As YouTube’s advertiser base diversifies, so too are the objectives brands have for homepage ads placed on the popular video platform.
Branding has dominated past advertising efforts on YouTube. It’s not very surprising when you consider the fact that media companies — such as movie studios and music labels — have long formed the bulk of YouTube’s advertiser base.
However, YouTube’s ad clients are diversifying to include more consumer-packaged goods, direct-to-consumer, and financial services brands, which means YouTube has had to accommodate a broader spectrum of ad objectives.
Ads with a branding objective — such as promoting an upcoming TV show — declined from a 91% share of ad objectives on YouTube in the second quarter of 2012 to 71% in the second quarter of 2013, according to Macquarie, an investment bank.
Direct response ads — which are intended to drive sales or traffic to a brand’s website — accounted for just 6% of ad objectives last qu! arter, b ut some variable combination of direct response and branding accounted for 23% of objectives among YouTube advertisers.
What does a blended direct response and branding campaign look like? We see Old Spice’s successful “Smell Like A Man, Man” campaign as a prime example. The campaign relied on YouTube’s oversized masthead ad unit to push users to a promotional video, and to garner more followers on Twitter. Old Spice sales reportedly increased 107% during the month the campaign ran, according to Nielsen.
Twitter is going public soon, so it’s worth knowing how the micro-blogging site makes money.
It is an advertising-based business. Twitter also sells data. It will generate about $583 million this year. Twitter is expected to generate a little less than $1 billion in 2014, according to eMarketer.
Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from three types of ads, although it plans to have a more robust advertising offering next year.
The New York Times’ Vindu Goel gives a good rundown of those three money-making ad products:
- Promoted tweets: Advertisers pay to have brief messages show up in users’ stream of Twitter messages. They can use keyword targeting to reach specific users. Advertisers can also use a little bit of demographic targeting, although Twitter doesn’t know as much about its users as Facebook does. Twitter gets paid when users engage with the promoted tweets (when they favorite, comment on, or retweet the ad).
- Promoted trends: Twitter lists which topics are being talked about most on its platform. The trends vary by location, so Twitter’s list of topics in the US might not be the same as the list in England, for example. Advertisers can pay to have a topic of their choice listed too. A promoted trend costs roughly $200,000 for a day of exposure on all US Twitt! er accou nts, the New York Times reports.
- Promoted accounts: If a brand wants more Twitter followers, it can pay to have its account recommended to Twitter users.
When Twitter files its S-1 papers for its IPO, it will answer a simple question that has been a bit of a mystery for observers and fans of the company: How many users are on Twitter?
It’s a simple question without a simple answer right now.
The company recently wrote a blog post saying it had 200 million users. All Things D believes it has 240 million users. Venture Beat says it has 1 billion users. And where do the 40 million users of Vine, Twitter’s mini-video sharing app, fit in?
Part of the confusion here is that these reports are likely mixing up different technical terms for users. There is a difference between the total number of registered user accounts on Twitter — the entire Twitter universe — and the more meaningful numbers of monthly active users and daily active users.
But even so, Twitter executives will be anxious about the public and investor reaction to its S-1 when it gives some solid historic numbers about its user base.
The biggest, most difficult problem for Twitter is its notorious population of fake or abusive user accounts. Fake ac! counts a re set up by companies who sell new followers to advertisers who want to build large follower populations quickly. They tend to consist of “empty” accounts or bots which are mostly inactive, or programmed to auto-retweet other accounts. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has made his anger clear at “bulk” follower providers.
Back in April, Twitter’s fake user population was estimated at 20 million accounts out of a total of 500 million. But Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser also said at the time that 40% of Twitter accounts appear to be inactive because many people set up their accounts simply to “listen” to other people, rather than tweet themselves.
Whether you’re a celebrity or a major brand, Facebook is still by far the most effective platform — at least judging by audience size.
Celebrities Britney Spears and Lady Gaga are the most followed pages on Google+, each with more than 7 million fans. On Twitter, Justin Bieber tops the list with more than 44 million followers and Katy Perry with 42 million.
Twitter’s not bad as a platform for celebrities, but it’s still a ways from matching Facebook.
On Facebook, Rihanna and Eminem each have over 70 million followers.
If we narrow down the list to brand pages, we see a similar pattern, with an even more dramatic advantage for Facebook.
