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Advertise Online – But Where! – Part 1

Two outwardly unrelated articles grabbed my attention this week and it turns out that they are potentially closely related after all.

First of all a YouGov report suggested that online advertising was pretty ineffective, well at least on major sites it was. The 2009 Online Advertising Attitudes report, commissioned by ad network Addvantage Media, said that 57% of consumers rarely pay attention to ads on major sites.

Hummmmmm!

Furthermore, it stated that 56% of ABC1 adults mainly only visited specialist niche sites dedicated to their interests, bypassing major sites. The conclusion being – don’t advertise on major websites, it wont pay.

As someone who works for an online company, this is of serious interest to me. Anyone engaged in advertising wants a good ROI, especially in the current climate, so we don’t want to be getting it wrong!

Maybe switching to advertising on social media is the way to go. This brings me to the other interesting article this week. Apparently Twitter, the booming micro-blogging site, is exploring the possibility of charging firms for advertising on its website. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has not said what they would do or charge exactly, only that he saw plenty of corporate interest.

But wait! The YouGov report says that 26% of users never pay attention to the advertising on social media sites and 36% claim not to pay any significant attention to it.

Damn! What can be the answer?

In all seriousness, I’m always suspicious of surveys regarding advertising. I believe that we all like to think that we are too clever to be influenced by ads and so we play down their effect, which of course leads to under representative survey results.

However, these two stories raise the interesting point about the future development of online advertising. The sector is rapidly catching TV for total spend, so it is big business, involving major sums of cash. And it can be the crucial difference for many businesses.

So, I think this subject needs some further thought, which I will impart in a future post.

Read part 2

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