SOCIAL SPARK IS LIVE!!!
The first thing I want to say is how proud I am to be working for a company that is on the cutting edge of social media marketing. We have come a long way even in the short time that I have been here. And now the questions about our new product are starting to pour in.
The new Dynamic Pricing has really caused a lot of questions. How does it work? Why does it work that way? Is this better for the advertisers or the bloggers? Well, I will do my best to address all of these issues here. I do have a finance degree so, as Crystal says, that should come in handy!
How Does It Work?
It's simple supply and demand really. If there is more demand than there is supply, the price will change until there is equilibrium. If an Opp seems undesirable because it is offered at a lower price, no Postie will take the Opp. After a certain period of time, the price offered for the Opp will increase until someone takes the Opp. If a bunch of people rush to take the Opp (demand), then the price offered will drop back down. Advertisers choose the range they want to pay for each Opportunity.
Why Does It Work This Way?
We often had Opps that never filled in PayPerPost because they were offering a lower price for harder requirements (high word count, embedded pics, multiple links, etc). Advertisers simply did not know what to offer for certain kinds of Opps. We have added the dynamic pricing feature so that the advertisers will be able to offer a price range for every Opp. Therefore, the dynamic pricing system takes the guesswork out of pricing an Opp. Now, you simply offer a range.
Is This Better for the Advertisers or the Bloggers?
The answer to this question is .... BOTH. IT IS MORE BENEFICIAL TO THE ADVERTISERS AND THE BLOGGERS!!! Advertisers no longer have to worry about overpricing or underpricing an Opp. If it is over-priced, the price will drop to decrease demand. And if it is under-priced, the price will rise to increase demand. Bloggers now can decide if that 300 word Opp with four links and a pic is worth $5.50 to them. Or if it is worth waiting to see if the price will go up. Either way, the Blogger gets paid whatever they reserve the Opp for (as described in <a href="http://community.izea.com/blog/2008/04/dynamic-pricing.html#comments">Carri's Post</a>)
Just Remember: SocialSpark relies on Supply and Demand. If you have any questions about how this works, please send in a ticket by clicking on the 'Help' tab at the top right of your SocialSpark account.
The word is out! SocialSpark is live!! We are all very excited to introduce you to SocialSpark, and help you along the way as you become familiar with the site! There are several ways to find information throughout the site, so let's be sure you know them all.
To start, you will most certainly find more information and more detail by logging in. Go ahead and create an account if you haven't. Once you have logged in and started moving around the site, you'll notice question marks (?) in several places, for example here:
Click on them!! These will show you more information, and are located in places where we felt more explanation would be useful.
Next up, there's lots of information under the 'Help' drop down in the upper right of any SocialSpark page. You can quickly access the current most common questions from Bloggers and Advertisers via the FAQ's. You'll find even more information by clicking on the word 'Help' itself. This will take you to our Customer Support page, where you can look up SocialSpark Blogger Information, SocialSpark Advertiser Information, or even access our Glossary for help with terms unique to Social Spark.
While you're still on that Customer Support page, you can reach the Customer Love Team with any questions or concerns that were not yet answered in the information you reviewed. Simply click on the Submit a Ticket option.
If you are moving through the SocialSpark site, and know you want to go directly to submitting a ticket to Customer Love, choose 'Submit a Help Ticket' from the Help drop down.
Have any suggestions of items to add to the Customer Support page? Feel free to mention that in a ticket to Customer Love, or choose 'Submit Feedback' on the Customer Support page.
You will also soon have the ability to watch brief videos to help you through the site. We have a couple set for release this week! You'll find them on SocialSpark along the right side of the pages in your account. Watch for this:
Don't forget to check out the Boards for current customer discussions and useful tips from your fellow Advertisers and Bloggers. Finally, watch here for additional Blog posts this week with more information on using SocialSpark. Enjoy the site!!
Right now we're running an Opportunity in our Marketplace for Dymo printing solutions. They're the manufacturer of postage, label, and embossing machines. Coincidentally we (IZEA) have their postage machine and use it daily. We have the convenience of not having to worry about keeping stamps around the office, even though our local post office is only a block away. Most people, unfortunately, don't that that privilege. So, not only can you purchase a postage machine from them, but they also sell label makers. If you're anything like me (highly organized, borderline obsessive-compulsive) at home, you can even label your household items to keep them organized. My first thought would be using their label maker for a work shop in a garage. Or, if you're into crafts you could label all your little accessories. And, for those of you who have a home office this product would definitely come in handy. Of course, all of this is coming from a highly organized individual. If you chose to leave your garage and office space a mess, it's your privilege! ; )
Here's a link to their site, if you're interested in organizing your life.
For your viewing pleasure here's a couple of pictures of Veronique proudly displaying our DYMO LabelWriter Twin Turbo. Yes, we're up on the times!
My name is Sandi and I am on IZEA's Enterprise Sales Solutions Team. My official title is "Sales Support Manager". Because we work in a rapidly growing Internet 2.0 start-up, we all wear many hats. I've been employed here at IZEA for about 8 months, and boy have they been some ever changing, challenging, dynamic and FUN months! Did you see the word "FUN" in there? My job description and title have already changed and evolved right along with the company. Hey, what can I say, I love a challenge and I'm in Sales! Prior to my life at IZEA I was in outside sales for 4 years.
