Yes, In-Text Ads Can Work
Apparently, in-text advertisements, those seemingly annoying little ads that pop up when someone moves a cursor over a hot-linked piece of text in an article, can create impactful campaigns. According to a comScore study, Kontera's in-text targeted ads delivered five times greater brand awareness than traditional display ads, and twice as much lift in brand purchase intent.
Graham Mudd, vice president of search and media at comScore, says the findings reveal Kontera in-text advertising had a significant impact throughout the purchasing funnel.
Mudd explains the ads match user-generated search queries, not in the query results, but in the text of the content they searched on, which makes it easy to target behavior. "It appears this type of campaign can be used effectively at the top of the funnel," he says. "Even when we look at purchase intent, we saw good lift, too, which means you can use it in the middle of the funnel, too."
Kontera, a provider of in-text advertising for major brands, recently released an audience-engagement engine dubbed Synapse, which the company believes led to those strong results in the comScore testing.
The three-month research conducted by comScore in collaboration with Universal McCann examined multiple brand engagement campaigns for a consumer products goods (CPG) company that ran across Kontera's network using Synapse. Ammiel Kamon, Kontera's executive vice president of marketing, declined to name the CPG company, which was introducing a product, but did say the firm relied on a traditional media buy mix that included television, as well as online.
Consumers' recall of the primary campaign slogan, inviting them to take specific actions at retail locations, was 2.5 times greater compared with comScore norms for display ads. Consumers also were 400% more likely to search online for the advertised CPG products on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
A parallel comScore study examined end-users' attitudes toward various forms of advertising, and revealed consumers view Kontera in-text ads as "cleaner, less cluttering and more relevant on-line ad-formats."
The study suggests 34% of consumers strongly felt Kontera in-text ads "clutter the page," compared with 61% for interstitials, 52% for video ads, 45% for rectangle ads, and 36% for banners.
Twenty-one percent of consumers strongly agreed the in-text ads are "related to content," compared with 14% for rectangle ads, 14% for interstitials, 10% for video, 15% for Google text ads, and 11% for banners.
Thirty three percent say in-text ads a less intrusive ad format, compared with 40% for rectangle ads, 53% for video ads, 63% for interstitial ads, and 29% for banners.
"It all about determining user intent," Kamon says. "You can go off and try to market keywords on any search page, but it doesn't mean that's the content consumers read on the page."