Native Advertising : A Royal Opportunity

Aric Linkins
Aric Linkins
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock (a rock without WiFi, to specify!), chances are last May’s Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle caught your attention, along with millions across the globe.

What you may not know, however, is that Meghan and Harry are expecting their first baby, due sometime in late April 2019, which is sure to create a globally royal buzz not seen since their wedding.

Here at Outbrain, we are excited for the soon-to-be parents, and we are also revved up for the royal opportunity this news is creating for our advertisers.

What’s got us so excited? Let’s dive in!

Last year’s Royal Wedding news resonated strongly online, spawning searches for just about every aspect of the event — even those fancy hats (called “fascinators,” by the way) — and bolstered by publishers and social influencers aligning their content with the fairytale story. All said and done, the event created over 20 million engagements across Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and for a brief period, searches for the Royal Wedding eclipsed those for President Trump.

In the Outbrain network, the Royal Wedding served as one of the biggest tentpoles of 2018, ballooning the available inventory and creating a peak in clicks well above our network averages. Savvy Amplify marketers took full advantage in covering the highly-anticipated event, and saw spikes in  engagement (CTR), followed by an unprecedented spike in clicks to site.

Example of an Entertainment Publisher’s weekly trending clicks and CTR.

 

The best part is this: unlike the premium costs these key events tend to force on other platforms with preset ad inventory, our buyers were able to lower bids due to the momentum that the content picked up, even weeks after the May 19th wedding date!

Example of an Entertainment Publisher’s weekly trending clicks and CPCs.

 

Simultaneously, our Engage publishers (such as People.com, E!, NY Post, MSN, and CNN) leaned into the buzz, and made the name ‘Meghan’ the most common keyword in our network (with ‘Markle’ as #2 close behind).

Overall, in the 90 days following the wedding, ‘royal wedding’ keywords were featured on nearly one-third of all page views in the Entertainment category on the Outbrain network.

If you’re new to Outbrain, there’s no better time to jump in and start creating campaigns to align with the momentum — it’s as easy as registering here!

Otherwise, if you missed the boat last May, don’t fret! The upcoming arrival of the royal baby is another chance to ride the royal wave.

We’ve put together some best practices for publishers and marketers looking to take advantage of the upcoming milestone:

Phase I: 1-2 Weeks Ahead

  1. Coordinate a launch plan aligning on when you plan to create campaigns, as well as when the URLs will be ready to launch.
  2. Capture those all-important first hours by ensuring your content is compliant ahead of time —  guidelines here.
  3. Ensure your landing pages are optimized for Entertainment-category relevancy in the network, and be sure to utilize Interest Targeting. Lean into this targeting tactic by duplicating your royal campaigns and targeting categories such as Entertainment and Home + Lifestyle.

Phase II: Launch

  1. Create engaging, but unique, ad variations:
    • Focus on headlines that feature Meghan’s, Harry’s, and newborn’s full or partial name as these tend to be top keywords in our network. Also, test headlines that are less common, such as “Newborn” instead of “Baby”, or “Mum” instead of “Mother”, given the baby will be British after all!
    • Utilize recent lifestyle images of the parents (and baby, once available) versus graphic-based imagery or glamour photos.
  2. Don’t be afraid to initially bid 10-20% higher to gain traffic traction.
  3. Keep a close eye on campaigns (at least daily) to highlight opportunities to increase spending, and lower CPCs gradually (no more than ~10% per day) if things begin to take off.

Phase III: Maintain Momentum

  1. Extend your content’s shelf-life by keeping things fresh, both creative and targeting-wise.
    • On the creative front, make sure to test plenty of content variations (10-20 ads per campaign at a time).
    • Test the content against your 1st party audiences, or tap into our 3rd demographic and behavioral segments provided in the dashboard by Acxiom, LiveRamp, and Connexity.

Not an entertainment-focused marketer? Not a problem!

Capture the moment by leveraging lead-gen, purchases, or other conversion-based avenues during this exceptionally high-traffic time period.

  1. Consider tangential angles, such as top baby products, health tips for pregnant women, the baby naming process, or other relevant tie-ins.
  2. Check out more best practices and insights within our newly-released performance marketing guide.

Events like the upcoming Royal Baby highlight not only our collective fascination with world events, but also the unique opportunity that exists in harnessing Outbrain. All it takes is some pre-planning and smart-strategizing to make the most of the royal baby boom.

Guess you could say us Outbrainers have fully caught the baby-fever. Join us by signing in or signing up today!

P.S. We've got tons of great ideas for growth!

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Aric Linkins

Aric Linkins

As an ambassador for the further growth and legitimization of digital content marketing, Aric specializes in helping various publishers exceed their Amplify KPIs as a Senior Customer Success Manager at Outbrain.

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