I don't know how many blog postings and articles I have read that have falsely assumed that readers don't click through on sponsored posts. People like Jason Calancanis, Mike Arrington and others would have you believe that nobody is interested in this content and the value it provides. I believe many of these people are the same people that said nobody would ever click on a sponsored search result (enter Google representing 1/3 of all online ad spending on the back of sponsored search).
We now have data from over 40k bloggers and 8k advertisers to prove the naysayers wrong. The truth is that not only do people click on sponsored posts, on average they click through at a higher rate than any other media I am aware of. 10.545% average CTR to be exact (this is an average over all opportunities, obviously some will be much higher and some will be much lower).
My experience in buying Google AdWords is to expect an average of somewhere between .5-1.5% CTR. Sure, I have had keyword campaigns that might have hit as high as 5% or 6% in extreme cases (like buying the keyword "payperpost"), but that is few and far between. I also know that a good campaign on MySpace might deliver a .05% CTR and that other campaigns I have run through Adbrite and similar media networks deliver a lower CTR than search marketing in my experience.
What does this all mean? Does it mean you should dump search or display advertising? No. I have always been a big believer in diversified media campaigns. What it does mean is that sponsored content delivers eyeballs and real, qualified traffic to your site.
UPDATE : There has been talk in the comments about the purchase of products that Posties have been exposed to. Did you buy something you saw on PPP? Let us know in the comments below.
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