Online Ads That Keep on Giving: Sponsored Forum Posts Increase Response by More Than 100%

Advertising in Forums Helps Companies Build Repository of Online Content That Increases SEO and Drives Traffic – Indefinitely

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Sponsored forum posts, clearly marked as advertisements, increase in ability to drive response over time – by more than 100 percent one year after a paid campaign has ended, according to an analysis released by PostRelease (www.PostRelease.com). After 60 days, the total number of click-throughs increase by an average of 40 percent, and after 180 days they increase by an average of 77 percent.

The reason, according to company president Justin Choi, is that the posts contain content and can be discovered in search engine results, 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.”

Forums are online gathering places for people who share a similar interest, communicating with each other by posting messages. PostRelease enables companies to insert clearly labeled sponsored posts into targeted online forum discussions. The company analyzed all PostRelease campaigns that have at least six months of historical data, to see what residual traffic they were receiving after the campaigns had officially ended.

Advertisers pay for a one-week campaign, meaning the PostRelease posts remain in a “sticky” position – toward the top of the post list page – for seven days. Once released from the top position, the post moves down the discussion list along with all other posts. PostRelease posts remain part of the forum content for the life of the forum and, as this analysis shows, their ability to drive response increases with time as consumers discover the content organically in search results:

After 60 days the reads increased 28.79 percent
After 60 days the click-throughs increased 40.70 percent
After 180 days the reads increased 49.24 percent
After 180 days the click-throughs increased 77.14 percent
After 360 days the reads increased 60.63 percent
After 360 days the click-throughs increased 103.56 percent

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 PostRelease post. A “read” is when someone goes into the PostRelease post – either from the forum discussion page or from a search engine. Overall, PostRelease click-through rates average 33 percent, with highs reaching nearly 90 percent.

“These results are a testament to the ongoing SEO value PostRelease can offer advertisers,” said Choi. “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, PostRelease 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.”

For a graph illustrating the findings, email [email protected]

About PostRelease

PostRelease® (www.PostRelease.com) is the first effective solution for online forum advertising and influencing word-of-mouth forum discussions. It enables companies to insert sponsored posts into targeted online forum discussions. PostRelease empowers marketers to become part of the conversation in forums, at a time when opinions are being formed and purchase decisions are being made. PostRelease is a division of Cie Digital Labs, based in Long Beach, Calif.