Blog Champions: High Click-Throughs Offset Low Reach
Panelist Brian Clark, the CEO of GMD Studios, recounted a campaign that his agency ran for Audi, titled "The Art of the Heist." Just one-half of one percent of the media buy budget, Clark said, was spent on BlogAds--a firm run by panel moderator Henry Copeland, which sells ad space on some of the highest-trafficked blogs. Those ads, Clark said, ended up accounting for 29 percent of the traffic sent to the campaign's landing page.
Another panelist, John Hiler--CEO of Xanga--cited an advergame campaign run on his site. Xanga users were encouraged to host the game on their Xanga blogs--which garnered 250,000 posts containing the game, and 3 million interactions with the game.
But, panelists said, some advertisers are reluctant to buy space on consumer-generated products, or advertise on them, because of the possibility that consumers will post negative comments.
Clark argued, however, that companies can't afford to ignore consumer-generated media simply because they fear consumers might have unflattering things to say. "If you're afraid of what users are going to say, there are two strategies: You get involved in the discussion, or you stick your fingers in your ears and pretend it doesn't exist," he said. "People are talking about you whether you're listening or not."
Part of the problem, Hiler said, is that the people spending ad dollars aren't yet familiar with the way that the "digital generation" sees consumer-generated media--including the idea that interactivity is an important part of an ad campaign. "You kind of have to become an anthropologist and study this new digital generation," he said.
Nevertheless, he said, interactivity is a key element of a successful promotion. "If you're going to run a successful campaign, I think a big part of that is that interactive, two-way campaign," he said.