Money & Business

Brands Prefer Online Publishers Over Social Media

By /
Nov 8, 2012

A new study from the Online Publishers Association shows that marketers prefer their brand-focused campaigns to be associated with premium content sites.

Social media may get all the attention, but when it comes down to it, many brands — associations and trade groups included — just want to be tied to a trustworthy name.

The Online Publishers Association (OPA), in its new “Branding on Display” report [PDF], suggests that many brands are more likely to hitch their wagons to premium content publishers — often large media sites with well-tuned, vertical-focused content — than to social media. Examples of premium content publishers would include Gawker or The Washington Post.

Key points from the study:

The goals: Despite market changes, the focus for many advertisers continues to be on the fundamentals — including building brand consideration (46 percent), increasing brand preference (43 percent), and improving brand favorability (36 percent).

Demographic splits: While Gen Y and millennials were more likely to be reached on social media, Gen X and baby boomers were often better served by online publishers.

Where social wins: The study notes that social media is more effective than media sites at reaching specific audiences (78 percent versus 73 percent), offering targeting capabilities (36 percent versus 31 percent), and offering better prices (18 percent versus 2 percent).

Where online media wins: On the other hand, premium publishers win big on meeting branding objectives (63 percent versus 27 percent), delivering better brand quality (61 percent versus 20 percent), and offering more creativity in sponsorship options (41 percent versus 18 percent).

The satisfaction factor: Nearly 80 percent of advertisers said they had a good experience with online publishers — while just more than half of those advertising on Facebook could say the same thing.

“While social media is perceived by marketers and agencies as a platform that delivers messages to their target audience and overall reach, premium content publishers are comparable with both priorities,” said OPA President Pam Horan in a statement.

So, what do you think? Are you more likely to advertise your association’s interests on Facebook or bring your content to a publisher’s site? Let us know in the comments.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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