Posts tagged statistics

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Of all the things that make me sad or sentimental about the continuous march of technology, one of the worst is probably the demise of printed words…whether they be in newspapers, magazines or actual, non-Kindle books. Sure, looking up fantasy baseball stats every morning at the breakfast table from the Sports section was a lot less convenient to logging on at any time and getting them instantly…but in retrospect, maybe a bit more fun…and more of an “experience”. This recent news:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Newspaper advertising in the U.S. has sunk to a 25-year low as marketing budgets followed readers to the Internet, where advertising is far cheaper than what publishers have been able to command in print.

Advertisers spent $25.8 billion on newspapers’ print and digital editions last year, according to figures released Tuesday by the Newspaper Association of America. That’s the lowest amount since 1985 when total newspaper advertising stood at $25.2 billion.

After adjusting for inflation, newspaper advertising now stands at about the same level as nearly 50 years ago. In 1962, newspaper advertising totaled $3.7 billion, which translates to about $26 billion today.

Print advertising has fallen in each of the past five years, dramatically shrinking newspaper publishers’ main source of income. Even as the economy has gradually improved since 2009, newspapers are still bringing in less revenue as advertisers embrace free or cheaper Internet alternatives that aim to deliver the messages to people most likely to be interested in the products being pitched. The shift has accelerated in recent years as more readers abandoned newspapers’ print editions for the Web.

Newspapers have been mining their digital editions for more revenue. Online ads generated $3 billion for newspapers last year, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, print ads dropped 8 percent to $22.8 billion. Before the slump began in 2006, print advertising generated about $47 billion in annual revenue for newspapers.

To cope with the upheaval, newspapers have cut their staffs, raised their prices and, in the most extreme cases, filed for bankruptcy protection to lighten their debt loads.

Many publishers are pinning their comeback hopes on delivering more news to the growing audience on mobile phones and tablet computers such as Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Tablets, in particular, could create new moneymaking opportunities because early research indicates that their users tend to spend more time reading stories and watching video on those devices than they do on laptops and desktop computers. That trend could help newspapers charge higher rates for ads on their tablet editions than they do on their websites and perhaps make it easier to sell subscriptions to digital editions. With the exception of The Wall Street Journal and a few other newspapers, most publishers have given away their content on the Web — a factor that contributed to their financial woes in recent years.

Publishers would settle for any sign of overall ad growth after 16 consecutive quarters of decline from the previous year. The severity of the slide has been easing since 2009 as the U.S. economy has gradually recovered from the deepest recession since World War II.

Newspaper advertising totaled $7.3 billion in the last three months of 2010, down 5 percent from the prior year. The quarterly decreases have been getting progressively smaller since the July-September period of 2009, when newspaper ad revenue plunged 29 percent from the previous year.

Online ads were the bright spot again in last year’s fourth quarter, rising 14 percent to $878 million. The Internet now accounts for about 12 percent of newspaper’s ad revenue, up from 4 percent in 2005.

“Quarter after quarter, newspaper advertising has shown signs of a continued turnaround and an essential repositioning,” said John Sturm, the Newspaper Association of America’s president.

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More Social Statistics – 101

As social networks grow and mature, new data has begun to surface that show the behaviors and preferences of its users that could prove invaluable to businesses in the future.

Business owners and marketing professionals are of course quite interested to learn more about how consumers on Facebook and other social media become motivated to connect with companies and brands, and their preferences in interacting with organizations.

Some of the latest statistics:

Many users of social media initially displayed a resistance to connecting directly with businesses from their personal pages, in effect showing a desire to keep “business separate from pleasure”, or their personal lives. A fear of being inundated with advertising pitches surely helped shape this mentality. However, new research shows that 43% of Facebook users now “Like” at least one brand or official company page, and this number is rapidly growing.

Of these, 38% of consumers “Like” a company on Facebook so they can publicly display their brand affiliation to friends. This new trend is being called “Social Badging”, and can be a very powerful motivation for affiliation. These users want to display their connection to brands and organizations that they believe represent them, their personal beliefs, are “cutting edge”, say something unique or valuable about them.

42% become fans so that they can receive special discounts and promotions. Many companies have begun to offer Social-specific sales and announcements, which can give their followers the sense that they are part of an intimate online community…even if they are one of tens of thousands of followers; and that they have the privilege of being included in exclusive, “members-only” specials.

35% say they follow companies and brands to stay current about the organization’s activities, public initiatives, or new products. Once again, the ability to connect with your brand’s following directly when announcing new initiatives, events, products and services can be a quite effective method to roll out your new marketing programs, sales and specials.

Only 23% of respondents said they follow brands on Twitter. Twitter has become more of a “news aggregator” for many users; a large number of new Twitter users have sent fewer than 20 personal tweets, but instead are using the service to gather news and opinions on brands, products and stay up-to-date on cultural trends in general.

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Purchasing Content: More Effective Than Web Advertising?

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You have probably heard many sources online, including Hat Trick Associates, talk about the future of the Internet and how vital web content has become to the search engines and your SEO efforts of your website. Ideally, you want new content on your site every single time the Google crawler or one of the other large engines index your website. So a common question we hear from clients is, what is more effective for growing my website  and doing more business in the future: Using my online marketing budget on advertising, or using those same resources to create more fresh content?

The answer may surprise you! Here are more vital web content-related statistics:

  • More than 8 out of 10 Internet users look on search engines first to find information on the products or services they want to buy
  • Up to 86% of searchers will ignore paid listings, or other advertising they know has been purchased as opposed to organic results
  • On the flip side, 64% of the top natural (organic) listings will get click thrus

The reasons are fairly simple – people typically want to feel as if they have “discovered” the solution to their problem – the product, service or brand that they need – on their own. Which is why natural search results convert 35% higher than Pay Per Click campaigns! That’s a significant difference.

That doesn’t mean that web advertising should have no place in your marketing mix. But how many folks spend thousands upon thousands of their marketing dollars on Pay Per Click or Pay Per Impression campaigns, and then spend very little, or even nothing whatsoever, on their ongoing content? The answer is: many more than who actually should! And that is certainly a business mistake.

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