opinion

Tracking ROI

Scott Rabinowitz
An interesting issue has come up recently regarding the popularity of the web 2 user- generated content sites and marketing opportunities: tracking performance of video content submissions when used for promotion, traffic generation and customer acquisition.

For those of you just looking into how best to market your adult content through the web 2 movement, here is some good news: in less than a year and a half, we have seen a growing number of user-generated content viewing sites which are now dominant in the traffic provider realm. Sites like PornoTube.com, Rude.com, Newsfilter.org and many others have many millions of users each month eager to see the most watched, most popular or otherwise newest video clips and still images on the erotic ‘net.

People can easily register for a user account at these sites for little or no money. Once you are registered, you can upload images or videos on a daily basis if you so choose. If you are a webmaster or producer of content always looking for new ways to drive traffic and sales to your own paid access content sites, this whole concept of seeding teaser content on the internet is not new. What has changed however is the sheer volume of users that you can post your video clips in front of in a very short period of time. Getting a popular video clip (as determined democratically by porn users) in front of a few hundred thousand unique users in a single day or two happens more often than you might think.

As a webmaster or content promoter, it’s easy to see that promoting your content properly in these environments can definitely help boost your business. That said, if you have a user account at a user generated content viewing site and upload your clips, you will notice that in virtually all cases, you are not allowed to post a URL that users who watch your clips on these well-trafficked sites can click on to head straight over to your site. Most content producers and promoters use digital watermarking software, which allows for the promoter or producer to stamp their web site name or commercial brand on promotional video clips so that users can ultimately get more of the content if they want it.

Here is the issue: while you can buy a video sponsorship ad on most of these sites that will allow you to post a campaign or tracking URL so you can see how much traffic and sales come directly from the posting of videos on a specific site, most webmasters don’t want to go that route. So what can you do to track the response rate and Return on Investment from posting your valuable video clips on specific sites?

My vote is simple. Domains, domains, domains. If posting sample video clips to multiple high traffic user generated content viewing sites is a viable way to make money, then it’s worth the cost of promotional domains. Your main site being promoted might be xyzporn.com. Of course you would prefer watermarking your video clips with that domain name, but then you won’t be able to track the response. Spend the money and register a handful of promo-use domains. If you are xyzporn.com, then register xyzpornvideo.com, xyzclips.com, etc. Watermark the video clips you will use specifically for the promotions on web 2 user generated content viewing sites with the promo domain names. For the promo URL’s that will receive traffic, just make the one page ‘receiving’ site into a full page ad for your main site and use an affiliate tracking URL.

The end result is that users watching your promo videos on the web 2 sites will see the promo site brand and start visiting that page if they like your content. You get to track incoming traffic to the promo domain as well as clicks and sales to your main site that happen directly as a result of a specific traffic stream. While this may not be an ideal or perfect means to track, the methods do work and are cost effective. Even if you use a different promo domain for each high traffic site where you are uploading watermarked video promos, you can gauge performance without breaking the bank or spending too much time.

Better tracking methods for this new wave of promotional opportunities are coming. In the meantime however, the opportunity is big enough to justify digging in sooner rather than later.

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