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Jul 2010

Catch the worm

Posted in Advertising, Online PR, Social Media | 0 Comments

“The early bird catches the worm.”

So it’s been said since the beginning of time immemorial, or at least it feels like it. The first to anything tends to benefit the most, and of course in today’s economy, also tends to monopolise and monetise it to high heaven. This isn’t mean, or possessive – just good, solid business sense. The main reason that Twitter’s official @earlybird account is such exciting news for any business looking to use the micro-blogging specialist for advertising purposes is just this – monopolise and capitalise. Come first, win the race, take it to the bank.

If you’ve ever used a book of vouchers at a shop or, god forbid, gone for an item you’d never normally had bought in a sale, then this will appeal to you. Long story short: it’s a Twitter account manned by Twitter staff, giving you updates on discounts and offers from the companies they work with. It’s the closest thing to full-on advertising on the site, so it’s a big first step for a company with a colossal prospective audience.

Twitter currently has around 70m accounts. If even 1% follow @earlybird, any company advertising with Twitter will instantly gain an audience of the best part of a million people. Now picture 10% joining. Makes your bank account tingle, right? If I was a company with the budget, I’d be getting a slice of this action as soon as possible, because it won’t be long before we’re inundated by mega corporations (Apple, Microsoft) who’ve hit @earlybird with the force of a swan’s wing (which can apparently break your arm).

Of course, there’s also the viral nature of Twitter to take into account. Those 700,000 people, that 1% potential follower statistic (if it goes down well with Twitter users, that is) could then turn round and re-tweet. This has the potential to at least double the amount of eyes that see it, and grab more people’s attention and direct it in @earlybird‘s direction. However, there are many different sites picking up on the new account, and giving different takes on the service.

The Guardian, being cautiously neutral as usual, have spoke about how Coca Cola received a mind-boggling 86 million impressions after running promotional content through Twitter. This is a big return on an investment that, for all intents and purposes, only costs the thirty seconds required to write and hit “tweet”. Realistically however, I’d imagine Twitter are making a pretty penny out of it too. It just goes to show what you can do by exploiting what appear to be officially endorsed channels on various social media.

But should use these channels over more usual advertising channels? Well, when you think about it, people are more likely to see it, and definitely more likely to read it, pay attention to it and therefore absorb it. WordPress (we’ll discuss this site’s social media identity in a future post), Twitter, Facebook – it doesn’t matter where your social updates come from, realistically speaking these guys have more access to you than other users. They can post things to you via email, through your dashboard, or a multitude of other hidden means.

What this means for you, the blogger, the status-checker and the Twitterer, is that you’re now opening yourself up to social media’s new wave of advertising in a way that’s not intrusive, annoying or outrageous – simply helpful. We see adverts on sites as an invasion of the information we want to absorb and mentally download. However, discounts, sales – are these adverts, or just a nudge in the right financial direction? It remains to be seen whether @earlybird will be a success, but going on Coca Cola’s statistics, I’d say it will be.

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Nov 2009

Full HD to make YouTube profitable?

Posted in Business tactics, News, Web 2.0 | 0 Comments

YouTubeHD-verticalGoogle’s much-publicised efforts to turn YouTube into a profitable entity may be nearing an end with the company announcing that 1080p full resolution HD videos are on their way.

Earlier this year Credit Suisse analyst, Spencer Wang said that he believed Google was on course to lose $470.6 million this year mainly because of YouTube’s inability to generate revenue from advertising.

Surely YouTube’s irresistable global presence is enough to make Google an absurd amount of cash via advertisements? Apparently not.

According to the advertising experts, it is YouTube’s video quality that is holding it back in the advertising world.

At a recent press conference that hosted some of the leading minds in advertising, CEO of marketing giant GroupM Interaction, Rob Norman, put it bluntly when he described the technical quality of YouTube, and sites like it, as “complete crap”.

Media agency executive Robert Davis of OgilvyInteractive viewed it similarly, saying, “If somebody put that on TV looking that way, they’d be fired…Why is that acceptable online?”

Last week YouTube blogged the news that should change all that.

“We’re excited to say that support for watching 1080p HD videos in full resolution is on its way. Starting next week, YouTube’s HD mode will add support for viewing videos in 720p or 1080p, depending on the resolution of the original source, up from our maximum output of 720p today.

As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make sure YouTube is the best home on the web to showcase your content. For viewers with big monitors and a fast computer, try switching to 1080p to get the most out of the fullscreen experience.”

While YouTube’s announcement focus’s on the benefits for its users, there is no doubt they will be licking their lips at what the change will mean for them.

Advertisers have applauded YouTube’s latest move. After hearing the announcement, Mr Davis told Beet TV that “this is very good news for the industry”.

“As the visual experience becomes more satisfying, the greater the interactive potential becomes for brands ready to play in the content space. For years, we have been forced to build interactive experience around severely limited, technologically inferior video. Not any more.”

So YouTube has given advertisers what they’ve asked for. Now, can they turn this phenomenon into the cash cow it probably deserves to be?

Check out one of YouTube’s full HD videos below

Or click through and watch the Official Toy Story 3 Teaser Trailer in HD

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