1. Facebook games
We’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating: With more than 55 million people playing games like Farmville and CityVille, most of them every single day, Facebook games represent a huge opportunity to build awareness – and even revenue – within a captive audience.
Lady Gaga launched a new song within Farmville (in ‘GagaVille’), and FTD Florist recently ran a special Mother’s Day promo within Kingdoms of Camelot – in other words, the numbers are starting to attract big brands.
The drawback? It’s still relatively uncharted territory, so there aren’t yet a lot of publicly available statistics or case studies. However, the upside is that getting in early means advertisers can negotiate better deals.
The great advantage of podcasts is the intimacy they create with users: Listening to a voice in your ears, day after day, creates a relationship with listeners, which is why so many podcasts have hugely loyal fanbases.
So I don’t know why more advertisers aren’t taking advantage of this ongoing relationship. Most podcasters are desperate for sponsorship, and are producing their podcasts on a shoestring budget, so it doesn’t require a huge budget to build some brand awareness.
The drawback? It’s hard to get your hands on objective download/subscriber statistics, but if the BBC numbers are any indication, there’s a healthy listener base to be leveraged.
3. YouTube ’star’ sponsorships
Again, we’ve talked about this before, too – but I’m still surprised that there aren’t more brands doing more in terms of sponsoring popular YouTubers. Two or three years ago, there was a certain amount of resistance on the part of users (who seemed to feel that their favourite YouTubers were somehow ’selling out’ by accepting sponsorships), but that seems to have died down now as the average user has come to accept that high-quality videos require a full-time commitment on the part of directors and producers, and that they deserve to get paid for their work.
The drawback? YouTube users tend to skew younger, so it’s not the right fit for every brand. Here’s a great infographic to get you started.
4. Full-site blog advertising
I know, I know – you probably think PerezHilton is a sign of the apocalypse. And maybe it is. But he’s one blogger who’s done a fantastic job of monetizing his reach, and one of the ways he’s done it is by eschewing ‘regular’ ads in favour of a ‘whole background’ model.
When the whole background of a site changes on a regular basis, it’s hard to miss. And if you choose a site with a high repeat-visitor rate, even a 1-2 week campaign can deliver 7 impressions quickly.
The drawback? Blog sites that are used to a typical advertising model (i.e. square boxes on the side, a banner at the top) may require a little convincing to do a full-site graphic. But overcoming this objection is usually just a matter of money.
5. Mobile Twitter apps
These days, almost everyone I know uses Twitter from their smartphone, multiple times per day. So I’m constantly surprised that half the time I see a ‘Your Ad Here’ message where the advertising is supposed to go, because it seems like such a great opportunity to put your brand in the hands of consumers.
Ads on Twitter apps are kind of like bumpers (”This program brought to you by…”) on cable tv shows: They aren’t going to make sales suddenly skyrocket, but they’re inexpensive and do a good job of keeping your brand in front of a highly-targeted audience. And you can measure clickthroughs!
The drawback? You can’t put a lot of information on a small ad. But it’s clickable, so a logo + a brief call to action may be enough to generate interest.