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Tales From Google and Glam: The New Rules of Engagement

Google's Daniel Alegre and Glam's Samir Arora on 'advercasting' and curation.



By Michael Hart and Caysey Welton
10/29/2013

 

New York—Google is radically changing its approach to advertising and publishers should be paying attention. That was one of Daniel Alegre’s important takeaways at his morning keynote address at FOLIO:’s MediaNext conference today.

The bottom line is this: Your audience is consuming media with multiple screens, so there are more ways to reach people then ever before. And with 90 percent of all media interactions being screen based, and the average person spending around 12.5 hours a day with media, the concept of being offline is no longer accurate, Alegre suggests.

“Everybody’s ‘advercasting,’” he says. “We’re always on and always interacting.”

“Advercasting” means that anyone can now broadcast his or her own content across multiple digital channels, that means an opportunity for advertisers to create content that tell compelling brand stories, which can then be shared and broadcasted. In other words, engagement is doing the heavy lifting for advertisers. The key is creating the right content and making sure the right audience sees it.

Still, digital advertising has a host of challenges, and Alegre says one problem is a preconceived notion that it requires a “leap of faith.”

However, the reality is that video ad revenue is growing. And Alegre credits user engagement as the catalyst. Because of that, Google has been testing engagement-based sales and is finding it to be successful.

Another big strategy for Google is creating programmatic customized experiences. Programmatic advertising has grown 30X since 2010, and Alegre is a firm believer that it is a big piece of the puzzle for the future of digital advertising. Alegre says the value proposition for programmatic is multi-fold—it makes ad content relevant to a specific consumer; it extends the reach of advertising; and it can be leveraged to capitalize on unique and fleeting moments in real time.

Glam Media: Focusing on Quality and Curation

Glam Media was launched during New York’s Fashion Week in the fall of 2005. It quickly became the number-one online source for fashion and beauty.

In the intervening years it has sold more than 79 billion ads to 90 of the top 100 advertisers in the world. It reaches more than 400 million users globally and is number 7 on the list of the world’s busiest websites.

There are reasons for that success, said Glam Media CEO Samir Arora in the day's second keynote presentation at MediaNext Tuesday afternoon.

To start with, it was one of the first to try to supply information on beauty. Arora pointed out Facebook did not yet exist when Glam went into business.

“In Internet years, that was a long time ago,” Arora said.

Second, Glam itself produces no content on its own, using what he described as a “TV network” model, making arrangements with others to produce the content that it then distributes.

“We’ve become partners of anyone who creates content,” he said.

In recent years, Glam has also become what Arora describes as a multi-vertical operation, branching out into sites that provide information and content on health, food, families and travel.

And, he said, there will be more. “It’s getting easier for us to launch verticals,” Arora said.

Glam also focuses on premium brands, both in terms of content and advertising partners, by making sure every piece of content is thoughtfully curated.

Although, he pointed out, Glam does not create any of its own content, “We have editors, editors-in-chief, curators, curators-in-chief and TV programmers.”

Likewise with advertising. While, Arora says, the average website page has six or seven ads, Glam’s average is 1.3 ads per page.

“We are ‘social,’” he says, “but we require quality and curation.”

 

 

By Michael Hart and Caysey Welton
10/29/2013







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