Top 4 Forbes Round-Up: Bidtellect CEO Offers Actionable Advice to Implement Now

Top 4 Forbes Round-Up: Bidtellect CEO Offers Actionable Advice to Implement Now

Bidtellect CEO Lon Otremba has offered a healthy share of advice on Forbes the last couple of weeks on everything from bad advertising to holiday campaigns. The bottom line? Stay truthful, know your audience, and test early. Here’s a round up of Lon’s October Forbes Features with actionable advice you can start implementing now.

1) Why Consumers Hate Your Brand’s Advertising

First, the bad news: consumers probably hate your advertising. Good news: Forbes tapped the experts for not one, not two, but 13 reasons why and how to fix it. But as Lon proves, sometimes good life advice is applicable to advertising advice. If you can stick to this, then all of your other tactics will fall into place, and your brand’s image will be beloved in no time.

Lon says: Not Being Truthful

I’ve found the quickest way for consumers to hate your advertising is to feed them something not genuine or truthful. Consumers can spot a phony a mile away, and when you lose credibility — as with anything in life — it is nearly impossible to win it back.

Read more: 13 Reasons Why Consumers May Hate Your Brand’s Advertising (And How To Fix It)

2) How Marketers Can Tell Compelling Stories

What’s the key to all good marketing, advertising, and content marketing? Good storytelling. What makes an engaging story? So glad you asked.

Lon says: A Compelling Story Is Stronger Than Any Pitch

The first storytelling lesson I ever learned was the most basic of all: a story is much more engaging than a pitch. So, rather than making good pitches, tell compelling and engaging stories. These are my four components of engaging stories: specific detail (not generalities); emotion; proximity (make it close and personal); having a point — a loss is as compelling as a win if there is a point to make.

Read more: How Marketers Can Tell Compelling Stories: 13 Valuable Lessons

3) What Are the Most Important Content Marketing Metrics?

And while we’re on the topic of content marketing, Forbes’ experts agree on 13 crucial metrics to determine the quality of your content marketing strategy. Marketing strategies are not only important to boost sales, but they’re also foundational in managing the growth of your company. There is already a debate regarding demand generation vs lead generation, figuring out which works better, so if you’re not careful with your marketing, you might end up biting off more than you can chew. But there’s one metric that will inform all your other goals.

Lon says: Audience Engagement

Tracking audience engagement is the most critical metric because it measures interaction with your brand. Developing an informed set of engagement component metrics that you can synthesize into one measurable metric is the goal. Every advertising platform (like Facebook and Google) tends to have metrics that can assist business owners to track their customer engagement and sales generation. Since these platforms often produce sales analytics individually, it might be tough for planning and execution teams to formulate a standard plan based on the statistics of various portals. Therefore, it is recommended to adopt the marketing mix modeling technique to quantify the impact of several marketing platforms on sales by combining numerous metrics.

Read more: 13 Crucial Metrics To Determine How Good A Content Marketing Program Really Is

4) How To Ramp Up Holiday Marketing in the Fall

Finally, maybe you’re reading this because you’re in the middle of/already planned/are stressing about your holiday campaigns. Yes? No? Forbes offers 12 tactics to get your holiday campaigns in tip top shape before the first echoes of holiday music pipe through speakers everywhere. According Lon, testing optimization strategies ahead of time should be top priority:

Lon says: Test Optimization Strategies Early

Use fall season to test optimization strategies. Test out different creative combinations and personalization tactics based on your key performance indicators. Consider placement level optimization, dynamic creative optimization (DCO), contextual targeting and retargeting, as well as ad types and devices. The holiday period will be your chance to reach far and wide — you don’t want to lose budget to error.

Read more: 12 Tactics To Ramp Up Your Holiday Marketing During The Fall Season

Four Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Four Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Today, content marketing is an essential way to build a connection. Instead of pitching products, brands are aligning their strategies to provide truly relevant and helpful content to their consumers from solving’ business problems, entertainment, or creating a lasting connection.

The modern content marketer is spending an exorbitant amount of budget, resources, and time on content creation. So why is it still not right? What’s the hold-up? These are the four common mistakes to avoid to guarantee engagement, results, and brand loyalty.

