Monetising user generated content whilst keeping the user  (and the money makers)  happy Alicia Navarro Joe Stepniewski
User Generated Content (UGC)  is like the wind …
All around us <ul><li>Opinions on a topic (forums,  blog/news commenting) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of a subject (wikis)...
e.g. News & Comments on Digg
e.g. Photos on Flickr
e.g. Travel Knowledge on Wikitravel
e.g. Reviews on Reevoo
but UGC can sweep you away … <ul><li>Harder to implement, less predictable </li></ul><ul><li>Requires moderation, spam con...
UGC can be harnessed <ul><li>86.9% of respondents said they would trust a friend’s recommendation over a review by a criti...
Momlogic added a community via Ning
Mydeco added a custom room planner
Wedding TV added a decision tool via Skimbit
AWHosts added reviews via wordpress plugin
Additional benefits of UGC <ul><li>Increases user trust </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of search engine friendly content for SEO <...
And it will actually make you money <ul><li>Increased page views </li></ul><ul><li>Increased conversion opportunities </li...
History of UGC in the buying decision <ul><li>Web 1.0 </li></ul><ul><li>S tatic sites, more like online catalogs </li></ul...
History of UGC in the buying decision <ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>User generated reviews, comments, photos </li></ul...
This all sounds great  –  lets make some cash! <ul><li>Hang on ….  because of its heavy influence on the purchasing cycle ...
Why do I need to do it ethically? <ul><li>I just want to make mo ne y as fast as possible as long as its not illegal, what...
<ul><li>“ Unethical ads will get you more fixations, but ethical business practices will attract more loyal customers in t...
Lets consider both perspectives <ul><li>When we want to monetise user generated content: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we k...
Users perspective <ul><li>Give the user what they expect, deliver what they expect from an interaction… </li></ul><ul><li>...
Commercials Perspective <ul><li>Value chain exists and contributors need to get paid </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of content...
Real world commerce example <ul><li>See some ads/billboards about shoes </li></ul><ul><li>Read a magazine see ads about sh...
Vs online commerce  <ul><li>Display ads around the web send you brand and product messages   </li></ul><ul><li>See discoun...
Real world value chain  Online value chain <ul><li>Ad Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Billboard </li></ul><ul><li>Magazine Publis...
Monetisation Methods <ul><li>Remember: </li></ul><ul><li>Think about whether its ethical to users (keeping the users happy...
CPM / CPC
CPM / CPC  <ul><li>Most common method for UGC </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical issues from a user perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><...
UGC Monetisation Rule #1 <ul><li>Keep ads relevant and deliver on user expectations </li></ul>
Content Rewriters / Ad Injectors
Content Rewriters / Ad Injectors <ul><li>Scan content for keywords, linked to ads when hovered over or clicked </li></ul><...
UGC Monetisation Rule #2-3 <ul><li>A good user experience = repeat users </li></ul><ul><li>Be contextual and non-jarring <...
User Profiling / Sale of Data <ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comme...
Facebook Beacon <ul><li>Sends data to external sites via a 1x1 pixel and cookies </li></ul><ul><li>Controversy over sendin...
UGC Monetisation Rule #4 <ul><li>Don’t engage in trickery and/or the passing on of personal information without permission...
Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing <ul><li>Promotion of affiliate offers around UGC  e.g. Amazon purchases for a film review </li></ul><u...
Affiliates - Coupons
Affiliates - Coupons <ul><li>Increasing in popularity due to press/virality </li></ul><ul><li>User searches for “model # +...
Affiliates - Cashback
Affiliates - Cashback <ul><li>Increasing in popularity due to savings potential </li></ul><ul><li>Memberships encourage th...
Affiliates  –  Cookie Rewriters
Affiliates  –  Cookie Rewriters <ul><li>Toolbars based on Greasemonkey scripts </li></ul><ul><li>Rewrite links and cookies...
Affiliates  –  Post Impression Cookie Dropping <ul><li>Legitimate method for tracking sales via banners </li></ul><ul><li>...
