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March 23, 2013

Viral Videos – Hit or Miss?

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Viral videos are pretty hit or miss, and not many brands can match the virality of independent series like Awkward Black Girl. Still, the brands who try can end up winning big: Old Spice and Progressive are just two brands who’ve used humor, silliness and social media to achieve virtually instant name recognition. Videos that are useful or entertaining are the most shared, but there’s no real formula to making a viral video. That doesn’t mean, however, that brands won’t try–and some of them succeed.

For the first few seconds of Till Dance Do We Part it’s not hard to think this is a real show. It’s flashy and gaudy and just weird enough to be plausible: big audience, technically skilled dancers, and a judge who looks like a cross between Liberace, David Alan Grier and Prince. So, when the camera cuts to a female dancer smacking sidelong into a washing machine, the viewer’s surprised. We’ve just been tricked into watching a nearly pitch-perfect pastiche of reality show–and when the punch line comes, the viewer feels a little cheated. That’s what makes it compelling: for a split second, the viewer is left squinting at their laptop screen, not in on the joke.

But that doesn’t last long, and the punch line becomes genuinely funny. It shouldn’t be, because laughing at people who hurt themselves isn’t nice; but the slapstick element is a reminder of just how absurd the reality television industry has become. With the appearance of appliances comes the relief that a dance competition this crazy isn’t actually real. It’s what makes this video both entertaining and shareable. This month-old Sears commercial is proof that virality sometimes doesn’t happen. But Sears’ brand is recognizable enough that it doesn’t need an instantly measurable ROI, and this commercial will eventually become a gamble that pays off.

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September 20, 2011

How to Make the Freemium Model Work

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The last few years have seen a revolution in terms of online marketing. The rise of new, disruptive technologies such as peer to peer and social media have led to a fundamental shift on how business is done. A model that emerged as a possible answer to these problems is the Freemium paradigm. In essence it relies on gathering a large following and then trying to capitalize on it with low yield methods. Its adepts claim that the high volume will make up for the relatively low profit margin.

Promising as it sounds, this model has lead to multiple business failures. However, there are success stories as well. It’s obvious that the Freemium model CAN work, but only if you know what you’re doing. read more

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June 26, 2010

Twitter Launches Promoted/Sponsored Tweets Before USA World Cup Game

If Europeans have all rights to mock Americans for their soccer skills and history, the World Cup has brought at least one thing to the USA but a gold plated trophy is not that thing. Nor are Vuvuzelas.

So what’s it?

Twitter launched promoted tweets just before the start of the USA- Ghana knock out game today.

For a long time people have wondered what Twitter’s business model was and promoted tweets, announced several months ago already now have made their appearance.

During the biggest sports event in the world, which broke the previous Tweets/second record, before the nation with the biggest number of Twitter users plays a knock-out game.

Twitter’s first partner: one of the biggest brands in the world, Nike and also sponsor of the national soccer team of the USA.

The promoted tweet ranks on top of the search for the trending tag #USA. Even when new results come in, the sponsored tweet stays on top of the search results. read more

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November 24, 2009

Google turns to algorithms to create better-looking ads

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The constant push to make ads more visually appealing — reducing the effects of ‘ad blindness’ and helping them to convert better for advertisers and pay more to publishers — continues, as Google announces a pending deal with the Californian startup company Teracent.

Teracent specialises in machine-learning algorithms which have been put to use on the image ads of Google and its partners.

The example given in the announcement shows a standard, human created ad (left) and a similar ad that’s been picked in real time from thousands of different creative elements by these algorithms.

google-teracent-ads

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November 16, 2009

Interview: Tom Rusling, Text Link Ads

text-link-ads-logoHere, Thord interviews Tom Rusling at Text Link Ads.

Let’s start with you. Who are you and what do you do at Text Link Ads?

I am the Senior SEO Strategist. In that role, I offer resources to Text Link Ads clients that are looking to add a layer of strategy and/or on-page site optimization to their link building campaigns. TLA is by design a self serve network: clients can enter our system and find a huge array of links to choose from. However, often clients are looking for guidance around things like:

  • Which keywords should I be targeting?
  • How many links should I be buying?
  • How fast should I be purchasing links, and how much should I vary my anchor text?

And of course, many clients feel like the links they have acquired with us are not working effectively for them. Often my most important role is to help clients identify technical problems on their site which are impeding the benefit of their link building. Such examples could be incorrect use of redirects, duplicate content issues in all its many vast and wonderful forms, lack of page targeting and keyword dilution, etc. They always come into the conversation blaming the links, but invariably the client and I are able to analyze the problem and identify the source of the problem is something on-page.

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November 13, 2009

Fwix launches local news revenue-sharing service: AdWire

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adwire-logoWith the increasing number of publishers creating hyper-local sites, it’s no surprise that services such as AdWire are springing up to allow them to add a new stream of relevant advertising and earn revenue.

AdWire, from Fwix, is a local news distribution system which allows web publishers to add widgets to their sites that will provide local news and ads.

AdWire serves up news based on particular categories that a publisher sets, but it also takes visitors’ geography into consideration when serving content, hopefully keeping stories relevant.

Ads are served in between main content. read more

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October 29, 2009

LinkShare affiliate network launches #tweetshop Twitter tool

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Here goes with another company looking to help Twitter users (and itself) make money from the service.

Affiliate network LinkShare has introduced its #tweetshop service (yes, the service name is a hashtag) which allows users to easily link to affiliate products from a central interface rather than having to visit individual merchants, find and shorten URLs and then manually create the tweet.

LinkShare is keen to point out some “best practice” tips so that the service isn’t abused — you can bet it will be though: read more

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September 23, 2009

No Twitter Ads This Year

Twitter won’t be serving any ads this year, says Biz Stone according to Pocket-lint. We will, however, see premum features.

Those could include analystics tools, Stone said, and are almost certain to also include the “verified account” functionality that the site has already tested with some celebrity-owned accounts. “We wanted to show people that we’re here to stay and here we are making money”, said Stone.

Sounds like a plan.

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LiveJournal allows Google AdSense on premium accounts

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livejournalI’ll admit that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to blogging platforms, and my view of LiveJournal isn’t the rosiest. Then again, the platform does have 22 million registered bloggers, so it’s certainly not to be passed over.

The Russian-owned blogging platform will now allow its premium (i.e. paid) users to embed Google AdSense ads on their blogs.

The “Your Journal – Your Money” system means that LJ users with an AdSense account can add customised ads to their blog, in much the same way as any other AdSense publisher would. LiveJournal says it won’t take any of the profits (and if it’s based on individual AdSense accounts, how could it?) read more

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September 14, 2009

Swedish fashion bloggers could appear in department store newspaper ad campaign

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There’s an interesting article on a Swedish online new site which suggests that fashion bloggers — seen as an increasingly influential group — could see themselves used as models in newspaper advertising campaigns by Kfem, a prominent Stockholm department store.

Firstly, various departments in the store will have a dedicated “digital dressing room” where shoppers can have their pictures taken in various clothing and have it put online immediately. It’s not clear whether this will be published on the store’s web site or if a customer can specify their own social media space/blog to have it uploaded to. read more

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