by Joseph Pratthttp://www.icmediadirect.com
Click-to-call is an emerging contextual advertising format that will help spark the growth of localized search. It links online users to offline advertisers by combining Internet telephone capabilities. Although it has yet to hit its stride as a platform or even pierce consumer consciousness, the biggest interactive names, like Google, Yahoo, and eBay, are positioning themselves for a future in click-to-call. Let's take a closer look.
Click-to-call ads (CTC) are delivered, like pay-per-click, through standard online search results. They mostly resemble standard paid search ads, too. The user sees the familiar text in a box, except there is an icon that can be clicked to connect the interested party with the designated advertiser via telephone. This process is fully online until the user activates the CTC functionality by clicking that icon delivered with the ad.