“When consumers engage with your content, they engage with your brand.”

– Lon Otremba, CEO of Bidtellect

1. Your Content is Stuck in Content Land

“Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

– CMI, “What is Content Marketing?”

Recently, our CEO Lon Otremba spoke at Brand Movers Edge Conference to talk about all things Content Marketing. His focus breaking down the content silos. Yes, these still exist. In fact, our VP of Sales, Terrah Bocchi wrote a great piece about it.

Let me as you a question, after you come up with a “killer content marketing idea” what is your next move? Is your first instinct to make your vision a reality, never really stopping to think about the purpose of the content or distribution? What does your marketing stack look like today? Does it look something like this? Months after you get your “killer content marketing idea” most people are still deciding on content management platforms, content creation, and content curation companies. By then, your “killer content marketing idea” has been through so many hands and approvals it’s metamorphized into a project that’s not even your vision anymore. Oh, and it keeps you up at night. You might even consider getting in touch with a technology copywriting expert who could help you fix any problems that the content might have. You definitely would not like to turn in something you’re unsure of!

Truth is, you probably already have valuable content to distribute. Here’s a great example: one of our clients came to us and said they were working on a great content marketing piece. They showed us the initial designs and within a day we put together Native creatives and foolproof targeting plan. A few weeks later, we reached out to the client and asked them if they were ready to distribute their content. Unfortunately, the content was stuck somewhere in creation-land and approvals. We went back to the client and said, “Well, here’s all these great articles and blog posts about your brand and they are relevant, entertaining, and witty.” The client agreed to test this idea with us. You know what? I don’t think that content marketing piece ever made the finish line, but the client has been distributing existing content with us for a few years now. They recognized the value.

By all means, I’m not suggesting you stop creating content – we love content. But don’t get stuck in the silos. Make sure you align your distribution strategy with your creation – this is the key to your success. You might also want to consider hiring professional services marketing experts that can help you strategize content development and marketing plans to cater to your unique requirements.

– Lon Otremba, CEO of Bidtellect

2. The Landing Page Isn’t Responsive (Or Mobile-Optimized)

“For the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching
TV, with smartphone use dominating that time spent. The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes on mobile devices in 2019, just above the 3:35 spent on TV. Of time spent on mobile, US consumers will spend 2:55 on smartphones, a 9-minute increase from last year. In 2018, mobile time spent was 3:35, with TV time spent at 3:44.”

– eMarketer, “Average US Time Spent with Mobile in 2019 Has Increased

We are witnessing a radical shift in content consumption and behavior. Have you ever been on the subway, or waiting in a doctor’s office, business meeting, or even at dinner at a restaurant where everyone is not looking down at their phones? They’re swiping, liking, and consuming content. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure your content is responsive.

Often, especially in the case of interactive content, it’s important to ensure that your content appears correctly on the mobile page. This may require some backend work, but it’s well worth it in the end. If your content marketing objective is to get a PDF download, it makes sense to have your mobile-ready landing page email the PDF rather than download it on a mobile device (and bonus: you got another email address to remarket to). Lastly, if your end goal is a sale or transaction, remember not to limit the payment options to a debit or credit card. There are so many people who don’t yet have a credit card, and need to apply for one, while the majority who do have one aren’t going to whip out their credit card on the subway or in a public place. Therefore, including some sort of online payment option along with the others could help you increase your conversion rates.

We consistently see incredibly high click-through rates on mobile devices via In-Ad and In-Feed Native Advertising; however, if your landing page is not mobile-ready, engagement will decrease and bounce rates will increase.

3. You Don’t Optimize Your Creative – Or Utilize Best Practices

Step one: Throw away all misconceptions, best practices, yadda yadda you know about traditional banner ads.

We’ve talked a lot about banner blindness. Now, step two: I want you to get display completely out of your head.

We good?

Native ad units are composed of a few core components: an image, a headline, a description and “Sponsored By”. Whereas display ads are whole, Native Ads are compiled in real-time designed to fit the form and function of the publisher’s website.

Over the last six years, our [b]+studio team has tested a plethora of strategic tactics with our Native creative – and we’ve measured performance. We know what works; we know what doesn’t work; we know what we thought wouldn’t work – does in fact work. We typically provide 3 – 5 creative variations utilizing different best practices for each landing page. (We let our optimization engine take care of the rest).

