Friday, December 14, 2007

MediaTrust ALERT : Podcasts Bring New And Old Media Together


this is a great article written by our Scott Parent on Adotas. this is a very important read. it will explain the real value of SMO social media optimization

Written on
December 13th 200 by Scott Parent

oldguy2.jpgMy company, MediaTrust, just got finished delivering a pretty groundbreaking campaign to the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. It was a well-balanced mix of host endorsements on popular radio and TV programs resulting in an audience reach of 2.1 million people.

Was it on NBC? CBS? FOX? Or, maybe it was on Howard Stern’s radio show. Nope. It was all online through the growing reach of podcasting. That’s right - over a 10-day period and a handful of shows on the PodShow network we delivered 2.1 million impressions. Even better, we got to target our media buy to exactly the audience we wanted. No broadcast TV shots in the dark here. We knew this campaign would appeal to those familiar with the Hard Rock’s iconic brand of rock n’ roll, Hollywood, and travel. As a result PodShow helped us handpick a group of shows that hit the demographics that were most appropriate - for a fraction of what that reach would cost in traditional media.

The other thing that set this campaign apart from traditional radio and television campaigns was that we weren’t serving prepackaged 30-second spots. Let’s face it, in the era of DVRs and shortened attention spans we all usually tune that stuff out anyway. Instead, we developed a process where the hosts put their own spin on the campaign and talked freely as a host endorsement. We gave each show a set of talking points and goals and asked them to put their own unique flavor on it in a way that their audience would engage and react to. The result is the advertisement became part of their content. Hosts talked about their own memories from a trip to the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas, or about how they loved San Diego and were now planning to stay at the Hard Rock there. It made it personal and real. Additionally, the audience was incentivized by the potential of winning a trip to the Hard Rock’s grand opening. Further, bands were encouraged to submit their music with the hopes of playing with the Black Eyed Peas on opening weekend.

In the days that followed the campaign, I’ve been asked about the return on investment. How did we track the success? Since we are in the business of online marketing we live in a world of CPC, CPA, and CPM - and those sorts of metrics certainly play a large role in our industry. But, I challenge you to think outside the box a bit. Given the chance, how many of your clients would like to advertise on the NBC show “Heroes?” If cost wasn’t an issue, I bet all of them would. However, think about this - the numbers that networks use to gauge audience size are estimates taken from a small sample and are widely acknowledged as flawed. Online we’re able to deliver the power of a traditional media campaign and know exactly how many people downloaded that program.

There’s no doubt that advertising on network TV is sexy, but does it have any teeth? A significant percentage of viewers now use DVRs to skip through commercial blocks. On top of that, I would bet half the audience of a show like Heroes just doesn’t care about the Hard Rock Hotel. The problem is that you’re still paying NBC for that whole audience, whether they actually skip through your commercial, or maybe they just have no intention of flying to the newest Hard Rock property. Whatever the case, with our podcast ad buy, we integrated the pitch into the content so it was nearly impossible to skip over it. We also targeted shows that we knew the audience would have some interest in a campaign like this.

As an extra bonus, these host endorsements will live in perpetuity in these episodes as “back catalog”. Many of these shows report as much as 15% of their monthly audience come in the way of users downloading old shows after discovering the program.

In short, I believe we’re sitting on a great hybrid of old and new media. We have the rich content of television and radio married with the interaction, engagement, and tracking that the web provides us. We’re able to spend ad dollars where we know it will have an impact on brand awareness and consumer interaction.

The next time your client asks you about a unique way to approach a campaign, I challenge you to think out of the box of email marketing or Google AdWords and look to the immersive world of new media.

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