An interesting post form Tom Hespos (Underscore Marketing) iMedia – on how to provide relevant ads to users of aggregated feed services such as FriendFeed.
Now here’s my assessment of the company’s opportunity.
FriendFeed aggregates many important data points about lifestyle and interest. Thus, it could become a very powerful behavioral marketing play. This wouldn’t be the place for demographically targeted brand advertising, or for FreeCreditReport.com to whack prospects over the head with direct response ads.
It would, however, be a good place for ads targeted by interest. Perhaps when someone reads that a friend posted a link to a product, or commented on a story about said product, or otherwise interacted with it, there would be an opportunity for a targeted online ad, once FriendFeed observed an interest in it.
For instance, if Jim Meskauskas twittered a link to a blurb about the new season of “Battlestar Galactica,” and I followed that link, I might start seeing ads for tune-in in my feed. In this way, targeted advertising would not only be able to inform, but it also could amplify viral effects, and we could avoid much of the criticism of online ads by steering clear of the shotgun approach.
I see an interesting ad play here, provided it’s managed such that the ads are kept relevant.
Agree in general – a good way of delivering ads here is to react on behavior and provide relevant ads/links. I would find it very annoying though to find ads floating around my feeds, even if relevant. These services are meant to be an overview of what is going on in your social sphere, clutter free… not filled with relevant ads…
Now, there is a big opportunity here – a endless sea of user behavioral data, both social and private – which can’t be ignored and must make money at some point (sorry to say, but that is the reality). In my opinion, we now have a chance to do something more and move along relevant ad serving.
A thought: we have the data and can attach this to some sort of promotion or brand, the questions is then how? Without being intrusive and add to the clutter. Thinking of in post linking – once an interests is identified one get links (ad served) added to relevant key words in the post and / or at the bottom, this is for both own and friends posts. As in the example above, Battlestar Galactica and a new season, when a key word relating to BG in your next posts appears, they are now linked to the new season site. You might also find links at the bottom of the post that links to complete previous season available for download on… or DVD. Should also add an link preview to this, you know rollover bubble of info on link (nice place for graphic as well). This I feel would eliminate the ads floating around (- clutter) and give relevant links to the specific interesting content right where you read… Thoughts?
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Interesting. I tend to associate rollover text ads with adware and unwanted clutter, though. So I’m not sure this is a viable solution if you’re aiming to avoid clutter.
I do agree, though, that ads should be kept out of the feeds. How about a banner at the top of the web interface? Or maybe one off to the side? Then again, something akin to a Facebook Sponsored feed ad might work…