Can Juicebox Jungle Succeed Where Twitter And Facebook Have Failed? Monetizing Social Media.

9 years ago

When you think about social media it's hard not to think Twitter and Facebook. Two wildly successful businesses --if you judge success by lots of people using these social media tools.

Unfortunately,success in business takes more than winning a popularity contest:it requires making money at being popular. So far,neither Twitter nor Facebook has come up with a business model to demonstrate how the heck you can make money doing this thing called social media.

How can any company make money with a social graph? Is advertising
really the answer? But perhaps the more pertinent question is this: who will be the innovator that leads the way in monetizing social media? Google was a trendsetter that sparked an advertising revolution. Will there be another trendsetter like Google?

If Philippa Smith, Melissa Lawrence,and Sarah Eisner have their way -- they will be that trendsetter. The three women have just launched as of February--Juicebox Jungle-- a video content provider for bloggers and parenting sites targeted to parents of children under the age of six.According to Juicebox Jungle there are now 32 million moms online that fit that target audience and about 500 thousand bloggers.

Amazon Affiliate Video Player

Juicebox Jungle produces a weekly 2-3 minute video on four key parenting topic areas. But,Juicebox Jungle is more than a content provider, it is also offering bloggers a unique way to monetize their content. They are taking a three -prong approach.

First, instead of just having people pull the video from their site, Juicebox Jungle has partnered with Amazon. Participating blogs receive a special Amazon Affiliate video player/widget .Then, if any of their readers click and spend at Amazon, they get a commission.

Second,The Juicebox Jungle site features posts of bloggers who embed the video and then write a post about the topic. They even have a Digg/Kirtsy like rating system where visitors can vote on the posts.

Third, they provide participating bloggers with a back link."We pull each blogger's post that includes the video and give them a back link," explained Sarah Eisner. " People can read the whole post on the Juicebox Jungle home page plus they get the back link to their blog."

Eisner said the original concept is to have bloggers use the video to start a conversation on their own blog about that week's topic.

Juicebox Jungle is marketing these videos as "not your usual prescriptive "how to parent" guide, but instead are a mix of fun, "in the trenches" stories from parents with wildly varying views, candid commentary, surprising statistics and expert opinions, all offered with quirky humor
and a "get real attitude."

Two of the founders, Philippa Smith and Melissa Lawrence are former attorneys for HBO. Smith says that before they could move forward with this business they had to figure out how to make entertaining videos with high-production value at a cost-effective price.

Smith says, "To be able to monetize internet video the costs have to be one to two thousand dollars a minute. That's difficult to do. It took a while for us to figure out how to do that but we've managed to do it . Without giving you the exact cost, we're doing these videos at internet prices."

In developing their advertising strategy, Juicebox Jungle took its inspiration from Mad Men where the advertising integrates their real-life sponsors as advertising clients within the show but also features their commercials.

It is also a non-traditional advertising strategy for most online retailers whichcurrently rely on being able to measure every dollar invested online.

Juicebox Jungle's strategy is to convince advertisers that their "shows" are similar to advertising on regular TV. Says Eisner, " You can't directly measure how any cans of beer you sold because your audience watched the Super Bowl. This is like television. Our audience is seeing an ad during the show. We're trying to change the paradigm from clicks to impressions."

So far, not all of Juicebox Jungle's "episodes" have advertising embedded. But one of the first companies to try it was Sephora. Julie Bornstein, Senior Vice President of Sephora Direct says,"They came and presented their ideas, showed some videos and talked abut how we could work Sephora into the show in a legitimate, transparent, meaningful and relevant way. Thought it was high quality and worth the test."

Bornstein added, "They gave us a chance to experiment without putting too much money into it. It's a good strategy to get a big brand to engage and try something new. They were genuinely focused on the content and making the advertising work from a customer/user perspective.

It will be another month before Sephora can determine whether this experiment is worth expanding. In the meantime, here is the Juicebox Episode with the embedded Sephora Ad.Their ad pops up at about the 1:45 min mark.

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More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle

What do you think? Can these three women be the innovators who succeed in monetizing social media? As a blogger do you welcome third party content to trigger conversation on your blog?

Elana blogs about business culture at FunnyBusiness

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