Applying New Content Marketing Rules to Advertising Strategies

Fred Hsu
Fred Hsu




Aberdeen Group recently noted in a report that the common topics among effective content marketers is as follows: the adoption of technology and data-driven planning and decision-making.

Increasingly, those trends can be applied to advertising. While traditional, promotional creative will always be a critical factor in successful advertising campaigns, there are new content strategies and new technologies that cannot be ignored if advertisers want to put their best foot forward.

There is no better place to see this than with mobile advertising. As mobile analytics firm Flurry recently found, 86% of U.S. mobile consumers are now using mobile apps, compared to the 14 percent still using mobile browsers.

This presents both a challenge and an opportunity to the average advertiser: While it means you can better target individuals, it also means you have to target individuals more carefully. Your content has to meet the “so-what” test. Does it tell your prospect something he doesn’t know and wants to know? This is the standard for good content marketing.

It can’t simply be promotional. Nor can you target your ad to a wide range of people and hope it resonates with some.

To get there, CMOs, brand managers and other marketers are leveraging several tactics. One of the most promising is real-time bidding (RTB). In fact, we are on track to reach eMarketer’s prediction that RTB spending on digital display ads would grow by 73% in 2014.

Before RTB was introduced, digital advertisers mimicked print advertisers’ tactics to reach their intended audiences. Now with RTB, marketers are able to reach and target consumers based on their demographics and online presence in real time. According to Aberdeen’s research, this is a critical benefit. Specifically, in the report mentioned above, they found that “best-in-class marketing organizations are 93% more likely than their peers to align content to specific stages of their buyer’s journey, and that marketers who do achieve such alignment achieve 73% higher conversion rates.” In the past, the ‘spray and pray’ method was used to reach intended audiences. Though this technique did produce results, they were not anywhere near those that can be achieved by using RTB. Now marketers have the ability to target the right consumers based on first, second, and third-party data.

Another important feature of RTB is speed. It may not seem like rocket science that better targeting your audience with credible, domain-focused content will produce better results. But by using RTB, brands and marketers are able to purchase the exact advertisement they want to show up when a user opens an app or web page on their device — within milliseconds. The pace that RTB affords is one that the traditional advertising model has not been able to keep up. Ad buyers, publishers, and exchanges reporting processes generally require anywhere from a few hours to multiple days it assemble and evaluate the same results RTB is able to produce.

In a few years, every CMO will be using RTB to deliver more relevant ads to their targets, particularly on mobile devices. It allows marketers to narrow down their target market based on the content they’ve engaged with and the behaviors they’ve exhibited online.

Brands no longer have to look at advertising as an educated guess, but a well-executed programmatic marketing machine.

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