Sponsored posts that appear in targeted online forums, clearly marked as advertisements, appear to actually increase in their ability to drive response over time – by more than 100% one year after a paid campaign has ended, according to a recent analysis released by PostRelease.
The study also showed that 60 days after a typical sponsored forum post’s appearance, the total number of click-throughs increase by an average of 40%. After 180 days they increase by an average of 77%.
Give Credit to SEO
The reason for this effectiveness, according to PostRelease president Justin Choi, is that the posts remain in place for the life of the forum and contain content that can be discovered in search engine results long after the campaign is over. This enables the post to continue driving traffic to the ad not only from the audience of the forum in which it appears, but also directly from organic search listings.
“Consumers don’t have to be browsing a particular forum to discover an advertiser’s message there,” said Choi. “If a post offers useful content, it’s likely to show up when it is relevant to a consumer’s search for information – boosting traffic to the ad and to the forum. The click-through rates increase over time because posts are discovered by people who are actively searching for that content, and therefore are highly motivated to click through.”
Specific findings about reads and click-throughs of sponsored forum posts:
- After 60 days the reads increased 28.8%
- After 60 days the click-throughs increased 40.7%
- After 180 days the reads increased 49.2%
- After 180 days the click-throughs increased 77.1%
- After 360 days the reads increased 60.6%
- After 360 days the click-throughs increased 103.6%
In commenting on the increased effectiveness of sponsored posts, Choi also noted their durability vis a vis traditional display and search ads. “This is traffic they receive after the campaign has ended – for free. Whereas display and search ads turn ‘off’ as soon as the media buy ends, sponsored posts can play a powerful role in helping companies build a repository of online content that is available to be found by consumers searching relevant topics for weeks, months, even years to come.”
About the analysis: The company analyzed all PostRelease campaigns – which enable companies to insert clearly labeled, sponsored posts into targeted online forum discussions – that have at least six months of historical data, to see what residual traffic they were receiving after the campaigns had officially ended. Posts can include text, pictures, hyperlinks and links to video. A “click-through” is defined as when someone clicks one of the advertiser links that is embedded within the post. A “read” is when someone goes into the post – either from the forum discussion page or from a search engine. Overall, PostRelease click-through rates average 33%, with highs reaching nearly 90%.