Monday, June 28, 2010

Google TV Ads #4

Well, this is not going well. Every ad I have submitted has been rejected. However, they don't tell you why. I tried using another video editing program, but I guess that didn't do it. There are 2 broken links on the Google help that give you instructions for specific software, and of course those are the 2 for the free video editing software. Right now, I am waiting for a human at Google to get back to me with reasons the videos failed and why the links are broken on the help page.

But, I did get an email from someone who has had the same "waiting for approval" message for a month. So it looks like this is a bigger issue than just me doing something wrong on my video editing end.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Google TV Ad Update #3

The backend of Google Adwords was having some real trouble yesterday. It was hard for me to manage anything. But last night, everything looked ok. I was just waiting to hear back on my ad. I had bids in for ads to run this morning.

So when I checked the backend this morning to see if anything happened, I found out that my ad had not yet been approved. On the bright side, I am down to one pending approval instead of 2.

This ad is currently pending the basic quality check. This step may take up to 24 hours.

So, the one lesson I have gleaned from all this, don't be in a hurry. The TV ad process with Google is not like search adwords, where you can get up and running and live within seconds. However, since the TV ads is part of adwords and has roughly the same interface, I guess that is what I was expecting. But it seems like there are multiple approvals that have to take place and none of them happen in under 24 hours.

One other thing of note, the estimates for impressions and spots continually changes. Don't get too hung up on numbers, because they will be different the next time you look at them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Google TV Ad Update #2

I went back and made my video "Action Safe" (at least I think I did). I tried a new video editing software that Google listed in their Technical Specs page, VideoPad. It seems very similar to VideoSpin, but what I like about VideoPad is that you can change your encoding options for video and sound using a number of codecs and settings. Hopefully this will ensure my compliance with what Google wants. However, there are lots of options, so we shall see.

I uploaded the video and got the following message:
This ad is currently pending content approval by Google. This step may take up to 24 hours.
This ad is currently pending the basic quality check. This step may take up to 24 hours.

I canceled my earlier campaign and started over in terms of targets. I went for Thursday and Friday morning, throwing some more channels in the mix and increasing my CPM bid which seemed to get me more impressions for my money. Hopefully it works this time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google TV Ad Update

So I logged in today to see if my ads ran. Turns out my ad video was denied for technical reasons. There are 2 problems here. One, Google didn't notify me, so I missed out on trying to fix it before my ads were supposed to run today. Two, there were no details on why it failed. I can't fix it if you don't tell me why it is broken.

I have contacted Google TV ads service. We shall see what they say.

Update at 3pm. Google called me back and told me that the reason the ad didn't meet technical specs was because some of my content was outside the action safe zone. I am fixing my video and re-uploading to see if I can make it in for tomorrow.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Testing Google TV Ads

If you haven't heard, you can now buy TV ads using the Google Adwords platform. That's right, regular old TV spots, bidding just like you do for keywords. (I highly recommend watching the video linked above)

I am doing my own test. I do some freelance web design work, so I created an ad for that, and am trying to get it on TV. My goal was to do this as quick and cheap as possible, while still producing something worthwhile. Here is the blow by blow.

1. Creating the ad
I went stupid simple. I just used still shots with my voice recorded over them using the mic in a webcam. Not ideal. If I really wanted to put some time and effort into this, I would have used a much better sound setup. I used Adobe's Visual Communicator product (originally created by Serious Magic). I really like this tool. You can make cool video very simply with it.

With Google TV ads, you can have various length ads (15, 30, 60, etc) but they have to be exact. I tried uploading one that was like 29.17 and Google told me I couldn't upload. I then had to find a free program to try to make the video exact. I found Pinnacle's VideoSpin that allowed me to cut right to the thousandth of a second. It didn't give me frame numbers, but it worked nonetheless.

2. Setting up the Campaign
This part is easy. Just like adwords, you set your CPM bid, your daily spend limits and length of campaign. You have to upload your video and then choose where you want it to run. There are a boatload of options here. For my test, I am choosing cheap. I am looking to run on Bloomberg Business TV and The Weather Channel, Tuesday and Wednesday between Midnight at 7am. According to the Google Estimator, with my bid of $1 CPM, my spot should air 13 times, with 245k unique impressions and 455k impressions for $300 (which is my cap).

Google told me that I am unlikely to run on Bloomberg between 5-7am because my bid it too low, but I should be fine from 12-5 and on the Weather Channel. I also saw my estimated traffic change while on the site and selecting my targets.

I will let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Content Creation and Consumption

If you have been reading anything regarding the social media space over the last few years, you have probably heard of the 90/9/1 rule. It states that 90% of folks are just lurkers. They read what you put out and see what you have to say. Then 9% are there commenting and participating in some way. The last 1% are your core creators. They make the content and drive the conversations that are happening.

But what about all the other content that you are creating or have at your disposal? How do you use that to reach the greatest total audience and connect them with the content that they are looking for?

I see another 90/9/1 rule out there in terms of depth of the content. You can delve 1% into the depth of the topic by providing a tweet or short blog post. Then provide 9% depth by giving folks the 2 minute video interview with your speaker post-presentation or a longer magazine/newsletter article. Lastly, you will have your core, in-depth 90% content which may consist of presentations, webinars, journals, face-to-face meetings, etc.

If you aren't providing all three types of content to your members, you are missing engagement opportunities.