Please read this article by CEO Tony Haile of Chartbeat, where this title is stolen from. It talks about the myths of the effect of focusing on clicks on the web: People don´t read what they click on. His out to sell but anyway here´s my comments:
Advertising on sites with content people visit but no one is reading is a waste of time and money.
It´s all about quality, not "click tactics". The key for effect is having content that people spend time on consuming. Why? Let´s look at some of the results from the research.
1. The quality of the content on the site you´re having a banner is what it´s all about. Someone who is looking at the page for 20 seconds are 20-30% more likely to recall that ad afterwards. Throw in the fact that a user who spends more than 3 minutes is twice as likely to return vs 1 minute spent on the site – quality is key for a media site.
2. Native Advertising, which I honestly do not think is that much different from Content marketing, is what media companies are turning to, to increase both quality of user experience and effect of brand advertising. But the research done by Tony implies that the quality and/or relevance of the advertisers content is not good enough. Exactly as with TV ads. If you don´t connect with the quality of the story, the effect will plummet.
3. Social sharing is not the key metric for how engaging a piece of content is or in other words how much time people spend on the content. But the title, topic or domain itself might be looked upon as of social value – a social currency – that tells something important about, in the eyes of, the person sharing it. But the value of advertising on this particular content page is not as effective as on a page that people spend more time on – but share less. Would be interesting to find some research about effect vs investment based on these two page scenarios.
"We looked at 10,000 socially-shared articles and found that there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content."
It´s all about the quality of the storytelling to gain brand growth, assuming that the product/service itself delivers on its promise. And quality of the content on the sites where these brand stories are paid for penetration purposes. Its´about time media companies and advertisers on the web fully embraces this fact because this is the fundamental understanding required for increasing the quality of user experiences on the web that will make the world better not only for media companies and advertisers in the form of growth – but all of us.