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Smart Content Optimisation for Ultimate Engagement
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Smart Content Optimisation for Ultimate Engagement



Data and insights that can help your content “run that extra mile” in 2014.

Data and insights that can help your content “run that extra mile” in 2014.



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  • It is a summary of the key findings from our analysis of 150,000 paid link headlines across our network of over 100,000 publisher sites:
  • 1.The “W” That CountsThe words “why”, “where” and “which” did not have any effect on performance, implying that the “w” in “who” is the “w” that counts when it comes to intriguing readers with your headlines.2. So Hot Right NowThe word “cool,” however, had no significant effect on CTR. When it comes to attracting readers, it appears that “hot” is the way to go.3. Curiosity Killed The CatThe human urge to satisfy feelings of curiosity is incredibly powerful. We see countless attempts by marketers to evoke curiosity among consumers for this very reason. This result suggests that the word “surprise” is effective in activating such feelings and getting readers to clickthrough.
  • 4.Give Me The Dirty DetailsHeadlines that used negative superlatives (“worst” or “never”) performed 29% better than headlines that did not. Likewise, headlines that contained the word “lie(s)” outperformed headlines without this word by 14%.5. Let Me See!This is consistent with the superior performance of Outbrain’s thumbnail image widgets (vs. text-only widgets).6. “Don’t” is a DoIt appears that accentuating what the audience does not know or should not do in your headlines is effective way of enticing readers
  • I’m Not Looking For InstructionsThis finding is consistent with the distinction between search mode and content consumption mode that we’ve long emphasized in our definition of “content discovery.” How-to’s can be highly desirable to consumers entering their present goal into a search engine, but they may be less timely and appealing to readers in content consumption mode.2. Let Me Guess…Easy as 1-2-3?Readers are constantlybombarded with “easy ways” and “easy steps” to an end and our results suggest that they are not convinced. Or, following from the above finding, readers in content consumption mode may be less likely to be pursuing a specific goal at that moment.3. I Can’t Watch Now“Watch” is often used inheadlines to designate video content. The negative impact of this word suggests that there may be constraints (e.g., time, environmental, device-specific) on readiness to consume video content that are not a factor (or less of a factor) for article consumption. Further, the state that we like to call “content consumption mode” may be content-type-specific. This finding underscores the importance of Outbrain’s video initiatives (i.e. video only widgets that move consumers from video content to more video content).4. Positive OverloadContrary to popular belief and their widespread use in headlines, these words do not appear to be compelling to readers. In fact, our data shows just the opposite. This may simply be a product of overuse, or it could be because readers are skeptical of sources’ motives for endorsement. On the flip side, sources of negative information may be more likely to be perceived as impartial and authentic.
  • 5. Do You Know Me?The attempt to make readers feel as though they’re being spoken to directly appears to do more harm than good.6. Stop With All the Commands!Readers appear to be resistant to words that demand action or attention. It may be that these words are more reminiscent of advertorial calls to action than editorial language or that their overuse in headlines over time has weakened their ability to convey a true sense of urgency.7. Readers Have Spam Filters, TooYou may notice the overlap among these words and the words that often trigger email spam filters when placed in subject lines. It appears that readers are getting savvier at gauging the quality of content by its headline and developing spam filters of their own.
  • To examine the impact of headline length on performance, we used a regression where headline length was the predictor of CTR. First, we operationalized headline length as the number of characters in the headline. The results indicate an inverted U relationship between headline length and performance, where CTR is highest among headlines with a moderate number of characters. Next, we operationalized headline length as the number of words in the headline. Not surprisingly, we found the same pattern of results. The highest click-through rates were again achieved at moderate headline lengths, with 16-18 word headlines performing significantly better than headlines of any other word length.MethodologyTo perform our headline analysis, we drew a sample of approximately 150,000 paid link headlines from the pool of all English language paid links that received a minimum 20,000 impressions in Outbrain’s network between the months of April and November 2012. The impression threshold was used to ensure that the sample was composed of observations with highly accurate click-through data1. We then examined the impact of a number of headline variables on click-through rates.
  • Beginning in 2012, McDonald’s started using Outbrain to amplify earned media that positively highlighted its brand and products. Examples included stories about McDonald’s low-calorie menu options and the new Fish McBites they introduced earlier this year.In each case, the coverage came from trusted 3rd party news sources like Huffington Post and Chicago Tribune, and Outbrain surfaced them to engaged audiences reading content on equally trusted publisher sites.
  • DR and conversions can work in conjunction with a content marketing strategy – good engaging convincing content = more likely to trust you, more likely to convert for newsletter signups/trials/toolsMAKE it EASY for the user to convert
  • Thank you.
  • This is 100% reality.
  • This information should greatly impact your distribution tactics. Analyse your traffic. Work out where audience comes from, what type of content and what devices they use and what time. Amend your content creation and distribution to consider this. Social channels – peak consumption times:Facebook 1-4Twitter 1-3Linkedin 7-9 & 5-6FOLLOW YOUR AUDIENCE with the best content type and format they want at that particular time.
  • So content formats. When it comes to ARTICLES,within electronics there is a 93% uplift in consumption on smartphones, in terms of click – through – rates. This data, from within our network, tells us that if you are electronics startup and your text content is not optimised for smartphone consumption you are missing a huge pool of opportunity. It is said that consumers go through 10 touchpoints before they make a purchase. This will include reviews, product focused articles etc. This is content that is digestible on mobile devices, on the go.
  • No need to create a separate mobile content strategy. Just make sure the content you create is high quality and accesible via mobile device. User experience – make sure content reads well on mobileMobile friendly content site – this means your mobile site will load quickly and it is optimized towards mobile consumption, no need for incessant zooming. Fits nicely within the browser. Responsive design – Next step! Enables you to optimize your site experience across different screen sizes without creating multiple websites. IAB says – Responsive design is the next stage in mobile optimisation and represents a truly multi platform experience that enables users to have the best experience on whatever device they’re using. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS USING THE MOBILE WEB IS CREATE A MOBILE FRIENDLY WEBSITE. As little as 37% of top brands website optimised for mobile use. Get ahead of the game. It can lead to 304% more daily visitors! (IAB)
  • When Baines & Ernst saw that mobile usage was on the rise, it launched a mobile-optimized site. Maintaining content on two sites proved inefficient though, so the company used responsive web design (RWD) to build a single site serving all devices and sizes of screen. On mobile devices, pages per visit have since increased 11%, average visit duration has risen 30% and bounce rate has registered an 8% decrease, while mobile conversions have grown an impressive 51%. THE GOALS • Deliver a consistent user experience across all devices • Enable potential customers to find the right information on any screen size • Drive conversions, measured as inquiries THE APPROACH • Initiated mobile marketing • Conducted user research and derived insights from Google Analytics • Replaced existing sites with new website using responsive web design (RWD) THE RESULTS• Following launch of RWD site, pages per mobile visit grew 11% • Average visit duration on mobile increased 30% • Mobile bounce rate decreased by 8% • Mobile conversions increased 51%
  • RPM based on performance on Daily Star RPM 1.22 GROSSPVs 36,481,000Old UI September result: @p.a: £151,248New UI result month; £26,631.13Pa: £319,573RPM from £0.30 to £0.73 = 143% better guarantee for them65 after 20OLD UI RPM Gross: £0.65 = £0.35RPM Gross: £1.22 = £0.7560 after 20RPM Gross: £0.73 = £0.35RPM Gross: £1.22 = £0.58NET REVENUE: £253,907increasing the revenue share with £177,081 p.a, taking the value of mobile recommendations to £328,330 p.a. (The guarantee value would increase by £96,000 p.a)
  • ThoughtsContent FocusLength of content 16:9 lead ImageTitle Size & Color, Sub TitlesSharing options (beginning & end)Multiple “engagement” optionsMulti Types of content
  • Thank you.

