Companies today have a multitude of social networking sites to advertise through in order to reach their markets. I think one of these stands out from the rest as having a ton of potential. You may have heard of Stumbleupon.com as a useful site to spend hours browsing the web, but its usefulness extends far beyond mass marketing and banner ads.
Similar to sites like Facebook.com, Stumbleupon requires users to create a personal account using an email address, but what’s different about this site is that it not only requests your interests and hobbies, it requires it. Stumbleupon uses the categories users select as appealing to introduce them to other sites fit their unique interests. Further, Stumbleupon’s browser bar allows users to give a “thumbs-up” or a “thumbs-down” based on whether they enjoyed a particular web page or not. This simple feedback is used to better understand the users’ interests and optimize their time stumbling.
It’s apparent how firms could use the social site (which encourages interaction among users) to bring their ads only to targeted consumer segments, saving money on wasted ads to groups with little to no purchase intentions. Stumbleupon also recently added a new feature that could change the landscape of viral advertising. The site’s new video stumbling feature takes the user to videos that match his or her specific interests and presents it in a non-intrusive way (there are no ads or comment sections on the page). Where advertisers can benefit from this is that instead of hoping that users decide to search for their viral video ads on sites such as Youtube.com, they can now bring the videos directly to their target segments without appearing overbearing. Before, firms would show parts of their viral ads through more traditional channels such as television and then encourage consumers to “watch the rest by visiting our website.” Now consumers, more specifically those who are interested in their products, will naturally come across these ads during their normal web surfing experience.
This is only the latest addition to the new social media craze that has given companies so many new advertising channels. It will be interesting to see what new ways Stumbleupon can be used to market to consumers.