Monday, July 30, 2012

How Nigerian Advertisers Are Losing Millions on the Internet

How Nigerian Advertisers Are Losing Millions on the Internet

Do you know that the most visited Nigerian websites are not the most popular Nigerian websites?

I know the subject of this article is going to be debated by advertisers and publishers on the internet, because of the sensitive context of the issues at stake.

Advertisers should know how, where, what and when to advertise products and services on the internet and not just placing adverts generally on all websites.

The internet has changed the status of advertising profile with proven records of online advertising overtaking the traditional offline advertising in the print media, but many Nigerian advertisers are still ignorant of the specifics of advertising on the internet, because they don’t know much about the appropriate and suitable platforms for promoting and marketing certain products and services online, especially the advantages and disadvantages of different websites. Advertisers in Nigeria are perhaps among the most ignorant of the dos and don’ts of internet advertising, because they lack the experience and expertise and have not done much to separate the fact from the fiction and almost all of them simply rely on Google AdSense as their alpha and omega on internet advertising and most of them think they are really having a good time so far. But are they?

How many Nigerian advertisers have used comScore?
How many Nigerian advertisers know the following Types of Online Advertising?

Ad Formats

Text ads
Advertisements displayed as simple, text-based hyperlinks are known as Text Ads. As their name suggests, text ads they do not include graphic images. Text ads are sold on non-search websites and can be served either by individual websites, or a publisher’s own ad servers. Client example: Humana Health Insurance
Humana Text Ad

Display Ads
Graphical advertisements featured on websites are known as Display Ads. Display ads are often available in many standard shapes and sizes, including: banners, leader boards, skyscrapers, large boxes, and other sized graphical ads. Display ads use eye-catching visuals to quickly grab catch the attention of website visitors browsing the pages on which they are featured. Display ads are sold on non-search websites and can be served either by individual websites, or a publisher’s own ad servers. Client example: Blair Clothing

Display Ad Blair Clothing

Pop-Up Ads
Advertisements that appear to “pop up” in a new window as users browse a website are known as Pop-Up Ads. Hover ads, floating ads and slide-in ads ads are all considered pop-up ads. (Sometimes these ads are also known as Pop-Under Ads, depending on whether they are displayed over or underneath the current web content being browsed.) The use of Flash and DHTML ads has risen in recent years in an effort to counter the increased usage of pop-up blockers.

Flash / DHTML Ads
These kinds of ads incorporate Flash animation or other motion graphics. Ads may be animated display ads in more traditional shapes and sizes, or, as of late, they can be sophisticated ads that function similarly to pop-up ads but with much deeper integration into the overall design of the site.

Interstitial Ads
Interstitial ads appear between web pages that the user requests. For example, an interstitial ad may appear after you click on a link in an excerpt to view the full content of news story. Because interstitial ads load in the background and do not interrupt the users immediate browsing experience, they are a preferred method of delivering ads with rich media, streaming video, and/or large graphics.

Video Ads
With the popularity of online video watching, video ads have become a viable means of distributing rich advertising content. Currently video ads can either be content created entirely by the advertiser, or “in video” ads that will show your ad within a video. Major search properties like Google (through YouTube), MSN, Yahoo, and AOL all offer advertising on their video websites.

 Email Ads (Classified Ads & Newsletter Advertising)
Ads that are distributed by a publisher through email blasts to opt-in audiences are known as email ads. Advertisers can individually sponsor a publisher’s email newsletter or they can purchase classified ad space. Client example: Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association (BACVA)
Newsletter Advertising Bacva

On-Site Sponsorships
On-Site sponsorships are ads (typically just a company’s logo) that can be bought on individual websites. Sponsorship ads typically appear in an area on the website reserved for sponsors and often noted as such. Client Example: Connections Academy
On Site Sponsorship Connections Academy

Advertisements in editorial form that appear to contain objectively-written opinions are known as paid editorial ads, or “Advertorials”. Online advertorials are typically featured on publisher’s websites and promote products and services related to the website’s content. Some ad networks will develop, optimize, and write your advertorial and place it on their ad network. Client example: International Federation for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Advertorial IFAW

Targeting Methods

Contextual Targeting
When ads are served based on related content a user is currently reading or browsing online, it is known as contextual targeting. For example, if you are reading an article on a news website about sports, you may see contextual ads for sports gear, memorabilia, or game tickets. Contextual ads are purchased through major search properties like Google, Yahoo, MSN, and through many other contextual ad networks. Ad relevancy is typically determined by algorithms that will assess the appropriateness of the ad in relation to the displayed content. Client example: IFAW
Contextual IFAW

Behavioral Targeting
When ads are served based on user behavior, it is known as behavioral targeting. Behavioral targeting is based on a variety of online factors such as recent online purchases, searches, and browsing history, as well as demographic details such age or gender. For example, if you recently visited a real estate website, you may see behavioral ads selling mortgages. Client example: Connections Academy
Behavioral targeting Connections Academy

