It has been referred to as Chatterbacking and supposedly it’s the key to conquering Consumer Generated Media (CGM).
Basically it’s advertisers creating blogs and sponsoring user-generated sites and social network communities. According to ClickZ, chatterbacking is mostly concerned with how we buy, place, and integrate paid media.
According to the numbers, CGM is now the hot spot. Within the last couple weeks new statistics released from Nielson//NetRatings says CGM sites represent five of the top ten sites. With that kind of success, marketers are nearly peeing their pants trying to figure out how to get their message in front of the million MySpace users.
But it’s not just the advertisers that are getting excited, it’s the sites themselves.
YouTube seems to have finally found a solution to their ongoing struggle to turn a profit, while staying within the Web 2.0 ideology of user generated content. They are now selling Participatory Video Ads (PVAs) which appear as video commercials on the home page that users can rate, share and comment on like the real YouTube content. Branded Channels, like the Paris Hilton channel, sponsored by Fox’s Prison Break, is YouTube’s other solution.
The hope is for these branded channels to generate revenue by incorporating advertising and sponsorship. To even attempt to do this right, the ads or channels have to be completely interactive and offer the user something non-corporate. I’m curious to see if YouTube will have success, and what that means for CGM.
My prediction is it won’t work. Even though YouTube is trying to avoid the anti-ad users by creating separate channels, it’s too similar to what MySpace has tried with their advertiser-sponsored, fake profiles. The social networking community hated it.
This takes us back to Chatterbacking and the unanswered questions on the rules. Will advertisers have to state whether the ad is indeed an ad rather than editorial?
Back to my marketing propositions – if there can be a way to effectively integrate ads and reach the CGM audience, it would be a true marketing success. It looked like NBC was onto something with this Office/YouTube promo contest.
I think it’s going to take a while. When it finally does, Web 2.0 and real CGM will be history, I’m afraid. This is what’s called progress.