Case Study: How We Helped Forbes Succeed in a New Digital Era

Photo of Forbes print magazine and an iPad screen with a Forbes BrandVoice "Changemakers" article open.

Forbes, the undisputed leader in business media, reaches tens of millions of people each month.

In 2010, the global media company launched a first-of-its-kind sponsored content platform called AdVoice.

Later renamed BrandVoice, the groundbreaking advertising platform produces premium sponsored content, on behalf of brands, that appears alongside editorial content.

This isn’t the same old “sponsored post” or thinly veiled “advertorial” of long ago. Rather, it was designed from the beginning to place brands directly (and transparently) into the Forbes news environment to provide a rich experience for readers.

Every word matters. This type of content needs to be interesting, memorable, and most of all trustworthy to maximize ROI for the advertisers, who pay tens of thousands of dollars for the service.

Today, the Forbes Content Studio has a team of more than two dozen writers who create insightful, award-winning BrandVoice articles, videos, infographics, and interactive features for the world’s best-known brands, including:

  • Adobe
  • Amazon
  • Capital One
  • Deloitte
  • Goldman Sachs
  • GSK
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Office Depot
  • Samsung
  • T-Mobile

The Problem 

For the first few years, all copy editing and proofreading of BrandVoice content had been handled in-house by members of the Forbes Content Studio’s own production team.

For example, the assigning editor would look over a writer’s work and check for errors before sending it out for brand approval and then publishing it.

That’s not an ideal solution when you need to ensure the highest possible quality. It’s better to have fresh eyes on every piece of content from trained copy editors who specialize in poring over every single word, letter, and punctuation mark.

As BrandVoice grew more popular and the amount of content swelled, the Forbes Content Studio team realized they needed to implement a methodical copy editing, fact-checking, and proofreading process to ensure each article was crystal-clear, consistent, and completely accurate.

Although they could have gone through the hassle and expense of seeking out, interviewing, hiring, and then training a dedicated in-house copy editor, they wondered whether an outsourced solution might be more cost-effective and offer greater flexibility.

Our Solution

The Forbes Content Studio approached Super Copy Editors in 2015.

They wanted a reliable copy editing vendor to ensure accuracy of the text as well as consistency in style across all of their sponsored content. They were looking for fresh eyes and an outside perspective.

We first caught their interest because of our professional experience. Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors, has worked for The Nation, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune, where he shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes after Hurricane Katrina. In addition, several other members of our team previously served as copy editors and copy desk chiefs at major publications.

After gaining an understanding of the challenges the Forbes Content Studio was facing, we confirmed that outsourcing to Super Copy Editors would save them thousands of dollars per month versus hiring an in-house copy editor. After all, we charge only for the time we spend actually reviewing text.

With the go-ahead from Forbes, we jumped right in and quickly acclimated ourselves to their style and voice.

Forbes appreciates the reliability and consistency that our team provides. They know they can shoot over an article and we’ll have it fact-checked, copy edited to their style, and returned sparkling … every single time.

And our 100% On-Time Guarantee? Its icing on the cake.

  • We provide quick 24-hour turnarounds, as well as same-day rushes as needed, always on time.
  • Plus, for those times when there is a lot of content all at once, we can easily handle it all.

That’s because we are more than one person—we are a whole team of professional copy editors and proofreaders ready to get to work in short order.

11

Years in Business

350+

Delighted Clients

12M

Words Made Super

The Impressive Results

Based on the success of our partnership, Forbes asked us to expand our coverage to include copy editing of occasional print pieces as well.

Some of the projects we’ve worked on for BrandVoice have won awards, including:

  • 2021 North American Digital Media Award for Native Advertising/Branded Content Project, for a Forbes and Office Depot collaboration titled “Business as (Un)usual,” a content series focused on running a business during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 2020 Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising, for “Military Made,” a multimedia series that spotlights veterans who have achieved career success after leaving the military
  • 11 industry awards, including the Content Marketing Institute’s Award for Best Digital Content Strategy, for “The Great Rewrite,” a series for KPMG
  • 2019 Gold Stevie and IAC Awards for “Changemakers,” produced for Cole Haan
Image of a hand holding a smartphone showing a Forbes webpage. The webpage is a "Military Made" BrandVoice article with the headline "As An Entrepreneur, She's Still Jumping From Planes."

Today, many publishers offer a sponsored content solution, but it’s worth remembering that Forbes pioneered the concept in the face of heavy skepticism from peers who likened it to a “mad scientist” experiment.

That big bet to launch BrandVoice paid off in a huge way.

  • As of 2021, BrandVoice articles have received a combined 300 million page views.
  • The revenue from the venture has bolstered the company. In 2013, the BrandVoice platform accounted for 20% of Forbes ad revenue. That number has climbed in the years since, with sponsored content accounting for roughly 40% of direct ad revenue by 2019.

In fact, at a time when other legacy publications are struggling, Forbes—a hundred-year-old brand—has never been stronger.

“Our brand has never had more impact. Our audience has never been bigger,” says CEO Mike Federle.

And Forbes continues to pave the way forward in the sponsored content arena, with cutting-edge, interactive content and multimedia features that keep readers engaged … all backed by a best-in-class copy editing team.


Photo of Erika Maguire
“Super Copy Editors is nothing short of stellar. They’re responsive, dependable, have an incredible attention to detail, and always work to accommodate our last-minute requests.”

—Erika Maguire, Executive Director, Forbes Content Studio


We Want to Help You, Too

Super Copy Editors can help your organization become stronger than ever, too.

It’s time to put an end to embarrassing, costly errors in your text—and get ready to start dazzling your readers.

To our knowledge, Super Copy Editors is the only editing service that offers a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee stating that we will deliver your documents on time, right down to the minute.

When you hire Super Copy Editors, you get all the benefits of:

  • A freelance team: flexibility and cost-effectiveness
  • An in-house staff: expertise, consistency, and attention to deadlines

… all at a fraction of the cost and none of the headaches.

You also save yourself time and money since we blend in seamlessly with your team and your processes with minimal ramp-up time.

If you’re looking for a proven team of copy editors to ensure the highest-quality materials possible, look no further. We’re confident we can meet your organization’s needs.

Contact Super Copy Editors for more details and a customized quote.

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