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Content marketing has taken the world by storm, as evident by looking at this graph illustrating number of Google searches for the term “content marketing” over recent years . 9 out of 10 CMOs are doing content marketing.
Content marketing is anything but new, it’s been around for over 100 years!
The Furrow is a customer magazine that has been published by the John Deere corporation since 1895. It is now available in more than 40 countries and in 12 different languages, and is widely considered one of the earliest examples of content marketing.
In 1900, Michelin Tires released a 400-page guide geared at helping drivers maintain their cars. It coved basic maintenance, accommodations, and other travel tips. After 35,000 copies were distributed for free, the company began selling the books for a profit.
In 1904, the Jell-O corporation began distributing free copies of its own cookbook that suggested creative and useful ways to use its own product. Before this time, Jell-O was basically unknown and unused. After just two years of content marketing, the company saw it sales rise to over $1 million dollars per year.
The first serial considered to be a "soap opera" was Painted Dreams, which debuted on October 20, 1930 on Chicago radio station. Early radio series such as Painted Dreams were broadcast in weekday daytime slots, usually five days a week, when most of the listeners would be housewives; thus, the shows were aimed at and consumed by a predominantly female audience. In the name, "soap" refers to the soap and detergent commercials originally broadcast during the shows, which were aimed at women who were cleaning their houses at the time of listening or viewing, and "opera" refers to the melodramatic character of the shows.
In October 2014, Danny MacAskill, a Scottish trials cyclist, released a film titled The Ridge, produce by the Red Bull Media House. In the first 5 days, the video on YouTube garnered over 10 million views.
So why is content marketing exploding in the last 3-4 years? What has changed?
First, we have ample new tools that enable everyone to create content – we all carry hi-res cameras in our pockets, starting a blog takes 30 seconds, and anyone can create amazing presentations online.
And, the rapid shift to mobile devices mean we spend more hours each day consuming content – on the subway, while waiting for a doctor appointment, and when we meet with friends.
Finally, new technologies help with matchmaking – match.com help us find dates, pandora helps us find music and taboola helps find content.
The second factor is distribution. Distribution has become massively easier with social media and user-generated content sites like YouTube, Pinterest and SlideShare.
Finally, people have changed. We have all become fed up with traditional “in your face” ads and sales pitches, and developed banner blindness. Content is more likely to change perceptions and influence purchase decisions than ads.
The convergence of new technologies, new distribution channels and changes in behavior led to a massive adoption of content marketing. It seems like everybody is doing it. But, like any other marketing tactic, when it becomes common, getting results is difficult. This graph depicts the Gartner hype cycle model, which describes the evolution of new technologies. Content marketing is no different, and when it becomes a common practice, consumers are drowning in content, and it is incredibly more challenging to get positive returns.
The huge popularity of content marketing created a very noisy environment, with hundreds of hours of video uploaded every minute, 40 million tweets a day and almost 2 billion facebook posts a month.
To cut through the clutterand make content marketing really work, marketers need to build a strategy that includes planning, creation, distribution and optimization of content.
Many great companies help with planning and creation of content. We at Taboola focus on distribution and optimization.
Marketers are looking for 3 things when they consider distribution:
Scale – reach a big enough targeted audience Measurability – be able to measure return on content and on distribution Cost – make it economically viable
The opportunity and challenges presented by content marketing are the backdrop for the rise of a new advertising platform, called discovery.
Discovery has 2 uniquecharacteristics: Native placements, below article, on publisher sites Primarily promoting content items – articles, videos, photo galleries
If you’re using the Internet, you have seen us before…
We serve targeted content recommendations below articles, on desktop and mobile. What’s unique about it is state-of-mind. Unlike search, where you have a high intent, or social, when you’re checking out your friend’s whereabouts, with discovery you are in what we call “content consumption mode”, i.e. you just finished reading an article or watching a video, and you are now ready to read some more. The result is far higher post-click engagement.
How does it work?
The engine that powers Taboola’s platform consists of hundreds of algorithms that process numerous signals, e.g. your location, time of day, personal preferences, social trends, device you use and more, to produce personalized experience and recommendations that are optimized for a specific desired outcome, such as sign up, purchase, video view time, etc.
For example, the content you might be interested in while using your desktop at work is probably very different from the type of content you might like when you’re using your iPad, relaxing on your sofa in the evening. The recommendation engine takes all these parameters into account and produces billions of targeted recommendations a day.
Here’s a great example of how it works for Netflix, one of our good partners. A visitor to a publisher site, such as USA Today, Weather.com, NBC Sports or TMZ, finishes an article and clicks on a recommendation of a Netflix trailer. The visitor is taken to a Netflix site and views the trailer, and is then driven to sign up. Taboola tracks all campaign parameters, such as visibility rates, impressions, CTR and CPA, and continuously optimizes for sign ups.
We found that content drives action across all industries, from travel to packaged goods to credit cards and enterprise software. It is always a matter of getting the right content and optimizing the campaign for your goals.
Finally, content marketing isn’t really worth it, unless you can do it at scale. The hyper growth of the discovery space in general, and Taboola specifically, means advertisers can now reach vast audiences. Taboola serves 200 billion recommendations a month to over 550M uniques. In fact, we reach more desktop users than Facebook or Google Sites in the US, and more than YouTube in the UK!
מצגת של עינבר יגור, סמנכ"לית אסטרטגיית תוכן בחברת טאבולה
driving action through content
VP, AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
CONTENT MARKETING IS HOT
2007 2009 2011 2013 2015
* Google Trends Data for 01/2007-01/2015
100+ YEARS OF CONTENT MARKETING