Friday, July 15, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: Wingsplay Rewards Influentials for Distributing Your Vids

Viral distribution has always been one of the Holy Grails of digital. The idea of people seeking out your marketing messages and then distributing them for you – at no cost – has activated the salivary glands of many a brand leader.

But for most brands, it shares another characteristic with the Holy Grail: elusiveness. Many brands have tried to create “viral” programs, and very few have succeeded.

Part of it is our own fault. We fail to recognize that our ham fisted marketing messages aren’t the sorts of things that people care about or want to share. But there’s another thing. Some brands jump the hurdle of relevance and make content that people would share if they knew about it. But those same brands often fail because the would be spreaders never see their content.

. What this company does is offer a platform through which you can work with influential people in social media to distribute your videos on a cost per view basis. Instead of paying a publisher to drive plays, you reward influential voices online through Wingsplay.

So let’s start with the first question on your minds. Is it “OK” to reward people to distribute messages in social media? A couple of years ago there were some shady businesses driving blog posts about brands without disclosing the compensation they were providing. This ain’t like that. Rather, I’d liken it to paying a celeb to drink your Pepsi or use your basketball shoes.

Says Wingsplay Founder Olivier Lasry,

As celebrities are paid to lend their name and image to campaigns, Wingsplay rewards influential social media users to share the most entertaining viral ads. But this democratization of endorsement goes way further: contrary to working with big celebrities, influential social media users have strong ties to their social connections and 2-way conversations with these friends, fans and followers. They consequently generate much more engagement and visibility,

Online content is more likely to be played and interacted with when it has been posted by a friend versus a celebrity simply because the former values their comments and interactions much more than the latter.

Wingsplay also ensures that every post made as a result of the platform transparently communicates its sponsored nature. That ensures you live up to the letter – and the spirit – of the FTC regulations.

Not just anybody is flogging your videos. It’s not like that at all. Rather, you choose your target audience, and then set a CPV for the program. Then, those that LIKE YOUR CONTENT and are interested in your program distribute your video to people with a high degree of likelihood to be in your target audience. They are then compensated based upon the plays they drive. Obviously, programs that offer a higher bounty are going to attract more influencer attention, but in my view most of these influencers will ultimately select content they like best. But a healthy CPV wouldn’t hoit!

I like this approach. I am a huge believer in the need to seed video distribution. While we may think or hope that millions of people are constantly scanning the web looking for messages, the reality is that there is so much content out there that even the best stuff sometimes dies on the vine. I constantly find good content online that never really went anywhere because you had to really be digging around to find it. And most people aren’t spending time online doing that.

With a service like Wingsplay, you get passed the initial awareness problem so that your ideas are seen by thousands – maybe even millions. Additionally, you get to target the sorts of people who you want to expose to your video. Where it goes from there, of course, is up to the quality of the creative idea and the content itself.

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