Monday March 13th || by Jessica Batty

The biggest strength of digital media is also its most daunting challenge. There has never been more information and content available to us at any given moment, from articles and slideshows to videos and quizzes. This abundance is a blessing for consumers, but it presents a major obstacle for marketers, whose business depends on standing out amongst the overcrowded landscape.

Taboola has been dedicated to solving this “discovery” problem since we launched our first personalized recommendations nearly a decade ago, a mission that has since evolved to encompass video, native, and e-commerce. This year, we decided to partner with Masterclassing to share what we’ve learned about the digital marketing space with professionals of all levels around the world.

Following our first round of classes last month in London and San Francisco, our latest events saw Taboolars meeting with new students in Seattle and Los Angeles. Our speakers share their unique experiences below.

Seattle: Evan Sigel, Media Sales Manager, Taboola

taboola masterclass

Evan Sigel joined Taboola last year to manage our West Coast brands and agency partnerships. During his session in Seattle, attendees discussed how social media efforts were beginning to tap out, and marketers were looking for new and more effective ways to promote their brand stories across the web.

“Consumers are inundated with ads, and when we started talking about the idea that Taboola is pull-based instead of push-based, that really hit home,” Sigel said.

“They were interested in the idea—which is something we often see at Taboola—that someone who is reading an article on a publisher site may be more open to spending the time to discover a new story or innovative product idea, whereas social audiences may be more inclined to remain in that channel and see what their friends are up to.”

Sigel was surprised to find that several attendees were learning for the first time that content promotion strategies they used on social—headlines, images, and customized landing pages—could be used on the open web. In addition to Sigel’s presentation, the session included some real-world case studies on how marketers have used content discovery to drive a variety of goals, ranging from awareness to lead-gen to new purchases.

“People are intrigued by this notion of uniting the open web,” said Sigel. “They hadn’t necessarily thought about the opportunity, but appreciated the ability to leverage the creative and messaging they are already using for social and apply it to the web.”

Sigel’s class session included a broad range of people from brands and agencies, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Nordstrom, and Costco.

Los Angeles: Matthew Neems, Sr. Media Sales Manager, Taboola

taboola masterclass

Since joining Taboola four years ago, Matthew Neems has educated hundreds of established and emerging brands about the potential for content discovery to improve their business.

During this time, he has developed a nuanced sense of how marketers can best promote their brand story across the web, and he found that his Los Angeles audience was eager to get into those nitty-gritty details.

“The room was really well-versed in what a ‘native’ platform like Taboola can do,” says Neems.

“But ‘native’ can also mean different things to different people, so we first established a working definition for content discovery, and then discussed what campaigns perform best across Taboola, versus search or social.”

The bulk of the roundtable discussions focused on specific use cases and best practices for crafting effective headlines, thumbnails, and landing pages. Attendees included a mix of marketing managers and directors from Sony, Yamaha, City National Bank, and The Wonderful Company.

For Neems, the masterclass was a great opportunity to get marketers from different regions and industries talking to each other, and sharing ideas around common challenges and opportunities they face regarding content promotion efforts.

He’s excited to bring those insights back home and share that knowledge with his own current—and future—clients to better support and grow their businesses.

Taboola is hosting several more masterclasses this year around the globe. If you want to catch our next one, sign up.

Jessica Batty

Field marketing extraordinaire, bar method obsessed, lover of traveling but hater of planes. Currently working at Taboola, with past experience at Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Thomson Reuters Accelus. You can follow me on twitter @jlmbatty.