BrainPower: “Interesting” Outdistances “Relevant” in Analysis of Golf Content.

|Rich Ullman

This week, we pulled out some data on the consumption of content about golf. We chose to highlight this week due to the relevance of the 40th Ryder Cup matches this weekend, but our primary insight from it is one that should be interesting year round. That’s the often-overlooked importance of personalized media experiences and “interesting-ness.”

As for the data, let’s start at the top.

We compared the click through rates (CTR) on golf content from over 80 referring categories against a baseline. A selection of them is what you see in the chart below. And at the top is a completely expected content category: Small Business. It’s six and a half times more likely than average to generate clicks to golf content.

BrainPower-Golf Content

So, if you’re just creating golf content, you can focus on that point and the following summation:

Generally, audiences interested in sports and business & finance are likely to also be interested in golf content; while audiences interested in health and electronics are unlikely to be interested in golf content.

But we don’t favor generalizations, and we know you’re interested in more than golf.

What’s not as obvious as Small Business as a referrer are the categories that sit below it. They’re also higher drivers of golf content. Yes, Banking feels a little like Small Business, so we’re not surprised by that. But what about Celebrities? Or Crime? Or even Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual content?

None of these have much relevance to golf whatsoever. Yes audiences in those categories are more likely to respond to golf content than those who are looking at… yes, golf content.

More and more, we see this pattern. It’s an insight that supports the point that Alex made in January, and which our founder Yaron has made many times over the years.

When it comes to content, “most relevant” does not equal “most interesting.”

Our specific research (see Alex’s post) and other indicators continue to show that unrelated content recommendations, on average, generate higher engagement. And this also supports the thought that your best shot at engaging users with content, is not always with something totally relevant, but with something very interesting.

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Rich Ullman

Rich Ullman

Rich Ullman is Vice President, Marketing at Outbrain, who is responsible for the Outbrain brand and product positioning. Read more

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