Media Planning & Buying

Feeling Lucky? 3 Marketing Lessons From Chat Roulette

Posted by Rob Rose on March 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Come on… You know you've tried it… Or, you want to… Yeah?  If you haven't – well let's just say you should probably do it without the kids around.  Let's just say that the likelihood of a quick lesson in male anatomy is pretty high.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, Chat Roulette is a site where you can have an anonymous video chat with random strangers.  If you don't like what you see, you simply click "next" and you're thrown to another random person (as um.. the case may be).  The same, by the way, goes for them.  If they don't like you – you'll quickly find yourself discarded. 

I tried it for the first time this last week.  It's actually oddly fascinating.  And, it struck me that there were PPC, SEO and Social Media strategy reminders that we can take from Chat Roulette.  What are they, you might ask…

Well here you go…

SEM and Social Media Lesson: You're Trying To Find "The One"

If it's your first time on Chat Roulette – I think what you'll quickly find is that you'll start slow and think "politely". But you'll quickly realize there's no penalty for being abrupt and capriciously "hanging up" on people.  You'll find yourself looking for something (and I'm not even going to ask what that is) – and if you're not finding it – you'll have no patience for hanging around.  

As you apply digital marketing strategies – especially PPC and Social Media, remind yourself that there is similar brain activity going on here in your target consumer's mind.  

First the content you're driving people toward should represent the "answer" to what the Ad or Tweet or Headline is promising.  And, if you're putting up lead-gen registration forms for content – that content should be unique and valuable enough to merit registration (hint: case studies aren't!).  Recognize that people will move on very quickly and have no qualms about leaving.  And, with PPC you paid to get them there.  You won't keep attention with a "harder to get to" strategy.  You'll keep it by being simple and remarkable.

PPC & Social Media Lesson: Don't Be Afraid To Toss Out The Guy In The Cat Suit

If Chat Roulette becomes more "main stream" - one feature that I'm sure that will have to be added is a "no more of that" button.  Think Pandora meets Chat Roulette.  

But this thinking is an important piece of your PPC and Social Media strategy.  It's really about quality of traffic – not quantity of traffic.   I still visit with clients who want to maximize the quantity of paid traffic to their site or landing pages.   When I suggest that they turn off every keyword not generating more than a 1% CTR –  and pause the keywords that are not generating any conversions even at a 5% CTR  - clients shudder at the thought of losing hundreds of visitors to their site.

The same is true with Social Media.  It's not enough to have thousands of followers if none of them care about what you're saying. 

Just like in Chat Roulette – if your visitors aren't providing any value – don't be afraid to click "next".  Here's some quick math.  Let's say you're buying an Adword for $1.00 per click.  Ask yourself if you'd rather have 1,000 PPC visitors with a 5% conversion rate, or 10,000 PPC visitors with a 1% Conversion rate.  The former delivers 50 customers and the latter delivers 100 customers.  But customers in the former cost you $20 each.  And, customers in the latter scenario cost you $100 a piece.   Now, you may be able to argue in your particular case, that $100 per customer acquisition is cheap.  But $20 per customer is even better.  It's *always* better to optimize for quality, than quantity.

SEO Lesson: You Have Scant Seconds to make an impression (literally).

In Chat Roulette, one of the things you'll notice right away is that it gets fast and furious.  You may literally be in the middle of typing something to someone and you'll be moved on to the next stranger.  It can be frustrating.  

In both your SEO and Social Media Marketing you've got scant seconds to make a quality impression with your content.   In a study conducted by Penn State, they found  50% of Web Searchers entered only one Query.  55% of them clicked on one result only.  Only 10% went beyond the second page.   They found that 8 out of 10 times that the abstract (the content under the link) dissuaded the searcher from going to the site.   And, if the searcher did click on the link one in five spent less than 60 seconds on the ensuing page.

What does this mean?  Google typically uses the content of the meta description tag as the search results abstract.   So, if you're not currently paying attention to this – or your content management system doesn't allow you to manage this – you've got to get this included into your content strategy.  While Meta Data may be less important in ranking algorithms these days, it's extremely important to making a good impression when you do end up on the first page of Google.

Feeling Lucky?

One thing is for sure with Chat Roulette.  Your results will vary.  Ask anyone who's used the service and you'll find people who have found vastly different experiences.  Some people find nothing but weirdness. Others, have found celebrities lurking and had lovely "chats".

And that's maybe the most important thing to remember.  Different tactics for our marketing have different efficacy.  Just because PPC marketing works extraordinarily well for some, doesn't mean it will work as well for you.   You may find that after optimizing your PPC campaigns to the Nth degree, you just can't make it work financially.   And, that's okay too. 

There is, of course, one key difference between Chat Roulette and digital marketing (okay there's a bunch really).  But the most important is that in any type of Roulette,it is a game of chance where the player cannot impact the result of any part of the play.  Digital Marketing of course is not a game of chance.  But if we focus on the quality of our bets – we'll almost assuredly get luckier.

One Response to “Feeling Lucky? 3 Marketing Lessons From Chat Roulette”

  1. chatroulette says:

    I began spending more time on chatroulette than I do on facebook

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