ethanbeute

Marketing | Environment | Culture

Tag: Wired

Results from Free Facebook Ads

If you read magazines like Wired or Inc. (yes, both still appear in print on actual paper), you may have noticed offers from Google and Facebook on those little pull-out/fall-out cards that are annoyingly tucked, glued or stapled into just about every magazine.

The offers are basically identical and provide a unique code to cash in for $75 in Google Adwords or $50 in Facebook Ads.  It’s a smart way for each company to invite prospects into their easy and cost-effective ad systems.  It’s free money for me and wholly trackable sampling for them.

While reading the recent issue of Inc. featuring a cover story from Jason Fried about how to get good at making money (note: I really enjoy his ongoing involvement with Inc.), I decided to take Facebook up on their offer.  I used the $50 ad credit to prop up a community page I made for my neighborhood, Ivywild Neighborhood – Colorado Springs.

Ivywild, Ad, Facebook, Facebook Ad, Neighborhood, Colorado, Sign, Advertisement

My set-it-and-forget-it Facebook ad for "Ivywild Neighborhood - Colorado Springs"

My approach was smart from the start, but lazy through the finish (I never A/B tested or adjusted any copy or imagery).  I set up the ad to target people who:

Why Bristol?  They’ve got the biggest Facebook fanbase – by far – of any neighborhood business (about 3,500).  Along with The Blue Star and J Gregory Salon, Bristol is also right across the street from the sign that marks, declares and names the neighborhood.  I used this familiar sign as the primary image in the ad; it’s also the primary profile picture of the community page.

The ad clicked through to the Info section of the Ivywild community page, which defines the purpose of the page, the informal boundaries of the neigbhorhood and a touch of history.  I favored this over the wall, because the page has limited user interaction at this point; it isn’t as “alive” as I’d like it to be.

I set it up as a cost per click campaign with a budget of $5 per day.  I let it run past the 10 free days and ended up paying $15 out of pocket.

Campaign results (rounded):

  • 180,000 impressions with a click through rate of 0.06%
  • 50,000 “social impressions” with a click through rate of 0.094%
  • Total clicks of 110 / Total “social clicks” of 48
  • Total CPC of $0.59 / Total CPM of $0.35
  • 97 fans before the campaign, 163 at the conclusion of the campaign
  • 60% conversion rate (66 fans from 110 clicks)
  • Cost per conversion of about $1

Facebook’s social metrics refer to impressions that include the names of people to whom you’re connected who already like the page.  As seen in the results above, the social piece is pretty powerful.  Though they accounted for 28% of the impressions, they accounted for 44% of the clicks.

This free, simple effort grew the page 68%.  It was fun, easy and interesting.

I recommend you pull the offer out of a magazine on a newsstand today … unless they’re only running it with paid subscribers (all the better for tracking and measuring), in which case I won’t advocate you pulling the offer from a magazine in someone’s mail box.

Here’s a simple something I wrote back in May 2010 about why I created the page.

Reading “We Are The Web” – Better Late Than (N)ever

I’m completely late to the party on this one, but the distance created by my tardiness gave me enhanced appreciation for Kevin Kelly‘s 2004 essay “We Are The Web.”

It was most famously published in Wired in August 2005.  He’s conveyed it in a variety of ways since then, including edited and retitled versions.  It’s also echoed significantly in his 2007 TED presentation, embedded below.

Rather than restate the essay’s key points, I’ll only advocate for your exposure to the essay and its points through your own efforts.

I copied, pasted then printed it on 9 pages.  Contained therein are snapshots of the web and our relationship with it in 1995, 2005 and 2015.  The history was useful.  The forecast felt genius for the clarity and simplicity in its expression.  The whole piece really came together for me toward the end; ironically, it was as he was slaying the once-popular vision of “convergence.”

I’d not read Kelly at all, so it was all fresh to me.  I know neither how novel his concepts are, nor who else is writing on or adjacent to them.

Again, this video includes all the themes and many of the specific points made in “We Are The Web.”  If this presentation is of any interest to you, I highly recommend giving the original essay a read.

Broadcast Television: In Praise of a Relic

The latest incarnation of Apple TV has again fired up the “cut the cord” talk – killing off your obscenely-priced cable or satellite subscription.  The stranglehold is broken.  Cutting the cord is absolutely a trend.

Apple TV, for example, has now joined more than 100 other devices that support Netflix streaming, which allows unending access to a huge library of programming direct to your television.

Wired just issued a complete guide, fronted by Joel McHale (from NBC’s Community and E’s The Soup), about how to watch all the best stuff without cable or satellite.  Here’s another how-to-live-without-cable-or-satellite from Salon.com (not as fun as McHale’s).  A Google search produces at least a dozen more.

