Incentivized Advertising Raises Brand Awareness

When we were kids, the promise of a gold star or a sticker was all the incentive we needed to do our very best on a spelling test. As we grew, the incentives did too, a higher allowance for keeping your room clean, then a higher salary for doing a good job at work.

So it’s no wonder that consumers are willing to give a little more of themselves to a brand, as long as there’s a prize at the end.

SocialVibe and KN Dimestore recently conducted a survey to discover just how helpful incentives can be. They placed interactive ads on sites such as Causes.com and Pandora and on games like Farmville. Visitors were asked to play a branded game or take a survey and in return they’d receive an appropriate reward. For Farmville it was game credits, air-time without ads on Pandora and donations on Causes.com.

Netflix Apologizes Then Makes Matters Worse

“I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.”

Two months ago, Netflix Co-Founder and CEO Reed Hastings, announced a major change to the pricing structure for Netflix members which included increased fees for anyone wanting to get DVDs in the mail and stream movies.The result was a lot of bad press as loyal fans cried foul loud enough to be heard. Memberships were canceled, stock prices dropped and Blockbuster could be heard laughing all the way to bankruptcy court.

Yesterday, Hastings tried to patch things up with a lengthy note of apology and an explanation of things to come.

Young Adults Exchange an Average of 87 Text Messages a Day

The next time you’re in a busy public place, stand still and watch the people who walk by. A large majority of them will either have their eyes down on a cell phone or they’ll appear to be talking to themselves (earbuds!).

It’s gotten so we can’t leave the house without our mobile phone charged and ready. And I know several teenagers who carry theirs from room to room so they never miss a text. Yes, a text, not a call. For the 18-29 set, texting is the ultimate form of communication.

New numbers from the Pew Internet and American Life Project show that 95% of young adults use the texting feature on their phones. On average, they send and receive 87.7 texts a day and the median user hits 40 a day. The median for all cell phone users is 10 a day.

Twitter Sends Few Conversions, but When They Spend, They Spend!

No matter what numbers we put out there, marketers continue to believe that Twitter and Facebook are worth the effort. So here’s another set that’s loaded with good news and bad news for those who hang their ledgers on social media.

A new report from RichRelevance states that online retail shoppers who clickthrough from Facebook only convert 1.2% of the time. If you think that’s bad, Twitter’s number is only 0.5%.

But don’t delete your Twitter account just yet, because in a strange twist of fate, these shoppers actually spend more money when they do order.

Take a look at the chart on the right. The conversion rates skew from AOL’s 2.9 down to Twitter’s barely there numbers. Now look at the Average Order Value in the last column. Twitter is wiping the floor with Google, Bing and the rest.

Facebook Offers Ad Credit to Small Businesses

Facebook has a terrific new idea. They’re going to offer a $50 ad credit to small business owners to help them increase sales. Isn’t that nice of them?

Of course, it does sound vaguely familiar. . . like maybe I’ve seen the same offer but with a Google Adwords logo attached? Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s current COO used to cash paychecks from Google, but I’m sure that’s a coincidence.

Speaking to USA Today, Sandberg said,

“My dream is really simple. I think every small business should … be using Facebook. We’re not going to stop until all of them are using it to grow their business.”

Not that there’s anything in it for Facebook, mind you. It’s a purely humanitarian gesture.

YouTube Rolls Out Editing Options

Online video is on the rise. More people are watching. More people are uploading and more people are clicking through mobile apps to watch a video advertisement.

Now YouTube is making it easier for even the novice video-maker to turn out a clean and creative product. Starting today, YouTube is officially rolling out an editing suite that allows you to make changes to your video on the fly.

Before now, you’d have to take down, fix and then reupload a video in order to make changes. This meant losing your URL and the comments associated with it. With the new edit button, changes are saved to the same ID number, so you don’t lose your place, counts or comments.

Mobile Beats Browsers for Ad CTRs

When comparing similar ads from the same company on both mobile and browser, MediaMind found a big difference in the CTR. After looking at more than 230 million impressions, they found that the mobile Click Through Rate came in at 0.61%, while the
Standard Banners recorded a CTR of 0.07%.

In the past, experts have dismissed these kinds of claims, saying that a lot of ads are being clicked on by accident, but MediaMind says not true. Their stance is that mobile is simply experiencing the same kind of “new and fascinating” curve that banner ads had when they first asked people to punch the monkey.

Positioning also plays a big part in the high CTR. Says MediaMind: