The Application has become the new Ad Unit

May 28, 2009

The job of a brand right now, when interacting in the Social Media eco-system is to get the most effective ad unit in front of an ever elusive group of consumers.  Currently the only way that this can occur in a cost effective manner is via an appropriately designed and implemented application. 

Think of it this way: if you pay for development of an application at Buddy Media the media buy is strictly performance based, once you pay for the initial installation of the app, you no longer pay a fee. Meaning that if consumer #1 installs, then passes you appropriately viral application to their friends and family (consumers #2 -#30), you don’t pay a red cent beyond consumer #1.  Suddenly the ground swells. You start to leverage the power, and see the value.  A guaranteed media buy within the most engaged attentive ecosystem of educated, consumers…ever. Keep in mind that the largest growing group of facebook users is 35+. Now we start to see the truly viral nature of the social web.

Social brand loyalty results in trial or adoption of a page, education of the brand features and benefits, extended reach to a broader demographic target (remember my post regarding the network neighbor).  Rapid lift in awareness of the brand.  Applications are the most powerful Ad Unit online today.

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The Total Facebook Makeover for Brands

May 27, 2009

“Facebook marketing requires communicating, not advertising” Forrester Research, Inc

Facebook users are aging.  Over 35 may not be the largest group that is interacting on Facebook, but they’re the ones that are growing the most.  What worked for your brand on Facebook yesterday will not work on Facebook tomorrow.  What does that mean for your brand? You need to hire professionals.  Don’t always look for the silly hook. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Just do it. Get engaged, and get into the Social Media sphere. If you work with a partner, your applications and pages will evolve with your brand.  Ads on Facebook are horrible, and don’t convert.  Ads that are INSIDE applications are powerful.  Sponsorship deals will continue to grow. 4-26% CTR for Sponsored feed stories.  Read and respond to comments.  Enable discussion by leveraging your pages, and a page management system.  Be transparent about your role and perspective. 

Finally, create useful apps that model what friends do naturally – share info, experiences, and laughs

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How to Ensure Your Facebook Application & Page will Crush it! 3 Tips for Advertisers

May 27, 2009

Freshness and relevance is appropriate regarding anything in social media, but are especially important for brand pages, and applications.  Even though Social Media offers a unique manner of communication with your consumer, that’s not to say it’s easy to engage said users.  Pages must have a dedicated page manager to update posts, and content.  Content management by a third partly is also strongly recommended. Full Disclosure – I work at Buddy Media which provides these services.  I fully feel they are essential if you’re to engage with your users appropriately.  Management, and tracking of these activities will place your Brand ahead of the game.

Consider this: Branded Social Media Applications or App-Vertising campaigns, deliver six times the number of impressions that traditional banner display campaigns.  SIX TIMES!  Essentially what you get as an advertiser is an accelorator.  Applications surpass banner placement on social networks.  When utilizing an appropriately designed, well thoughtout and appropriately implemented application a brand is paying almost 80% less for each engaged user than if they were to purchase display advertising on a social media network.  

1. Applications should have a fresh “hook” to them to facilitate viral growth

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2. Don’t reinvent the wheel – if your current UI is loved by your users, request that your application developers replicate the look and feel

3. Give the users a reason to re-visit the application. Anything where they may be competing against friends always works. 

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Rich Page, Poor Page – Not every Facebook Page is created Equal

May 26, 2009

Pages are becoming more and more an essential part of major brand’s Social Media Arsonal. Facebook has recently allowed brands to increase the breadth and depth of information available on said pages. Essentially these pages (if developed and tracked properly) can become micro-sites assisting in all marketing efforts for a brand. They’re easily modified, appropriately engaging, and at times can become the central hub of information or PR for major brands. AtmosphereBBDO

Because you cannot track how many “fans” you have on your page, brands should look to alternate ways to track success of a page.  Firstly, ALL brands should have a page presense. If you don’t I can almost guarantee that one of your customers has already taken the liberty of starting a fan page, and or (worst case) and negative page about your brand.  Once your page has been launched, your message and voice conveyed appropriately you must of course have a media dollars to help support the page. If you build it, unfortunatly they don’t always come. 

  • Number of Fans
  • Active Users – Total users that interact with your page over a specfic time frame, usually per day, week, month. 
  • Fan Profile – mining the information about the fans of your page can offer optics into a consumer base you may have never tapped into before.
  • Unique user reach – percentage of those users that have become a fan among the total social media audience (or calculated as active page users per audience)
  • Growth – Average numer of users within a specific time frame
  • Influence – Average number of friends among each “fan” of your page
  • Number of pages your fans are also fans of

What’s the Difference Between Widgets and Social Media Applications?

May 12, 2009

I keep hearing this question, so I thought I’d attempt to offer some brief insight:

Applications are platform-specific. (facebook or myspace). Widgets can function on any site that accepts external content. This includes social networks, blog platforms, start pages, desktop platforms personal web sites –

Widgets can function differently on different platforms. So for example a widget may not fully integrate with a specific social network, or deliver varying degrees of integration with a social network like accessing an using certain social data. The benefits of Widgets are that they encourage connectivity, self-expression or collaboration think – GAMES – TOOLS – INTERACTIVE CONTENT

Applications tap into sharing and data via a social network like facebook or myspace via friends, locations etc.

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Top Online Predictions for 2009

December 11, 2008

 

predict1Growth in mobile advertising 

Yes, it’s probably featured on every prediction list for the past several years, but ’09 is almost certain to see significant expansion in mobile advertising. Technology, increasing bandwidth and smart phone ubiquity have brought us to the point where engaging mobile campaigns are no longer just pipe dreams. Marketers in ’09 are likely to increasingly leverage direct response opportunities on mobile.

 

M&A – bargain hunters out on the prowl

I don’t think any economic commentators are expecting conditions to improve markedly in ’09. Fledgling businesses are going to struggle to get second or third round funding and many established businesses are going to see falling valuations. We should expect M&A activity as companies with good liquidity go bargain hunting.

 

Migration to more measurable channels

This one is happening now is certain to continue into ‘09. As marketing budgets get squeezed, money will continue to flow out of brand led channels and into direct response.

 

Ad network consolidation

A cursory glance up and down the aisles at industry trade shows is enough to highlight that there are a lot of ad networks out there chasing the same advertisers and knocking on the same publishers’ doors. With the softening display market and the general economic malaise, it’s likely we’ll see some consolidation in ‘09.

 

Privacy debate will continue to rage

The backwards and forwards between the various stakeholders looks set to continue into ’09. Over the course of next year, we’re likely to see greater consensus reached surrounding the issue of behavioral targeting and the correct rules of engagement.

 

Widgets / buttons / gadgets – call them what you will, they’ll continue to be big in ‘09

Brands want to reach customers beyond the confines of their websites and consumers want a customized online experience. And widgets are the glue in the middle. Expect continued growth in the widget space in ’09 and in particular with desktop implementations as consumers look to replicate the iPhone experience on their PCs.