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Why I May Run Ads in My Twitter Stream




It’s been interesting to see more and more bloggers moving their thoughts to Twitter. I’ve certainly found myself blogging less, and instead using Twitter to share my thoughts, links, and news.

The downside to that approach is that complete inability to directly monetize that content on Twitter. With Marketing Pilgrim, I can place ads around our posts–and even in our RSS feeds–which helps offset the amount of time and money that goes into bringing Marketing Pilgrim updates to you multiple times a day. When I forsake the blog for Twitter, I’m giving up anywhere from a Big Mac to a filet minion–in terms of lost ad revenue.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to “monetize” Twitter, but I’m starting to consider whether I should look at my Twitter stream the same way I look at Marketing Pilgrim. Then along comes a press release for a new Twitter ad network called Ad.ly.

Ad.ly enables Twitter publishers to make money from the content they produce on Twitter by automatically sending one Tweet every other day from advertisers that they approve. In order to ensure authenticity, every Ad.ly Tweet is explicitly approved by the Twitter publisher.  The publishers are able to set the price they want advertisers to pay and can optionally donate part or all their earning to charity. Each advertiser that signs up for the Ad.ly service will be screened prior to making any offers in order to ensure that only the highest quality of brands and services are using the platform.  Unlike other similar advertising platforms, Ad.ly aims to set a standard for in-stream Twitter advertising.

For the first time, I’m intrigued by Twitter ads. Enough that I signed up for an account. No ads running yet, but I did grab an account. What intrigues me is the way Ad.ly is set up.

I decide how much to charge for each ad campaign.

Ad.ly profiles me to ensure the submitted ads are targeted to my audience.

I decide which individual ads are approved to publish to my Twitter stream.

Ad.ly inserts just 1 tweet in my feed every other day for 7 days.

All ads are clearly labeled as such. Here’s an example:

If I’m going to test advertising in my Twitter stream, Ad.ly has pretty much all that I’d ask of platform.

Right now, I’ve set my weekly price at $1,000–hey, if I’m going to do this, it had better be worth it!–so I don’t expect a land rush of advertisers, looking to place ads. Heck, I may not ever approve an ad that I feel comfortable with.

I guess my next question is: what do you think of ads in Twitter streams? More specifically, would you unfollow me, because of ads like this?

  • http://ebusinesstuneup.com Ron

    It would depend.. I’m following you because I felt your tweets add value to my work-flow. If suddenly I’m getting flooded with too many commercials then I’d unfollow you. However, if your real tweets had enough value to outweigh the commercials then I’d still follow you. And that’s pretty much like watching sports on TV. I’ll put up with endless Coors and Bud Light commercials because the game has enough value to keep me glued ;-)
    .-= Ron´s last blog ..Review of the sears.com home page =-.

  • http://assetize.com Saif (Assetize)

    Hey Andy,

    You produce some great content so good to to see you on-board. I think you’re a trailblazer in the way you’re thinking about it in looking at your Twitter stream “the same way I look at Marketing Pilgrim.”

    We’ve found many of our advertisers to be the same as those using tools like AdSense, and suspect that as time progresses, people will be monetizing their micro-blogs in the same way that they monetize their blogs and websites. Keep up the good work.

    Disclaimer: I work for Assetize, a similar but more-passive ad network to Ad.ly

  • http://www.crossingmarketingandit.com Elmer Boutin

    You create good content and your tweets are interesting, so I doubt I’d unfollow you just for running an ad in your Twitter stream every so often.

    On the other hand – I have made it a habit to unfollow any stream I feel is too spammish. One criteria I have to determine spam is if I see a “Secret to White Teeth” tweet in someone’s stream. I will almost always automatically unfollow anyone who tweets about that. I had an organization follow me this morning who I decided not to follow back because the first tweet on their Twitter page was a “White Teeth” one. I just happened to see that particular account on the list of Ad.ly advertisers when I checked out their site after reading your post here.

    While it’s true they could be a part of another Twitter ad scheme, I wonder if I will need to reevaluate my criteria for Twitter spam if this type of monetizing catches on.
    .-= Elmer Boutin´s last blog ..Communication is Key – The Funnel Effect =-.

    • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

      I’ll make a note not to tweet about teeth whitening! ;-)

  • http://www.best-seo-blog.com/ Michael Martinez

    I find I am blogging more. Twitter is not very interesting in terms of finding useful, informative content. It’s useful for finding connections. It’s useful for finding hot topics. It’s useful for finding links to self-promotional schmuck sites, too. Occasionally I find some real gems in the links, but mostly it’s self-promotional schmuck heaven.

    That probably has more to do with the hash tags I search on than anything else. I’m really not interested in who is brushing their teeth at the moment.
    .-= Michael Martinez´s last blog ..Signs you have a quality Web site =-.

  • Chris C

    I think it would depend on ad content and frequency. Irrelevant or far too frequent ads will make up my mind to drop anybody. But if they are chosen well, and not running every other tweet, then in my opinion, you’ll be ok.

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  • http://be-a-magpie.com Jan Schulz-Hofen

    Hi Andy,

    it’s great to see that you’re considering Twitter advertising.

    We’ve had a little bit of a rough time launching Magpie as the first of these networks a year ago. But I guess more and more people reach the point where they value Twitter and micro-blogging in general as a new channel, using it regularly to provide great content to their followers, and –of course– would like to be rewarded for that and monetize their stream.

    I won’t be asking you to try Magpie as well, you will decide what’s best for you. I’m just delighted that more and more people reconsider our model.

    Thanks,

    Jan

    Disclosure: I am a partner and CEO at Magpie.

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  • http://myonlinecontest.blogspot.com zuls

    Wow this is really good news, another player in twitter advertising, I have been making some money through Magpie.. I should try this out!
    .-= zuls´s last blog ..10 Ipod Shuffles at Ad Excel I’m Different Contest =-.

  • http://www.teethwhiteninguk.org.uk Terry

    Very happy with the results, let me know what you think!

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