A little known fact about Broadstreet’s history is that in mid-2013, AOL’s Patch approached us to build a new self-serve advertising tool for their “unmanned” sites − those with no sales people.
We didn’t build it. They built it internally prior to the Hale acquisition. It got us thinking though: Self-serve advertising hasn’t historically worked very well − why is that?
The Traditional Self Serve Workflow Is Broken
The platform Patch had spec’d out was more or less like every other self-serve advertising system we’d seen. It starts with a “your ad here” banner, which links to a separate self serve system where the user would upload a banner, payment information, and other details.
The roadblocks involved for the user in a system like that are obvious. How many users do you know that have a ready-to-go 300×250 ad ready for upload, and the implicit trust of a system they had been whisked away to?
So We Built Our Idea of What Self-Serve Should Be
We built Selfie with one thing in mind: MAKE IT EASY.
We wanted a self-serve ad tool that:
- Didn’t require advertising graphics to be uploaded
- Didn’t take the user to some strange third-party ad system
- Took less than 5 minutes to install
Could That Actually Work?
Selfie, in its early stages, has already seen a number of purchases from readers. Think about it:
- You have plenty of readers with a side business that you would never think to pitch for a banner ad
- Your content is where the reader’s eye is, and it’s never monetized otherwise
- Some people just want to promote an event or give a shout-out to someone
How It All Comes Together
This is how the whole process works:
- You install the plugin and set pricing
- You place one or more Selfies into a post
- The reader books an ad. Before it goes live, you will get an email to approve.
- Once you approve, the advertiser is charged and the Selfie purchase appears in your Broadstreet dashboard
- You get paid at the next billing cycle in one lump sum, minus a 20% commission
- The advertiser gets an email at the end of a campaign summarizing their ad performance
If you don’t have WordPress, you can still use Selfie.