Why Online Ads Matter (Even for PR)

Posted on September 10, 2010 by 1 Comment

You search. I search. We all search.

With more than 16 billion search queries per month in the U.S. alone, online search has become the dominant channel for consumers to discover information and make decisions (source: comScore).

  • 67% of U.S. adults who research online before making a purchase decision use search engines as a research tool
  • 7 out of 10 people initiate their Internet experience with a search
  • 77% of U.S. Internet users conduct at least one search per day, with 38% conducting 4 or more searches per day

But online search now goes beyond the traditional platforms of Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google. Alongside the 500 million Facebook users, consumers are finding new ways to discover content across a wide array of social sites as well. According to a 2010 report by Citi Investment, Facebook now has a 2.7 percent share of the search market, leading AOL, a proof point in the shift in behavior.

Every day, people are sifting through a massive amount of information on the Web and exploring news, videos, images and other information on new platforms. It’s becoming more and more important to broaden your reach and target audiences to accurately connect and engage with your target audience on the platforms where they are spending their time.

Where to Start

Online advertising has become instrumental to moving the branding needle, as it allows businesses to connect with audiences in a very targeted and cost-effective way to increase visibility and route audiences to a given Web page. The opportunity for ROI is huge, making it a smart communications tactic for PR professionals to use in support of a news announcement or event. There are a variety of advertising tactics to choose from, depending on the chosen hub. Below you’ll find a link to a deck created by Waggener Edstrom’s WE Studio D team that outlines these advertising options so that you’re armed to work these tactics into your own communications plans.

Strategies covered include these:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Bing
  • Yahoo!
  • Google

Click on the image below to view the entire presentaion.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Posterous
  • Tumblr
  • email

One Comment

Craig McGill on September 10, 2010

I think you defeat your own argument here. Yes people are using search engines and sifting through Facebook, Twitter and other trusted peer sources for advice on what to buy, but your article doesn’t tie in why that makes advertising relevant. Even the attached slides don’t exactly make an overwhelming case for spending time and money on ads instead of other online engagement.

Your article could have easily been about copy and content.

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