So that you don’t get started off on the wrong foot, here are a few of our Native Creative best practices.

Image

  1. Use bright and eye-catching colors
  2. Feature people, from shoulders up in natural settings or use of the products (rather than the product in isolation.
  3. Close up photographs work better than cluttered images
  4. Trigger memories and emotions rather than neutral expressions

Headline

  1. Headlines should look like a news article
  2. Emotional, Educational, Relevant and Engaging headlines work best
  3. Facilitate concern, doubt or worry.
  4. Offer to education or solve problems
  5. Ask Questions
  6. Listicles work! And be punny!

Description

  1. Give the emotional “fish hook” that will real the reader in.
  2. Set up a problem and have a clear call to action as the solution
  3. Be careful not to get into click-bait territory

Avoid creative burnout! Always a creative refresh about a month in.

Shameless Plug: Bidtellect’s in-house Native Creative Agency, [b]+studio, offers free access to help you create your custom content assets.

4. You Forgot About Video

Research reveals that almost two-thirds of users skip pre-roll ads when possible, and three-quarters of these do so out of habit without waiting to see if the ad content is relevant or interesting (MagnaGlobal). By harnessing two thriving categories of advertising – video and native – brands can make use of a single digital super-format that connects emotionally with consumers without disrupting their experience. Be that with respect to buying the products that is being advertised, or to buy video content itself, having that emotional connect with the viewers can act as a catalyst in the process of content marketing.

Here are a few Native Video Best Practices:
  • The key to treat native video content the same way as a static native advertisement: find and use an engaging frame as a thumbnail, and be thoughtful of the creative with a text description.
  • Shorter videos (fifteen seconds or less) can significantly drive up video completions – especially on mobile.
  • Make sure the most compelling visuals and products are at the beginning of the video.
  • Make sure the video is understandable without sound.

It’s important to view your content marketing strategy holistically. The old-age saying “If yo
u build it, they will come,” doesn’t apply to content marketing. You can build a great piece of content, but without engagement – what is the purpose? By aligning your creation with distribution, results will increase dramatically.

their consumers from solving’ business problems, entertainment, or creating a lasting connection.

The modern content marketer is spending an exorbitant amount of budget, resources, and time on content creation. So why is it still not right? What’s the hold-up? These are the four common mistakes to avoid to guarantee engagement, results, and brand loyalty.

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“When consumers engage with your content, they engage with your brand.”

– Lon Otremba, CEO of Bidtellect

1. Your Content is Stuck in Content Land

“Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

– CMI, “What is Content Marketing?”

Recently, our CEO Lon Otremba spoke at Brand Movers Edge Conference to talk about all things Content Marketing. His focus breaking down the content silos. Yes, these still exist. In fact, our VP of Sales, Terrah Bocchi wrote a great piece about it.

Let me as you a question, after you come up with a “killer content marketing idea” what is your next move? Is your first instinct to make your vision a reality, never really stopping to think about the purpose of the content or distribution? What does your marketing stack look like today? Does it look something like this? Months after you get your “killer content marketing idea” most people are still deciding on content management platforms, content creation, and content curation companies. By then, your “killer content marketing idea” has been through so many hands and approvals it’s metamorphized into a project that’s not even your vision anymore. Oh, and it keeps you up at night. You might even consider getting in touch with a technology copywriting expert who could help you fix any problems that the content might have. You definitely would not like to turn in something you’re unsure of!

Truth is, you probably already have valuable content to distribute. Here’s a great example: one of our clients came to us and said they were working on a great content marketing piece. They showed us the initial designs and within a day we put together Native creatives and foolproof targeting plan. A few weeks later, we reached out to the client and asked them if they were ready to distribute their content. Unfortunately, the content was stuck somewhere in creation-land and approvals. We went back to the client and said, “Well, here’s all these great articles and blog posts about your brand and they are relevant, entertaining, and witty.” The client agreed to test this idea with us. You know what? I don’t think that content marketing piece ever made the finish line, but the client has been distributing existing content with us for a few years now. They recognized the value.

