ADOTAS – “B- and C-list celebrities make A-list endorsers,” says Ad.ly CEO Arnie Gullov-Singh. Hence why reality TV stars such as the Kardashian sisters and several real housewives are featured prominently on Ad.ly’s Twitter endorser roster of 70,000.
Ad.ly made a splash last year by debuting the first true ad revenue plan for Twitter: an endorsement network in which heavily followed users (primarily celebrities, but that’s a really loose term these days) endorsed products and services via tweeting.
The company quickly built the Ad.ly Influencer Network, a micro-endorsing platform. Advertisers can quickly build and execute campaigns in a CPC model using Twitter endorsements from tweeters with immense followings. The campaigns cost less than most display campaigns while delivering more impressive results.
In addition, the company released the API “Ad.ly for Apps” to help developers monetize Twitter readers through Ad.ly’s performance ads. The API allows for targeting related to user interests and location, making for easily executable mobile campaigns.
“It’s AdSense for the Twitter stream,” says Gullov-Singh, who previously served as executive vice president at Fox Audience Network, which cofounded with Adam Bain, Twitter’s new president of revenue. “The Twitter app ecosystem is extremely fragmented, but advertisers want to advertise in-stream developers of Twitter readers want to make revenue from ad sales.”
When Toyota wanted to draw attention to its “Swagger Wagon” campaign, Ad.ly recruited eight of its top endorsers. The endorsements, in which every celeb pretty much suggested viewing the humorous commercials and gave a link, led to 2.8 million video views on YouTube.
Now Ad.ly is moving beyond the borders of Twitter into Facebook-land with endorsements posted in the wall streams of influencers’ fan pages. This will also give marketers the opportunity to incorporate rich media while momentously expanding their reach.
With the imminent Twitter overhaul, marketers will soon be able to employ rich media in their Twitter influencer campaigns.
“This is great news for everyone in the ecosystem, including Ad.ly,” Gullov-Singh says. “Our advertisers’ top two requests are greater social reach, and the ability to incorporate rich media. This is Twitter becoming a viable media platform.”