What you want, when you want it, as often as you want it – it’s easier than ever and doesn’t require a $100 cable bill.  Just a little bit of new hardware, a high-speed internet connection, maybe some new software, some non-cable and non-satellite programming subscriptions …

Just don’t tell me it’s about saving money.

Broadcast tower television digital signal high definition

Go old school: harness high definition television in its cleanest form with a $10 antenna or even a paperclip - compliments of your local broadcaster.

High definition television in its cleanest, purest form is always available to you at no cost.  The signal gets no better than straight out of the air.  No expensive hardware to purchase (because you already own that 42″ HDTV).  No cable, no satellite, no high speed internet, no Hulu, no Netflix … no subscription required of any kind.

Digital broadcast signals are in the air and all you need to harness them is a $10 antenna (though a large paperclip will often suffice).  Again, high definition television in its cleanest, purest form can be brought into your home at no cost.

  • Yes, you’re limited in programming.  In most areas, though, you’ll get a dozen channels or more between primary and sub-channels, from such content providers as PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, Univision, Telemundo and others.
  • Yes, you’re giving up some precious control, subjecting yourself to a linear broadcast with incessant commercial interruptions.
  • Yes, it’s ludicrous to imagine cutting a high-speed internet subscription.
  • Yes, you may want to augment your options with a sub-$10 Netflix subscription.

But … over-the-air television is absolutely free.  Right now.  All the time.  And it’s nearly 100% stupid-proof … just plug it in and turn it on.  It’s the true essence of passive entertainment.

If your mobile device was equipped with a DTV tuner, you could have it all available wherever you go – without paying for mobile internet access.

I know this sounds like the ramblings of your grandfather, but the point remains: if your argument and motivation for “cutting the cord” is financial, you must celebrate the role your local broadcaster plays in entertaining and informing you.

High definition television in a linear form is a relic.  And it’s absolutely free.

iPad to Save Magazine Publishing?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, present an idea at Ad:Tech San Francisco.  He’s also the author of The Long Tail and Free.

Anderson seems to have a strong vision and strong voice for what’s going on and what’s happening next.

Chris Anderson Wired Magazine AdTech Ad Tech iPad publishing

Chris Anderson sees a future for magazine publishing; it's all about the tablet.

His idea involves Wired, Adobe, Apple’s iPad and a healthy future for magazine publishers like Conde Nast (Wired, Vogue, GQ, and loads more).

He’s presented this idea for a few months now, so I won’t belabor it.  Instead, I’ll share my version of it in bullet-point form.

  • The tablet is the “third great platform” (PC > phone > tablet)
  • The tablet is permitted by the movement of of storage and computing/processing off the local machine and into “the cloud”
  • The web lowers barrier to entry and eliminates scarcity so competition is wide open
  • If the tablet goes rich and dynamic, traditional media may once again be able to deliver their skills in a commanding way
  • Wired/Conde Nast is working with Adobe to establish new publishing process
  • They’re seeking the efficiencies of digital, but with the pricing of analog – need a new economic model to survive, tablet era provides opportunity to create new model
  • Magazines provide the height of production value – layout, design, photos, etc
  • HTML and browsers limit the reproduction of this rich experience online – the magazine is lost in translation
  • At present, Wired magazine and wired.com are produced and sold by two separate groups
  • In a new future, digital can be designed and sold in parallel with print, simultaneously
  • Same thoughts, same people, same process
  • Print, portrait and landscape displays all laid out at once
  • It can be made to be worth paying for, not “less than print” like HTML/browser reproduction, but actually more
  • For the first time ever, Anderson sees a 21st century magazine business

I don’t have the knowledge, foresight or even interest to judge whether or not the tablet will, in fact, become the third great platform.

I support the production values argument, but the web has proven “good enough” for most people.

I also feel strongly that new economic models for publishers based in yesterday’s media must be developed.  So many people take such great pride in not watching TV, not reading magazines and not subscribing to newspapers.  Example: “I just get my news from Google.”  Meanwhile, a disproportionately high portion of their media consumption online is provided free by television-, magazine- and newspaper-based publishers.  This can’t go on forever.

So: good luck to Anderson, Adobe and Conde Nast – I wish healthy futures for all content producers, especially ones pushing forward production and display.

HP Slate (their tablet) versus Apple iPad: engadget

Verizon and Google team to make tablet: gizmodo

Another take on his keynote speech: Mobile Marketer

Chris Anderson’s blog: The Long Tail

Chris Anderson on Twitter: chr1sa

Video Demo of Wired Magazine on iPad

iPad Billboard high over Union Square, San Francisco:

Apple iPad Billboard over Union Square, San Francisco, California

iPad Billboard over Union Square, San Francisco

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