"Social" Widgets Outperform "Utility" Widgets for Brand Advertisers on Social Networks Gigya Study Reveals What Drives Higher Interaction, Longevity and Virality On Facebook, MySpace

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One of the things that separates Gigya from the other widget companies is that their model is less about embedding ads onto a widget and more about distributed content. This recent research supports the value of widgets when deployed strategically, as arguably, their most important value resides in their virality, and that's always going to be about their content.

These findings demonstrate that social media users are embracing brand advertiser content in a way that fits within, and is similar to, their primary social network activities

Gigya, Inc., the standard for connecting content with the social web, today released the results of a study comparing campaign performance data for the two primary types of brand advertiser widgets: "Social" and "Utility." The study found that as a group, Social widgets outperformed Utility widgets, when installed by users on Social Network pages, in the categories of User Interaction, Widget Longevity, and Widget Virality

Social widgets are defined as those that contain elements of entertainment, self-expression or communication such as games, videos, photo and avatar customizations, and comparison quizzes. Utility widgets are defined as those that are designed to be helpful to the user, incorporating news feeds, daily tips, activity planning or other tools and information.

On average, Social widgets demonstrated the following results by category when compared to Utility widgets:

Interaction

  •     Received 4.6 times the number of interactions per widget impression
  •     Received 6.8 times the number of interactions per installed widget
  •     Achieved a 38% lower cost per interaction

Longevity

  •     Remained on a user's page 21% longer
  •     Achieved an effective CPM 16% lower

Virality

  •     Drove 4.3 times the number of viral grabs
  •     Reached 15% more unique users for every installed widget
  •     Had a cost per unique user reached that was 19% lower

Within the Social widgets group, the top performing subcategories were: Customization and Self Expression, where users can personalize the widget, and Games, where users can play and compare scores or challenge friends.

Implications
"These findings demonstrate that social media users are embracing brand advertiser content in a way that fits within, and is similar to, their primary social network activities," said Dave Yovanno, Gigya's CEO, "Sharing photos and videos, challenging friends to games, comparing themselves to others and letting friends know what they are up to are some of the many activities that social network users engage in on a daily basis, and it's important for brands to start incorporating these elements into their social media marketing strategies."

Methodology
The Gigya study looked at data from more than 30 campaigns delivered through the Gigya Widget Distribution Network, comparing aggregated performance data from brand advertiser campaigns. All performance data was gathered exclusively from widgets installed by users to their social network profile pages, as differentiated from widgets installed to start pages like iGoogle or to computer desktops. The social networks in this study included Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Tagged, Bebo, and Friendster, among others.

About Gigya
Gigya's technology is the standard for connecting content with the social web, providing publishers and marketers with powerful tools for increasing audience reach and engagement. Reaching more than 180 million people each month, Gigya's innovative widget advertising network enables marketers to engage consumers in social environments and enlist them as brand advocates. The company's Wildfire and Socialize products enable publishers to syndicate and track their content across more than 70 unique platforms, and to integrate and promote their own websites with popular social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Publishers and advertisers including CNET, Coca-Cola, DoubleClick, Electronic Arts, Hyundai, JCPenney, Levis, RockYou!, Samsung, Unilever and Walmart choose Gigya to connect their content with the social web.

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Liza Hausman
Gigya
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