All brands must have content amplification, both mobile and native advertising, in their content marketing arsenal. Beyond the hype, native advertising is one method showing great success at scale and it’s here to stay. Regardless of how amazing your content is or who created it, if you don’t have a clear amplification and execution plan in place, getting above the noise is near impossible. In this webinar we’ll dive into the 5 ways to electrify your content marketing, using data and reviewing effective native advertising methods. Brands have to wake up and focus their content to achieve higher engagement throughout the consumer’s path to purchase or risk losing TOP OF MIND to competitors that are capturing greater market share.
- Learn how to amplify your content all the time.
- On and off domain content amplification.
- What’s native advertising? Scale in context.
- How to mobilize your content marketing.
Are you reaching your customer? 4 Barriers to consider:
1. We’re in a content deluge.
We’re in an era where the volume of content creation and dissemination is at an all time high with no signs of stopping. The old saying “drinking from a fire hydrant” is an understatement. The sheer volume from so many channels is creating a media surplus. This mountain of consumer engagement insight is where lots of the buzz comes from regarding big data. The brands that harness this data will dominate pure and simple. Content is omnipresent. There are no shortages of devices either. Everyone is a content creator, which adds to the noise.
Your customers are very distracted and most are multitasking over many apps and receiving content notifications frequently. Both on and off domain distractions complicate your ability to increase time with your customers. Consumers are mobile and vying for their attention in this digital ADD world pushes some brands to extreme content marketing. Brands must stay relevant and create compelling, share worthy content at a clip like never before or risk becoming irrelevant.
Consumers are looking for or engaging on specific content and brands must have some tunnel vision too. People can barely consume, much less comprehend, 285 pieces of content in a day. Multitasking and multiple devices is a cultural norm requiring a higher degree of content stickiness. We only want to consume content relevant to us at a very specific moment in time. Tunnel vision helps us do that.
It’s complicated to say the least. Consumers are being influenced and the path to purchase is based on many online and offline factors. Most of us embark on an open-ended purchase path and our content consumption patterns change daily.
The above was inspired by a Michael Brito slideshare.
The $110 Billion Big Problem
Brands spent $110 Billion on Content Marketing in the last 3 years, yet the interactions by consumers on that content is low. Content is stuck in silos across the web / mobile / social / blog channels and lacks context over all consumer touch points. Is your content disconnected?
Above is a great example of a top content creator’s precipitous decline in social engagement. Disney continues an exponential increase in it’s content creation and post rate as seen in the graph above, however, the two graphs on the right prove engagement has leveled off and that social shares have declined over the past 3 years. The data demonstrates consumers haven’t stopped engaging but there are so many other avenues to choose from. What’s exciting is that all this content and the data from social channels sets up a data bonanza for the brands to harness.
Interest Graph Actions on Content
Data on your customer content and consumer behavior is not a nice to have but a must have for any modern digital marketing effort. You must have a clear understanding of your audience and what’s relevant to them or your marketing message will fall flat. Consumers have many interest graphs across many networks today. For marketing automation and personalization, graph data is paramount for relevant content personalization.
Better engagement through better content marketing insights is the focus. Brands have to look across their paid, owned and earned channels and understand the underlying interest graph of interconnections. Anyone of these channels can go viral. The facts are most all content now has a social share function integrated with delivery or as part of the content itself. Hard actions on content can now be measured vs. social mentions or the amount of views/traffic a property obtains. Using engagement performance and applying scores on content now enables content marketers to benchmark over many sites/channels within the same content category. What’s unique? All content has gone social enabling interest graphs to be created on your customers. This data provides deep insights into what’s resonating and shared based on type, source and brand identity.
Integrated Content Experience
Brands require an innovative approach when creating and distributing their visual content, especially on mobile. Pinterest style layouts are proven to be highly effective in increasing consumer engagement and discovery. Smart brands are combining these vector scaling adaptive layouts and harnessing the consumer behavior to their advantage. By surfacing real-time trends to induce higher engagement wherever the consumer is, targeting and personalization are no longer nice to haves but the key to customer retention and conversion.
Different brands and businesses have different content needs and preferred methods of engagement. Identifying your content mojo is a big part of an amplification strategy. Brands with clear understanding of how their prospects, customers, and advocates interact across these media elements have an opportunity to retain or gain market share.
Here are the three:
- EARNED MEDIA – Media relations, Influencer engagement, Word-of-mouth
- SHARED MEDIA - Social media channel strategy, Community management, Social content creation
- OWNED MEDIA – Brand website/newsroom, Campaign microsite, Mobile apps
We’re now in an omni-channel world and have to look at the customer in a new way over all brand touch points. Using omni-channel retailing while working with the “Connected Consumer“, all shopping channels work from the same database of products, prices, promotions, etc. Instead of perceiving a variety of touch-points as part of the same brand, omni-channel retailers let consumers experience the brand, not a channel within a brand. Merchandise and promotions are not channel specific, but rather consistent across all retail channels.
If you want to be in the game you must have GREAT content – to start with – not a product promotion but a real story around client success. The best content is that being created and re-purposed over many channels over and over. Be realistic on the volume of content you need to create. Insights on what your industry is creating and the volume to stay relevant is readily available over every industry. Don’t complicate you content marketing creation process there are ample examples of what’s effective and what consumers are willing to share.
The content marketing cycle.
Every part of your content marketing cycle has great importance. For this post we’ll focus on the promotion side of content marketing. A big step is defining your objectives and data you want to obtain ongoing. Not just reporting but a plan of action over each promotional channel. Next, must have a rock solid monitoring strategy and a plan to use the data to drive your decision process. Without these you’re just guessing and wasting time.
