Archive for October, 2012

Blogs have changed a great deal over the years and have came far from the private blogging we know it for. It still serves its purpose in airing an individual’s thoughts, views and life. Since its success with LiveJournal in 1999 till today, there are about 160 million public blogs in existence. And like all digital trends, blogs became a tool for advertising and marketing. From businesses to political figures, corporations and influential people have started their own blogs to engage with the public and establish an online presence. If you think about it, these blogs are a relatively cheap marketing and public relation tool for these personalities and organisations.

The setting up of a blog is basically free and the only costs incurred is probably just hiring someone to design the blog. Many companies have internal blogs on their websites while others set up their blogs on third party sites, like WordPress! The only challenge is to create content which will attract people to the website and encourage them to return for more. But what if the consumers know nothing about your blog?

That’s where blog sponsorship comes in. Your company blog may not have reached your audience but you could definitely count on the A-list bloggers to reach them. A-list bloggers need not publicize their vacancy for sponsorship; they are usually approached directly by companies or have a blog advertising company to manage the clients. The sponsorship could range from a banner on the blog to product engagement and review by the popular bloggers. All the company has to do is find bloggers that can relate to it’s products and have similar target audiences. These sponsorships are relatively cheaper than regular display advertising and companies can benefit from the affinity the audience have with the blog.

It is essential that companies and organisations invest in promoting their blogs in the initial phase to drive quality traffic to them. Then it should rest on captivating the readers in the long run.

Using what I learnt in one of my course subjects in university, here’s a few simple ways you can improve your blogs.

  • Update your blog frequently: No one follows a blog that seldom have updates. Its boring.
  • Break apart chunks of texts with pictures, videos or bullet points: Captivating the reader’s already limited attention is key.
  • Encourage reader participation and engage with them: Give your readers a reason to come back.
  • Provide fresh content or interesting insights: No one wants to read the same content from another blog.
  • Linking with other blogs that have similar content: Shows your blog engages the blogging community. Also improves your SEO.

When used intelligently, a blog is a great way to channel traffic to your company website or engage your target audience. Just remember, “Its not about being narcissistic, its about being a good story teller.

Do you own a corporate blog or know anything about them? Share your tips and difficulties with me! Leave it in my comments!

We are beginning to see a shift of media consumption from the TV and the computer towards mobile devices. Soon there will be more tablets and phones than there are PCs. Gone are the days where we will take the subway and see fellow commuters readings newspapers or magazines. Today’s image of a typical subway cabin is pretty much this.

But despite the rapid rise in mobile media consumption, the growth in mobile advertising spend is sluggish. Derek Thompson shared that consumers spend 10% of their media attention on their mobile devices and yet the medium only answers for 1% of the total industrial ad spend. The opposite can be said for print media, which only commands 7% of our media time but holds a whopping 25% of the total ad spend. This really emphasizes the potential of advertising on the mobile!

But the advertising on mobile has had interesting developments. We have seen really ground breaking innovations with mobile advertising over the past 3 years. One of which is campaigns that use a mobile device’s geolocation capabilities. There are thousands of ways advertisers can use geolocational capabilities within their ad campaigns. Like the MINI getaway case study I did, this Nestle ad campaign is another great example.

Another creative way of using mobile devices would be augmented reality. These either work with your phone’s GPS or an app that picks up codes to activate the 3 dimensional or dimensional augmented reality.

Marrying outdoor media and mobile is another interactive and fresh way of executing a campaign. Outdoor billboards can utilize a mobile device’s capabilities to allow consumers to interact with outdoor media.

Lastly, the use of QR codes, which are probably the easiest to implement. This is probably the best example of how QR codes can be creatively used for a campaign.

It won’t be long till we see new technologies that will change the mobile advertising universe. With technologies like the coming 4G networks that allow for fast speed downloads and 3D and HD graphics, the mobile landscape would become an ideal sandbox for advertisers to create interactive and creative ad campaigns.

What other technologies do you feel will surface? Share them with us and leave a comment!

Are the ads on social networks even remotely effective? That is the question often pondered on by social network users. We see them every day when we use Facebook, but how many of us take notice of them? Let alone click on them?

As you are reading this.. Without switching to your Facebook tab, try to recall an ad you might have seen.

It is no surprise that you’re having some difficulty. Social network ads are small and non-invasive compared to the regular animated flash banners we see on most sites. They are placed out of the usual reading pattern of users and consist mostly of a small thumbnail and text.


Unless you’re on Ren Ren, the Facebook of China’s youth, who have flash banners in close proximity to the social content. You’re unlikely to be paying attention to the advertisement’s message.

I know its shocking but companies have sworn that social media advertising actually works! Despite the recent GM Facebook ad campaign failure, big brands like Ford and Coke have found value in Facebook advertising and intend to expand its use of the advertising platform. Others like Joseph Perla think that Facebook ads are no different from a ponzi scheme. He and some others raised a compelling argument that the fat advertising returns posted by Facebook is not sustainable mainly due to the fact that the influx of advertisers it is experiencing is only going to be momentary. When advertisers both big and small have experienced Facebook and discovered that their ROI is abysmal, Facebook’s main revenue source will dry up and they would soon be killed by the next social network.

So who’s right and who’s wrong? Are brands like Ford and Coke enjoying a temporary success on Facebook? In my opinion, it depends on what your campaign objectives are. If you are looking to sell a laptop on Facebook, then you’ll probably get more sales going door to door. Facebook ads seldom work well if sales is your KPI and especially if your product costs more than a box of cereal. Apps, games and easily redeemed vouchers on the other hand seem to do better due to its relevance to social networking. The ads would work well if you are looking to raise the number of fans on your Facebook page, raising awareness or simply driving traffic. Here are a couple of tips for you to make the best out of social network ads.

  1. Social networks allow for ads to be targeted but ads have to be relevant.
  2. Ads have a tight character limit, so make your call to action compelling, clear and concise.
  3. Experiment and rotate creatives and copies to get the best click-through rate.
  4.  Have a strong value proposition to encourage users to click
  5. Due to its obscure location, ads should try to be as disruptive as possible. Copies like “EXCLUSIVE TO FB USERS” or “50% OFF”.

Click here to see examples of effective social network ads.

Though there is a huge controversy as to the effectiveness of social network ads, I (like many others) have personally had successful campaigns on Facebook. In my opinion, the results are really subjective and would depend heavily on your campaign’s KPI and creatives.

What do you think? Share your experiences with me! Leave a comment!