Maintaining Brand Integrity Within RSS Feed Advertising


RSS (Really Simple Syndication) has received a lot of attention recently as an additional channel for advertisers to deliver their message. By syndicating what search engine marketers have been singing for years, content more specifically, relevant content is delivered directly to the subscriber’s desktops via aggregators like My Yahoo! or NewsGator. With each new channel comes the concern about maintaining brand integrity and the various messages advertisers want to communicate.

Currently about ten to 15 percent of RSS feeds now carry advertising, with increases being seen by technologically driven brands. Brand advertisers like Citrix Online, Dell, and Vonage have seen measurable results due to the technically-savvy makeup of early RSS adopters.

Yahoo’s whitepaper on mainstream RSS usage mentioned “ease” or “convenience” as the leading benefit of RSS with news, weather, and blogs as the top three forms of RSS content currently being accessed by users.

RSS User Demographics

• 71% Male
• 50% 18-34 yrs old
• 36% College graduates
• $74,116 Average Household Income

Why it’s a good time to advertise with RSS

• 100% opt-in
• 100% open rate
• Content is delivered directly to the desktop
• Affluent audience
• Granular targeting
• High CTR

Options for Advertisers

Before we delve into how maintain brand integrity, let’s look at the current advertising options in the RSS space.


Pheedo launched in 2004 with purpose of bringing advertisers to Blogs. They currently have 11,000 Blogs in their ad network with various tiers assigned to publishers based on theme. Targeting is topic or site specific with the Blogger having ultimate control of whether an advertiser will appear on their blog. Pricing is based on the CPC or cost-per-click model and according to Pheedo’s whitepaper advertisers are seeing click through rates exceeding email.


Founded in 2003, FeedBurner works with approximately 164,000 publishers including podcasters, bloggers, and commercial publishers. Pricing is currently on a CPM basis.


Established in 2003, Feedster has partnered with AdBrite to provide advertisers the ability to search specific blogs, and customize ad copy for each site or purchase run-of-network ads.

Now back to your brand.

If you’re concerned about the integrity of your brand, here are a few steps to take:

1. Review the RSS ad networks editorial guidelines and ensure they are congruent with your brands message
2. Consider how your ad will be seen differently in the various RSS aggregators. Look forward to Internet Explorer and Outlook providing native RSS support and some type of standardization.
3. Ask the current RSS ad networks about their ad frequency, placement, and their recommendations.

Following these steps should help with your overall brand management objectives and ensure that your investment maintains its fundamental value.

RSS Adoption

The big boys of brand Yahoo and Google have both begun experimenting with RSS feed advertising in the form of Adsense and Yahoo sponsored links via Feedburner. This adoption of RSS as an advertising channel will signal other smaller advertisers to jump on board and begin experimenting as well.

RSS while still in its infancy has tremendous growth possibilities. User transparency will help increase readership and overall adoption. Advertisers looking to capitalize on this growth should consider currently testing their campaigns with RSS and become familiar with the metrics, the medium, and of course their audience.


  1. […] So rather than wait for the chips to fall, we at ADOTAS decided to make a day of it and explore RSS further, not only through our lauded surveys of those most attuned to the industry, but firsthand editorials from RSS leaders as well as a profile of companies making some of the biggest impact. Today, you’ll find feedback and insight from executives like Feedster CEO Chris Redlitz, PrimeQ’s Brandon Erskine and Feedburner VP of Business Development Brent Hill, who just like many industry insiders, believe that from both an advertising and publishing standpoint, it’s only the beginning for RSS. […]


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