Content Marketing: The $20 Billion Online Branding Opportunity (Guest Post on

|Juan Martinez

Be honest with me for a second: You don’t actually remember the best display ad you saw last night, do you? Do you even feel enough of an attachment to display ads to rank them? I don’t think so. But every once in a while a 60-second spot will hit you in the gut and make you feel something powerful. Last night, I got a little verklempt watching this doozy:

The reason we get attached to commercials is because they tell a story. We’re able to align ourselves with experiences and emotions — two things display ads are incapable of depicting. For some reason, however, digital advertisers continue to pour dollars into display ads, rather than leveraging content marketing to boost digital communications.

As Outbrain’s vice president of brands and agencies, Gilad de Vries, writes in his op-ed, “The bottom line is that there is only one true branding mechanism online and that’s content marketing. What makes me so certain? Well, for starters, content marketing enables brands to share their story in long form and in their own words.”

Gilad says the gap between online ad spending and consumption of digital media, which is estimated at as much as $20B, represents an opportunity for advertisers, much in the same way search did a decade ago and social did five years ago.

“An incredible sea of change in the way information is shared and distributed online means that for the first time ever, any brand can create its own content affordably and at scale,” Gilad writes. “The story can come in the form of blogs, articles, reviews, ebooks or videos. It can be low-cost or it can be professionally produced. But let’s be clear: we’re not talking about ads! It’s real, interesting content that delivers informational or entertainment value.”

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Juan Martinez

Juan is the Content Strategy Manager at Outbrain. He is responsible for determining the overall tone and editorial direction of... Read more

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  • Yaniv| May 8, 2012 at 6:18PM

    Great piece Gilad!

    Content marketing is great. Telling a story through video is also great. Probably even better.
    Still there is a place for good solid measurable performance advertising.
    What is the value of this video view? Will you even remember that this video was created by Johnson tomorrow? Next week? 


    • Gilad| May 20, 2012 at 9:09AM

      I think the point of that video was to illustrate how a good TV/Video commercial creates emotion – something that is very hard to do (if at all possible) with a banner ad.

      Content marketing is not about using commercials at all, it’s about sharing a story and looking to provide informational or entertainment value. This content can come in many shapes and forms: blogs, articles, video, slideshows, infographics etc.


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