Welcome to TheWhateverFund.com’s Site Traffic Generator Series, where we’re going to talk about both free and paid methods of driving traffic to your website.
You may have the best content in the world on your website, but if it’s not seen by anyone, neither you nor your audience get to benefit.
This week we’re looking at something a little bit more obscure called content discovery, or native ad traffic.
Have you ever seen websites with a lot of traffic passing through? You’ll notice that many of these have a little footer section below the main content titled “From Around the Web” or “Content You May Like”.
Looks like this:
Let me tell you now, this is an amazing source of high quality traffic, but it’s not for those with a small budget. When we say “high quality”, in this instance, think “premium”.
Discovery traffic platforms push your ads on the biggest, most trustworthy websites. Readers that click through to your site from there immediately associate yours with the site they’ve come from, and assume that yours is trustworthy too.
Paying for that brand association is worth it, because people who trust what you’re saying are more likely to buy what you’re promoting.
And you know what? It’s not just the quality of the traffic we’re talking about here. Some of these content discovery traffic platforms have even more traffic than Facebook and Google.
Do you not find that seriously remarkable?
How To Drive Traffic Successfully With Content Discovery Platforms?
We’ll follow a slightly different format today, because you’ll find setting a campaign up on such a platform usually only has 2 visible variables that you can change.
One is the image that you use, and the other is the headline.
Other than these 2 variables, it just works.
You simply rely on the engine of the platform to serve related ads up to those reading content on major websites.
The only rule you need to abide by is to make your ad image attention-grabbing!
It needs to stir the emotion of the viewer, or arouse their curiosity.
Of course, don’t use images that are obviously photoshopped – they need to be believable too.
You could probably use illustrated images as well, but we’ve found that the images that seem to work best are not sensational in nature, but those that inspire a warm feeling or trustworthiness and sincerity in the viewer.
As with all advertising services, I’d advise you to try out different types of images at first to split-test and see which types of images work best for your niche.
As with images, your headline serves only one purpose – to work in conjunction with your image and lure people to click on it.
In the past, marketing mentors used to encourage asking questions in headlines, which would engage your potential audience by making them think and arousing their curiosity. However, we find that this effect is slowly waning among the general population.
Another type of headline is the one often seen on viral sites like BuzzFeed or UpWorthy – the list. Magazines have been using it on their covers for decades to get people to buy them. They work because the give of the impression of being well organised, practical to apply, and easy to make sense of. Readers tend to like that a lot.
One tip we have for you is not to use too much hype in your headlines. Many users have fallen prey at least once to over-sensational content and headlines that fail to deliver on their promise. As a result, the vast majority of internet users associate such headlines with scams and either tend to be more cautious or ignore such headlines altogether.
Native Ad Platforms
OutBrain is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest content discovery platform you can find. It only hooks up with premium branded publishers. By that definition, it means that the publisher needs to have 10 million article page views a month from the US. These include premium sites such as CNN, People, and ESPN magazine.
What does this mean for you?
It means you simply have to produce quality articles on your website and use the OutBrain platform for your headlines to appear on sites like CNN.
That sounds like a great idea, but let’s look at some of the pros and cons of OutBrain.
OutBrain is geared more towards the benefit of publishers (the premium sites your ads will be served on). They get regular updates on site performance and are free to log in to observe statistics 24/7. So it’s easy for them to modify the content they promote and pick better performing headlines for more revenue.
This doesn’t mean that there’s no benefit to you, the marketer. However, there aren’t any optimization options at all on the platform. You don’t see detailed stats, and ads aren’t set on constant rotation, so it’s impossible to judge which content performs best. Features such as site impressions, site lists, ad ranking, geo-targeting, audience profiling are all unavailable.
Having said that, if you’re looking for utter simplicity, there’s no way you can go wrong with this. You just have to set your daily spend, and trust that the platform does the work for you!
A close second, but steadily catching up, Taboola also has many premium publishers in its arsenal. They have a few hundred of these and can boast servicing sites such as NBC News, Business Insider, USA Today, Chicago Tribune and The Weather Channel.
Reviews have mentioned that while the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) of Taboola is cheaper compared to OutBrain, the traffic that comes from them is less engaged and tend to bounce away from sites faster.
Furthermore, even though the platform is easy to use like OutBrain’s, you can’t edit multiple campaigns or multiple titles/images at once, and the backend looks rather dated.
One more important thing to note is that Taboola has an exclusivity clause, which means if you use their platform they won’t allow you to use other native ad platforms at the same time.
RevContent can count premium publishers such as Forbes, NBC News, CBS Local, Newsweek and The Christian Post as their clients.
Advertisers can target their market based on geo-location, mobile operating system device and brand, which is great if you know what you’re doing.
They also allow you to use retargeting pixels – if you don’t know what retargeting is, you’re really missing out especially if you’re a niche marketer. These aren’t typically available on content discovery platforms.
They may not have the market share of Taboola and OutBrain, but there have been many excellent reviews of RevContent, and many who’ve split-tested between the three choose to throw their lot in with them.
Some premium publishers in AdBlade’s ranks include Forbes, VentureBeat, Parade, Bloomberg, Answers.com.
There used to be a high monthly minimum for spending on their platform, but if you upload funds via credit card, there aren’t any.
The best thing about AdBlade is the ability to target audience niches based on interests, while other content networks use their own algorithm, meaning that you’ve no control whatsoever as to when an where your ads appear.
Like RevContent, you can also implement retargeting.
Zemanta is an interesting one. They used to be just another content discovery platform but that has changed. What they do now is promoting content across multiple content networks. They’ll gather all the content on your site, come up with ad formats that suit different platforms, then use platforms like Outbrain, Adblade, and Facebook to promote your content.
Sort of like a middleman, so to speak.
They have a system whereby they combine audience insights and campaign analytics to help you understand what content resonates with your customers. This helps you optimize your campaigns automatically.
If you’re earning from your site, then you should give it a try, because it certainly makes things easier for you in terms of driving new traffic to your site.
Gravity once had some larger publishers such as WordPress, AOL, Forbes & exclusivity with the Huffington Post. However, the company changed its focus and no longer provides native ads as of March 2016.
To sum up, if you’ve a bigger advertising budget, content discovery, or native ad traffic is a great form of traffic for your website. The readers that click through to your website already deem your site and offer to be trustworthy, and that means they’re more willing to spend on whatever you’re promoting.
While there are many platforms for you to choose from, it’d be better for you to try each one out (assuming you have pockets deep enough to do so!) and determine which is more cost effective and better suited to your needs.
Generally speaking, OutBrain and Taboola are great for those that prefer a hands-free approach to advertising. The same can be said for Zemanta, except that it helps you advertize across different platforms.
RevContent and AdBlade on the other hand, are better suited to those who require a deeper feature list to tweak around with and optimize.
If you’ve any questions to ask about content discovery or native ad networks, drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you pronto. Alternatively, find me at Wealthy Affiliate, where I’ve learnt most of my marketing knowledge, and my usual online hangout.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed reading Part IV of our Site Traffic Generator Series. Share it with your friends if you did, and I’ll be eternally grateful to you!