Rockin' Robin Advertise on Twitter profile pages with TwittAd

Posted by tom klein September 12, 2008 at 11:48 am

Do you Twitter? Even if you don’t use it, you’ve probably heard of it – part micro-blogging platform, part social network, part self promotion tool. Some Twitterers boast followers (people plugged into their Twitter network) in the thousands. It was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to capitalize on the service’s popularity.

Now you can purchase advertising space on Twitter profile pages with a service called TwittAd . TwittAd gives Twitterers the opportunity to monetize their empty backgrounds and advertisers an “in” with the popular social service. They system is simple to navigate for both parties. Twitter users list their real estate on TwittAd, specify the number of “followers” they have (the real bartering chip here), and set their price. Advertisers purchase space at will and upload their ad within 24 hours of purchase. Users can accept the ad or deny the transaction; if accepted, TwittAd takes a 5% commission on the sale.

For the most part, TwittAds are unobtrusive, occupying only a portion of the left side of a user’s profile page. Considering most spaces sell for a couple of bucks (with lifecycles ranging from 1 day to 3 months) you can afford to experiment.

TwittAd was built on Twitter's open API. The service provides optimal sizing and free templates for the Twitter interface, assuring that advertisements don't disrupt and devalue a user's page.

TwittAds operate more like billboards than traditional online advertisements (i.e. ads aren't clickable). Twitter users are actually selling their followers' attention. And the more followers they have, the bigger the potential audience for advertisers.

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What's your point? Create a virtual insights panel and WOM tool like P&G’s Vocalpoint

Posted by tom klein September 3, 2008 at 12:15 pm

One way to get people talking about your products is to start the conversation yourself. Then, just sit back and listen.

That’s what consumer goods giant, Procter & Gamble, did with their mother-driven community space, Vocalpoint. Vocalpoint provides product discussions and lifestyle advice for thousands of women and homemakers- the target user of most of P&G’s products. The site frequently offers free samples and coupons for P&G products (e.g. Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover ) as well as other partnering companies.  In return, users weigh in on the products and share experiences with their friends, family, and other Vocalpoint members.

P&G’s role is limited, and somewhat veiled, but they gain more as a fly on the wall than as an active participant. Instead of spending a fortune to track perspectives on each brand, now they have a vehicle that can be used to track attitudes and perspectives across categories and brands.

The real take-away here is how easy it is to utilize web-based, community tools to create a virtual panel (PDF) to gain insight and drive word of mouth. Much of Vocalpoint’s success lies outside the site, as “connectors” (social butterflies, who are likely to share product information and make recommendations) spread the word. Of course, the free samples don’t hurt either.

P&G has successfully used the site as a testing ground for several marketing campaigns, including Folgers, Dawn, and Iams.

P&G is regarded as a marketing giant, spending more annually on marketing their massive inventory of brands than any other company. By utilizing their Science, Scale, and Measurement capabilities, P&G is able to measure the reach and ripple effect of their word-of-mouth marketing campaigns.

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  Spy vs. Spy Find and compare affiliate marketing offers with AffSpy

Posted by tom klein August 26, 2008 at 9:19 am

Affiliate marketing can be a great opportunity to monetize your site’s traffic. The tough question – how to figure out which affiliate network and which specific offer is most likely to convert . . . and make you money?

One way, that also lets you maintain the integrity of your site, is to utilize a tool like AffSpy. AffSpy is an affiliate intelligence tool that not only catalogs partnering networks, but offers a way to rate their performance and see which ones provide the highest (and most likely) payout.

Curious to know what affiliate marketers might offer in return for putting something on your site? Browse available categories or search the AffSpy database by keyword (e.g. an online gourmet food seller might search for “coffee“). The search results display:

  • a list of affiliate networks who want to advertise on that keyword
  • their offers and accompanying creative (e.g. banner ad)
  • the payout for leads you drive to their site
  • a preview of their landing page
  • current rating

To participate, you need to sign up for an AffSpy account (don’t worry, it’s free). Account holders can create a list of favorites and receive automatic notifications when their favorite affiliate networks change their bids. AffSpy updates several times throughout the day, so you know you are getting the most relevant offers as they become available. All in all, the system is easy to use and is a smart option for earning the most from your site.

Firefox users can download the AffSpy "quick search" plugin, giving them instant access to the AffSpy database from their browser toolbar.

AffSpy brings organization to an industry (online affiliate marketing) that has operated without standard. Most ad networks serve up blind offers, with no real indicator of quality. AffSpy's community rating system and landing page preview let you scope out your new business partner before jumping into bed with them.

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  The Other Hertz Create and place internet radio ads with TargetSpot

Posted by tom klein August 19, 2008 at 7:17 am

With all the hype surrounding search and display advertising, it’s easy to forget that radio lives on. 33 million people tune into internet radio each week. Have you thought about advertising to these listeners?

Consider using TargetSpot, an internet radio advertising marketplace. Advertisers upload their ad spots, choose their audience (target by format, station, time, or geography), then sit back and listen to their ad stream over hundreds of internet radio stations. Ads can be in 10, 15, 30, or 60 second spots, and TargetSpot’s platform lets you record your message directly from your computer. Microphone shy? No problem, TargetSpot offers professional recording services, including scripts and voice-over talent. If you have previously recorded or professional pieces, you can upload those into the TargetSpot system and run them as well.

Choose between in-stream audio ads or pre-roll video clips and banner images to be played on the user’s streaming media player. Once you choose your ad, set your “bid” for the station or location where you want your ad to run. This is the maximum amount you are willing to pay to have you ad delivered (played) a 1000 times. The TargetSpot budgeting and bidding platform ensures you never pay more than you are comfortable with.

With the rising popularity of internet radio and simplicity of the TargetSpot system, you may want to bid on a piece of this action.

TargetSpot offers advertisers reporting features to measure and optimize the reach of their radio campaigns, like exposure rates and click-thru rates for banner images. Reports can be exported to excel or in a .csv format and used for more in-depth analysis.

Platforms like TargetSpot offer a win-win situation for both advertiser and radio station. Advertisers are given easy access and discount pricing on their air time, and the stations make money by parsing out their unused commercial blocks.

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  Where's that back scratcher? Drive site traffic by exchanging ads on Adgridwork

Posted by tom klein July 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Need to boost site traffic? The idea of handing over hundreds, often thousands, of dollars for premium ad space or trading (begging for) links may be keeping you up at night.

Here’s an option. Adgridwork is an open (free) advertising network that lets bloggers and publishers barter their own real estate for advertising space on any of the thousands of sites in the Adgridwork network. You can choose what types of sites your ads appear on, and even monitor campaign progress, like impressions and conversions, through Adgridwork’s free metrics and tracking tools.

To get started, register your website or blog with the network, defining your site by category and any relevant keywords. This helps Adgridwork target advertisements to specific audiences. Once approved, your site is added to the mix and open for serving ads. In exchange, you ads will start running on other sites in the network. Adgridwork uses a simple merit system to reward its supporters- the more ad click-through’s your site generates, the more sites your ads appears on.

If you’re looking for a simple way to generate traffic or just tired of paying for ad services, consider using Adgridwork to promote your site.

ReviewBack was created by the developers of Adgridwork and runs on the same business model- mutual promotion. ReviewBack is a trading ground for bloggers and copywriters who need to build links to their sites.

Just about any company recognizes that challenge of constrained resources, no matter what business you're in. This approach to advertising represents the web at its collaborative best - a great way for people to learn about new sites, and a great way to give your fellow site or blogger a leg up.

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