Tagged: advertising

Goat shit marketing

I try not to look at the ads in the T, especially the ones over the tracks.  If you look there too long, your animal brain starts to notice things moving down there and you become aware of a whole rodent jamboree.  But that’s not my point, this is:

I saw it a few times before I realized what was weird to me.  Not that there was major display advertising – about a savings account no less – using a Yiddish word, somehow that didn’t rate as odd.

But before I go any further, I don’t want to leave anybody behind, so I’ll remind everybody with a little help from wiktionary that “bupkus” (or bobkes or bupkis or באָבקעס) is a Yiddish word literally meaning “beans’ but used to mean something small or insignificant, not unlike “squat” or “diddly squat” with all the scatological connotation therein as it also has roots in a word for “goat droppings” which I’m sure you all know look like beans.  (I won’t make *that* mistake a second time!) Now you know.  Moving on.

It’s dangerous business to say that a word is spelled incorrectly when transliterated into the roman alphabet, but sign me up for saying that “bupkus” is just not right.  I prefer “bupkis” but am not averse to “bobkes” either.  A little searching and I think you’ll find those to be more common, and a little searching is all I would have expected from Capital One’s creative team.

But let’s dive a little deeper down this goathole.  Is Capital One, a national if not global company acknowledging the entry of this Yiddish word into the English language or using it in a conscious targeting of some market that’s more likely to recognize the word and its meaning?

Heather Froehlich poses a similar question on the Examiner but seems unconcerned with the spelling.

If this is Capital One’s new advertisement campaign as it appears to be … this could be a new Yiddish word entering the collective lexicon, joining the ranks of “shlep”, “shtick” and “schmuck”.

Or, perhaps I am underestimating the non-Jewish population; this could be an already a widely-recognized word by the goyim.

I don’t know the answer, but I think I have a clue.  Capital One’s website has bupkis for bupkus.  I don’t see the word anywhere on it, even in the section about this savings account product, and come up empty with searches.  So I infer that this campaign is localized.  Bupkus for Boston but probably not for Boise, Battle Creek or Butte.  I wonder where else this campaign has been deployed.

The question is still open whether Capital One is seeking specifically semitic savers or just urban hipsters who watched a lot of Seinfeld.

A prime number of things I’ve learned about Facebook Ads

Everybody loves advertising, so I figured I’d share some tips about advertising on Facebook that have accumulated on my plate after a few different jobs and consulting projects using them.

o. You can get started with Facebook ads on the cheap. Anybody can run ads on Facebook on a CPC or CPM basis (and I’ll wager that they’ll roll out CPA after a while) with a few dollars and half a clue.  Results improve with additional dollars and clue.

1. Facebook ads are not behavioral, and they’re not search ads either. In the main, you can target Facebook ads at facebookers based on what’s in their profiles – location, age, relationship status, gender, employment, stuff they like, etc. This info is self-reported and subject to the categories that Facebook has created. This is not the same as search ads that target people based on what they just an instant ago typed into a search engine.  Adjust your expectations accordingly.

2. There’s some serious freshness bias. I’m willing to bet that the first (full) day you run an ad, you’ll get more impressions and more clicks than any other day after that.   I don’t know for sure why that is (or even if it’s universally so) but I suspect that the ad serving system is biased towards newer ads.  It’s also possible that the Facebook community gets immune to your ad very quickly.  In any case, I find that making small modifications to you ads on a weekly or even daily basis can help mitigate this effect.

3. It’s got nothing to do with advertising, but you can use the Facebook ads interface – for free – to do some quick and dirty market sizing. Just go in as if you were creating an ad, and play with the targeting options to get exciting factoids like the number of people on Facebook who are single, in your geographic area, and like dogs.  You can get all that info without even writing any creative or paying for any ads.  But be careful about generalizing this info as Facebook adoption isn’t uniform around the world or across demographics.

4. Help is available – for a price. Facebook has some ad service people who will talk to you if you’re buying at least $15k/month in ads. Furthermore, they will under some circumstances provide you with a “business account” – a separate login to the ad system that’s not linked to anybody’s individual profile, a definite plus for businesses.  On top of that, sometimes they can be convinced to provide a bulk ad upload capability.  This would seem to be in their interest as it lets customers run lots and lots of ads.  Note that in order to run ads promoting your fan page, you’ll have to make the business account a page admin, which you can do only by email address, since the business account doesn’t really have a profile.

So do I recommend Facebook ads? I’m not going near that question, I’m just sharing some things I’ve discovered.  Do your homework, test a little, double down if it’s working for you.  Advertising is key to Facebook’s world-domination revenue goals, and in the short time that I’ve been working with Facebook ads, I’ve seen them invest a lot in the capability.  While they still have some distance to go, they provide some opportunities that you can’t get with seemingly similar search ads on the more mature Google and Yahoo ad networks.  And, I might add, Facebook’s ad system is parsecs ahead of LinkedIn’s.

Your mileage will vary, but I hope you’ll share what you find too.

Spammy babka even worse than the cinnamon kind

Nobody likes spam, but when it suddenly comes from a business that you like(d), it feels like a personal betrayal.  Check out this steaming pile of comment spam by Green’s Bakery, maker of my most favorite chocolate babka.

Babka spam makes me sad.

I don’t know what’s the worst part of this.  Is the the invasive nature of comment spam?  Is it the irritation that I have already blogged positively about this product and now get subjected to this?  Is it the dreadfully amateurish quality of the spamming?

