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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Content drives engagement for advertisers. Here’s how to maximize that investment

August 23, 2022 | By Ron Silva, Director of Publisher Account Management – Nativo@nativo

Once upon a time, product placement was not a dirty word. Advertising was an art. Ads were tasteful, thoughtful, well-designed, and created to be iconic. 

During the 90s, the internet changed everything. And, for better or worse, the internet itself continues to evolve. 

For a long while, data-driven advertising was every marketer’s go to. However, cookie deprecation, legislation and a shift to privacy have altered the advertising playbook. And while new solutions are being proposed to supplant invasive data-driven strategies, there are tried and tested approaches that will work. Chief among them are content and context, which work in tandem to engage audiences and drive advertising success. Here’s how to maximize that investment.

Context and content

Content marketing has been around for some time and has ebbed and flowed in terms of popularity. However, we’ve learned a great deal over the years that reinforces the efficacy of quality content, particularly in the right context.

Contextual targeting is privacy compliant, and consumers enjoy the results more than invasive-feeling 3p targeting. 

  • 69% of US publishers are confident their contextual targeting could replace traditional audience targeting. 
  • At Nativo, we’ve seen  a 34% lift in campaigns using contextually targeted ads in viewable CTR and a 32% lift in average time spent on branded content.

Quality content works. It draws audiences in, hits them at a time of heightened relevance, and works hard to give the consumer what they want when they want it. It builds trust with the consumer base, fosters lifelong relationships, and leads to conversions. 

Drive branded content success

Content is a futureproof strategy to reach and engage a brand’s audience. But how do you ensure that brand content stands out? Here are three simple considerations to help ensure that branded content stands out and, most importantly, drives impact.

1. How is the content being consumed?

Content consumption can be divided into location and frame of mind.

Where is the content being consumed?

Contextual relevance coupled with dynamic creative optimization can help drive success and deliver improved impact compared to traditional targeting. Both strategies should consider the site’s placement, surrounding content, and other cues to properly place and optimize content to align with the reader’s frame of mind.

What is the consumer’s frame of mind?

Are they leisurely browsing content or actively seeking trade-related information? The branded content can either be optimized or have separate branded content campaigns that meet the consumer where they are in the purchase journey. This leads to the next consideration:

2. Where does the branded content sit in the marketing funnel?

Branded content either fits closer to the top of the funnel focused on perception or lower in the funnel, trying to engage to the point of consideration.

Point of perception

Top of funnel or perception strategies can include immersive or high-impact content. Providing viewers with helpful resources that either help identify a problem or support the initial research in the form of simple stories formats to full bleed branded content experiences. Content strategies that support perception include tips, quotes, listicles, quizzes, and other high-level engagement opportunities. A brand’s social media accounts typically provide quick access to this content.

Point of consideration

Branded content suits itself well for mid to lower funnel activities and can include multiple CTAs, product highlights, product informational videos, customer reviews, testimonials, and much more. Brands typically have this content already developed and available on their corporate site and blog.

This content typically exists for publishers to repurpose in branded content campaigns and is a matter of scaling the production and delivery of the content.

3. How do you simplify content production?

The most straightforward way to simplify content production is to repurpose the brand’s existing assets. Blogs, downloadable content, quizzes, listicles, infographics, and even a brand’s social media posts can all be used as a part of a sponsored content program. Either providing a foundation for content production or lead generation activities.

To support scaling direct sales, as we covered previously, publishers should look to implement content technologies that make it easy for your organization to repurpose, build and scale a brand’s content program. 

Ultimately, content and context deliver optimal results for brands and provide publishers with the opportunity to offer premium and strategic advertising offerings. However, it is important to help brands think about their content programs strategically and implement the tools required to scale and optimize campaigns.

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