What a trillion ad impressions can teach us about more effective content marketingWhat’s the ROI of great creative? New research underscores the impact of quality content on performance.
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New research confirms what smart marketers have known all along: Great creative doesn’t just deliver warm and fuzzy feelings, it can also deliver a significant impact on the cost-effectiveness of your marketing output, yielding better brand awareness and more efficient media spend.
While we’ve seen the trend play out in our own programs, this analysis of 1 million ads, representing $1 billion in media spend and 1 trillion ad impressions from CreativeX caught our attention – and we think it’s worth yours.
Case in point (in their words):
“Our analysis of roughly one million ads, totaling one trillion impressions found that advertisers could save millions of dollars in media spend by increasing their Creative Quality Score, which positively impacts media efficiency, brand awareness, and consumer engagement.”
Case in point (in our words): Great creative delivers oohs, ahhs and ROI. Brands that invest in building legitimate editorial content will earn outsized gains in performance both for the short-term (think improved media efficiency) and the long-run (think an always-on, inbound pipeline of interested prospects coming from organic search).
What’s at stake?
Content is increasingly seen by (short-sighted) marketers as a commodity, but there’s an argument to be made — a really good one — that quality content drives cost savings and improved marketing performance. More specifically:
- Quality creative is linked to higher media spend efficiency; earning lower CPMs and cheaper CPCV
- Quality creative is more memorable; improving ad recall among exposed audiences.
- Quality creative is more engaging; driving deeper engagement and more time spent
- Quality creative is thought to improve “algorithm equity”; leading to better outcomes in bidding systems, etc.
An investment in quality creative is an investment in your audience, which will pay dividends down the road as your ad budget goes further and the impact of each dollar spent is even greater – and your engagement with the community you serve and sell to becomes deeper.
What can I do next?
- Study the “hall of fame” for your space. No, there probably isn’t an official one. But if you spend time looking at the most-shared content, top-ranked resource pages, most popular content on adjacent publisher sites and outsized performers in social, you’ll start to develop a good sense of the attention economy you’re competing in. From there, build a composite picture of what has worked with your own target audience and begin reverse engineering to mimic that success.
- Conduct your own internal creative review and content audit. Evaluate content based on in-channel performance (think CPLPV, for example) and on-site contribution (think conversion rate, for instance).
- Think for the long-term. And make your short-term metrics align with your long-term vision. Adjust your goals to think less about short-term transactional interactions and more about long-term brand- and relationship-building. For instance, focusing on a metric such as email list growth can help you show traction in the short-term (by generating MQLs and SQLs), but it can also help you in the long-term (by helping to develop an opt-in subscriber base that you can cost-effectively reach over time).
- Level up your marketing planning. Try to think beyond the spreadsheet and about pop culture. Make marketing fun again at your organization by thinking about what a media startup, not a brand, might launch in your space. This leads us to:
- Pilot a true editorial concept produced by your brand. Invest in one of the most cost-effective and sustainable methods available to build an audience: publishing great editorial content. You don’t need to launch a media empire or even a magazine, great editorial concepts take many shapes and forms.
And when it comes to planning individual creative assets (especially) for (digital) distribution:
- Ban the boring intro. Brands need to cut to the heart of the matter before the thumb and attention span moves on.
- Build around a single idea if you want it to resonate and be remembered and give it a unique and signature spin.
- Put your product/service in the context of real life; real people, real products, real use cases work best.
- Create with channel context in mind. Formatting can help drive deeper engagement (e.g. captions for sound-off environments)
- Recognize that mobile is the canvas you’ll increasingly be working with (but also recognize that each audience context is unique)
TL;DR: Investing in high-quality editorial content can not only make your brand stand out and be more memorable, it can also make each dollar spent stretch further and contribute to a longer-term impact.
Need to level up your marketing planning? Looking for a partner to help with that content audit? Reach out to us for more info.
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