Archive for May, 2008

I Heart Twitter, Vertical Ad Networks, and the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium.

May 19, 2008 3 comments

I’m skipping the Family Guy re-run this evening to fuss about my new Online favorites. Giggity Giggity.

Although I’ve been reading about the micro-blogging site Twitter for years and have created profiles several times, they were typically abandoned after a few days of reading random Tweets. Now, with it’s popularity bang there are so many more interesting people to “follow”, and with the Twitter Facebook Application

I can feed my addiction to updating my Facebook status by text. Not new, I know, but new to Sarah’s List of Interactive Addictions. In fact, now you can follow the Mavens! Although we’re sometimes too busy to blog, we’re rarely to busy for 140 characters or less.

My newest addiction while planning Online Display campaigns is Vertical Ad Networks. While several more traditional ad networks make a number of different content channels available, I’ve found that when you are looking for something more targeted, Vertical Ad Networks are a nice way to gain some more contextually targeted inventory within one buy. Many times they have premium inventory and a shorter list of sites that are easy to relay to a client and ultimately sell through. While I still love my Ad Networks, it’s sometimes hard to illustrate their value to more traditional clients.

Some networks such as Martha’s Circle are a nice addition to a larger premium publisher buy on No more sneaking a high volume of text links and below-the-fold placements to bring that eCPM down! Other networks offer hard-to-reach audiences such as the Luxury Ad Network, Adcision. The one I’m most stoked about, as a girl with a lot of single market initiatives, is the Local Ad Network, such as what CBS is launching with providing local sites with a news widget wrapped around an IAB unit.

My third blog-worthy favorite du jour is the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium. As mentioned, as a gal with a lot of single market initiatives to plan for, I often have the single market budgets that prohibit me to run on some of the larger sites like Yahoo because of their spend minimums. As a result miss out on some of that great targeting. The Yahoo Newspaper Consortium has helped me ad reach to a few low budget, single site plans. Kudos to the people at Yahoo! for this great idea. Stay strong brothers!



Social Media Marketing: Big Buzz or Buzz Kill?

May 15, 2008 3 comments

Last night at MIMA (Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association), a panel of local social media experts assembled to discuss how big businesses approach social media. It was a lively and very interesting discussion.

Big names like General Mills, Best Buy, Fingerhut, and Target tackled questions and shared their individual philosophies on what it means to participate in social media and why they think it’s important.

I gave myself two post-it notes (hey…where was 3M?!) to jot down a few take-aways for the online marketer thirsty for knowledge in social media.

Big Buzz
– All the panelists agreed that the value of social media to businesses is the opportunity to listen to customers. This ability to listen to consumers and glean information from them has never been so easy and cheap. Once you have stopped talking and start listening, act on that information. Provide social applications with a real, genuine use and value.

– Try. Try something new quickly to get out there rather than spend too much time on costly large social marketing initiatives. From these small initiatives, learn from the failures and try again.

– Successful social media programs the panel discussed were tightly aligned with building communities where the communities live. For example, Target’s back to college program engages students on Facebook with an application boasting over 33,000 users. Makes sense, considering 41% of users are aged 18 to 24 (During Jan 2008, according to Hitwise ). Best Buy too, created an internal social platform for employees eyes only called Blue Shirt Nation. It’s gotta be better than working…

Buzz Kill
– How do we consider different age groups in social media? Considering the fastest growing social network is Webkinz (7 – 12 yr olds) and visits from the 55 and older crowd represent the largest increase over the past 2 years (Hitwise), won’t we be missing the boat if we don’t plan for this opportunity now? Are college kids really the biggest consumers on the planet?

– ROI. Panelists did not have clear direction on showing ROI for social media. They suggested that social media costs be put in product research or other buckets. They suggested that “relationships” can not be measured in dollars or cents. Shouldn’t we be more accountable? This is why I’m glad I work in search, most of my stuff is measurable. If I’m getting you crappy results, you should fire me. I deserve it.

Wanting More Social Media
They are the most brilliant social marketers! I left feeling motivated, social, and engaged. They left me wanting more. More answers. More testing with social marketing tactics.

I started right away and signed up for twitter. I intend to use the powers of social media (twitter, Facebook) to follow these social media mavens and learn all the secrets not left behind…