5 Ways to Amplify Your Content Marketing & What’s Native Advertising
1. Amplification Comes From Who You’re Working with
We found partnering on the eBooks creation process to be highly effective for thought leadership, lead generation and very lucrative. Who is part of your content and the quality are critical factors. Here are a few eBooks we created with top content marketers.
- Room 214 – The World’s Top 50 Fashion Brands in Social Media – Digital agency partner
- Brian Carter – The Band Managers Guide to Social Content Marketing – influencer, thought leader
- Marketo- The State of Social Content Marketing in the Medical and Fitness Industry – Industry leader
- InfiniGraph – What’s Engagement? How Data Driven Content Marketers are Crushing Content Marketing - Crowd sourced influencer eBook
- Natalie Petouhoff – 6 Secrets of Engagement For the Top Cosmetics Brands Industry analyst and influencer
- Natalie Petouhoff - The TOP 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter:
All our eBooks have blog posts associated with them as well as paid amplification program. Beyond our co authors tweets and reach, we leveraged native ads and found them to be highly effective in reaching our intended audience. eBook also provided us with big rock content we used to repackaged and amplified over many channels. For more on this topic get Jason Miller’s “Welcome to the Funnel” he is the god on content re-purposing and big rock content.
Paid content amplification is a must have to reach a broader audience. Content jammed at the bottom of publications is one method of expanding reach - but people call this type of amplification “recommendation” like Outbrain, Yahoo, Taboola, Gravity etc.
It’s a lower cost method to push content on top publications, however, the performance is on par with standard ad hole insertion or less. This type of content amplification doesn’t constitute in context content marketing, however, some publishers have seen successful cross promoting content and others have not using these method.
What’s Native Advertising and Types of Native Ads?
What ever you call it “sponsored content,” “advertorial,” “promoted post” or “branded content” native advertising is here to stay. In a recent post we highlighted the fusion of content marketing and native advertising describing the native advertising matrix consists of;
- Effective contextual advertising,
- Branded content,
- Advertorial and
- Sponsored Text.Here we break them down into their visual components.
Google was the first to introduce native at scale with the insertion of text ad in the search stream. Now text ad can be found on most publications. For publishers looking to get some montization and Google AdSence like placement this method will be around for some time.
Sponsored or advertorial content is the most expensive to deploy and time consuming. Many brands have achieved success with this type of native advertising, however, for smaller brands this native method is cost prohibited. Smaller brands can achieve sponsored content like the “In Post” method below.
In Stream or promoted post is the most popular form of native advertising, unfortunately, most is out of context and doesn’t enhance the consumer experience vs just clogging up one’s feed. On mobile you’re forced to interface with this type of in feed sponsored content hence why mobile video and in stream ads obtain some of the highest CTRs in the business.
This is the newest form of Native advertising whereby the native unit is in context to the content around it. Native ads done well create a more reliable experience for the consumer than an obtrusive, in-stream ad that isn’t in context. Brands are seeing higher CTR (1 to 3%) on both desktop and mobile due to relevance. A great example is a publisher creating content on the latest refreshment ideas for summer with a Starbucks native ad unit about their latest refreshments, changing in real-time.
The in context native ad provides value to the content around it and it is an overall better experience. No wonder these real-time native advertising units get more engagement. Content amplification doesn’t have to be hard just smart. For more depth on native advertising see our latest post on SEJ.
On domain visual content marketing is very effective. You have a captive audience on your website or mobile application, however many brands fail to surface the right content throughout the consumer engagement path.
Here DGDG, a large automotive dealership in the bay area, powers their thank you pages and main content HUBs from their 14 auto brands top content. Most brand’s thank you pages, purchase exit pages, etc. are dead and they are missing a big opportunity to re-engage with their customers with fresh content and Close the Social Loop. You have their attention so put your best foot forwards.
Brands require an innovative approach to the way they display visual content and accessibility especially on mobile extending the discovery process and site stickiness. Pinterest style layouts are proven visual interfaces to increase consumer engagement and share rates. Smart brands are combining data intelligence and visual content based on consumer behavior to their advantage surfacing real-time trends to induce higher engagement wherever the consumer is at.
4. Native – Amplification
Many publishers create sponsored content for brands, however, this type of publishing can be expensive. The unique element on the right created by SocialMoms was including a real-time native ad for Princess Cruises. The unit is leveraging trending content from Princess and distributed in a native unit over the SocialMom’s network. Content is created as part of the native unit to increase greater context. Princess Cruises native units achieve 20X great CTR than industry averages due to dynamic images based on consumer data and smart placement.
Mobile content display is lacking on most brands and the use of data on consumers to create a better user experience is almost non existent. A great example is the mobile interface on Disney. Here we have a static layout, content change is infrequent vs user engagement driving content changes based on trends or past behavior used in an Instagram layout structure. Brands that integrate Infinite scrolling, simple sharing and adaptive interface increase time on site.
InfiniGraph’s vector scaling and adaptive content design for any content type provides flexibility to content published by the brands in a robust mobile interface. You followers are coming to you site on mobile devices especially if your amplifying content over native networks like Facebook etc. Here are a few tip to consider when developing a strong mobile strategy.
Put the user first
- Observe what users are trying to accomplish.
- Derive patterns from their behavior.
- Create the content Features (infinite scrolling, swiping, touching) that they do on other apps.
Focus on simplicity
- Both design and user experience are critical.
- Smaller screens require simplicity is crucial.
- Remove everything superfluous from the UI.
- Only show elements to the best advantage.
Context is king:
- Mobile is personal.
- Devices keep getting smarter.
- Information can be personalized.
- Content is delivered to the right user at the right time and place.