So you may ask, "Just what does a Sales Support Manager do?" A little bit of everything. I like to think of myself as our team's 'mother hen'. Shoot, somebody's got to keep these boys in line! I also am a liaison between Sales and Operations. I compile and tabulate weekly Sales activity reports for the Executive Team and The Board. I also handle all of our Insertion Orders and process any other legal documents that come through our door. I lead and manage all of our sampling campaigns, and some of you may have communicated with me. Another important aspect of my job is to partner with the Sales team, gather key assets needed in a campaign and quality check them for Account Management in Customer Love. This helps us to effectively set up a smooth running and successful campaign. I definitely spend a lot of time compiling various reports that track important metrics and ROI analysis.
Now that I've given you a little background about my life at IZEA, let me tell you a little about me personally. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother. I'm from Massachusetts, grew up out in the suburbs in a tiny town named, Clinton, with a population of approximately 3,800. Yes, very tiny. However, I have enjoyed the beautiful Florida weather for almost 17 years now. My sisters are each about a year apart and are always bickering at each other about something. My oldest sister, believe it or not, is 54! Yep, I'm the baby at 37 (shhhhh, don't tell anyone my age). I was spoiled rotten as a child and was an OUT OF CONTROL teenager! I was always pushing the limits..... sneaking out a night, talking back, coming home late, hanging with the wrong crowd, you name it! My Mom always took the "You'll learn your lesson the hard way" stance and, "You reap what you sow". She was right. In my wise old age I can honestly say that I learned some pretty hard lessons in life. Keyword: "learned". I am a better person today as a result. Now... what scares me to death though is the statement, "You reap what you sow". I am a single Mother raising a beautiful 2 1/2 year old little girl named Laci. Even at her young age she's becoming a mini-me. She's independent, strong-willed, confident, and stubborn as they come. YIKES!! I'm in for some challenges! KARMA! ; ) Though I also see many good traits that she inherited from me. Funny how that works, huh? She's a strong, independent, caring and affectionate little girl. As you all know, some of those personality traits can be a double edged sword. Having been there done that, I'm confident she'll do well in life with a little guidance and a lot of love. I'm not going to say what most parents say about their child(ren): "My daughter is the cutest little girl". Instead I will say, "My daughter is the cutest little girl in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD"! At this point and time in my life she is my world, and IZEA is a close second. I love my job, the people, the culture, and I'm even willing to put up with that silly little video camera and production team walking around all the time (no offense of course to you Travis and Scott). Yes indeed, I'm just a boring Mom. But, most importantly, I'm NOT boring to my daughter and that's all that matters. This is something I am proud of.
For your viewing pleasure I've attached a few pictures:
Wasn't I just the CUTEST? There's a reason why my family spoiled me.
Check me out in cat-eyes glasses at 2 years old, circa 1972. Strangely enough I wear cat-eyes glasses today. Funny how that works. Never gain weight or empty your closet and you'll be good to go for future fashion trends! That's my bro in the corner of the picture. He, too, looks a little different these days.
What gives you the idea I was brought up Catholic? Look at those skinny, little chicken legs! Oh, and for those of you who are wondering; I still wear socks with sandals/flip flops today, but only in this office because the average temperature is 40 degrees. OK, so I exaggerate a little.
I LOVED the eighties, check out the perfectly feathered hair-do! It went all the way back to the center of my head. I was cool and the boys loved it.
And, here's a recent picture. I'm usually trying to dodge the cameras at work. Haven't quite gotten used to them yet.
Notice my blonde hair when I was young, and the blonde hair on my daughter, Laci (I just had to include at least one).
It's been fun. I hope you all enjoyed reading my post as I so often enjoy reading yours!
I don't think it is fair to say we are catering to "elite high profile bloggers". We have always had the ability for advertisers to make their opportunities available to all bloggers. Some of those advertisers have the mindset that they would like to have as many people blog about them as possible. The theory there is that you can engage a small army of bloggers with lower traffic blogs to get greater results than posting on a handful of blogs with higher levels of traffic.
Other advertisers believe that getting exposure on one big blog is worth exposure on hundreds of smaller blogs. There is no right answer here. It depends on the product and the bloggers that pick it up. The PayPerPost marketplace provides the flexibility to create a campaign from either angle.
You can see that from the Opps that PayPerPost creates that we believe there is value in both types of Opportunities. We create some that are open to everyone and some that use segmentation. Time will tell what works best for us and drives the most traffic to our site.
Every advertiser will be different. I think you blog is valuable. I am happy when I see a paid post of ours on your site, however some advertisers may not be and that is their choice. It is their money to spend.
On a final note I don't see advertisers segmenting in the way you are describing. I can see and advertiser segmenting on geography, sex and age individually, but I can't see advertisers combining those three together on a regular basis (i.e. I want a 18-24 female in Virginia). You would have to have some damn good insight about your customers to segment to that level.
We'll get those up there soon. Been pretty busy with PostieCon.
PPP has always been a marketplace, with a bid-like system.
If people are cheating the system and we can prove it they will be dealt with.
I agree, run of network opportunities are extremely powerful. I am happy that you see the value as we do and will continue to do them. This creates more opportunities for all Posties
We do absolutely care what the publishers and advertisers are saying, but please realize that there is a delicate balance here. What the advertisers want and what Posties want aren't always inline with each other. We have to find a happy medium.
I am not sure that I understand the reference to MySpace. I like your suggestion though.
I agree with you. Our responsibility is to try and fill that opportunity, we are working on ways to make sure as many Opportunities are filled as possible. However, some Opps will always go unfilled, that is the nature of a marketplace. (see VCDans comments from the previous post on this subject)
I am happy you are happy : )