Geo-Targeting / Local Advertising
When ads are served based on a user’s geographical location, it is known as geo-targeting. For advertisers interested in targeting users within a specific locality or region, geo-targeted online advertising is an effective solution. An increasing number of websites now offer geo-targeting capabilities. Local advertising also includes network buys through radio, television and newspaper websites, as well as localized search engines and directories such as Yahoo! Local, Google Local, and AOL City Guide. Client example: BACVA
Geo-targeting BACVA

How many Nigerian advertisers know the difference between online adverts and offline adverts in terms of differences in target audiences such as the difference between advertising in newspapers or magazines and advertising on websites?

The characteristics of people online and those offline? The demographics of Nigerians on the internet in contrast to those who are not on the internet?

In most cases, they actually assume that Nigerians online behave the same way as Nigerians offline. But they are ignorantly wrong! Nigerians online react differently to news and information from those offline, because of the different atmosphere and environment since Nigerians online have more freedom than those offline. Therefore, they will definitely react to news and information in different ways.

When Nigerians read newspapers and magazines or watch the TV, they have reactions as can even be seen from the crowds of Nigerians reading newspapers and magazines at news stands on the streets; milling around vendors and discussing the headlines and hot topics of the day. In most cases, they are in hurry to do so and return to the regular daily routines of their respective occupations and professions. But on the internet, Nigerians are more interactive and receptive to the news and information on websites as they can instantly respond by commenting and discussing the issues on the websites giving their rejoinders instantly in feedback to the reporters, writers and publishers of the news and information. So, they are more engaged with the online media than the offline media.

They don’t need to spend any money to make phone calls or post letters to editors or publishers as they normal do with offline newspapers and magazines. Being able to give and receive instant feedback means a lot in modern communication. This is the first and foremost major advantage of online media over offline media. The next major advantage is continuity in communication. News and information on websites last longer than those in the print media. You can always see and track and even retrieve them as you wish as they remain on the websites for days, weeks, months and even years and they continue to attract more attention from readers and subscribers of the websites who have bookmarked them. Moreover, many websites have podcasts of the news and information for visitors to listen and download them which cannot be done offline, except on radio and cable TV.

These numerous advantages of online media have given advertisers more from internet advertising than print advertising, because their adverts receive more attention and last longer on websites than print newspapers/magazine and even more than on radio and TV. Advertisers spend millions more to rotate their TV commercials than they spend on websites.

The main point of this article is to address how Nigerian advertisers are losing millions on the internet, because of their ignorance.

Which are the best websites to advertise your products and services?
Which websites are best for your target audience?
The news websites, discussion forums and blogs or social network sites.

Separating the Sheep from the Goats

Advertisers must know the difference between general visitors, and unique visitors, active visitors and passive visitors.
Useful visits and useless visits, page views, hits, impressions, active Interactive and receptive and positive websites.

Measuring traffics in hits usually returns you a proudly large number. Hits is also known as request and it’s the total number of files loaded when a single page is requested from the web server. So how hits are calculated? Picture this – a single web page with 20 images (transparent.gif, header-background.gif, etc)is loaded, that’s 20 hits for starters. The web page has 10 photos (jammie.jpg, group-photo.jpg, etc), that’s another 10 hits. if you add up the CSS files, Javascript files and all the external files, each time a web page is loaded, it can easily build up more than 50 hits. If you clear cache, reload the page, another 50+ hits again.

Hits are rarely used to to judge a website’s traffic nowadays as they are not really accurate. The numbers are big and certainly cool, but generally useless.


Pageviews is a calculation of how many times a page is viewed. Say a visitor lands on your main page, that’s 1 pageview. Same visitor clicks to About Us page, that’s another pageview. By dividing total pageviews with total unique visitors, you can get an idea how many pageviews each visitor generates.


Impression is more or less a marketing term, normally calculated in bulk of 1000. It counts how many times a element (image, text, video) appears on a web page. If a advertisement network is paying $3/CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), that means you are getting paid $3 when the banner appears 1000 times on your web page. Here’s 21 ad networks that pays you based on CPM ads.

Visits / Unique Visitors

Visits is normally equivalent to unique visitors. Think of it as the number of different people (different IP) that visits your web page. Visits or unique visitors are the most essential numbers of all, when it comes to determine the traffic of a specific site.

~ From Filed in How-To Guides, Web Tricks.

Many advertisers, especially Nigerian advertisers don’t know which websites are appropriate for particular products and services, so they generally place adverts on all websites through Google AdSence and their AdWords adverts are often rotating on many websites that are wrong platforms for their products and services. But most of them may not even care as long as visitors to these websites are seeing their adverts. The more impressions of their adverts they receive the more mileage for them. But do they get more patronage? What is the use of having more mileage and the increased mileage does not increase the patronage?

