Paid content promotion is poised for a heavy uptick in budget allocation, according to a new survey emphasizing the value of sponsored content. PR Newswire and the Content Marketing Institute collaborated on a survey that found 87 percent of content marketers are planning to either increase or maintain their budgets for paid promotion.
Brand-building content has been growing in value for some time now, and marketers and brands are finding success in using this channel to serve multiple purposes. Marketers are able to increase their own content wares, while brands can expand their reach through new online outlets.
As brands increase their investments in sponsored content, valuable case studies are revealing themselves and offering blueprints for continued success. Outbrain, for example, struck a lucrative $100 million deal with Time Inc. in November, making it the media publisher’s exclusive provider of headline recommendations on its network of websites. Outbrain also provides recommendations to ESPN and other major networks and websites, and Time Inc. said its higher-than-average revenues returns were the reason Outbrain was chosen over its competitors.
Such deals offer insight into how paid content promotion can be leveraged online while also providing a framework for setting prices and projecting ROI.
“We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but also because its engine drives better recommendations,” Andy Blau, Time Inc.’s senior VP and group GM of ad sales, told Ad Age.
Deals like this validate the growing need for content recommendation companies. This service is challenging to provide—it must juggle marketing and brand interests, plus maximize revenue by optimizing headline recommendations to offer the highest relevance to website traffic.
As companies strengthen their paid content promotion services, brands should consider how this marketing opportunity can serve their own efforts. For website operators, paid content represents a lucrative revenue channel. And for brands looking to drive traffic through online spending, this recommended content could serve as a crucial source of website referrals.
In 2015, expect marketers to embrace paid promotion with arms open wide.