Thought Leadership

Bringing the Power of Programmatic to Content Marketing

Ben Pheloung

The Drum
August 1, 2017
As brands continuously look for ways to differentiate themselves and connect with their core audiences, the role of content marketing continues to grow in importance. The appeal of the medium is clear – audiences spend significant time with branded content, which in turn produces higher conversion rates than traditional marketing as well as increased brand recognition, ongoing brand engagement and sales lift.
The critical challenge is finding audience – it doesn't matter how good the content is if no one sees it. Audiences are more spread out than ever before, and there is no one place to consistently find future customers. Programmatic platforms can be a huge help with this component of the content marketing equation by consolidating workflow, simplifying execution and streamlining distribution to efficiently reach the desired audience at scale.
Here are three ways programmatic can help enhance the power of content marketing:

Finding your audience

To connect with the right audience at scale, the key is to not put all eggs in one basket – consumers aren’t loyal to a single publication or to a single social media platform, making a diversified and flexible approach to paid distribution necessary. Using multiple types of channels – as well as multiple individual providers within each category – significantly amplifies your reach.
Until now, it’s been very challenging for marketers to execute effective content-driven brand experiences efficiently and at scale because of the manpower required to manage such a far-reaching program. Programmatic platforms solve for this by offering brands a single solution to efficiently target, distribute and optimise branded articles and videos to the right audience across all key social, native and content discovery channels.

Focusing on engagement

Content marketing is about the long-haul - building a true, two-way relationship with the customer – one that goes well beyond the click. To do this, brands need to understand what resonates with their audience. This is achieved through analysing page-level consumer engagement, which shows how someone really interacted and engaged with the content the brand is putting out there. Examples of page-level data include: dwell time, bounce rates, onward clicks, average scroll depth, scroll velocity, hours in view and so on. The goal is to be able to track the best metrics for what you’re trying to achieve – and then to take action based on the results in order to optimise your campaign moving forward. Programmatic platforms that supply page-level analytics are highly valuable to marketers as they seek to determine which messages best connect with their consumers.

Optimising for success

One of the benefits of digital advertising is the ability to easily test and optimise. For every piece of content created, multiple headlines and thumbnail images should be tested to determine the winning combinations and where to invest.
With programmatic automation, intelligent technology uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to iteratively learn from campaign data and continuously update algorithms. Marketers can use these real-time analytics to adjust campaign configuration to focus on best performance, and eliminate less successful channels for optimum ROI.
Combining the power of programmatic with the impact of content marketing is a very powerful recipe for marketers. This marriage of compelling brand messaging with technically sophisticated tools enables programmatic content marketing campaigns to leverage multiple distribution channels spanning from native, to social to content discovery, to ensure they are reaching their audience at scale wherever they choose to consume content. Detailed page level analytics ensure the right messaging is spotlighted and amplified, and iterative learning provides continuous optimisation for maximum return on the campaign.
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