In the most regular of circumstances, thinking carefully about your media mix is key for efficiently reaching your audiences.

Now that the world’s population is widely working from home or operating entirely out of their homes, thinking strategically about your media mix has a whole new meaning. It’s important to consider:

  • Where consumers are right now
  • What types of content and product they’re looking for on what channels
  • How to quickly adjust your strategy in response to a rapidly changing world

We talk a lot about the businesses and agencies of all sizes, all faced with the same challenge—how to communicate to consumers as resource of valuable and empathetic information, as well as keep their businesses (and the businesses of their clients) afloat.

The impact on your media mix and distribution strategy is critical as you also work to quickly adapt your creative strategy and readjust your marketing plan. Here, we’ll take you through the impact of the Coronavirus on search, social and open web activity, and share some of the ways you can re-evaluate your own media mix in response.

Engagement in publisher sites is on the rise, alongside search and social channels.

We’ve seen a huge impact on publisher engagement in the U.S., both for Coronavirus-related content and other news categories. There’s no doubt about it—people are spending more time on the open web.

It’s likely that search and social are both seasoned regulars in your media mix, and that’s a good thing—especially since they’re seeing a rise in traffic as well, but as more time is spent on the open web, now could be a good time to consider how discovery advertising fits into that mix.

People are spending more time on the open web for good reason—publishers are the front lines of communication. They provide the latest in news, lists of quarantine activities for kids, entertainment, and more. If you’re looking to reach new audiences and reach KPIs of your own, those publisher sites are the place to be.

Make the most of publisher traffic with discovery platforms and native advertising.

Discovery advertising is often considered in tandem with native advertising—simply put, native advertising is a form of advertising where the ad matches the format and context of the surrounding content.

Specifically in the context of publisher websites, this occurs in the form of either sponsored content or in-feed video, both of which are presented to readers as a non-intrusive extension of their content consuming experience.

Discovery ads reach consumers at a critical time—when they’re finished consuming content and are ready to discover something new. It’s this critical moment when they’re poised to entertain content or products that they’ve never heard of before, or are maybe only mildly familiar with.

This is much different from the user intent on search and social sites. If you’re searching for something, you know what you’re looking for, and on social sites, users expect to see content that’s relevant to them and their social circle. On the open web, these expectations are gone, and you can reach a new type of user that’s open to hearing your message, regardless of whether or not they’ve come into contact with you before.

Sponsored Content

Let’s dive into sponsored content first—used by brand marketers and performance marketers alike, sponsored content can attract consumers to product landing pages, e-books, earned media coverage, blog content and much more.

Right now, we’re seeing an influx in performance-based campaigns, as more and more marketers seek to find success in proving ROI. Below are some examples of sponsored content ads that could drive results for brands:

So, maybe your strategy looks something like this:

  • Promote blog content with strategic CTAs to attract new consumers with a platform that allows you to tell your story to the fullest potential.
  • For people who didn’t take the bait, retarget them with an e-book, promotion or webinar event on social media channels after they’re familiar with you.
  • Then use that audience to refine your search strategy when users intend to find you, or products like yours, and make a purchase.

In-feed Video

Video advertisements tend to be best for brand awareness KPIs, but there are ways to use video for performance, too. Leaning on features such as overlays and pop-ups gives consumers a chance to click and learn more, sign up, or make a purchase.

In the case of the Taboola Video Studio, Taboola’s in-house video creation suite, these performance opportunities come in the form of hot spots, which have provided advertisers with tangible click-through rate impacts and sales.

The users that engage with those video additions are a good audience to then target with sponsored content, or on social and search platforms, depending on your KPIs.

Attribution Modeling

It’s easy to talk about cross-platform strategies at a high level—but it doesn’t mean anything unless you can tie the numbers together and track your progress.

Attribution modeling is a way to analyze which touchpoints a specific conversion can be attributed to.

Often, attribution is given to the channel where an advertiser saw revenue come from immediately, known as last-click attribution, but this view likely does not tell the entire story. A purchase might be made after a search ad, but that doesn’t mean your social media and discovery ads didn’t play a role—assessing the value of each of these touch points allows you to allocate budgets correctly across channels to build a healthy funnel.

Take, for example, a search ad about the cheapest vacuum with a 5-star rating. It’s likely that this ad may be the last click before a handful of purchases were made, but this doesn’t take into consideration the multiple interactions that consumers may have had beforehand. Perhaps they clicked on a piece of sponsored content that led them to an article about home cleaning, and then they saw an advertisement for a vacuum coupon on social later that day. And then, the following day, when they were finally ready to buy, that’s when they saw that last ad, and ultimately clicked and purchased.

So, why is this important? Expanding strategies beyond just focusing on last-click attribution is the key to driving more (and new) audiences online, something that is becoming increasingly important.

At the end of the day…

A media mix is always important. Thinking through all of the different channels at your disposal, and the different ways in which they can help you is key to help you get your message across to consumers and help your business stay afloat.

In a world where people are operating out of their homes, and the importance of publisher websites is emphasized, make sure you’re finding space in your media mix to meet people where they are, and where they need for you to be.

Your message is important, your budget may be limited, and now more than ever you want to make sure you’re allocating in the way that will work best for you.

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