By all means, I’m not suggesting you stop creating content – we love content. But don’t get stuck in the silos. Make sure you align your distribution strategy with your creation – this is the key to your success. You might also want to consider hiring professional services marketing experts that can help you strategize content development and marketing plans to cater to your unique requirements.

– Lon Otremba, CEO of Bidtellect

2. The Landing Page Isn’t Responsive (Or Mobile-Optimized)

“For the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching
TV, with smartphone use dominating that time spent. The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes on mobile devices in 2019, just above the 3:35 spent on TV. Of time spent on mobile, US consumers will spend 2:55 on smartphones, a 9-minute increase from last year. In 2018, mobile time spent was 3:35, with TV time spent at 3:44.”

– eMarketer, “Average US Time Spent with Mobile in 2019 Has Increased

We are witnessing a radical shift in content consumption and behavior. Have you ever been on the subway, or waiting in a doctor’s office, business meeting, or even at dinner at a restaurant where everyone is not looking down at their phones? They’re swiping, liking, and consuming content. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure your content is responsive.

Often, especially in the case of interactive content, it’s important to ensure that your content appears correctly on the mobile page. This may require some backend work, but it’s well worth it in the end. If your content marketing objective is to get a PDF download, it makes sense to have your mobile-ready landing page email the PDF rather than download it on a mobile device (and bonus: you got another email address to remarket to). Lastly, if your end goal is a sale or transaction, remember not to limit the payment options to a debit or credit card. There are so many people who don’t yet have a credit card, and need to apply for one, while the majority who do have one aren’t going to whip out their credit card on the subway or in a public place. Having some sort of online payment option such as PayPal could increase your conversion rates.

We consistently see incredibly high click-through rates on mobile devices via In-Ad and In-Feed Native Advertising; however, if your landing page is not mobile-ready, engagement will decrease and bounce rates will increase.

3. You Don’t Optimize Your Creative – Or Utilize Best Practices

Step one: Throw away all misconceptions, best practices, yadda yadda you know about traditional banner ads.

We’ve talked a lot about banner blindness. Now, step two: I want you to get display completely out of your head.

We good?

Native ad units are composed of a few core components: an image, a headline, a description and “Sponsored By”. Whereas display ads are whole, Native Ads are compiled in real-time designed to fit the form and function of the publisher’s website.

Over the last six years, our [b]+studio team has tested a plethora of strategic tactics with our Native creative – and we’ve measured performance. We know what works; we know what doesn’t work; we know what we thought wouldn’t work – does in fact work. We typically provide 3 – 5 creative variations utilizing different best practices for each landing page. (We let our optimization engine take care of the rest).

So that you don’t get started off on the wrong foot, here are a few of our Native Creative best practices.

Image

  1. Use bright and eye-catching colors
  2. Feature people, from shoulders up in natural settings or use of the products (rather than the product in isolation.
  3. Close up photographs work better than cluttered images
  4. Trigger memories and emotions rather than neutral expressions

Headline

  1. Headlines should look like a news article
  2. Emotional, Educational, Relevant and Engaging headlines work best
  3. Facilitate concern, doubt or worry.
  4. Offer to education or solve problems
  5. Ask Questions
  6. Listicles work! And be punny!

Description

  1. Give the emotional “fish hook” that will real the reader in.
  2. Set up a problem and have a clear call to action as the solution
  3. Be careful not to get into click-bait territory

Avoid creative burnout! Always a creative refresh about a month in.

Shameless Plug: Bidtellect’s in-house Native Creative Agency, [b]+studio, offers free access to help you create your custom content assets.

4. You Forgot About Video

Research reveals that almost two-thirds of users skip pre-roll ads when possible, and three-quarters of these do so out of habit without waiting to see if the ad content is relevant or interesting (MagnaGlobal). By harnessing two thriving categories of advertising – video and native – brands can make use of a single digital super-format that connects emotionally with consumers without disrupting their experience. Be that with respect to buying the products that is being advertised, or to buy video content itself, having that emotional connect with the viewers can act as a catalyst in the process of content marketing.

