur Kabadayi to find out how his startup stands out in a crowded market and why Germany is slowly coming on board the native advertising trend…
Hi Onur, can you tell us why you decided to target the native advertising industry?
Native advertising is exploding into a billion-dollar industry. Online publishing now means a space that includes brands, marketers, publishers and independent writers. Most savvy brands realise that they need to adopt new and innovative ways to reach their customers – what we provide is a fast and easy platform to link these brands with a powerful network of online creatives, supported by the biggest publishing houses in Europe.
What is Boomads’ USP?
Boomads’ key strength is to connect traditional media houses, advertisers and bloggers to create a win-win-win situation. Each party adds something unique to this ecosystem, enabling us to deliver things that other content marketing businesses can’t.
For advertisers, we respond to both content creation and distribution needs. Our unique platform allows us to run large-scale advertorial campaigns with hundreds of bloggers participating simultaneously. As a result, advertisers can engage and cooperate with digital opinion-makers, facilitating word of mouth for their content. Bloggers also create bespoke content for our advertisers and trigger shares on social media platforms.
For bloggers, we offer superior solutions to make money with their content, transforming their passion into a business model. Together with the publishing houses, we put bloggers on the centre stage, driving traffic and visibility to their blogs. Our bloggers have the opportunity to feature their articles on our partner sites and it’s also really important for us to support the blogging community, so we offer free workshops and networking events for our network.
Our media partners such as BILD KG also benefit from their cooperation with the bloggers because they see traffic coming from the blogs to their sites, as well as revenue shares from our ad campaigns. Moreover, the media houses are happy to connect with key influencers of social media and work with them in many different ways.
Who are Boomads’ main competitors in Europe?
There are many successful companies in the content marketing space such as Outbrain and Unruly, but our approach and offering is quite unique. Boomads is the biggest blogger network in Europe that brings together over 30,000 publishers. The variety of our publisher base, which includes blogs from almost 50 content categories ranging from tech to fashion to food is one of the things that sets us apart from our competitors.
What’s up next for the company?
Just last week, we launched our Dutch blogger network with Telegraaf Media Group called Blog Society. We are looking forward to expanding into different European markets during the coming months. In Germany we’re running Stylebook Blogstars and TravelBook Blogstars in partnership with BILD. We’re now looking forward to add new verticals for the German market. We’ll also be introducing new native advertising formats dedicated for blogs, such as various video units and widgets.
Which is Boomads’ strongest market?
Due to the fact that Boomads has been in the Turkish market for much longer than in the rest of the four countries, Turkey is still our strongest market operating also as the market leader. We moved our headquarters to Berlin and started our German business mid 2013. The results so far are very promising with close to 1,000 bloggers in our German network and an increasing interest in content marketing by German companies.
How many global markets is the service available in?
Boomads is currently present in five markets: Turkey, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Does the Boomads team select the bloggers/content creators themselves?
We look at all bloggers very closely, but our network is free and generally open to all bloggers who do not violate very basic rules such as duplicated or inappropriate content. Every application is carefully reviewed by one of our team members and categorised according to the quality and reach of the blog. This ensures a very high quality of our blogger portfolio to satisfy our own but also our clients’ standard.
Have you received any funding?
We are funded by Hürriyet, the leading Turkish media group.
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