As large publishers diversify their distribution strategies, marketers are uncovering new benefits and scale in the process—namely, an incremental audience they want to reach and deeper engagement with that audience.
It’s now commonplace for media companies to execute distributed campaigns for marketers that span owned-and-operated sites, mobile apps, offline experiences, and fast-growing social platforms.
When executed correctly, distributed campaigns can reach larger audiences and provide more meaningful engagement, driving better business results for marketers. Here are four questions every marketer should consider when embarking on a distributed campaign:
1. Does the publisher you’re partnering with have sufficient consumer brand recognition? A recent DCN report found that consumers in social platforms click more often on content from brands they know and trust. In addition, a recent Comscore report found that marketers benefit from this “halo effect,” and distribution via premium publishers simply is more effective. Whether you’re partnering with a celebrity or relying on the expert editorial voices of a particular publication to tell your brand story, remember that brand recognition and trust better attract and engage your audience—and can also drive stronger performance.
2. Can publishers help fuel distribution through social platforms? Over the past few years, publishers have seen their fan communities on social platforms grow significantly. While many marketers are already committing large budgets to social platforms directly, there are benefits to leveraging their media partners’ brand recognition on social platforms as well. Social distribution via a publisher’s own feed marries the scale and sharing benefits of social with the contextual relevance and halo effect traditionally reserved for publisher environments. This is especially true for branded content, which most marketers already believe is more authentic and performs better at driving sales and engagement on publisher sites than it does on a brand’s own site.
3. Am I creating the right content for each medium? The days of creating one set of assets and expecting success across media channels are over. What works on a publisher’s owned-and-operated sites is different from what works on Facebook or Pinterest, and still different from what works in-app. Work with partners who can create compelling content and messaging in the right format for each platform. As Facebook and others continue to crack down on posts perceived as click bait, ensuring authenticity and contextual relevance within each platform will become increasingly important.
4. How will I make sure I’m moving the needle? Closing the loop is hard. Adding more formats, channels and platforms to the mix makes proving ROI even harder. Whether you work with the media company directly to measure impact or partner with newer entrants to help tie the data together and back to business results, marketers must have a measurement plan in place that can demonstrably prove ROI — e.g., actual conversions, sign-ups, sales lift — before the campaign begins.
Distributed publishing has always been the reality for digital media companies, but consumer discovery via search has been augmented by apps, aggregators — and importantly, social platforms. While getting the right mix of formats, channels and content is challenging, marketers who do the hard work required to execute a successful distributed campaign are already starting to see the fruits of their labor.