Despite all the buzz about "rich media," the simple text ad is still one of the most effective ways of bringing prospective franchisees to your website, according to a report from market research firm iPerceptions. The study is especially intriguing, given its substantial number of participants: 14,000 people were surveyed about their ad preferences after they visited leading media websites.
Among the choices of which types of online ad they were most likely to click on, 25 percent participants chose text-only ads--the leading individual ad unit, says Michael Whitehouse, senior marketing analyst at iPerceptions.
Banner ads, which an include graphics and/or animation, also proved popular in the iPerceptions study. Twenty percent of respondents said they were likely to click on banner ads that appear to the right of web content, and 12 percent said they were likely to click on banner ads that run across the top of web pages.
Whitehouse says successful online marketers are continually testing, innovating, deploying multiple-channel campaigns, and using web analytics to measure their effectiveness. "Display ads still have a lot of legs. The real thrust is the cost/benefit," he says, especially when it comes to video ads.
Not surprisingly, the study found the youngest web surfers were mostly likely to view a video ad. Nearly 33 percent of people under the age of 25 say they were likely to click on a video ad while visiting a website. Whitehouse cautions online advertisers to weigh the cost of video ads (production, shooting, and editing) against expected benefits.
The survey also looked at income levels of respondents. Lower-income visitors in the survey tended to be more likely to click on ads than their more well-heeled counterparts: 40 percent of consumers reporting annual income of less than $50,000 said they were likely to click on some kind of advertising when they visit a site, while only 15 percent of visitors making $150,000 or more said they were likely to click on ads.
Lower-income consumers were also most likely click on video ads, which could simply be the result of younger people generally having lower income levels. Forty nine percent of the less-than-$50,000 crowd said they were likely to click on a video ad; whereas only 13 percent of $150,000 visitors said they even bother with video ads.
Choosing which online advertising vehicles work best also is a function of your product or service, as well as the intended target of any ad campaign, says Whitehouse.
Another major predictor of ad efficacy: repeat visitors. Sixty five percent of people who frequented the same website on a daily or weekly bases said they were likely to click on ads there, according to iPerceptions, while only 15 percent of first-time website visitors said they would click on an ad they found on a site. Again, determining which websites your target audience frequents regularly will increase the efficacy of your ad spend.
Fortunately, if you're looking to give text ads a try, you're in luck. Getting into the text ad market is extremely easy. With the intense competition for text ad dollars by the major search engines, they make it easy for you to pay to play.
Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan. Voice: (646) 233-4089. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.joedysart.com.
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