inPowered Wants To Avoid Clickbait By Focusing On Engagement

inPowered engagementContent promotion startup inPowered said Wednesday it has rebuilt its platform so marketers pay for engagement, not clicks, because the company believes optimizing for clicks encourages clickbait.

“For native advertising to work for all, it needs to focus on the end consumer,” CEO and co-founder Peyman Nilforoush said. “Otherwise it will go the way of the banner ads.”

When a user clicks through an inPowered-placed ad, it records user action – like scrolls, clicks, shares and time spent – on the site by putting the content into a frame. Brands pay if someone has the content in their active browser window for 15 seconds or if the person shares the content.

inPowered, which buys inventory on behalf of the brand, optimizes according to recorded engagement, which enables more efficient buying on ad exchanges. Its technology creates a frame for the content by appending the URL of the click-through link, enabling those post-click insights.

The company’s platform, which launched in March, generates advertisements that look like article previews to encourage click-throughs. These advertisements lead to genuine reviews for products a brand is trying to promote.

inPowered ranks the authors of the reviews by expertise, so marketers can choose whose product review they want to surface in the ad.

While publishers are beneficiaries from these ads, which send them free traffic, they are not involved in the buying process.

Product launches are a strong fit with inPowered’s platform. For Motorola’s Moto X Android phone, the device manufacturer wanted to continue through Q4 the consumer engagement it created when the product first launched, Nilforoush said.

Motorola used inPowered to link to Moto X product reviews on sites like The Verge, CNET and Engadget.

Users spent an average of two minutes, 55 seconds with the article. Share rates increased by 42%, and consideration of Motorola increased by 55%. Consideration figures came from survey pop-ups inPowered launched after a user completed the article.

With the engagement-based buying solution, Nilforoush hopes to solve the biggest problem he sees in the content marketing space: getting quality at scale.

“We’re not price-constrained, we’re quality- and scale-constrained,” Nilforoush said. “It’s a new ecosystem, and scale is really an issue. We haven’t come across any true native platform that delivers scale without click-baiting.”

inPowered has signed 50 brands, including UPS, Disney and Delta.

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