Andy Ellenthal, CEO of Peer39, just published an article for Digiday on why marketers need to think beyond buying audience and look at buying content. In his article, Ellenthal referenced a recent Yahoo study which shows that ads appearing in relevant content “elicit an emotional response that’s almost twice as high as those without relevant content…When the objective is centered around building awareness, contextual relevance can help build long term memory of the brand.”
Whoa. Andy, have you bugged our offices?
Based on Nielsen’s 2009 Global Online Consumer Survey, seven in every ten (70%) of internet consumers worldwide trust recommendations from consumer opinions posted online (earned media). Branded websites are the most trusted form of advertiser-led adverting (owned media) with the same trust level as consumer opinions.
Whether it’s owned or earned (3rd party), marketers should think about content as the entry point or validation of their product or service. To use Andy’s example, marketers should think of content as a way to get customers into the store and think of tactics such as buying audience and SEM as the “merchandiser.” The merchandisers are the ones responsible for the actual purchase (i.e. direct response).
Buying audience is not the way to bring big brand dollars online. It’s just not scalable or cost efficient. As Andy states, “The problem now is that no guarantee exists that [the marketer’s] ads will show up in the same environments as are guaranteed when buying the content directly.” Relevancy and having your brand and content in front of the right audience when they are in the mindset to engage with it is the key for branding online.
Once the content strategy is developed, the next step is amplifying it at scale.