Better than no tail at all Manage your own video advertising with Longtail AdSolution

Posted by tom klein June 4, 2009 at 12:17 pm

longtail-logoVideo is becoming more and more popular all across the web, but the question that always bubbles to the surface is “How do I make money off of this?”

Sure, Google and YouTube have been serving up video advertising for awhile now, but with little control over who buys ad space and how those ads appear, web publishers are looking for a better way to sell their digital real estate.

Enter LongTail AdSolution, the first self-serve video advertising platform (well, technically it’s part ad network, part video plug-in). LongTail gives you the ability to embed a variety of video advertisements in your own website media player. It just so happens, LongTail Video makes one of our favorite open source video solutions, the JW Media Player, but favorites aside, you can install LongTail AdSolution on any media player, just by changing a few player settings and adding a line of JavaScript.

LongTail maintains proprietary relationships with many top ad networks (e.g. Google Adsense), so you can easily integrate and manage your existing advertisers/campaigns. Simply cut & paste your ad tags (snippets of Javascript and/or HTML that  launches creative from an outside server) into LongTail’s Dashboard and choose a video ad format (pre-roll, overlay mid-roll, and post-roll ,as well as traditional text and banner advertising). It’s that easy.

Overall, LongTail is a great solution for anyone looking to capitalize on their website video content. It’s totally flexible and easy to integrate, so why not give it a try. Just let us know what you think.

Longtail is a super easy way to serve video ads, as well as do some neat video tricks. You can break videos into chapters or clickable lower thirds for dynamic calls-to-action.

Whether you are using an existing ad network or not, Longtail can handle any type of ad you can manage, maximizing the bang for your open source buck!


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  A few rotten apples Protect your reputation and respond to negative reviews with Yelp for Business

Posted by maggie.hunsucker May 18, 2009 at 7:26 am

yelp-for-buisiness-logoWe usually discuss the positive aspects of customer feedback tools and how you can harness them to promote your brand or business on the web.  But what do you do when the reviews are in, and they are less than hot?

One avenue is Yelp for BusinessYelp, if you’re not familiar, is a popular feedback forum where people give unsolicited reviews of local businesses.  Until now, it’s been consumer-oriented and businesses have been powerless to combat negative or false reviews left on the site.   After hearing merchants’ cries (and a few lawsuits), Yelp decided to give business owners a chance to respond to the naysayers and repair the damage to their reputation.


First things first, you’re going to have to fill out an online submission form and claim your business on Yelp.   We had to wait a few days, but once our account was approved, we were able to log in and create a business profile page.   This includes information about our services, images, and a section to publicize offers and announcements.  These features are a great way to personalize, as well as advertise, your business to Yelp users.  However, the real offering lies in the reviews and messaging tools that come with Yelp for Business.   These gives merchants the option of starting a private dialogue with the reviewer (sometimes, all they need is a personal connection or explanation) or they can post a response directly after the Yelp review.

Yelp for Business is free, so if nothing else, it’s a good precautionary measure.  Even if you don’t receive a single review, your profile will serve as your representation on the site.

As an added bonus, Yelp throws in some very basic analytics. You can view daily and monthly page visits to your Yelp profile from your business account.

Yelp has about 20 million visitors a month. Most businesses are unaware that they've even been reviewed - positively or negatively - on the site. Luckily, Yelp for Business is set-up so you receive automatic notifications whenever a user leaves a review.


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  Branching out Create blog-specific advertising with scroll-proof Twig AdFrames

Posted by maggie.hunsucker April 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm


Social media and blogs have changed the game of online advertising.  Traditional display ads are easily lost in the long-scrolling format of a blog and in general, users expect bigger, richer interactive experiences with brands.

The same creative heads behind the VideoEgg (an idea we discussed in Put an egg in your shoe), are rolling out a new ad vehicle called Twig.  Twig AdFrames are designed specifically for blogs and long webpages to provide constant ad exposure.  Twigs appear as thin bars at the top or bottom of the page, framing site content and staying in place, regardless of a user’s on-page movements.


Twig doesn’t obstruct or compete with site content; it just works a little harder to get noticed.   If a user chooses to interact with a Twig ad, the bar expands and becomes a full window, complete with rich media and user interactions.   Check out the demo here.


Like VideoEgg, Twig runs on a cost per engagement model (CPE), where you only pay when a user engages with your ad.   There isn’t a lot of information on Twig and it’s pricing yet, but VideoEgg is requiring publishers submit an application and maintain a minimum of 1,000 active daily visitors to be considered.

