- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
social advertising Archive
We broke the news last week regarding the launch of Twitter’s in-stream advertising offering. Just as we expected, Twitter did officially announce and launch their in-stream ads service yesterday with Hootsuite as their first partner.
Below is a screenshot of my Twitter feed inside Hootsuite — as you can see, Sprout Social has “promoted a tweet” (aka advertisement) into my twitter feed. Viewing my Twitter feed inside of twitter.com does not display the advertisement. The ad behaves in the same manner as the promoted tweets ads currently visible in search results. The link “promoted by Sprout Social” takes you to the Twitter promotions overview page. You can perform the normal functions on the ad – reply, retweet and/or favorite the ad.
I am not following SproutSocial and am unsure at this point what targeting was used to send that ad to my stream. My @AllenStern account follows very few accounts (less than 60). If I can gather any info on the targeting, I will update this post.
A note regarding the screenshot below: the highlighted color of the ad was based on my rollover on the ad – the ad is not highlighted in yellow by default although my guess is that if the ads don’t receive the expected response rates, highlighting as seen below may be the next step is gaining a higher response rate.
Thanks to RWW for linking to us yesterday when Twitter posted their official announcement.
Here’s a twist on typical pre-roll and overlay online video advertising. Twitter video hosting service TwitVid has launched a new advertising platform today called SocialAds. The goal with SocialAds is simple: to get you (or your brand) more Twitter followers and/or retweets of your advertisements.
Here’s how SocialAds works…after creating an account, you setup an ad campaign. TwitVid says they host videos for major music groups including Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and The Jonas Brothers. They also work with the NBA and the PGA. The ad campaign focuses either on obtaining new followers or retweeting an ad. The ads are displayed within the videos hosted on TwitVid and you only pay when the desired action is completed.
Bidding will begin at one dollar per follower and seventy-five cents per retweet, with higher bids receiving better placement on the advertising units.
TwitVid notes, “during a private beta test of SocialAds, participating brands received more that 400 new followers in less than an hour. Two percent of those viewers who were shown the advertisement followed a brand.” I have no idea if this would be considered good or not. I think the more important stats would be how many remain connected to the brand after 30 and 90 days. It’s also important to note that most won’t unfollow others on Twitter – similar to how most won’t remove a RSS feed.
Currently SocialAds is running on TwitVid’s main site but the company plans to integrate with partners in the future.
This new launch is yet another reason I continue to suggest that Twitter is just one big advertisement. The idea of buying Twitter followers appears to be a concept Twitter itself is also considering in the near future.
Yesterday Twitter announced that it will be against their terms of service to post advertisements using a third-party service. Initially the thought was services like SponsoredTweets would be out of business in 30 days when the new rules go into place. But alas, the new rules only apply if you aren’t posting your ads directly on the twitter.com website. As I noted last night, all the people who get fat bankrolls using this method will be able to continue but will have to run the ads manually. Frankly there really is no change if this roundabout method remains.
I’ve written in the past that I think most of the content on Twitter is advertisements but it really bears repeating with the new changes that Twitter is looking to implement. Twitter noted in their post yesterday regarding the advertising terms change, “for this reason, aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API.”
Most of us seem to agree that while the traditional online banner ad is still very popular, the ability for it to truly convert is lessening each day. Today everyone is trying to figure out what comes next after the text unit and banner ad. With the current economic downturn, ad dollars are shrinking and what each dollar must produce is growing.
We’ve seen more news and talk shows starting to introduce products and services directly into the shows. My guess is that the ads inside the shows convert better and are higher priced compared with a 30-second TV spot. It’s also way cheaper to produce the “live ads” than a produced ad spot.
The Mike and Juliet show runs Yahoo Buzz spots each week as regular show segments. Oprah is pimping Skype for cash.
Today I noticed Ellen is now running “live ads” for one of her sponsors – Advil. I’ve embedded the clip below. Is this type of ad more effective than a regular commercial? The audience seems to be eating it up even if they are forced to clap and applaud. Do they realize that it’s a commercial? The best part about these live ads is that they beat the DVR or Tivo.
