What Makes People Share?: The Effects of Online Ads on Consumers' Sharing Intentions

What Makes People Share?: The Effects of Online Ads on Consumers' Sharing Intentions

Ismail Erkan, Fulya Acikgoz
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2963-8.ch009
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Digital marketing has become an important tool for businesses to reach a wider audience. Many companies, therefore, apply online ads in order to gain new customers. However, since the number of companies that try to benefit from digital marketing is very high, the online ads sector is now more competitive. Drawing consumers' attention is not easy anymore. Therefore, this study focused on the factors that make people share. For this purpose, this study conducted a survey with 253 consumers. The results show that attitudes toward online ads, search intention, and social media product browsing have positive impacts on consumers' sharing intentions. In this study, the authors also wondered, how do online ad types differ from each other in terms of shareability? To understand this, this study did 15 face-to-face interviews and found that consumers prefer to share online ads with text and image rather than video ads. Easiness to share, brief information, and being understandable are the three factors that lead consumers to prefer to share text and image-based online ads.
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The appearance of the Internet has generated numerous opportunities to reach millions of people easily. Along with this, the fast increase in usage of the Internet has radically altered the way people obtain information (Li et al., 2015). Thus, some crucial developments have occurred in internet marketing such as allocating more budget on online advertisements. The online advertising budget is getting bigger every day. While global online advertising expenditures equalled to $209 billion in 2017 (Kafka and Molla 2017), it reached $333.25 billion in 2019 (eMarketer,2019). Moreover, the latest statistics reported that online advertisement constitutes approximately half of all advertising budget (eMarketer, 2019). Therefore, the tools regarding online advertisements have also expanded remarkably (Liu-Thompkins, 2019). As a result of this expansion, online advertising has turned into roughly indispensable tool for both companies and consumers (Li et al., 2015). Hence, this unexpected expansion of online advertisements has drawn an academic attraction, expecting to ascertain the antecedents and consequences that reveal online ads (Souiden et al., 2017).

Earlier studies focused mostly on the impact of online advertisement on purchase intention, to examine the attitudes toward online ads (Kim et al., 2010; Wang et al., 2009). However, the scholars have ignored the other behavioural intentions such as sharing intention in the online advertisement context. Whereas, according to the theory of planned behaviour, intentions are as vital as real actions, and in some circumstances they are a robust predictor for future consequences (Mikalef et al., 2013). Hence, the intention to share ought also to be important as much as purchase intention. In the context of online ads, sharing intention occurs when consumers enjoy the products taken place in online ads and having positive recommendations. Consumers sometimes have a good time while even watching online ads. This is also another motivation to have sharing intentions with other people. When compared to purchase intention, sharing intention requires interaction among people. This is possible to occur in an online environment. Especially, after being the continuous increase on the Internet and in social media penetration, sharing intention has gained more importance.

However, despite the importance and its relevance of sharing intention in online ads, there are almost no studies examining what factors lead to share intention related to online ads. Whereas, drawing consumers’ attention is not easy anymore. Yet, when the ads are liked and shared by consumers, they might be more effective than the ones shared by companies. In this study, we, therefore, focused on the factors that make people share. The specific aims of the current study are twofold: first, it investigates what factors lead to people to share online ads. The answer to this question is worthy for marketing managers besides scholars since this research will exhibit which factors have an impact on sharing intention. In this research, hence, we empirically test the conceptual model involving attitudes towards online ads, search intention, social media product browsing and sharing intention. To do so, we conducted a survey. Furthermore, the second study examines how online ad types differ from each other in terms of shareability. We conducted 15 depth-interviews in order to find an answer to the question and provide additional information. In the coming parts, we start with a short literature review about attitudes towards online ads, and then we introduce Study 1 and 2. Subsequently, we will provide the theoretical and practical implications of the findings.

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