Here are a few Native Video Best Practices:
  • The key to treat native video content the same way as a static native advertisement: find and use an engaging frame as a thumbnail, and be thoughtful of the creative with a text description.
  • Shorter videos (fifteen seconds or less) can significantly drive up video completions – especially on mobile.
  • Make sure the most compelling visuals and products are at the beginning of the video.
  • Make sure the video is understandable without sound.

It’s important to view your content marketing strategy holistically. The old-age saying “If yo
u build it, they will come,” doesn’t apply to content marketing. You can build a great piece of content, but without engagement – what is the purpose? By aligning your creation with distribution, results will increase dramatically.

Valentine’s Day is Coming. Why Content First Should Be Your Strategy for Retail

Valentine’s Day is Coming. Why Content First Should Be Your Strategy for Retail

Did you know early Valentine’s Day gifts were given to children to ward off sickness? How far we’ve come! Once a day dedicated to love and family in honor of St. Valentine, the popular holiday has evolved into a display of love and romance with flowers, gifts, romantic dinners, and even an “anti-Valentine” movement of self-celebration.

Which makes it tough to ignore: Valentine’s Day is a top retail holiday. It contributed about $19.6 billion to the economy in 2018, with more than half (55%) of the population getting involved, with each person spending about $143.56 (National Retail Federation). Hello shoppers! These lovers are not only looking for gifts, they are looking for inspiration: whether it be through a trusted brand or media source for direction.

Which brings us to the value of high-quality content. Shoppers are savvy and eager for information before making a purchase. As a retail store owner, you might feel that your concerns should lie more towards ensuring smooth sales, perhaps because you’re anticipating a lot of sales during any holiday season. Maybe you’ve just bought up a new store location after checking over a retail store lease overview with your attorney so you can be ready for on-the-ground shoppers. The good news is that innovative ways of operating have already begun to be prototyped on a smaller scale. Given that contactless shopping will soon become the norm, retailers might want to look to other industries that already provide similar services. Technology can also foster connections by giving every customer the impression that they have a personal shopper who has favorite items (in their size) waiting for them in a dressing room when they arrive or who can recommend similar pieces based on previous purchases. If you want to learn more about the future of the market, you can read the article about opportunities in retail and plan your business’s future accordingly. Since online shopping is likely to remain a driving factor, businesses of all sizes may be forced to reconsider how they set up their physical locations.

If you already have an efficient POS system (see https://revelsystems.com/features/reporting/ or similar pages for details) that can deal with things like check out, analysis and reports, inventory management and other such operational tasks, making the shopping experience seamless. However, since Valentines’ days is such a big holiday, your buyers would typically be looking for inspiration on what to buy, which is something they can get from your content. Even if you advertise human pheromones or something related romance to the couples who are celebrating, you can see how the demand for that particular product just rises up. Just as shoppers in the pre-internet era might turn to a trusted stylist in a department store or a discerning friend with inside scoop, shoppers now turn to blog posts, niche media outlets, and brand lookbooks for advice and guidance.

Not sure that’s true? Consider these:

  • Two Thirds (⅔) of shoppers say online video has given them ideas and inspiration for their purchases (Google/Ipsos)
  • When consumers read an educational article, they are 131% more inclined to buy from that company (Conductor via Forbes).
  • 36.9% of those shopping for Valentine’s Day on smartphones use it for research (National Retail Federation)

And if you still are skeptical about the bottom line:

  • Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to generate a positive ROI (Hubspot via Shopify)

Even as shopping becomes increasingly isolated to screens, consumers still crave a human-to-human like personalization or recommendation. Creating high-quality content, like blog posts, videos, articles, and other visual showcases offer a personal touch and a perception of expertise; a thought leader will always cut through the noise.

Bidtellect’s Top 3 KPIs for Retail Advertisers:

  1. Drive Traffic to Blog Content
  2. Offer-Driven Creative
  3. Drive Sales

Make your Native ads a preview of what’s to come – what are you offering? Top 5 Gift Ideas for Your Picky Boyfriend? The Comfiest Pajamas for Staying In? Deliver insight and knowledge and stay true to your brand.

And don’t forget to appeal to last minute shoppers this Valentine’s Day! Last year, 1800Flowers.com saw a 30% jump in desktop conversions on February 13th compared to just a week before (Digital Commerce 360).

