Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MySpace. Should It Be Your Space?

MySpace. Should It Be Your Space?
By Steve Plunkett

If you havent heard about MySpace, you probably havent seen the news lately. Some reports would have us believe that the social networking site is a haven for child molesters and pornography. In truth, its just like a lot of websites there are good and bad aspects to it. Theres certainly no denying its popularity, and that has a lot of companies asking if MySpace will benefit them.

Large companies like Nike, Coca Cola and Procter and Gamble seem to think its worth the risk to have MySpace pages, and so far, it has been. Your company put up a website on the Internet, right? Building your own MySpace page is like that except that MySpace reaches 71 million reported users.

MySpace has very quickly become one of the top trafficked websites on the Internet. Its the second largest destination on the web, by page views (second only to Yahoo). Yes, more people view pages on MySpace than on Google. In terms of the most popular websites in the world, it ranks fifth, Yahoo is first, MSN second and Google is third, with Asian search engine Baidu taking the fourth slot (according to Nielsen//Net Ratings). MySpace adds more than 200,000 users daily. It is the largest growing web entity on the Internet. In addition, because of the bad publicity and the fickle nature of teens (the largest demographic on the site) MySpace advertising rates are cheap. Very cheap.

Campaigns start at $3,500. Here is an example of how the pricing works. If you wanted to start with the minimum, $3,500 worth of medium box ads (300x300) would give you 1,000,000 impressions/views. Its best to spread out your delivery evenly across the time frame you have specified (i.e. 20 days). So for this example, you would get a little more than 50,000 impressions per day. MySpace serves several hundred million impressions each day so it is necessary to keep your number of impressions up to make an impact with users.

A good example of consumer advertising on MySpace is Nike. The marketing-savvy folks at Nike have a profile, http://www.myspace.com/nikesoccer, basically a MySpace account that they can control and post information about soccer products and news that would interest their target audience. Currently, Nike Soccer has 41,514 friends with whom they can communicate directly via email or by posting information to their MySpace blog. The good thing about this is Nikes 40,000 plus friends want to get this information, which is why they have asked to be on Nikes friends list. The demographic of MySpace is perfect for Nike, 50.2 percent male and 49.8 percent female, ages 16 to 34.

As another example, Sprite used MySpace to offer online games tied to the NBA and regional slam dunk competitions. And why not? My Space reaches more men online than ESPN. It also reaches more women than iVillage, which is why Secret Deodorant has created a profile for the singer Rihanna to reach the young female demographic.

If you sell a product to the general consumer, or if you want to reach an equal ratio of males and females that are ages 16-34 (average), then MySpace is a very cost-effective method of advertising. If you want to target these consumers very, very tightly say, males, ages 21-25, with an income level greater than $100,000 within the 75201 zip code then MySpace, with its extensive demographic information, is probably right for you. If you are primarily focused on other business customers, then MySpace would not be right for you.

So whose space is MySpace? If its a good fit for your goals, it should be yours.

E-mail the author: Steve Plunkett

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