Is it not wasting money to attract more people, but they don’t buy any of your products and services?
They simply look and move on.

The advertisers may say they will patronize them later as long as they keep on showing them the adverts over time.
But can we bank on such an optimistic assumption or conclusion in view of the intense competition among advertisers and publishers on the internet?
As the proverbial saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine, is it not more prudent and smarter to spend your money advertising on websites that will best give you profitable results and good return on your investment than to waste your money on websites that will not increase your patronage?

Adverts are not meant to promote window shopping, but to make sales.

Website A may attract one million people, but what kind of people are they?
Website B may attract one thousand people, but what kind of people are they?
The fact is the one thousand people on website B may be more beneficial to your product and service than the one million people on website A.

Do you know that the most visited Nigerian websites are not the most popular Nigerian websites?
The most popular Nigerian websites are of course the ones making the loudest noise on the street and on the internet.

The most visited Nigerian website has between 10 million and 12 million visits every month. It is the leading Nollywood movies portal on the internet and most of the visitors and subscribers are from outside Nigeria. They simply come to view Nollywood trailers and subscribe to the movies they want.

They are not interested in clicking on adverts of Nigerian products and services since they don’t need them in the US, UK and Asia. So, it is a waste of time and money to place adverts of local products and services on this website? But you will see many of such local adverts rotated on this website.

These adverts would have been better served on Nigerian websites visited by Nigerians in Nigeria who are the users of these local products and services.

You see Nigerian banks advertising their premium accounts and accounts meant for pensions on websites receiving mostly Nigerian teenagers and youths below 40 years who are more interested in hip hop music and videos and social celebrity gossip. So, it is a waste of time and money to advertise on such websites.

News and information websites are still the best websites for advertising products and services.

Adverts placed in-between news reports and articles have more advantage in mileage and patronage.

Advertisers should ask publishers of websites for the most popular topics and most visited pages on their websites and the target audiences of these websites to know which particular adverts for the niche products and services to place on the websites.

Popular online bulletins or discussion forums are good for target marketing adverts.
Adverts of reproductive health products and services will be more appreciated in discussion forums on sex and relationships.

Adverts of sports and energy drinks or beverages will be more appreciated in discussion forums on sporting activities like the English premiership and European Championship League.

Adverts of smart phones and other gadgets are best on news and information of hot topics on politics, sports, music, sex, relationships, celebrity gossip and fashion trends.

Therefore, advertisers should not be ignorant of the points I have noted in this article for their own benefit. This information will surely save Nigerian advertisers millions of naira they would have wasted on unprofitable online adverts.

Top 5 Best Google Adsense Alternatives
Here is the list of Top 5 alternatives for Google Adsense. This list is based on many factors like Ad-formats, Payment options, minimum payment etc.
1. Adbrite
Adbrite is the best alternative for Google Adsense. It offers ads for all types of publishers form small part time bloggers to pro bloggers. The terms and conditions are easy to follow compared to Adsense, using Adbrite you can display inline ads or full page ads apart form regular banners. When no ad appears in your site then it shows, Your Ad Here message to attract advertisers. Best for users from US.
Payment Options : The minimum payment is $100 and adbrite offers payment through checks only.
2. Chitika
Chitika is one best online advertising networks. Established in 2003, it got a huge network of blogs and offers ads based on key words. It allows you to display ads on mobile, websites, blog etc. Many publishers are satisfied with chitika, as it make payments equal to Adsense. You can also use chitika along with your Google Adsense account.
Payment Options : Minimum payment is 10$ for paypal users and 100$ for standard checks.
3. Clicksor
Clicksor, the most popular adsense alternative network is available for free. Choose between the different ad formats and target your readers. The pop-up ads of clicksor are more popular, then earns you more revenue than any other ad network. Clicksor pays you every 15 days and through paypal. You can also earn 10% additional income through referral program.
Payment Options : Minimum payment is 50$ for paypal users, every 15 days.
4. Bidvertiser
Bidvertiser ad service is different compared to others. It display a block in your blog and allows advertisers to Bid against each others. Through this you can earn maximum possible income. This network is preferred for high traffic blogs only. So think twice before using this. You can also customize the ad layouts based on the template of your blog.
Payment Options : Minimum payment is 10$ for paypal users and for standard checks.
5. Infolinks
Infolinks is the popular in-text advertising service. Suitable for blogs with less traffic also. It got a huge network with 40,000 publishers. You can earn 70% of the revenue share. You can also use infolinks along with google adsense. Infolinks display ads related to keywords in your blog. If your blog got more popular keywords, then you can earn more revenue from it.
From Dieting.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

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