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Study: 'Long tail'-focused ads offer high performance

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New York—Marketers who place ads on so-called “long tail” Internet sites catering to niche groups of enthusiasts often find their campaigns perform better than programs using popular premium-content sites, according to a study from contextual advertising company ContextWeb.

The study, based on an analysis of digital media performance across about 18,000 publisher sites and 1,000 campaigns in the last half of 2010, found that average click-through rates for long-tail advertising during the period were 24% higher than for short-tail advertising. All 20 advertiser verticals in the study experienced click-through rate gains, with the top category (liquor) seeing a 50% increase, according to the company.

Although 70% of display expenditures are with high-traffic premium sites, higher CPM costs often negate the value of that extended reach, ContextWeb said.

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