Social Traffic and Ad Dollars

The days of giant media conglomerates controlling the creation, distribution and monetization of content are fading. An explosion of user-generated content is reshaping the media landscape, shattering the status quo and creating new opportunities for marketers.

Content is and remains king when it comes to capturing eyeballs on the Web, but is there a logical way to monetize the user-generated portion of it? This is the question which haunts all the web 2.0 start ups while prominent web observer are staying away from it saying that nobody want to advertise next to ‘crap’.

One thing we must know is that, “The user-generated content movement is no longer a fad”. In the US, eMarketer projects that the number of user-generated content creators will rise from current 79 million to 108 million in 2012.

And its not only generation but also the consumption which is important so let me tell you that the UGC is also being heard, seen and read. The consumers of UGC will increase from current of about 98 million to 130 million in 2012.

So what’s feeding the growth?

“The many of growing number of internet users are creating social media and are also consuming it, this is a content chain that feeds on itself. There is a seemingly infinite demand for content, and there are legions of Internet users armed with laptops, cell phones and digital cameras ready to deliver” says Mr Verna (eMarketer report).

Show me the Money:

Not yet.

So now that content is there, where is the viable revenue model that shall do the justice to the size and level of engagement of the audience?

We don’t have any answers now. “Advertising revenues against user-generated content are modest and, they are expected to stay that way for some time.” Nevertheless, eMarketer anticipates US user-generated content advertising revenue will reach $824 million in 2012, up from $162 million in 2007.

And this is in the absence of viable ad revenue model.

Where is it all going?

To early to answer. On one hand we might witness (according to eMarketer) the 500+% growth in revenues while on the other hand we already have users getting fed up with the social media and closing there accounts on popular platforms like Facebook and Orkut.

Currently the plain vanilla advertising options available on popular social media sites are cheap given the level of engagements which reflects on the perceived value of display advertising on sites where users are typically not interested in looking at adverts.

So what do I do?

While everybody is trying to figure it out don’t miss out on the opportunity all together by waiting for the best practice to first come in the place.

For the starters, add couple of Ps to your marketing plans:

Publics: As a social marketer you will have many different audiences to address. “Publics” refers to both the external and internal groups involved in the program. External publics include the target audience, secondary audiences, policymakers, and gatekeepers, while the internal publics are those who are involved in some way with either approval or implementation of the program.

Partnership: Social issues are often so complex that one agency can’t make a dent by itself. You need to team up with other organizations in the community to really be effective. You need to figure out which organizations have similar goals to yours – not necessarily the same goals – and identify ways you can work together.

Policy: Social marketing programs can do well in motivating individual behavior change, but that is difficult to sustain unless the environment they’re in supports that change for the long run. You will need a policy change, and media advocacy programs can be an effective complement to a social marketing program.

Purse Strings: Most organizations that develop social marketing programs operate through funds provided by sources such as foundations, governmental grants or donations. This adds another dimension to the strategy development – namely, where will you get the money to create your program?


Resources: eMarketer, Wilson Web

Related Post: Web 2.0


2 thoughts on “Social Traffic and Ad Dollars

  1. Pingback: Brand 2.0 - Micro Interactions « Something about Everything

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