UGC Monetisation Rule #5 <ul><li>One click or one view should equal one cookie  </li></ul>
How to monetise UGC with affiliate marketing <ul><li>Association of products/services with specific user generated content...
How to monetise UGC with affiliate marketing?
Youtube just launched affiliate links
Spout Movies
Skimbit.com’s social decision-making tool
Offered to sites to add community & revenue <ul><li>Customised & integrated white-label service </li></ul><ul><li>User’s f...
5 rules for ethical UGC monetisation <ul><li>Keep ads relevant and deliver on users’ expectations </li></ul><ul><li>A good...
Skimbit’s philosophy  <ul><li>Don’t push or sell overtly  –  scares users away </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a useful tool/ser...
Monetisation methods summarised Method Users Commercials Display / CPC Link Injectors User Profiling Affiliate Marketing -...
Conclusion <ul><li>Affiliate marketing is a fantastic method for monetising user generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Consi...
Thankyou <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.skimbit.com </li></ul>
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Monetising User Generated Content - Alicia Navaro/Skimbit

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Monetising User Generated Content - Alicia Navaro/Skimbit

  1. 1. Monetising user generated content whilst keeping the user (and the money makers) happy Alicia Navarro Joe Stepniewski
  2. 2. User Generated Content (UGC) is like the wind …
  3. 3. All around us <ul><li>Opinions on a topic (forums, blog/news commenting) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of a subject (wikis) </li></ul><ul><li>Conveying an experience (reviews) </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing of content (youtube, flickr) </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of content (ICHC, jumpcut) </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregation of content (digg) </li></ul><ul><li>Social communication (facebook) </li></ul><ul><li>Marketplaces (ebay) </li></ul>
  4. 4. e.g. News & Comments on Digg
  5. 5. e.g. Photos on Flickr
  6. 6. e.g. Travel Knowledge on Wikitravel
  7. 7. e.g. Reviews on Reevoo
  8. 8. but UGC can sweep you away … <ul><li>Harder to implement, less predictable </li></ul><ul><li>Requires moderation, spam control </li></ul><ul><li>More infrastructure needed </li></ul>
  9. 9. UGC can be harnessed <ul><li>86.9% of respondents said they would trust a friend’s recommendation over a review by a critic, while 83.8% said they would </li></ul><ul><li>trust user reviews over a critic . </li></ul><ul><li>(Marketing Sherpa, July 2007) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Momlogic added a community via Ning
  11. 11. Mydeco added a custom room planner
  12. 12. Wedding TV added a decision tool via Skimbit
  13. 13. AWHosts added reviews via wordpress plugin
  14. 14. Additional benefits of UGC <ul><li>Increases user trust </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of search engine friendly content for SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Creates a community, increases stickiness </li></ul><ul><li>“ Crowdsourcing” effect </li></ul>
  15. 15. And it will actually make you money <ul><li>Increased page views </li></ul><ul><li>Increased conversion opportunities </li></ul>“ 79% of online UK retailers surveyed reported that the main benefit of consumer-generated rating and reviews was that they improved site conversion rates.” (eMarketer, 2007)
  16. 16. History of UGC in the buying decision <ul><li>Web 1.0 </li></ul><ul><li>S tatic sites, more like online catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Forums, guides for recommendations </li></ul>
  17. 17. History of UGC in the buying decision <ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>User generated reviews, comments, photos </li></ul><ul><li>Users posting their own links/recommendations </li></ul>“ A consumer survey ranked consumer content as the #1 aid to a buying decision, cited by 91% of respondents.” (JC Williams Group, 2006)
  18. 18. This all sounds great – lets make some cash! <ul><li>Hang on …. because of its heavy influence on the purchasing cycle adding UGC has ethical implications </li></ul><ul><li>UGC blurs the lines between editorial and user generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Users feel more ‘possession’ of their content </li></ul>
  19. 19. Why do I need to do it ethically? <ul><li>I just want to make mo ne y as fast as possible as long as its not illegal, what’s the problem? I still have morals … </li></ul>Unethical monetisation methods mean in the long term users are unhappy, and long term revenues decrease
  20. 20. <ul><li>“ Unethical ads will get you more fixations, but ethical business practices will attract more loyal customers in the long run .” </li></ul><ul><li>(Jakob Nielsen) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Lets consider both perspectives <ul><li>When we want to monetise user generated content: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we keep users happy and what are the ethical implications? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we keep everyone in the value chain happy and what are the ethical implications? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Users perspective <ul><li>Give the user what they expect, deliver what they expect from an interaction… </li></ul><ul><li>… and they’ll tolerate and even respect you </li></ul><ul><li>Users are more engaged with UGC, have more ‘buy-in’ and therefore less happy with direct or aggressive monetisation methods </li></ul>
