Not many people know your brand if you're a startup
I can count on two hands the number of people that know and trust Victus Media. We're tiny. We're ghosts. We're two Jekyll an Hyde founders that are ambitious, and driven to unlock great value from socially shared data. We're passionate about this space because we see immeasurable value slipping through the cracks. The value is leveraging automated systems to learn more about us as users, in a way we're comfortable with and in control of.
The trick is, people trust buying from Amazon more than random text links. Why not leverage that brand? The service we provide is simply offering users something they may be interested in, as opposed to dumb ads. Spray and pray advertising (banners, static content related, etc) is very limited compare to targeted offers like Google Adsense.
Amazon Branding at Victus Media
For better or worse we got an overhauled Amazon ad widget for our personalized suggestions widget. I was able to dig through the documentation at Amazon and the scripts on their sample pages to get a clean interface for several choice ad variants (I'll write them up in detail once we go live with them).
Before this, we had simple links to
products we estimated a certain user may be interested in. This is based on their social/semantic tag cloud. Those links were generic, and easy to ignore. At the very least the ads needed some spicing up. Now we have dynamic rich ads with pricing info.
The flip side is that ad blocker will now hide our widget. That's fine by me, some folks believe in a paid content powered web. And make no mistake, if you believe in blocking all ads, your pushing for a paid content web. I like the mix of attention/paid content.
Our goal is to match the offerings so well that opt in users find them useful. We won't stop until ads are valued content. Plus those who choose to opt in will get a cool visual search tool (connects your semantic tags to Google and Twitter real time search). That combined with special offers for those who connect will be an irresistable perk. Even if you choose not to connect, you can look up items a friend may be interested in by entering their Twitter ID.