This is the final post from SXSW, by Sean Ammirati of mSpoke. I'd like to thank Sean for the excellent coverage of SXSW! Also, a disclaimer for this post: FM Publishing is the main topic in the post and Read/WriteWeb is a part of this advertising network.
Why Marketers Need To Work With People Media" and it had a set of rock star panelists (in the SXSW interactive, not music, sense of the word!). The participants were:Yesterday I attended a panel which I've been thinking about constantly, ever since the panel ended. The panel was entitled "
While the panel referred to it as 'people media', it could also be described as 'social media,' 'read/write media', 'conversational media' (as John Battelle has been describing it lately) or even 'user generated content' [Ed: that last term is beginning to get unpopular]. Regardless of what you choose to call it - and I'll use the term 'People Media' in this post because of the panel title - these sites are a significant part of online traffic and so delivering high-value advertising is key. Note that John Battelle covered most of the material from the panel in a recent post.
Publisher Opt-In Advertising
One of the interesting things about Federated Media is that it gives blog authors the ability to reject advertisers from running ads on their site. In the post mentioned above, he explains:
"The approach of having the authors approve the companies which advertise on their site seems obvious, but when you think about how traditional media works, it's downright revolutionary. The lunatics were running the asylum! But it turns out, when an author approves a company to advertise on his or her site, they are, in essence, inviting the company to join that sites' conversation. A permission has been given, a trust established. To this day, every single ad FM sells is approved by our authors before it appears on their site. And despite our initial worries that author approvals would be a hurdle to marketers - after all, they're used to getting their way - it has, in fact, turned into an overture, a conversation starter that has led to all sorts of examples of new approaches to marketing online."
John provided an interesting example of one of his bloggers rejecting an ad. Cory at BoingBoing has been a very vocal opponent of DRM. When a pro-DRM group approached Boing Boing (via FM Publishing) to run a $35,000 a month ad, they turned it down. At this point, this is the largest advertising opportunity that has been refused. However, since launching, John estimated that only 1% to 2% of all advertisers have been rejected. In addition to these small percentages, many specific ads have been refused until a better creative was developed - which leads to the next point.
Evolution of Advertising Creative
The web is only going to become more social. However, the dirty little secret is that those pages don't monetize nearly as well as many other pages - which are either contextually rich (in some areas) or the direct result of a user request (such as search). So the challenge is to figure out how to adequately compensate the individuals behind 'people media'. John made an interesting point about the gap in time between search engines emerging as the method of navigating the web, and those queries being monetized effectively. Today, search advertising is a multi-billion dollar business. To do this it took the correct metric (Cost Per Click) and correct ad unit (text ads).
I'm confident that as the interactive advertising and media industries wrestle with the challenge, we'll come up with the correct metric and ad unit for advertising on people media. However, just like it took time in search - it will take time with people media.