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Entrecard for Advertisers

Posted on: Tháng Ba 2, 2008

The purpose of this article is to provide an introduction to Entrecard for people considering advertising on the site of a blogger with an Entrecard. If you’ve visited a site you’re considering advertising on and have seen the gold Entrecard widget on the site, there are a number of things you should know about the difference Entrecard makes to a site.

A short introduction

Entrecard is a social network for bloggers. it’s objective is to help bloggers socialize, and assist them in their goals. Entrecard provides a platform to help bloggers find friends and contacts, raise their visibility, pool their knowledge, learn from one another, and support each other in their individual goals for their blog. The Entrecard blogger is better able to manage and improve their blog for themselves, their readers and their advertisers.

What does Entrecard membership represent?

Being a successful member of Entrecard is much more than simply signing up. For a start, Entrecard filters out certain types of blogs for you – spam blogs and porn are not welcome here.

An Entrecard blogger is in it for the long term – it takes time and effort to build popularity on Entrecard – so there is no value to them in short-changing or ripping off their advertiser, they want you to come back to them.

You can find out much more about an Entrecard blog than a regular one, Entrecard provides a variety of publicly visible information to help you make an informed judgement about the blog you’re about to advertise on. The smart advertiser can check recommendations, see how popular the site is for other advertisers, observe whether the site owner takes his responsibilities to his advertisers seriously through the advert approval statistics, and gain some insight into the level of effort the owner is putting into promoting his blog – at least on Entrecard. These work as invaluable information sources on top of more traditional metrics such as Alexa, Google Pagerank, Technorati and Feedburner, and in many ways much more difficult to fake.

What is this ‘drop’ thing and why is it so important?

An Entrecarder is represented on the site by his or her Entrecard. This is a 125×125 pixel image that is used both as an icon and as an advertisement within the site. A drop is when an existing Entrecard member visits another members site. When they do so, they have the opportunity to ‘drop’ their Entrecard onto the site, which places it in the ‘inbox’ of the site owner. The site owner can then see who has been visiting, and both parties also receive a small reward in the form of an Entrecard Credit (ec).

The drop is important because it has led to a fundamentally new form of browser traffic which has enormous opportunities for those familiar with how it works. Each member is restricted to dropping on 300 sites per day, most do not hit this limit although a significant number of the more active members do. In doing so, they visit each of these sites and observe at a minimum one screen-full while they drop their card. Many members drop many of the same sites each day, although very few drop exactly the same set each day.

We have come up with a metaphor to explain the particular implications of this, based on traditional street-front businesses as websites. For a business, as with a website, the ideal visit by a user is the one where the person comes right in to the shop. Once they’re in there, they’ll look around, they may well buy something, and even if they don’t at least you know you had your best shot at it. When people buy advertisement on other websites, they’re mostly looking for this kind of person, the kind who clicks through the ad, walks in the door and spends some quality time in their site.

Imagine then, traffic to websites defined as the following three classes:

1. The person turns up, glances at the front of the shop, and wanders off, rarely if ever to be seen again – The “Bounce”
2. The person turns up, looks at the front of the shop, opens the door and walks in, they look around for a while then leave again, perhaps to return and purchase something – The “Visitor”
3. The person turns up, walks in, and buys something – The “Customer”

Entrecard introduces a new class of traffic, the “Commuter”.

A commuter looks like a Bounce in traditional statistics packages – they glance at the front of the shop but don’t spend the necessary time to convert into a Visitor. The difference is simply in the regularity – businesses don’t buy street-front real estate on high traffic streets for nothing. These streets are often along a path that is regularly walked by the same person. This is a critical aspect of the Commuter – in their regular, if fleeting visits, they effectively look through the shop window regularly. As they do so, their chances of turning into a Visitor, and more importantly a Customer, are significantly increased.

Unlike the Bounce, the Commuter will notice when the website changes, they are almost certain to notice specials and other attractive features, they receive the brand message repeatedly and are much more likely to think of the website in the instance of need, and most importantly for advertisers on the website (that’s you), their familiarity with the regular look of the website means that adverts stand out rather than being lost in a totally new environment.

Now lets compare this to billboard advertising on a busy highway in LA. In terms of targeting, nearly everyone who sees the billboard lives in LA, just like we all live in the blogosphere. While the commuters’ professions may vary from lawyers to doctors to surfers, our bloggers fall into just as many unique niches. No one ever stops for long periods of time to look at the billboard, but that doesn’t stop companies from spending tens of thousands of dollars per month on them in high traffic areas.

Why would I want to get these “commuters” anyway?

Depending on your particular product or service, Entrecarders can be some of the most valuable visitors on the ‘net.

If your goal is to have the Customer spend money on a product, Entrecard members are particularly worthwhile in the instance that the product is innovative. As a group they are early adopters with a willingness to take risks, and often have a revenue stream that is already readily available in a form that works well on the ‘net, such as paypal, lowering the barrier to spend.

If your goal is to have the Customer sign up to a new web service, you really couldn’t find a better group. Entrecarders have already demonstrated their willingness to sign up for a useful online service, they are regular internet users who are well set up for subscribing to your service, including operating a mainstream browser with javascript and cookies enabled.

If your goal to have the Customer subscribe to an RSS feed, again the Entrecarder is the ideal visitor. Entrecard users are avid readers with an above-average use of RSS tools and an ability to recognise something new and interesting when they see it.

And regardless of goal, Entrecard members are highly visible and likely to promote products they enjoy – impressing a single Entrecard member with your product or service is likely to result in a flurry of viral networking as Entrecarders spread the word to their readers and other Entrecarders via their blog and the network as a whole.

What is my next step?

First up, take a closer look at that Entrecard member site with the above in mind. Few traditional statistics packages have yet caught up to the concept of the “Commuter” traffic class, including Google Analytics which still classes these users as “Bounce”.

Secondly, go check out the site owners Entrecard profile page. You can look them up via the search, but the best way is to locate the gold widget on their blog, and click the “E” button (small widget) or the “Entrecard” logo (big widgets), this will take you straight to the profile for that site. You can read a variety of information about the site on that page.

Thirdly, if you have a blog yourself you may wish to sign up to Entrecard. It’s free, you gain advertising opportunities, better information and access to the messaging tools to contact other potential advertising spots.

The take-home message is simple: Entrecard members are great advertising opportunities for many classes of online advertiser, they are dedicated hard working bloggers who offer both ideal real estate and a gateway into a vibrant network of over 4,000 potential high-visibility customers.

Advertise with a blogger who is working to help you succeed – advertise with an Entrecard blogger.

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