Friday, May 18, 2012

Expressive, Editorial and Intentional Content

What kinds of ads work where?

Julie Shoenfeld of Perfect Market updated her summary of the LUMAscape for display and discusses the directions display advertising will likely take as the industry shakes out.   One key point at the end is that display advertising may be served with emotion (Facebook) or with intent (Google).

Thinking about that point from a content perspective suggests there are three environments where ads appear.
  • Expressive: the communal world of sharing and social networks
  • Editorial: the curated world of brands and publishers
  • Intentional: the direct act of searching for something
Given those different contexts one can begin to imagine different creative briefs, media plans and even measures of success.  The discussion about GM pulling $10m from advertising Facebook revolves around understanding expectations.  And their pull-out from the Super Bowl clarifies how they view things a bit.

If we think ads served in the world of self-expression surrounded by the banal and the inspiring are going to work the same way as those served in a shopping scenario then we're not digging deep enough into how content works and people decide.  

The proof is in the click-thru rate of all ad types:
Facebook: 0.051%
Google: 0.4%
Average: 0.1%

As the worlds largest broker of destinations, Google's number should be the highest.   And the drop down to Facebook reinforces the notion, as does Internet minutes, that people aren't willing to go anywhere else.   In the middle is the traditional, editorial context where brands have a broader range of options to work with.

So, given those performance figures how do we use these media properties and what is the best use for them in our plans?    Some ideas on what attributes of might work in each context.
  • Expressive: interesting, entertaining, humorous, startling
  • Editorial: affinity, knowledge, reputation, positioning, differentiation
  • Intentional: features, advantages, benefits, pricing, promotions
Not sure what attributes to use yet for the home page on Kindle where Amazon will now sell ads.

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