Content marketing started gaining traction in 2006 and is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as:
A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Native advertising in the form of content recommendation widgets such as Outbrain and Taboola is one channel to distribute content that paid search marketers are starting to leverage.
On average 28% of B2C marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing with 55% of consumer marketers planning to increase spend.
Content marketing is effective for a variety of objectives:
- Lead Generation
- Earned Media Amplification
- Brand Awareness
- Customer Acquisition
The current state of content marketing in the native format is in a similar stage of search at its early adoption stage: growing rapidly, less competitive, and minimal targeting options.
How do search marketers apply this new channel to their marketing strategy?
Here is a lead generation scenario to adapt a current search campaign to a relevant content marketing campaign.
Most search campaigns have a standard text ad or text and image which leads to a landing page. Content marketing requires news like content for promotion which requires a small tweak to your campaign funnel to match the experience people expect from reading helpful blogs.
Write an Advertorial
Create an interesting article or video that evokes emotion and desire that links to your landing page. Some are extreme just as health and diet products, others simply state pains and gains from their software or service. Host the content on your site’s blog or a third party authority site, such as a guest article. Do not host on your home page since that will get rejected by the content recommendation networks.
For example if you promote a month to month wireless service, pound away at the frustration about 2 year wireless contracts and the high cost to cancel. Toward the end of the article (some do it in multiple places within the article), prompt the user to see how much they may save on month to month service. The best call to action will connect to the landing page after you have built up suspense to escape the pain of long term contracts, in this example. Adjust accordingly since you know your market best.
Once you create and host the article, ensure its cohesive from ad to action. This means ensuring you are using variety of images, titles, and descriptions to optimize on click thru rate and conversion rate. As with search or any other campaign: launch, experiment, analyze, and optimize.
Check out Brax.io to manage & optimize your campaigns in Outbrain, Taboola, Yahoo Gemini, Revcontent, & more.