Online advertisements are a tricky thing. When you think about it from the potential consumer’s point of view, it’s mostly irritating, as it can make whatever online content you’re enjoying messier and less credible, perhaps even more so when the advertised products have nothing to do with your own interests.
Then again, if looked upon from the content manager’s POV, online ads are a necessary evil, without which revenues could be close to nothing. The owners need some carrot in order to keep websites up and running, but there has to be a balance; Too many ads simply won’t do (unless you don’t care about reputation).
Shoutly is a startup from Sweden who seems to have found a relatively easy way to make things a little better for all parties involved in online marketing, or in their case, social commerce. Since there seems to be more and more bloggers and social bees, (high profile tweeters and facebookers for example) who all have a certain, yet large number of regular followers, online ads are thriving and blooming.
One of the core issues, according to Shoutly’s philosophy, isn’t the fact that ads are there, but rather that ads don’t care.
Basically, instead of filling a website full of noisy, flashy ads, Shoutly offers content owners more control over what the ads will be offering, as well as a much easier way to set the advertising up. Instead of coding the ad into the website manually, you’re given a unique referral link, or a “reflink,” which can be integrated into your Twitter feed, Facebook posts, newsletter, or blog and website.
Since you know best what your content followers could appreciate the most, you can choose the products you will promote. If someone completes a purchase through your reflink, that means money into your pocket, and since all products are digital, your commissions can be as high as 50-75%.
As for vendors, joining Shoutly’s product repertoire should be quite easy as well; You just need to add your products to the Shoutly Marketplace and set your sales commission for the affiliates. Pay the affiliate the promised commission whenever a sale is completed through their links and voilá, repeat, repeat etc…
Shoutly didn’t just appear from behind the corner either; their business model was enough to round up a $2.6 million Series A funding back in 2012. Yesterday the company announced their leap overseas, to the land of the free, the US. With 92 % of consumers saying they trust word-of-mouth recommendations above advertising, according to Shoutly, “social commerce” is expected to be a $30 billion market, a good deal of which is generated in the states. A spoonful from that soup could keep any Swede smiling for a good time.
Shoutly will be facing a good deal of competition, networks like DoubleClick, Google AdSense and Gumroad, but unquestionably Shoutly’s great advantage will be the simplicity of ad implementation and credible marketing channels like bloggers.