  23. 23. Commercials Perspective <ul><li>Value chain exists and contributors need to get paid </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of content isn’t free </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining a balanced eco system </li></ul><ul><li>Disruption can occur through evolved business models and/or abuse of the system </li></ul>
  24. 24. Real world commerce example <ul><li>See some ads/billboards about shoes </li></ul><ul><li>Read a magazine see ads about shoes </li></ul><ul><li>Pass a few shoe shops, see shoes on display </li></ul><ul><li>Look around a shoe store </li></ul><ul><li>Try some shoes on </li></ul><ul><li>Buy the shoes </li></ul>
  25. 25. Vs online commerce <ul><li>Display ads around the web send you brand and product messages </li></ul><ul><li>See discount offers around which spur you to purchase </li></ul><ul><li>Use a price comparison site to compare options </li></ul><ul><li>Go to online retailer, find product, possibly go for an alternative </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe use a voucher code for discount </li></ul><ul><li>Buy the product </li></ul>
  26. 26. Real world value chain Online value chain <ul><li>Ad Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Billboard </li></ul><ul><li>Magazine Publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Store / Asssistants </li></ul><ul><li>Shoe Distributors </li></ul><ul><li>Credit Card Company </li></ul><ul><li>Trade standards, regulations in place </li></ul><ul><li>Ad agency </li></ul><ul><li>Ad network </li></ul><ul><li>Publisher/Affiliate </li></ul><ul><li>Merchant </li></ul><ul><li>Non sequential, less regulated </li></ul>
  27. 27. Monetisation Methods <ul><li>Remember: </li></ul><ul><li>Think about whether its ethical to users (keeping the users happy) </li></ul><ul><li>Whether its ethical to the value chain (keeping the money makers happy) </li></ul><ul><li>5 rules will be highlighted along the way </li></ul>
  28. 28. CPM / CPC
  29. 29. CPM / CPC <ul><li>Most common method for UGC </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical issues from a user perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextual ads can be complementary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non intrusive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cases of accidental clicks / sneaky ad placement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethical issues from a commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertiser / publisher all get paid, with sophisticated revenue sharing (smart pricing) and generally click fraud tracking </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. UGC Monetisation Rule #1 <ul><li>Keep ads relevant and deliver on user expectations </li></ul>
  31. 31. Content Rewriters / Ad Injectors
  32. 32. Content Rewriters / Ad Injectors <ul><li>Scan content for keywords, linked to ads when hovered over or clicked </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic ‘enabling’ of user generated text content (inline) </li></ul><ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disguised as links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a pleasant user experience, not relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diminished revenues from user backlash </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No control over which keywords are monetised </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. UGC Monetisation Rule #2-3 <ul><li>A good user experience = repeat users </li></ul><ul><li>Be contextual and non-jarring </li></ul>
  34. 34. User Profiling / Sale of Data <ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potentially very lucrative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to next gen advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Works with social networks where user registration/demographics are taken </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking interesting actions / behavioural targeting </li></ul><ul><li>Available through Nugg.ad, Behavioral science etc </li></ul>
  35. 35. Facebook Beacon <ul><li>Sends data to external sites via a 1x1 pixel and cookies </li></ul><ul><li>Controversy over sending data without permission </li></ul>
  36. 36. UGC Monetisation Rule #4 <ul><li>Don’t engage in trickery and/or the passing on of personal information without permission </li></ul>
  37. 37. Affiliate Marketing
  38. 38. Affiliate Marketing <ul><li>Promotion of affiliate offers around UGC e.g. Amazon purchases for a film review </li></ul><ul><li>Dixons affiliate link next to a forum discussing a Samsung LCD model </li></ul><ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant, timely and non disruptive to the user </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CPA model paid on performance especially attractive to merchants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Respecting the value chain by adding value </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Affiliates - Coupons
