A Precedent for Success

This week our readings centered around targeting, attracting and engaging an audience.

  • I found the “Long-Tail Nanotargeting” reading extremely interesting. I was especially intrigued to learn that, There were as many Google searches in the last two months of the 2008 cycle as there were in the entire two years of the 2006 cycle.” Wow. I know the internet is evolving fast but that really puts its growth in perspective.
  • The section about persuasion versus acquisition niches was intriguing. I have run small-scale online advertising campaigns in the past and focused on persuasion — targeted ads on Google, YouTube and Facebook primarily. But, I have not had the time, money or sanity to really dive deep into the acquisition level — taking the extra step to find the type of audience I want, where I can find them and what I need to ask them. To be honest, before reading Koster’s roadmap I’m not sure if I would have known where to start.
  • Applying my new knowledge, I plan on using this as a standard when approaching online advertising campaigns at work. It will take extra time, but judging by the proven results of Franken’s race there is a precedent for success.
  • “Nanotargeted Pressure” was also a really great read this week. Although I am not in the political space and do not deal with attack ads currently, I have a feeling this narrative could apply to my work in the near future. With an outcome like — “Soon, we were the top return for Google, Google News and Google Blog Search for the phrase “Lou Dobbs.” — I really need to be paying attention.
  • The targeted Facebook ads in Atlanta and D.C. that made it seem like they had flooded the market, but really had only spent $1,750, are the same concept as running a full-page ad in the D.C. printing of the Wall Street Journal — the illusion of a large spend to intimidate your intended recipient.
  • I found “How (Twitter and) I Crashed Iran’s Propaganda Web Sites” intriguing. A quote that stood out to me was, “Let me be clear: This most definitely would have happened without me. All told, I probably only broadcasted directly to about two hundred people.” Yet, as is the nature of Twitter, every trend starts with one person. The idea came from someone. It doesn’t matter that his message was only broadcasted to 200 people (though he did acknowledge that theoretically he may his message may have been exposed to a collective 26,000 followers). What mattered was that through the combination of an urgent topic, an able platform and a call to action, Twitter users made an impact.
  • What I found most surprising in VA Senate Majority Leader to Dem Candidate: You WIll Use Web Ads, was the brake-down on campaign ad costs — especially because this is not something I am familiar with. The article reads, “In all, close to 4 percent of the campaign’s media spending went towards online ads. In addition to the $15,000 spent on around 8 million Web ad impressions, the campaign spent $225,000 on direct mail, $65,000 on cable television spots, and around $100,000 on other efforts such as door-to-door canvassing and robo-calls.” Although online advertising was the smallest spend, the results of the campaign demonstrate that carefully placed, well targeted and cleverly positioned ads can produce winning results.
  • “Exploiting “source amnesia: in political search ads” explored a topic that was discussed in the previous article: Creating negative or attack ads that link somewhere other than your own site. In these cases the political ads send visitors to a negative article or site about the opposition. One of the reasons this approach works, as Josh Koster explains, is “…Web surfers tend to experience “source amnesia”—they’ll remember the article and the negative claims about your opponent, but most people won’t remember what link they clicked to get there.” This presents an opportunity for your camp to present reputable information, while still negative, about a fellow candidate. This, is combination with the targeting we’ve read about this week, seems like a promising advertising approach.
  • The concept of mobile ads targeted at last-minute voters, as discussed in Google ads target online voters standing in line, is an obvious sign of the changing times. As more and more people are on smart phones there is more opportunity to reach this mobile audience. I wonder what the next step to this evolving trend will be. What is the next method of reaching people that will be more immediate, more available than mobile ads today?
  • The study results found in The Digital Playbook: Can online ads move poll numbers? caught my attention. Something I found interested was that awareness of embryo donation increased from 42 percent to 50 percent following the digital campaign in general, but in households with incomes over $100,000, awareness increased from 42 percent to 56 percent. I wonder what reasons contributed to this disparity. Since people in this income bracket are most likely more able to pay for something like embryo donation are they just more open to the subject? What do you think?
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