Friday, December 5, 2008

MySpace Advertising

From Small Business Week:

Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow, founders of gourmet seasonings maker Bacon Salt, went out on an advertising limb. Typically, the Seattle entrepreneurs used MySpace and Facebook profile pages or small text ads placed next to Google search results to promote their line of seasonings. Then MySpace encouraged them to test a new ad service tailored to businesses like theirs, so Esch and Lefkow shelled out $500 for a trial campaign.

To their surprise, blog buzz about their product picked up, site traffic doubled, and online sales jumped 30% over the past month. "We've seen really good results," Esch says. "This experience taught us there is more that we can do to get word of mouth out there."

MySpace is hoping more small businesses will see the light. On Oct. 13 the social network owned by News Corp. takes the wraps off MyAds, a new approach to advertising that allows small businesses and individuals to create their own banner ads—illustrated messages in fixed places on a Web page. The service, initially available in a test phase, also will let advertisers decide who they want to target on MySpace and then track the results of the campaigns. MySpace is aiming at advertisers who want to spend under $25,000—though marketers can start by laying out as little as $25.

MyAds is an offshoot of Hypertargeting, a service MySpace launched a year ago for Madison Avenue and big advertisers. Hypertargeting sifts through all the information people publish on MySpace, be it age, gender, hometown, or a preference for Coldplay vs. Rhianna. Hypertargeting uses that information to create 1,100 buckets, or target audiences, ranging from basketball fans to people who read Chicken Soup for the Soul books. MyAds puts those and other tools into the hands of individuals. With MyAds, the Bacon Salt founders created a banner ad using their site logo and tagline, "Everything Should Taste Like Bacon." Then they sifted through MySpace's buckets, picking categories such as dining, restaurants, and of course, bacon, and targeting people in cities and states, including Atlanta and Ohio, where Bacon Salt was launching in Kroger (KR) supermarkets.

Read the full article here.

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