AccuWeather is relaunching its weather site next week with a streamlined site and the opportunity for advertisers to create custom content. It is making the new site available for preview as well updating its 65,000 fans on the AccuWeather's Facebook page before the launch.
The relaunched site is less cluttered, in response to both users' and advertisers' requests. There are also new sizes and placements for ad insertions, writes MediaPost.
Advertisers also will be able to play a far more proactive role in the site's look, according to Barry Lee Myers, CEO of AccuWeather. The ability to create custom content integrations means they can "connect the dots between the advertising messages and users' needs for weather information."
Forecast videos that can be seen on the site as well as on mobile devices and the AccuWeather Television Network would be one possibilities (via ClickZ).
"Prominent sponsorship opportunities" will also be available on the Forecast and Lifestyle sections, according to ClickZ. There will be four special interest sections on the new site: Weather and Health, Weather and Travel, Weather and Home and Garden, and Weather and Outdoor Activity.
Others scheduled to launch throughout the year include Weather and Sports, Weather and Fantasy Sports, and Weather and the Earth.
AccuWeather is not reticent about the role it expects advertisers to play in its content - and has played in its redesign. "We openly asked the advertisers how we should go from here," Bill Stephen, AccuWeather's VP of global ad sales told ClickZ. "Is video going to be more important? Is ad integration or sponsorships? There was a lot of day-to-day input from the entire sales team that I funneled up the food chain for this exercise. Advertisers had a lot to do with shaping the platform."
The AOL Model?
Increasingly portals and websites are giving advertisers greater influence on the content - an approach adopted by AOL last year when it relaunched after its spin-off from Time Warner. Its go-to-market strategy, it said at the time, was to become the top creator of digital content on the web. According to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's view, content is the one area on the web that hasn’t seen its full potential.
Besides significantly increasing the amount of content AOL produces, the company is allowing marketers to work with its content creation team to create custom content.