A recent study found that among the seven most common ad formats, sponsored content ads were the most engaging yet produced the least purchase intent. The report also found that corporate profile pages (like Facebook Fan pages) produced the most purchase intent, especially when users were able to add themselves as a fan. The report is shown after the jump.
The study was conducted by research firm Psychster and commissioned by cooking/recipe hub Allrecipes.com. Other interesting results from the report include the fact that “give and get” widgets – where users create and customize virtual items (a car or a dinner menu), and then proceed to send it to friends – produced more purchase intent than banner ads, underscoring the power of virtual goods for advertising.
Psychster’s results held up across different brands and publishers in their study. No matter what the type of product or brand, widgets were more successful than banner ads, and widgets were even more successful if they were related to the website: for instance, a widget related to a recipe is more successful on Allrecipes.com than a virtual car. Psychster attempted to analyze the psychology behind the results:
“From banner ads, to widgets and branded profiles, ad types differ in the cognitive, social, and motivational foundations that make them a success, as well as the time and cost to bring them to market,” said David Evans Ph.D., CEO of Psychster.
The method of the study involved creating mockups for seven different ad types and publishing them on Allrecipes and Facebook, and promoting one of two brands (a leading soup brand and car brand).
By observing the results to the left, we could see that there was a significant difference in perception between corporate profiles with and without fans, underscoring the importance of social elements within advertising. In fact, having a profile page without fans could possibly be detrimental, so make sure to seed your page to known fans first. The study noted that no viewer was ‘fooled’ into believing that an ad was anything but an advertisement, but responded with purchase intent anyway. These results of the study seem to indicate that leveraging honesty and a person’s social network is the most effective way to engage them and increase their purchase intent.