We are currently seeing a variety of new advertising concepts tested on blogs, social networks and websites. Some are on the level, some ride the line and some are way over the “ethical” line. Whether its paid reviews, “sponsored conversations” or the “give product to a blogger”, we will see more new ideas in the market over the next 12-18 months. I do believe we will see WAY more campaigns which “rent” people who have high follower counts on the various networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.).
Will we see ads like the one below on blogs? We are already seeing the spots in video, will it enter the text world as well?
Ad optimization firm Pubmatic has announced a new partnership with Amsterdam-based Improve Digital today. The partnership will help Pubmatic expand further into Europe and the companies say the partnership should help to increase fill-rate for publishers using the Pubmatic service.
Pubmatic self-reports over 5,500 publishers are using their service and the new partnership will bring sales, service and support in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Pubmatic notes in the release that on average 20-40% of traffic to large U.S. publishers comes from European visitors. They believe that this new partnership will help increase the fill rate for European visitors which will lead to increased earnings.
Ad networks in the U.S. will also have access to publishers that are served by Improve Digital. Financial terms of the partnership were not provided.
Back in December I provided results from advertising on Facebook. While the results weren’t great and the company billed me just over $1 last month, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says the company, “…could not be doing better financially”.
Over the past week companies including Seesmic have launched desktop applications which allow you to access your Facebook “stream” on your desktop without ever visiting the facebook.com website. Steven Hodson has a good overview of the new Seesmic application.
These new applications are similar to the crop of Twitter applications that allow you to interact with the service “off-site”. Most power users appear to use an off-site service when interacting with Twitter. I can only assume we will see the same pattern with Facebook and off-site interaction. I am not sold that these desktop applications have a chance to actually be solid revenue generators but we will leave that discussion for another day.
My question to Facebook is…where are my ads within these new desktop applications? Are they sent as a package with the feed to the desktop applications? If advertising is the model that Facebook intends to use going forward, I would have thought ads would be included in the desktop stream from day 1. I will admit that I haven’t downloaded the Seesmic desktop application but in all of the reviews I have read, there has been no mention of advertising within the stream.
Assuming ads are not currently part of the desktop applications, when they add them, will we see the same sort of backlash that Facebook has experienced with Beacon and more recently with the terms of service changes? The numbers of Facebook users using the desktop applications is low today and will be for the short-term but as that number grows (especially with power users), Facebook will be forced to push out more ads into the stream – or they risk losing the $1 that I paid them last month since users will never have the chance to engage with my ad unit.
Federated Media is damn smart. Last year they took a popular television star for 15-35 year old men, created a video show where she could in-part pimp blogs that use FM for ad sales. While there were some issues with disclosure, it was a smart move as it could keep the wagons circling around FM. Today’s launch makes the above referenced campaign look like a kid’s meal at McDs.
The new program is called ExecTweets and I am sure you read about it on a variety of blogs today. If you haven’t heard about it – here’s the net takeaway… FM has sold some ads/sponsorships to Microsoft to create a new site called ExecTweets which will feature twitter messages from "executives" in a variety of categories. Twitter apparently will receive some revenue for pimping ExecTweets. Fine, another directory of Twitter users, yay.
BUT… there’s one important point that it seems all of the bloggers missed…
This is an absolutely awesome, intelligent marketing play for FM. Think about it – their job is to sell ads for the sites they represent. So now they have a central hub for all of the major companies and their "executive" twitter users right there for them. And I am sure each and every "executive" Twitter user will either want to be listed or will talk up the site – which will, in turn, talk up FM. Microsoft and Twitter really get the short end of the stick here.
Next, compounding the smartness, is how they appear to have selected the listed bloggers. On the ExecTweets about page, they list all of the "executives" in the system. Only two bloggers are listed, both are default Twitter users as well, Michael Arrington and Pete Cashmore. Both are users who basically only pimp out their story links and both use FM for ad sales. So just like with the Webb Alert, you see the circle of FM moving full blast. FM pimps two blogs that use FM for ad sales so any additional pageviews that FM generates for these two blogs through ExecTweets benefits them again with ads that FM handles. I assume they will add more bloggers and the traffic will be low but it’s still a smart move - why not keep users inside the FM network as much as possible.
Of course as Peter Kafka notes, most Twitter users won’t use the site for a number of reasons. But even if no one uses the site, it’s still a smart move for FM.