3 Steps for Successful Paid Content


By Kelly Byrd

As forecasted by eMarketer and recently noted by Digiday, global advertisers are expected to spend nearly $600 billion in 2015, "an increase of 6.0% over 2014".

As consumers, we see it clearly. As marketers, we see it selectively.

No matter what filter you look through, the fact is we're all being served more promoted content, more often, in more places.

Here are three steps to keep your brand's paid content in the eyes and hearts of consumers.

1. Be Succinct

This is especially important for people who are seeing your content as part of a brand awareness initiative. Keep in mind the length of time required to fully grasp what you are sharing — especially if it requires an immediate action. Use the available data to optimize the length based on previous results that are as audience-specific as possible.

2. Be Tactful

As marketers, we know that the plethora of online data is often so vast that it's overwhelming. (This is especially true for social data.) But as consumers, we know that there is not much that is creepier than promoted content that lets you know that you're being tracked. Even when using highly-targeted techniques to ensure that your content reaches the ideal audience at the ideal time, in the ideal location, be tactful in how you present that content. No one wants to feel like their data has been hacked.

3. Provide Value

Compelling offers are standard. Gamification is outplayed. Self-fulfilling content drives unsubscribes. Take the time to ensure that each piece of content that is being shared by, or on behalf of, your brand is worth the audience's time. Yes, I mean each and every one. If that seems overwhelming, it may be time to rethink your network-specific content strategies and/or support resources. For a guide on what attributes constitute value, read Metropolitan Museum of Art chief digital officer Sree Sreenivasan's social media success formula.

As Julia McCoy wrote for Search Engine Journal, when bringing your products and services into the spotlight, "You should be focusing on premium content that could become visible and memorable due to the exposure."

Help others to keep these steps in mind by sharing using the icons below or to the left. Hopefully the plethora of paid content we see will get even more thoughtful!