LA Times on Digg Ads and Other User-Feedback Ad Systems

LA Times Image: User-Feedback Ad Systems

From the piece on Digg’s platform, as well as ad systems on Reddit, Facebook and others that allow readers to voice real-time feedback on the advertising.

“The Internet has long provided a measurement of how effective an ad is — that is how many times it was clicked versus how often it was shown, a metric called click-through rate. But that’s based simply on how loud and flashy a banner can be in order to attract a reader’s attention.

“A click doesn’t necessarily convert to a purchase, or ‘conversion’ as they call it, nor are visitors guaranteed to associate the product positively. If an ad mimics a virus alert, it might get clicked out of fear or urgency but won’t elicit a pleasant reaction once users realize they were duped.”

Exactly. Click-through rate is a blunt instrument and neglects the quality of those clicks. A dozen clicks by high-value customers who want to engage with your brand, product offers or retail partners are much more valuable than a hundred clicks by individuals who came to win a free Harley and forgot who’s offering that Harley.

“Conversion rate” (for retail advertisers), “time spent” and “share volume” are a few other metrics that are at least as important as CTR. “Quality score” should be another, since low quality will affect all the others. Advertisers running Digg Ads here at Digg, for example, get more exposure and lower rates based not only on CTR but by the ratio of Diggs (positive feedback) to buries (negative feedback). While CTR rewards the urgency of the offer and the relevance of the advertising copy, Diggs and buries — votes which tend be submitted after a Digg reader clicks on an ad — measure the totality of the experience. Did the landing page deliver what the ad promised? Was the experience on the advertiser’s site a good one? Was it good enough that you’d share it with a friend or a few thousand followers in Twitter?

Get your customers to click, but remember that the click is only the first date.

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