Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Killer Relevancy for Your Ads

Mike Shinoda DC shoes from Hypebeast
You go to store to buy the new Mike Shinoda x DC kicks that you want to wear this weekend.
You read ProBlogger because Darren helps you get better traffic, write better posts, etc.
You eat pizza at the place on the corner because it is close and usually affordable.

I could go on and on on with things that we do everyday. We do them because we know what we want. I want those shiny new shoes, I want to get more readers and I want some pizza. I want them because they are interests that I have and that I know (obviously).

Online ads are clueless.
For how smart computers are, and that good old Google Algorithm that can't be cracked, added to the countless number of VC dollars that are being spent on ad networks and so on, they can not put the fact that my favorite band is Gym Class Heroes and I like pizza.

We are working with an ad network for the Facebook App we are launching at the end of the week and let's just say that, well, it's not looking good. With click through rates around 0.002% on Applications right about now, we are going to need some killer traffic to grab some nickel beers at Cheyanne Saloon on Wednesdays!

iPhone and Relevancy
One reason that I am loving the iPhone is the fact that some App Developers have given me relevancy. Take iWant. It looks for anything from food to bars to shopping and gas all based on my location. That is relevancy.

So, how can ad networks start serving ads that are as relevant as the free information that is available through Google searches or using Apps like iWant?

  1. The sites, be it the Social Networks like Myspace and Facebook, need to let the ad platform look at the data in full. Facebook is doing better at this, but Myspace on the other hand keeps wanting me to click on Kottonmouth Kings ringtones. Sorry, already have all 10 albums and I am a music producer, so I can make my own, thank you.
  2. We need better advertisers and more inventory of these better advertisers. The reason there are so many ring tone ads are because there is an influx of these companies that want to advertise and not enough quality, name brand advertisers that are available for the common blogger or website owner. With Myspace serving a billion or so page impressions a day, there are just not enough quality ads to go around.
  3. While I am not opposed to CPC, CPM and CPA, they do NOT work in every situation. For our Facebook App, users are promoting concerts that they have attended or are going to. For someone like Warped Tour to come in and demand CPC is absurd. We can wrap-up our site for the advertiser and create a brand presence within the application. But we can also trigger people to search for their friends that are going to Warped Tour, maybe they already have tickets and they want to "share" it with their friends. Maybe they even buy a ticket from our affiliate partners. So they didn't get the click through, but they got people talking, and talking provokes action.
The problem with this method is that there is no direct relation to ROI for the advertisers. While Social Media tools like Radian6 have started to figure out the picture, there is simply no way to calculate how people made their decision and how they got there from Social Media tools and site sponsorships.

I am no algorithm genius, but I do know that if you are going to be showing me ads (Lord knows as this blog grows you will see some, I would like to buy my wife something nice for Christmas), show me something that I might like to action for.
4. Lastly, make better ads! 90% of banner ads suck, they just do. They turn us off visually and usually send us to a landing page that doesn't convert us for shit. Don't mislead me. Give me something worth clicking and I bet you will get more relevant clicks.
Now, I'm off to look for sexy singles in Orlando (watch my AdSense change because of this sentence) and download some sweet hip-pop ringtones. See you this weekend with my new Diploma from the University of Phoenix!

-Greg Rollett


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