As more and more people start using RSS feeds, advertisers have started exploring ways and means of exploiting the medium as a channel for distribution of ads and relevant messages to readers. A study commissioned by Yahoo! found that over 30% of online users in the USA are estimated to currently use RSS feeds, but only 4% of US online users are actually aware that they are using RSS.
What is RSS?
RSS is the acronym for Really Simple Syndication, a technology developed to distribute news to individuals. Very few people are actually aware of what RSS is, even though a large number of users subscribe to RSS feeds in the form of stock alerts, news feeds, weather alerts, traffic alerts and so on.
Using RSS for Advertising
This week, companies like MSNBC and CNet have started using RSS feeds to advertise product alerts and other marketing messages via text and even banner ads. Industry experts predict that RSS advertising will grow substantially and could constitute a larger portion of online ad spend than search. RSS ads might not produce the same conversion levels as witnessed in search advertising, since these ads are not necessarily delivered to individuals looking to buy, but just to individuals interested in a particular subject. However, the rapidly increasing, targeted reach provided by RSS feeds is what attracts advertisers looking to promote their brands online.