The top brand on Google+, Angry Birds, has 5 million fans, whereas the top 150 brands on Facebook all have over 5 million people following their page.
Coca-Cola has over 70 million fans on Facebook. Red Bull, Converse, Starbucks, and Playstation have between 30 and 40 million fans.
It may be that the ability to embed Google+ posts — which will allow users to share Google+ content around the Web — will lure more brands and public figures to Google’s social network.
These charts are based on data provided by Socialbakers, which has access to the APIs for Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. <! /p>
Twitter has released some research trumpeting the connections that can be made between SMBs and their followers. The survey of 500 followers of SMBs in the US and UK, conducted by Market Probe International, found that the top reason these Twitter users follow SMBs is to get updates on future products (73%), although many do so out of support (63%) and to interact with the businesses, such as by sharing ideas or providing feedback (61%).
According to the results, 85% of SMB followers say they feel more connected with the businesses after following them. While that’s an encouraging sign, one wonders how difficult it would be for a business to make a new follower feel less connected to it.
In our view, these are the most important takeaways from the study, published in April:
- The actual audiences for user posts on Facebook are larger than anyone might assume them to be.
- A post’s visibility is positively correlated with comments and likes on the post.
- A small core of followers seem to be responsible for the lion’s share of activity around user posts: 95% of the users in the one month study had less than 40 friends who liked their posts and 18 who commented.
Here are explanations of the other 10 factors that helped to increase follower count:
- Profile description length (in characters)
- Profile includes a URL
- The peak rate of tweets per hour (burstiness)
- Attention-status ratio, or the ratio of a user’s followers to those a user herself follows (how much attention one earns relative to the attention directed to other accounts)
- Positive sentiment: tweeting positive emotions
- Reading difficulty: The linguistic sophistication of tweets
- Reciprocity rate: The number of followers that the user is also following
- Twitter profile includes location
- Directed communications index: The number of tweets in which a user mentions someone else, replies to someone else, or favorites their tweets, divided by their total tweets.
How much do you like courgettes, the green vegetable Americans call zucchini? According to one Facebook page devoted to them, hundreds of people find them delightful enough to click the “like” button – even with dozens of other pages about courgettes to choose from.
There’s just one problem: the liking was fake, done by a team of low-paid workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose boss demanded just $15 per thousand “likes” at his “click farm”. Workers punching the keys might be on a three-shift system, and be paid as little as $120 a year.
The ease with which a humble vegetable could win approval calls into question the basis on which many modern companies measure success online – through Facebook likes, YouTube video views and Twitter followers.
A million of anything is pretty much always an insanely impossible number. Winning a million dollars, having a million Twitter followers, selling a million products—anything done a million times is something to be proud of. But maybe not getting your song streamed on Pandora a million times. All you get sometimes is 16 measly dollars. Or $16.89 to be exact.
David Lowery, songwriter and musician, had his song he wrote “Low” streamed 1,159,000 times on Pandora in the past quarter. That’s a pretty huge number, right? Certainly more than the 116,260 times “Low” was streamed on Spotify or the 179 times Sirius XM played the song. The difference was Spotify paid $12.05 for the 100,000 times and Sirius paid more than a dollar per play ($181.94). So how the heck did Pandora get away with just paying 16 bucks for a million plays? It’s the government’s fault.
No, seriously. Congress sets the rates of which artist royalties are paid. Lowery explains:
For you civilians webcasting rates are “compulsory” rates. They are set by the government (crazy, right?). Further since they are compulsory royalties, artists can not “opt out” of a service like Pandora even if they think Pandora doesn’t pay them enough. The majority of songwriters have their rates set by the government, too, in the form of the ASCAP and BMI rate courts–a single judge gets to decide the fate of songwriters (technically not a “compulsory” but may as well be).
Pandora is barely giving anything of worth for using the songwriters and artists’ music. The $16 Lowery got represented 40% ownership of the song as a songwriter (the other portion belongs to the band). He does note that being a performer of the song gives the artist a separate royalty but that even though it’s a bit higher, it’s also “quite lame”.
So next time you like a song, maybe support the artist by streaming somewhere else. Or buying their album. Or going to their concert. Or just giving them money when you see them on the street. [The Trichordist]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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