Using a Content Marketing Platform in 2022: Guide for Small Businesses
‘Content marketing platform’ is a phrase you might not be immediately familiar with, but it’s very likely that you have come across them when browsing the internet. They are the series of adverts often placed at the end of an article, suggesting more content you might like to click on. Sometimes they are quite unusual, or even weird, attention grabbing headlines and they are always ‘content’ rather than a sales message. They offer a great opportunity for small businesses to use their content to reach huge audiences for relatively low costs. However, it does require a little bit of initial research into how to make them work successfully for your brand.
Who are the key players?
Outbrain and Taboola are the two major content marketing platforms. A quick glance on their sites will show you there’s a number of ways to describe them. Outbrain is a ‘recommendation platform for the open web’ and Taboola is a ‘native discovery platform’. Other players in the market include Nativo, a ‘native advertising platform’, Redirect.com and AdPushUp.
How do they work?
Both Outbrain and Taboola, the gold standard of content marketing platforms, are similar in terms of set up. You’re required to identify an audience, timings and content for your campaign, which can then be activated. On Outbrain, for example, you would begin your campaign with identifying a target audience from a list of choices they provide. Perhaps you have some useful ‘how to’ content on your site, or a new blog post you’d like to drive more people to, you can enter the link as the destination landing page. You can use this content to drive your audience to sign up to your email database, or buy your products. The next steps include choosing a bid amount, then uploading your images and headlines and setting the campaign dates. Then once, the campaign is live, the final step is to monitor results and make notes for future plans.
Planning Your Content Marketing Campaign
Let’s break down those stages. In terms of images, it’s best to pick lifestyle images or simple graphics with bright colours. Now is not the time to be subtle, the image will be relatively small on the screen so it’s best to choose something that will really stand out. Your image will potentially placed next to other competitor ads all demanding attention and that illusive click. Outbrain allows you to trial a host of headlines so it’s a great way to test a number of different approaches. Headlines structured as questions and simple facts can be a great way to grab attention.
When it comes to monitoring, this will be affected by the goal of the campaign. You could measure your click through rate, which images and headlines worked the best. You could use Google analytics to measure info about the audience who click through to your site. How many pages did they then read, where did they click, did they sign up to your database or purchase a product? Did they share the content on their own platforms? You can also collect data to inform future campaigns using retargeting, a win win for your marketing strategy.
The Origins of Content Marketing Platforms
Outbrain was founded in 2006 by Co-founder and Co-CEO Yaron Galai, and Co-Founder, CTO and General Manager Ori Lahav. David Kostman Co-CEO, is now also part of the top leadership team. In 2020 Wikipedia noted it delivered an average of 10 billion recommendations daily for over 20,000 advertisers. The company is based in New York and has 850 employees. In 2019 – 2020 it was rumoured Outbrain were going to merge with Taboola but discussions fell through. They currently remain separate companies.
Taboola offers a content marketing platform reaching 500 million daily active users, and 400 billion content recommendations each month. Also in NYC, the CEO is Adam Singolda, founding the company in 2007. Wikipedia suggests it had over 1000 employees in 2018, but the pandemic may have seen this number drop.
Top Tips to Get Started on a Content Marketing Platform
- Make sure the reader can easily share your content.
- Trial a large number of pictures and headlines to get the highest click through rates possible.
- Have a clear goal to your campaign and monitor your results.
- Collect data for a retargeting campaigns in the future.
A content marketing platform allows small businesses the chance to drive traffic to their site form large publishers for relatively small costs. Although less well known than Google or Facebook adverts for example, they have certainly established themselves in the media market and are likely to be a growing area in the future. Pick your favourite tips from this article to make sure your next content marketing campaign thrives when set live in the world wide web!
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