With high quality content, expert creative copy, and targeted placements, Valentine’s Day might be your new love affair.

Check out our Valentine’s Day Infographic for even more stats to put you ahead.

DOWNLOAD INFOGRAPHIC

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Sources:

National Retail Federation, “Holiday and Seasonal Trends: Valentine’s Day,”

Google/Ipsos, “The Role of Digital Video in People’s Lives,” July 2018

Conductor via Forbes, “Use This Strategy To Increase Willingness To Purchase By 131 Percent,” September 2, 2017

Hubspot via Shopify, “State of Inbound 2018,” 24 April 2018

Digital Commerce 360, “Valentine’s Day 2018 online sales recap,” 12 March 2018

4 Ways to Stay in the Game with the New Data Rules

4 Ways to Stay in the Game with the New Data Rules

It’s been eight months since European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, strictly controlling what data a company can collect and what they can do with it. GDPR is now holding businesses to a higher data standard – from usage to storage – and ultimately returning personal-data-deciding-power to the consumer. Now more than ever is the time for businesses to take charge of their data and this can be done so with the best advice and solutions for all your IT related needs from an IT support company. Still, many companies are worried on how data protection will affect their ability to create and deliver content.
Understanding consumers’ wants, interests, and environment may be keys to helping deliver relevant content, but it does not have to be hindered by data protection law compliance. Advances in technology – like Contextual Targeting, contextual Forecasting, Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO), and AI – make, arguably, stronger high-quality placements, but the increasing data standards serve as a reminder that nothing makes up for high quality content.

Contextual Targeting

If you haven’t caught on to optimizing by contextual placement, you’re behind. Not only are data protection standards changing, so are clients’ unique goals. If you have an ecommerce store on Shopify, you might want to look at an SEO checklist for new Shopify stores to gather information about how you can improve on your target placement and context of the content on the site. From the same checklist, you may be able to garner other relevant information regarding your Shopify store, such as maintaining the website which can actually help improve on-site SEO metrics. Bring in an expert technical team such as one from WebCitz, that can help you out with regular updates to the website as well as maintenance. The more up-to-date and easy-to-use your website becomes, the more potential customers will enjoy shopping on your store. That’s where your ad targeting investments can start to show results. The term contextual targeting – that is, targeting based on the information available of the site of the ad space, rather than user data – covers both. It’s possible to determine a unique ad space’s location, the time of day, day of the week, the size and location of the ad on the page, the site it’s on, the page of the site it’s on, and even specifics about what content is on that page. The look and feel of every single ad placement is unique, and can be correlated even more closely with user behavior.
Bidtellect’s Forecasting 2.0 – the most advanced in the biz – enables us to go a step further: forecast contextual preferences – revolutionary and necessary in a post-GDPR landscape. Forecasting for Context is the “new” match rate for data.

Read more about Contextual Targeting and why Forecasting is the future.

Take Advantage of AI

Advanced AI-based technologies not only make deep, contextual placement-level targeting possible, but allows real-time optimization, including to best-performing creative per individual placement. That’s right: AI-based technology means the most advanced real-time adjustment and learning => personalized customization in real time! At this point, you may be worried that loads of confidential customer info would need to be accessed to make use of such targeted, personalized advertising. Worry not! Advanced software such as Private AI can help detect and redact any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from the data, and keep only what’s necessary to create customized ads based on consumer interests. AI creates a more seamless consumer experience and maximizes every dollar (hello maximizing budget! hello ROI!) by making decisions based on data from the decision before. And AI can help optimize media in new ways – like to best-performing creative or Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO).

Read more about the Promise of AI.

Creative that Counts

Story-led copy. High-performing images. A data-backed approach that bridges the gap between arts and science is the winning formula. If the creative doesn’t woo a user, it doesn’t matter how good the content or landing page or the technology that placed it is – they won’t visit it. Take advantage of experts that know the difference: a data-backed, trained approach to creating high-performing headlines, descriptions, and images (like Bidtellect’s [b]+studio) makes all the difference.

Check out our Tips for Top-Performing Creative.

