Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Is Bollocks

Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Is Bollocks
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Content marketing is an experiment in Australia. Brands are trialling it and seeing how it goes, but according to Ayal Steiner, general manager at Outbrain, two out of three brands don’t reckon they’re doing content marketing well.

“A lot of brands are reporting that they’re involved in content marketing,” Steiner explained to the audience at the Ad:Tech conference currently underway in Sydney. “When you look at a recent ADMA survey in Australia, you notice that despite feeling unsuccessful, more than 80% feel that they’re going to be doing more content marketing, and only 4% feel they’re going to do less of it.

“How come if you feel something isn’t successful, how come you’re going to do more of it? That, to me, is the definition of insanity. Keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”

So how can brands having a play in this space move past just dabbling and have a solid foundation and understanding?

Steiner says there are three factors needed to drive successful content marketing. “Getting the audience is easy. Keeping the audience on the page, that’s more difficult.”

1. Driving the right audience to the page

You could have your content on a number of sites that aim to drive traffic back to your landing page, but means nothing if it’s not the right audience.

“Traditional media buying, most of it is a push strategy,” said Steiner. “And that’s fine. But when you talk about content, it’s much more of a pull strategy. When you distribute content you’re actually trying to invite someone to read your content.”

That invitation means that not everyone has to accept it, added Steiner, but it’s a chance for those who are really interested to come to the site. Steiner outlined how headlines and images are key to attracting the right audience. Too generic a headline on display ads will attract more click-throughs, but not as many people will stay on the page. A more niche title won’t garner as many clicks, but then you’ve got the people you want.

“You’ve got to focus on qualifying and finding the right audience to the page,” he said. “Think about titles and images as your ability to target, in a very tight manner, the right audience to invite to your page.”

2. Driving the right behaviour on the page

Use your white space. Too many websites are not utilising the heap of white space that surrounds websites, said Steiner.

“Whatever it is you want to happen on the page, it doesn’t just happen. You have to engineer the page design and AB test and craft the pages on it to drive the right outcome.”

Using the example of Loreal’s Makeup.com in the States, Steiner pointed out how the site has pulled in house-ads to drive traffic to the site. What would be other white space has been filled up with editorial content and straight links to the online shop. makeup.com loreal “Here you have content, they’re bringing people to the content hub, but then shifting them away to drive an outcome. They can actually measure the sales that are created by funnelling people through that content,” he explained.

“They’ve maximised the white space around the page to drive the right outcome.”

3. Driving the right result after the page

In order to drive the right audience to the other areas of your site, be it the online store, the sign-up page or something else, Steiner said brands need to match the audience with a hook that will get them to go to where you want them to go.

“There’s no one template to be used across different audiences. You have the opportunity to segment the audience. Match the call to action on the page with the audience.

“Most of the brands that we see have a single page template and it’s exactly the same for everyone. You need to move beyond the single page template. When you do that, you can find what are the high value actions on the site.”

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