When we started this blog and sold the first few 125×125 buttons we immediately started wondering how to provide more value to our advertisers. We noticed how difficult it was for advertisers to tell their stories and pitch their companies in such a small area.
As you can imagine that small rectangle gives both readers and advertisers very little information. Right now the ‘click or don’t click’ decision is a very black and white situation. As a visitor you either click or you don’t and if you do you take a gamble with your time. What we wanted to do is provide more information to visitors before they click without making the ads bigger.
What we came up with is largely inspired by Flickr. As you can see in this screenshot, when you hover over a user favicon at Flickr a small gray border appears. If you then click on the border a small layer comes up with a few options.
This is exactly what we built with Intermediads. If you hover over the 125×125 ads in the sidebar here you will see a gray border with a small triangle appear. If you click the triangle you will see a screenshot, description and some other interesting data about the advertiser.
Our guess is that this service will both increase clickthroughs and provide higher quality traffic for advertisers. Users will be better educated about what the advertisers have to offer. What it comes down to is that we offer advertisers something between a view and a clickthrough. You could call it a ‘Half A Click’. We now monitor every normal ‘Clickthrough’, ‘Hover’, ‘Half A Click’ and every click to every link in the information layer. This educates both the advertiser and the visitor.
The service is currently in closed beta and running on a few selected high traffic blogs. We want to test our assumptions and see how the Intermediads layer improves clickthroughs. In about a month or so we will open the service up for other blogs. If you are interested in using the service (it works WITH your current Ad service) fill out the form at the Intermediads site.