In my role I have the opportunity to meet and learn about lots of new media companies, social networks, monitoring tools, etc. I hope to bring some of what I see to this blog for others get a line of sight to as well. The first media company I'm going to review is 140 Proof. In 140 characters what they offer is: purchase twitter exposure based on ReTweets, Follows and Clicks.
This week Twitter announced their first advertising platform called Sponsored Tweets. 140 Proof takes a bit of a different approach. When you buy advertising with 140 Proof it's based on the target audience you want to reach, not search queries like Sponsored Tweets. There are several options for a marketer to define the audience they want to reach; key words, who people follow, location, app platform (Blackberry Twitter client for example) and level of influence (only target users with more than 1000 followers). 140 Proof then takes a tweet that the brand writes and places it at the top of the tweet stream for the targeted users. They have partnered with many of the Twitter client and mobile applications people use to view Twitter so the ad is being surfaces through an application not the web hence they don't need Twitter to support it, just the applications themselves. The list of applications they have partnered with is growing and you can contact them directly to get the full list of applications reached.
According to 140 Proof campaigns tend to cluster into two categories, exposure campaigns, which tend to be sold on a CPM basis and are broadly targeted to Twitter as a collective group, and engagement campaigns, which are more strategically targeted to interest groups with highly optimized creative. Exposure campaigns tend to outperform traditional banner advertising, delivering an average CTR of 0.5% – 1% with performance as high as 4% – 5% in some cases. Engagement campaigns are predominantly measured and sold on an cost-per-action basis, with Retweet campaigns generating up to 25% earned reach at no cost. The brand only pays when the tweet is retweeted from the ad, not every time it gets retweeted so after the initial retweet additional retweets would be considered earned media (free!).
140 Proof does have a list of prohibitions which I was happy to see. They won't accept ads that promote guns, tobacco, alcohol, pornography, trademark infringements and generally illegal acts, hacking, gambling, spam – so if you've got some of that don't bother.
We haven't run a campaign with 140 Proof yet but I'm interested in trying a test. I think the model is sound. The one area I'm concerned about is the response from twitter loyalist. I imagine some of them will be up in arms and annoyed at the advertising. But we all remember the days when Facebook had no advertising. Is the experience really any different now that they do have advertising? The fact of the matter is we get used to it. Twitter users will get used to it and eventually won't remember the difference. I like the idea of Twitter having multiple advertising models. Sponsored Tweets is Twitters attempt and from what I've read I think it's going to be a good one. I like that other media companies are taking their own stab at a model too. The Deck is another media company that has a Twitter ad model.
Anyone use 140 Proof yet? Love to hear your experience.