Two Free In-Stream Advertising Startup Ideas – Part 1: The Competition
Over the next three days I am going to present two fantastic startup ideas. In today’s post I will profile the competition (in this case, the in-stream advertising company Ad.ly). Both Tomorrow and Saturday I will present one of Ad.ly’s shortcomings and the way I would attack it.
There has been a lot of discussion about in-stream advertising. People have been discussing it as the next platform for web advertising. It’s not. Even the company that’s closest to getting it right, Ad.Ly (link is to their “information for advertisers” page), is still doing many things wrong. First, some basics of internet marketing:
- A stream is a series of short status updates or micro-blog posts (think of your Facebook home page or your Twitter stream).
- An impression is when someone sees the advertisement on a web page or in their stream.
- A click-through is when someone clicks on that add.
- A conversion is when someone who clicks through becomes a customer.
- A publisher is someone who produces content on the web.
- An advertiser is someone who wants to push a specific product.
So before I jump in to what Ad.ly is doing wrong, let’s look at what they’re doing:
- Ad.ly does one VERY crucial thing right. It scans a publisher’s followers automatically and produces some in-depth analytics. Advertisers can then use these analytics to decide if their message would appeal to the publisher’s following. This takes the guess work out of it. When you take my startup idea, you will need to duplicate this functionality.
- Ad.ly works with Twitter.
- Ad.ly is designed primarily for celebrity publishers and high-profile advertisers.
- Ad.ly pays per-tweet. Prominent publishers have a “per Tweet” price and the advertiser chooses to pay it.
- Once a publisher accepts an advertiser’s “message” the message gets queued and goes out to the publisher’s twitter feed at a random time. Since a publisher has the right to refuse a tweet, he/she can maintain the integrity of their posts.
- Advertisement posts are marked with (Ad by Ad.ly) at the end of the tweet.
Anybody have any guesses what I think the two major holes in Ad.ly’s offerings are?