How to Start a Content Discovery Campaign From Scratch
Monday June 19th || by Matt King
Day in and day out, digital marketers face the daunting task of promoting their content across a media landscape that is continually ballooning with millions of pieces of new content.
Every 60 seconds, a fresh batch of files are uploaded into the digital ether, including 500 hours of YouTube videos, 29 million WhatsApp messages, 3.8 million Google searches, and 3.3 million Facebook updates. The never-ending barrage of content can seem overwhelming, if not impenetrable.
Rising up to tackle this problem are content discovery platforms, which have developed advanced predictive engines that can ingest billions of user signals and content items, and match each person with a handful of stories they are most likely to be interested in consuming next.
“Personalized recommendations offer advertisers an alternative to the walled gardens like social media and search engines.”
First popularized by the likes of Netflix and Amazon, these personalized recommendations offer advertisers an alternative to the walled gardens like social media and search engines and instead engage audiences through native placements across the open web’s most popular sites.
Technically, the only two things you need to launch a content discovery campaign are a URL and a valid credit card number. But there are a few additional measures you can take to ensure that your first campaign is best positioned for success.
Below is our five-step guide for getting your campaign up and running in a matter of minutes. Join the thousands of advertisers—big and small, B2B and B2C—who are using content to drive results across the marketing funnel, from awareness to purchase to long-term brand loyalty.
1) Set Your Goal: What Do You Want From Your Audience?
Like any strategic advertising effort, your content discovery campaign should begin with a discussion about what success will look like and how you might be able to measure it.
This focus is particularly important given the versatility of the channel—personalized recommendations can drive video views for Food Network, class registrations for online education platform Talentedge, and new mattress sales for e-commerce startup Leesa.
Choosing a specific and tangible goal provides a compass by which you can later optimize your campaign and ultimately learn valuable lessons about which tactics work best against different kinds of goals.
Higher-funnel brand awareness campaigns may choose to focus on engagement metrics time-on-site or pages-per-session, while performance advertisers often track actions like completed form fills, downloads, or purchases.
2) Choose the Content that Best Matches your Goal or KPI
Once you have a goal in mind, think about which types of content are most likely to persuade your audience to take that desired action.
Content discovery platforms can drive users to any piece of content across the web, including company websites, blogs, YouTube videos, customer reviews, quizzes, earned media, personalized landing pages, and more.
Not all of these content types are effective for every campaign. For example, a piece of positive earned media can certainly boost a brand awareness campaign—we suggest testing various pieces to make sure they’re helping you hit your goal.
For a more complete list of “Do’s” and “Dont’s” when it comes to content selection and design, you can check out our performance best practices on constructing “Content Pages That Convert.”
3) Upload Campaign Items onto Taboola and Prepare for Launch
You’ll enter basic account details, upload relevant content items, and apply initial audience filters (such as country or device). We recommend that all advertiser partners, even first-time users, upload multiple versions of the same promoted landing page, with alternate titles or thumbnails that can be A/B-tested for greater impact once the campaign is live.
These title and thumbnail combinations serve as the vital first impression for your piece of content, enticing people to click and learn more about your story.
You can check out our “Creative Best Practices” guide for a more detailed breakdown of tips and tricks on crafting these elements for maximum impact.
When setting your initial daily budget, we also advise new partners to be relatively generous if possible with their cost-per-click (CPC), rather than immediately driving towards the lowest possible number.
Higher CPCs enable a campaign to effectively cast a wider net at the beginning and therefore uncover more opportunities to optimize toward well-performing audience segments.
4) Optimize Your Campaign via our Fully Transparent Backstage Dashboard
While many closed platforms have received criticism for offering limited performance data to advertisers, Taboola’s ‘Backstage’ dashboard has always provided partners with full transparency into every aspect of their campaign.
Backstage users can view reports that track performance by site, platform, country, and countless other criteria. These filters can provide valuable insights around ways to optimize your campaign after it has been live for at least three days and generated a baseline level of audience visibility and interaction.
“Taboola’s ‘Backstage’ dashboard has always provided partners with full transparency into every aspect of their campaign.”
We suggest that advertisers first look for opportunities to optimize by country or source, as CPC competitiveness varies significantly by country, and some publishers or geographies perform better than others depending on the goal. How you optimize depends on parameters surround your personal brand and goals.
Every content discovery campaign can immediately become more effective with optimization—by analyzing the data, identifying which countries and publishers are driving a significant level of performance—at least 10 conversions, or 500 clicks—and increasing your spend on those more engaged audiences.
5) Compare Results Against your Original Goal and Re-invest Accordingly
Not every marketing campaign is a runaway success, but if managed in a smart and strategic manner, it should at least provide a lesson that can be applied towards similar efforts in the future.
After your content discovery campaign has generated a sufficient amount of audience data, take a step back and consider how the overall performance compares to your original goal or KPI.
If the campaign worked, look for ways to make it even more efficient, targeting audiences by more granular variables like time of day, site, and device type. If the campaign fell flat, look at the data to see where and how users dropped away, and form some hypotheses for what might have happened.
In addition to analyzing the results of your first campaign, we encourage new advertisers to consider how content discovery might support other marketing efforts across the organization, and throughout the marketing funnel.
Many brands are using content to supplement search marketing, social promotion, offline events, mobile apps, and more, and discovery platforms like Taboola have helped marketers immediately boost sales in everything from men’s razors to luxury travel memberships to HDTVs during the holiday rush, and Cyber Monday.
Frustrated by the rising costs and limited control of social media platforms, thousands of established and emerging brands are investing more money into content discovery as a way to strategically drive audiences towards high-value, brand-safe pages, at precisely the moments when those users are most likely to be interested in engaging with that particular piece of content.
Taboola is the world’s leading content discovery platform, serving 360B recommendations to over 1B unique visitors each month on the web’s most innovative publisher sites. To learn more about how Taboola can help you, contact us or start your campaign today.