Quality Content

We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again. Relevant, high-quality content is what inspires users and ultimately creates customer loyalty. The stats prove it: content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy (Nudge, “The State of Content,” ), while content can help double website conversion rates from 6% to 12% (Hubspot via Shopify, “State of Inbound 2018,”). According to the same study, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to generate a positive ROI.

Check out this infographic for more stats.

Remember, “less data” isn’t a scary thing. A combination of high-quality creative assets, cutting-edge technology, and content that delivers will put you ahead of the game even while the rules are changing.

Read about more Predictions for Native in 2019.

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Why “Content First” Creates Higher Engagement: A Data-Backed Breakdown

Why “Content First” Creates Higher Engagement: A Data-Backed Breakdown

Looking to rev up your marketing strategy? Consider a “content-first” approach and native advertising with this data-backed breakdown.

Breaking It Down: Native Advertising vs. Content First

There’s a bit of a confusion between native advertising, content marketing, and “content-first” (which is a content-first approach). Let’s break it down:

Native Advertising refers to creating ads that match the form, function, and feel of the content of the page in which they appear – so “native” to their environment (hence the name). Rather than a traditional “banner ad” that is a flat image with branding within, native ads often feature a headline, a description underneath, and an accompanying image.

A “content first” approach or content marketing is an umbrella term that Native advertising falls into. It promotes relevant, targeted content first as a gateway to a brand or product. But a “content first” also refers to a tactic of driving relevant content to targeted consumers over time, creating retention and loyalty. If you are a business owner, you can buy Instagram followers to improve your customer base, and slowly, create a loyal base for yourself. It is an ongoing process, rather than a one-off approach.

Content refers to media, graphics, video, audio, copy, social media communication, and anything else used to tell a story or communicate an idea. This content is created, published, and promoted to a target audience who would be interested in the content provided (an article, perhaps) or the product. This is the same thought process that goes behind a lot of the Link building tactics that companies may employ to ensure that their content is reaching the right audience, and providing value to them in the process. Also think of it as a way to educate potential customers about a product or service, informing them about its benefits in order to gain trust. The content also helps boost SEO, and you can approach any seo agency to learn the methodology behind it.

A Targeted Viewer is a Happier (Engaged) Viewer

Do not underestimate the power of relevant content reaching an interested viewer.

According to DemandMetric, 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it and 68% of people spend time reading about brands that interest them. A whopping 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content (DemandMetric) which creates trust in the brand (Ion Interactive).

This all contributes to… you guessed it… higher engagement and greater sales.

It Helps the Bottom Line

According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing programs, and generates approximately three times the volume of leads…Wow. Ion Interactive reported the same thing.

Leaders are taking notice. 78% of CMOs see custom content as the future of marketing according to DemandMetric, and according to the 2018 State of Content report from Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2C and 91% of B2B marketers are now using content marketing (CMI B2C Research & B2B Research).

You Can Get Around the AdBlocker

Still not convinced a “content first” approach to marketing is for you? Consider the toughest audience to crack: the skeptical, independent internet user that prefers to ride under the advertising radar – with adblockers.

It’s a large audience: over 615 million devices use an adblocker of some sort, according to PageFair Adblock Report, and interestingly, American adblock users are more likely to have a bachelor’s degree. A HubSpot study reported that 64% of people use adblock services because they consider ads annoying and intrusive.

The good news? Since content is not just an “ad,” but a source of value, content marketing is an effective method to circumvent blockers.

Content Marketing Trends to Look Out For

In addition to affiliate programs (find the best recurring affiliate programs here), the content-first approach and native advertising, short videos, data-drive, artificial intelligence, context marketing, measurement and anti-fraud will likely be the focus of marketers in 2018 and beyond,


The other emerging trend is original content. Consumers are discerning; they want original, useful content that isn’t brand-heavy. Apple committed to spending $1 billion on original content for its streaming platform and PepsiCo opened a brand new content creation studio in downtown NYC with the aim of generating revenue and creating a vehicle for advertising their products.

Overall, listen to what the consumer is saying, indicates the AdMaster.

92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story (Ion Interactive).

According to Forbes, this is a positive: as the industry pivots away from branded content aimed at selling (even gently) to content as a vehicle, there are wide open opportunities for new brands to enter the market and grab the attention of consumers.

Read More: 5 Ways to Increase CTR
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