They’re Federated Media, and they’re one of the number one advertising agencies for new media marketing needs. Federated Media believes in fueling what they call the “independent web,” which is made up of individually owned websites that aren’t regulated by large publishing or media houses.

Take the earliest blogs that have made it big, like mommy blog “Dooce” or eclectic mix “Boing Boing.” What do these seemingly polar opposite blogs have in common besides a strong fan base? Try a powerful voice, an established presence and a steadfast following all culminating in advertiser-worthy monthly hits.

Why Federated Media Is Successful

Federated Media takes an interest in these sites because they know it’s where conversations are happening, where narratives are created and unfolding often from the back and forth between a passionate blogger and their loyal readership. They then connect these powerhouses with marketers looking for the right fit for their brand. For the marketer, there’s no need for individually sourcing bloggers, determining value, reaching out and making arrangements – all of which is quite timely. Rather, Federated Media makes the match for you.

What Federated Media has done is uplifting for the future of the web and for the autonomy it gives both bloggers and marketers. It gives bloggers the clout they need while making a marketing team’s job that much easier. The agency essentially connects two parties that are a perfect match, but who otherwise would have difficulty meeting with the desired results.

Small Biz Lessons from Federated Media

So what lessons can small to mid sized business owners gain from Federated Media?

  • Creating a rewarding exchange – Principles of give and take are reiterated with the Federated Media business model. Helping people make the right connections go a long way in any business and we’ve seen it more recently with just about any noteworthy startup.
  • Content curation strikes again – Secondly, there’s a considerable emphasis on content curation that was reiterated with a WordPress partnership last year. The company allows brands to curate content off of the 25 million WordPress based sites. Business owners should take note: It’s the single best way to continue producing content without having to create it. (However, original well-written content will always supersede this.)
  • Turning sponsorship into conversation generators – Next up is sponsored posts. Post sponsorship allows bloggers to be compensated while allowing marketers to wield some power over the quality and delivery of their brand message. Sponsored posts aren’t exclusive to Federated Media. Other companies offer the same, but unfortunately many are less than reputable. Business owners can take a cue from sponsored posts, especially within local or niche-based blogs, by reaching out to the right bloggers and seeing if they’re willing to have select content sponsored by the representing company.

The trick with sponsored posts is to not come across as spam. Try a different approach rather than the usual request for a writeup, placement of a paid-for blog post or even awkward linked back keywords. Determine the best blogger or group of bloggers to reach out to. This requires a bit of grease work in searching for blogs, determining site worth, traffic, post consistency, audience, outreach, conversation and so on.

Once you’ve set your target on the top two or three to start, follow it up with an outreach email to see if they’re interested in sponsorship. Then work with the blogger to create conversations around your brand. This certainly beats micro side-tab ad placements or obtrusive linked back keywords that seem to be the go-to method of action for too many marketers.