With new platforms and online experiences, you can’t expect the same old tricks to work.   Twig will hopefully be the first of many ad units catering specifically to blogs and the people who want to advertise on them.

Check out Video Egg's 7 Minutes to Reinvent the Internet (for Advertising) event on May 6th. You can stream the great debate live, where 7 great minds in advertising each have 7 minutes to pitch/rant/expound upon the future of digital advertising.

Expect to see a little more Twig in your life. Video Egg has already partnered with huge sites like Icanhascheezburger, Go Fug Yourself , TwitPic and more do deliver Twig AdFrames.


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  That's hot. Advertise products with the image ad network Pixazza

Posted by maggie.hunsucker March 26, 2009 at 10:56 am


Brands often use product placement or powerful associations to drive sales.  A pair of high-end jeans or sunglasses will sell if an image of Paris Hilton wearing the product is splashed across the internet, more so than a banner ad or any other traditional ad medium.

That’s the idea behind Pixazza, a platform that uses image-based advertising to capitalize on consumer interest with “it” products.   When a user mouses over a product element in an image, like a pair of sunglasses, Pixazza displays a selection of similar products, if not a exact product match.   Users can choose to click on the product link or not and are directed to one of Pixazza’s participating advertisers.   Zappos, Amazon, Bulefly, Shopbop, Overstock, eLuxury, Macys, and more have partnered with Pixazza.


Pixazza works by enlisting publishers to make their images available to product advertising.  They add a line of JavaScript to their site, and their part is done.   Pixazza’s staff marks-up the images and matches products to the appropriate sites.  If a user clicks on the link and makes a purchase from the advertiser’s site, the publisher is paid a small commission.  However, Pixazza offers CPA, CPC, and CPM ad models, so advertisers can choose what works for them.

Currently, Pixazza only offers apparel advertising, but they do plan to expand their focus to home furnishings, travel, sports, and electronics in the future.

Once a publisher adds a snippet of code to their site, all images on their pages are automatically put in a queue for Pixazza to analyze. The system filters out any image-based advertisements you have on your pages, so they don't get marked up. Pixazza actually works in harmony with your existing advertising, so you can have more than one revenue stream coming in.

If you're a retailer and want to expand your store beyond your domain or your four walls, here's an easy way to make that happen. As long as you're clear on your cost of sales, you can think creatively about how you might use that same level of investment to enlist affiliate networks like this one.


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  Short and tweet Shrink and monetize large URLS with Twitter-friendly Adjix

Posted by maggie.hunsucker March 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm


Twitter users have a lot to say and not a lot of room to do it (140 characters to be exact).  Luckily, there are several services that can whittle down long URLS, making it easy to share links via Twitter tweets, as well as email and text.

Adjix is one such a service, but unlike TinyURL and SnipURL, this one has a little something extra up its sleeve – a Twitterific ad model.

First, we should make it clear that Adjix is a free service.  You can use it to shorten URLs at will, sans advertising.  And if you’re a non-Twitter user, you can still earn money by sharing Adjix shortened URLS. The service places advertisements at the top of the web page and pays the referring linker a small fee, based on the number of impressions and click-throughs they generate.  Not a bad ad model, but Adjix knows where it’s bread is buttered, and Twitter is an ideal channel for mass distribution.

So how does it work?  First, you will need to create an account (free) and supply Adjix with your Twitter login.  Plug in your unruly URL, then use the Adjix2Twitter interface to send your tweet.  Adjix even lets you approve ad material before it goes out the door.  The result is a small text-based advertisement embedded at the bottom of your tweet.

While it may seem counter-intuitive to shorten a URL, then give up precious tweet space to an advertisement, the average Twitterer only uses half their character limit (according to research from TweetStats).  So, why not make some cash renting out the extra space?  Users are paid based on the number of followers they have and the amount an advertiser is willing to pay per follower.  So, a Linker with 1,000 Twitter followers and a $.001/per follower pay-out, receives $1 every time they tweet an ad.  May not seem like much, but it adds up over time, especially for prolific Twitter users with followers in the thousands.

On the flip-side, advertisers can target Linkers by their location, interests, or the number of followers they have.  They can also set set an embargo – or a limit on the number of times a user can tweet the same ad – to limit system abuse.

Who doesn't love a good bookmarklet? Adjix offers an accompanying bookmarklet for the Adjix2Twitter feature, so you can grab random links while browsing the web and tweet them without any disruption.

Another benefit of Adjix is the ability to track who clicks on your link, when, and how many times. Analytics are available for every shortened URL you share.


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