  40. 40. Affiliates - Coupons <ul><li>Increasing in popularity due to press/virality </li></ul><ul><li>User searches for “model # + coupon” in Google when ready to buy </li></ul><ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash saving on purchase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voucher code lure could abuse user trust </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Last cookie model means previous affiliate will not get paid, could disrupt the value chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternatives proposed including commission sharing and separate programs for coupons </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Affiliates - Cashback
  42. 42. Affiliates - Cashback <ul><li>Increasing in popularity due to savings potential </li></ul><ul><li>Memberships encourage the site to be the single point of contact for purchases </li></ul><ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cash saving on purchase </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bypassing affiliates totally, could disrupt the value chain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However encouraging innovation and setting the bar higher to convert traffic </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Affiliates – Cookie Rewriters
  44. 44. Affiliates – Cookie Rewriters <ul><li>Toolbars based on Greasemonkey scripts </li></ul><ul><li>Rewrite links and cookies when on merchant sites </li></ul><ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users like seamless experience and cash savings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking unearned commissions, nothing added to the value chain </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Affiliates – Post Impression Cookie Dropping <ul><li>Legitimate method for tracking sales via banners </li></ul><ul><li>Can be corrupted by cookie stuffing … </li></ul><ul><li>… adding lots of cookies for unrelated offers via iframes/images </li></ul><ul><li>User perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tricking the user if its abused </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commercial perspective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Affiliates adding zero value to the value chain </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. UGC Monetisation Rule #5 <ul><li>One click or one view should equal one cookie </li></ul>
  47. 47. How to monetise UGC with affiliate marketing <ul><li>Association of products/services with specific user generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Manually after users have posted </li></ul><ul><li>Automatically – requires investment in tech </li></ul><ul><li>Automatically – through 3 rd party products: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>APIs for product reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>APIs for affiliate link insertion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skimbit has a range of solutions </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. How to monetise UGC with affiliate marketing?
  49. 49. Youtube just launched affiliate links
  50. 50. Spout Movies
  51. 51. Skimbit.com’s social decision-making tool
  52. 52. Offered to sites to add community & revenue <ul><li>Customised & integrated white-label service </li></ul><ul><li>User’s findings get converted to affiliate links where appropriate </li></ul>
  53. 53. 5 rules for ethical UGC monetisation <ul><li>Keep ads relevant and deliver on users’ expectations </li></ul><ul><li>A good user experience = repeat users </li></ul><ul><li>Be contextual and non-jarring </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t engage in trickery and/or the passing on of personal information without permission </li></ul><ul><li>One click or one view should = one cookie </li></ul>
  54. 54. Skimbit’s philosophy <ul><li>Don’t push or sell overtly – scares users away </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a useful tool/service to add value </li></ul><ul><li>Be useful even if results in no sale </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore earn user’s trust and repeat usage </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps ads to a minimum </li></ul><ul><li>Be true to the user’s expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Build lasting relationship & sustainable business </li></ul>
  55. 55. Monetisation methods summarised Method Users Commercials Display / CPC Link Injectors User Profiling Affiliate Marketing - Cashback - Coupons - Post Impression Cookies - MUGIC
  56. 56. Conclusion <ul><li>Affiliate marketing is a fantastic method for monetising user generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the user and respect the value chain to achieve long term success </li></ul>
  57. 57. Thankyou <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.skimbit.com </li></ul>

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