How Colgate’s Commitment to Content Marketing Produced 25% Higher Engagement


These days, traditional advertising channels are simply not effective at motivating audiences to take action. We already know the click-through rate on display ads are overwhelmingly low, impacting even large,
blue-chip brands like Colgate.

Then what does one of the most renowned in oral health and dental care need to stay top of mind and gain real business traction online?

It capitalizes on more powerful marketing activities — namely, as the data below suggests, content marketing.


Here’s how the leading global marketer of oral hygiene products reached new audiences at scale with content.

*Interesting Fact – Over 1.6 billion Colgate toothbrushes are sold annually worldwide; if you lined them up end to end, they would circle the globe 16 times.*

Building a Content Destination

The editorial website is the holy grail of content marketing, as is the ownership of its audience.

Colgate knew it had to build its own content destination, as opposed to just “renting” space on channels where they couldn’t reap the benefits of developing stronger relationships through tactics such as retargeting or even nurturing programs.

That’s why it dedicated the necessary resources to produce publisher-level content that truly delighted consumers, such as posts like this on how to fight bad breath (yuck):


After creating nearly 1,500 pieces of original content, Colgate truly made content marketing a cornerstone of its digital strategy.

Driving Results Through Content Distribution

In such a crowded marketplace, most brands can’t solely rely on a “build it and they will come” strategy to drive the content visibility and engagement they desire.

With half the battle of content creation won, Colgate now had to consider an effective methodology for content promotion.

Numbers like these (below), recently reported by Chad Pollitt from his presentation on “Paid and Unpaid Content Promotion and Distribution Methods that Actually Work from #CMWorld,” made it easy to see why they turned to Outbrain when it came time to reach new audiences at scale with all of their content:


As Pollitt’s chart suggests, since the Outbrain module is designed to catch audiences when they are already in consumption mode across some of the web’s most premium publisher sites, they are more likely to interact with and engage with relevant content recommendations being served.

Additionally, Outbrain’s “interest graph” works to deliver content users will find most relevant to them based off of a deep reservoir of content consumption data from its expansive network.

The initial results:

By promoting high-quality owned content on sites like Fox News, CNN, People, Health and Prevention, Colgate saw a 25% advantage in engagement vs display (based on session durations).

Deepening Engagement on Site

Once Colgate was able to produce a steady stream of new audiences, it harnessed its efforts and drove further engagement among visitors once on site.

After seeing the success of using personalized content experiences, it then decided to install a customized Outbrain recommendation module on their own content pages:


Since the Outbrain module is powered by algorithms that “learn” how to recommend content that users find most relevant to them, Colgate benefitted from a 6X increase in CTR on its native content recommendations within the first 6 months of the module being installed.


1.5 million clicks later, of which 85% were new visitors to the site, Colgate transcended its campaign goals to drive brand awareness and engagement, reinforcing its commitment to a well-balanced content marketing strategy.

Find more stories of how you can use Outbrain to brush past traditional channels for the best in content promotion results.

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