Is the marketing manager’s headache about to end?

By: Oren Bason

2014 was a turning point year for content. During 2014 content effectively encroached on paid advertising. Technological innovations by Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Outbrain and Taboola, and other players, enabled us to accurately target our audience today, more than ever before. In fact targeting can be accomplished with a relatively small investment in a content piece such as a public relations article or a successful post.

So… what are the main tools worth reviewing to help us accurately target our audience?

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Facebook, Instragram, LinkedIn, YouTube, banners, Outbrain, Native advertising, Adwords SEO… What a headache!

For most marketing managers at all levels, today’s marketing is a source of infinite confusion. There are so many issues to consider such as; where do I place my budget? What will work for our company? Should I focus on brand development or is it a waste of time? Should I focus on leads? Should I continue to invest in traditional advertising or public relations? How much time and effort to invest in each channel?

The current division into multiple channels creates a dilemma about what resources to use to reach a target audience.

2014 – The turning point year
Digital media is constantly changing. However it seems that during 2014, a significant change in the industry may have helped to reduce marketers’ woes. It looks like the ground rules became clearer. The social media networks introduced more sophisticated tools for promoting marketing activity. 2014 became the year that content encroached on sponsored content.

It was the year when an engaging piece of content, whether it was a public relations article or an excellent post, could be exposed to a large number of people, could build or develop your brand image and could also reel in sales, all at a relatively low cost. As advertising banners barely work; viewers at large are ignoring them. In turn, other solutions have been developed to draw eyeballs to online spaces through interesting content.

If you know how to work your digital media, you can increase your client reach to customers you never imagined you would engage with. Concurrently you can aim to expose your editorial and advertising content to a highly targeted audience that is relevant to you, at a reasonable cost.
The market today enables us to gather a lot of information about our target audience and reach the specific people we are after. Now all that’s left is to serve them the right message.

So… let’s make sense of it all and review a few tools that make it possible to connect content to leads and sales:

Paid search content
Content is king, but there is a limit how much content we are willing to consume. The challenge to deliver content to viewers, through organic search, or through posts on Facebook or LinkedIn became a lot harder. Facebook reduced small brand’s company page reach to 6% and large brands to 2%. Facebook specifically stated: If you want your content to be exposed – pay up!

LinkedIn also makes it possible to deliver content to a highly targeted audience by segmenting it according to; position, type of organization, name of organization, size and geographic region. The data makes it possible to target your post more accurately to the relevant audience, without wasting exposure and clicks. When integrating remarketing (advertising that pops up at viewers after they visited your site or landing page) into your campaign, you can increase your content’s effectiveness in a pragmatic way and link it to lead generation.

Introducing Outbrain
Today, creating good content that engages the readers, like a newspaper article, is a step in the right direction. However it’s not enough. As we mentioned before – the audience today is spread across multiple channels. Let’s say that a positive article was written about you in a highly popular newspaper.
This article will enjoy exposure for one-to-two days, and from there on its impact will gradually decline. This is where a company like Outbrain comes to the rescue: Outbrain makes the connection between public relations and targeted sponsored content.
Outbrain makes it possible for any article to appear in various sites under references such as “content you may like ” and payment is based on the number of readers who clicked through. By doing so, you can increase your exposure to the same article for a longer period and enjoy exposure in other sites beyond the one your article was originally published.

Invest in mobile
Mobile very quickly became the main channel for people to consume news, click into social networks and perform search. US banks have reported that 60% of their clients enter their bank accounts through mobile. It is therefore important to ensure your site is mobile friendly. Today most businesses are willing to invest in a mobile site that will create a positive user experience and convince the user to come back again and again.
Video – Easier to watch than read

In the age of instant, it’s much easier to see a movie than read text. It is also more convincing to watch someone delivering a testimonial than read his or her quote. This is why we watch more and more videos (short ones) to review conferences, to get product information, and more. When properly disseminated to your targeted audience, video, through some of the tools previously mentioned can generate more exposure and leads.
Without a doubt, our audiences in 2015 are scattered across multiple channels. However, if we will know how to smartly harness engaging content, and serve it to the right audience, the right way through the right channels, we can reach our audience more accurately on a smaller budget. Organizations that will be able to connect content to media, whether traditional or digital, will do well in the current market.

Oren Bason, CEO Allmedia, experts in media consulting and digital marketing.

Originally published on Globes

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