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Why I walked away from “TWO” 4 Figure Twitter Ad Deals

Posted by geeknews at 5:54 PM on November 26, 2009

twitter-advertisingI’ll be honest it was very difficult to walk away from two separate Twitter advertising deals that would have netted me over $10,000 over the Thanksgiving holiday. I am sure many people will tell me that I am nuts to have walked away from that kind of money. The companies involved were both great companies, and the products I would have been pitching would have lined up well with my twitter followers. The more I thought about it though the more I scratched my head and here is what went into my thought process.

My Audio Podcast audience has grown dramatically and is now north of 150,000 unique listeners per episode. That audience is used to hearing advertising in the show, and I can take the time during the show to talk about the products and services offered. The main advertisers for my show have stayed with me for nearly five years.  Now if you compare this to my 5000 followers on twitter the delta between the two audiences numbers is significant. Yet I was being offered nearly $2.00 a twitter follower which is simply an amazing amount of money across both deals to simply tweet about some products and services on sale over the Thanksgiving holiday.

What puzzled me is that they wanted to advertise on my twitter account  with 5000 followers yet had no interest in my 150,000  dedicated listeners via my podcast?  Lets break it down via Twitter each company was willing to pay $1000.00 per 1000 followers. On my podcast they could have reached 1000 listeners at our lowest advertising rates for $20.00  at our highest advertising rates of $65.00 per 1000 listeners it would have been a  bargain.

On my Podcast I could have given the companies a full 2-3 minutes of promotion and relationship building versus some  140 character messages over 5 days.  What campaign would have gained higher ROI?  Well let me talk about what I know. Today I know that 93% of my podcast audience of 150k listener listen to “97%” of my 75 minute program twice a week. I know that 60% + of my listeners annual salary is greater than $80,000 a year and that 70% an greater spend more than $5000.00 per year online. I could have stats them to death, broken down demographics, married versus single, and a host of other standard metrics and some not so standard via our podcast statistics service.

Now lets look at Twitter I probably miss about 95% of the tweets of people I follow, so what was their goal SEO or actually reaching my followers? I have no idea of the actual demographics or my twitter followers, I have no idea how many read my post, I have no idea if they are even using twitter anymore.  What that equates to me is a lot of risk for the companies that wanted to advertise and likely very little ROI.

So with rock solid podcast stats why would companies not advertise in my podcast verses to my twitter follow list? You would think that after 5 years of having the same advertisers on my show, and across our network of podcasters that other companies would have woken up by now and figured out that they know something that they don’t!  I have a challenge to some campaign manager out there, I would love to go head to head in a CPM campaign where we pitted Podcast versus Twitter pushing the same product. If I was allowed to deploy the campaign the way I wanted I would predict that a podcast campaign would have ROI 25-50x higher than what could ever be obtained in a twitter campaign.

So why did I walk away from 10 grand? It’s pretty simply if you have been following my show and this article. First my followers trust me and they expect me to provide info in my Twitter feed that is relevant to what I do. In my podcast they come for the same reason but they also know I have bills to pay. The difference is in my podcast they trust the products I put in front of them of which have been vetted by me in advance.  When I endorse a product and sponsor in my show it is because I have a relationship with the vendor. On a twitter campaign, there is no vetting of products, there is no time to develop a relationship with the company. The twitter campaign would have rang hollow to my followers as there was no time to build  a (Vendor+Host+Audience) relationship.

It is way overdue for advertisers to wake up and figure out that there is a better way to get ROI from a social advertising campaign. If advertisers want to know how we deliver the goods and put companies messages in front of 10′s of millions of listeners and viewers each month they can reach out to me over at RawVoice. My team will show them how we can drive sales and life long customers. We build relationships and no twitter, print, tv or radio campaign will “EVER” do that.

Meanwhile I wish the companies luck over the Thanksgiving holiday, and if my analysis is correct and the twitter campaign did not deliver what you expected maybe the same media buyers will reach out and we can do something really cool down the road.

Note: While I am sure many of you will be asking me who the companies are, I assure you I will never disclose that privately or publicly as I would love to do some deals with these companies in the future on a much bigger scale and show them what can be accomplished through advertising in podcasts.

Todd Cochrane

5 Comments

  1. From Joe at 6:37 pm on November 26, 2009

    This just strengthens all of your other advertising and endorsements. It is obvious that you only want to stand behind quality products and services and I applaud you for not “selling out.” Who knows, though, maybe the contact will be worth even more than the $10K they’re offering you in the short-term.

  2. From Mark at 7:37 pm on November 26, 2009

    Good for you standing on your principles. I believe Leo recently turned down a similar deal. Wonder how many podcasters will take the $$ and do the tweets.

  3. From reza at 8:19 pm on November 26, 2009

    As long as the product is good and deserves your advertisement i dont see a reason for not accepting the deal. Even if you dont build a relationship with it within 140 chars (which is literally imposible) but this shows how much you care about your audience.(Even though i think your reasoning had a problem)

  4. From Martin at 2:35 am on November 27, 2009

    I think that twitter can be combined with podcasting to deliver a superior experience. But, I think that these companies have the twitter part backwards. The host should not be the one doing the tweeting, but rather the listeners. If you look at Leo Laporte’s latest deal with Ford Sync, you will find an example. They run a competition and have the listeners tweet, with a hash tag, in order to win a prize. This process is driven by ad spots on the podcast. One concern that Leo raised though – Is it ok for the host of a podcast to encourage their listeners to send what some might call ‘twitter spam’? I’d love to hear your perspective on this.

  5. From mark at 8:44 am on November 30, 2009

    Good for you I guess, I think I wouldn’t have minded if you did though.As an independent I don’t think your going to be the next Jason Calacanus but I hope you are. Make the cash if you can in this economy we need you to pay more taxes since we’re running trillion dollar deficits a year now.