Shame on you Green’s and your obnoxious, ignorant and ineffective attempt at social media marketing.  I hope your Hungarian grandmother haunts your operation.

The state of the twitter economy

I’m not sure what’s more narcissistic: binging oneself, checking your follower status, or reading your own blog’s back catalog.  That’s a topic for another post, but while committing a minor sin of onnetism I discovered a post from last November that bears revisiting some six seven months later.

After attending a meeting of Boston Media Makers, I set out to estimate the market value of my twitter stream.  You can read the gory details here, but the upshot is that the Magpie service seemed to value my twitterish at about $15 CPM. I wonder if that figure has gone up or down, and why.

Here’s the formula: I used magpie to get an estimate of what they’d pay me, then using followcost and some guesstimation, I figured out what my audience was, and derived the CPM.  Back in November, Magpie offered me 69 Euros a month, and I was tweeting about 5 times per day to 252 followers.  Interestingly, today Magpie quoted me only EU 23.49, but I now have 632 followers and tweet about 3 times a day.  These figures suggest a CPM of about $3.75, quite a drop.  What’s changed?

Magpie's estimate Tweet frequency via Followcost

Well, I am tweeting less – to the relief of many – and that might make me less attractive to advertisers.  But I have more than double the followers (so my total theoretical impressions are up), and my twitter grade is up and my percentile rank is up, too.  (In November I was #10,546 out of 255,406 for the 4th percentile, and now I’m #44,613 of 2,276,191 which is the 2nd percentile)  So why is my Magipe CPM a quarter of what it was half a year ago?

Twitter grader stats

Well, gentle readers, as  you may have noticed, I didn’t really buy the ad valuation last time out (my estimate was a lot closer to diddly) so the fact that it’s gone down should please me.  But here’s the thing – it’s still too high by a huge factor.  Back when I had 250 twitter followers, I could tweet a link and around 20 people would click on it.  Pretty sweet.  Today, with over 600 followers, I can tweet a link and about 20 people click on it.  Based on grader’s estimates, the twitterverse is about 10x larger in terms of number of users now, but the results that I get – and by extension, what I figure an advertiser would get – in terms of clicks is pretty much the same.

I suspect that this bottoming out of the Twitter ad economy (which, by the way comes from a whopping sample size of one) is partly a coming around to reality and deflation of hype, and partly a change in the way people use Twitter. Follower and following numbers are up, and use of applications such at Tweetdeck to manage these larger streams is also way up.  These applications let users group and manage their Twitter friends, and thereby reduce the number of tweets that are actualy read.  This, and the fact that the applications remove from view the actual Twitter UI, suggests to me that the prospects of anybody making money with Twitter advertising – including Twitter – are dwindling.

This microdrivel for microrent

At Boston Media Makers, there was sporadic discussion of Twitter advertising, mainly meaning people monetizing their Twitter use by selling ads either in their streams or on their profile pages.  It was generally agreed that profile page ads were less invasive and obnoxious than in-stream ads.  The mavens in the group predicted large-scale unfollowing and extensive antisocial media shunning for anybody foolish enough to try in-stream twitvertising.

I’m thinking it would be hard for most twitter streams to get less relevant or more annoying, my own included.  My initial objection to the whole idea of in-stream twitvertising is that it just doesn’t seem that it would be very effective.  But first, let’s run the numbers, using me as the guineaduck as it were.

Magpie is one twitter ad service.  They tweet ads through your account (tagged #magpie) at a set frequency (such as one ad per five tweets) based on a keyword bidding system.  They pay per tweet, not per click or per action.  Magpie says that I could earn up to 69.07 Euros per month.

Using Followcost, I discovered that I’ve been tweeting at an average pace of 5.19 per day, so I’ll just guesstimate that I would serve up one Magpie ad per day.  At this writing I have 252 followers, so 252 x 1 x 30 = 7,560 potential ad impressions per month. That assumes two probably untrue things: (1) that all of my followers read all of my tweets, and (2) that there are no secondary impressions from syndication of my tweets, such as in the sidebar of this very blog, or from anybody who’s not a follower just reading.  Let’s just say that those two effects cancel out.

Those figures together imply about 9.14 Euros, or $11.63 CPM.  Since that’s the payout to me, let’s mark that up 20 or 25% so Magpie can earn some money, and assume they’re selling limetweets at $15 CPM.  Is that a good price for promoting your product or service in the limedrivelstream?  Honestly, I haven’t looked at CPM priced advertising in a long time, preferring CPC or CPA if I can get it.  It sounds cheap, but there are a lot of reasons why it should be cheap.

In the process of poking around for this piece, I checked my twitter power at Twitter Grader, and found some interesting factoids.   I scored in the 94th percentile, but what’s interesting is that my overall rank is 10,546 out of 255,406.  There are only a quarter million twitterers?  I’ve been so deep in this bubble I would have guessed a lot more.  And if I’m in the top 6% of them, there must be a lot of inactive or totally dead accounts.  I’m sure it’s growing fast, but I have to wonder if there’s enough total market for Magpie and their advertisers to make a real go of things.

The foregoing generally assumes that the twitterati will be willing to sell their real estate, that doing so will not in itself massively devalue that real estate (if people unfollow you for putting up ads, your ads become less lucrative…), and that – and this one is where I worry the most – those ads will in fact make any actionable or measurable impression on the marketplace.

For now, I remain skeptical and the limeduck media empire remains commercial-free.