Smart Content Optimisation for Ultimate Engagement Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Headline Engagement INSIGHTS Gemma Slavin
  • 2. What Kinds of Headlines Attract People? When headlines feature any of the elements listed along the x- axis, they generate significantly more engagement among readers > Up to 42% HIGHER AVERAGE CTR
  • 3. Key Findings • The “W” That Counts Headlines that included the word “who” generated a 42% higher CTR than headlines without the word “who.” • So Hot Right Now Headlines with the word “hot” achieved a 32% higher CTR than headlines without this word. • Curiosity Killed The Cat Headlines with the word “surprise(s)” generated a 30% higher CTR than headlines without this word.
  • 4. Key Findings (cont’d) • Give Me The Dirty Details Headlines that used negative superlatives (“worst” or “never”) performed 29% better than headlines that did not. Likewise, headlines that contained the word “lie(s)” outperformed headlines without this word by 14%. • Let Me See! Headlines featuring the word “photo(s)” performed 29% better than headlines without this word. • “Don’t” is a Do Headlines that contained the word “don’t” generated an 8% higher CTR than headlines without this word.
  • 5. What Kinds of Headlines Repel People? When headlines feature any of the elements listed along the x- axis, they generate significantly less engagement among readers > Up to 46% LOWER AVERAGE CTR
  • 6. Key Findings • Let Me Guess…Easy as 1-2-3? Headlines with the word “easy” generated a 46% lower CTR than headlines without this word. • I Can’t Watch Now Headlines featuring the word “watch” performed 24% worse than headlines without this word. • Positive Overload Headlines that used positive superlatives (“always” or “best”) performed 23% worse than headlines that did not. • Do You Know Me? Headlines that made references to the reader by including the word, “you” “your” or “you’re” performed 21% worse than headlines that did not.
  • 7. Key Findings (cont’d) • Stop With All the Commands! Headlines that used an imperative (“must” or “need”) generated a 20% lower CTR than headlines that did resort to such pushy language. • Readers Have Spam Filters, Too Headlines that contained the word “credit” generated a 27% lower CTR than those that did not. Likewise, the headlines with the words “cure”, “magic”, or “free” performed worse than headlines without these words (19%, 18%, and 11% lower, respectively).
  • 8. What the impact of headline length on performance? Moderate headline lengths perform best, with engagement declining towards the shorter and longer ends of the spectrum > Headlines with 81 – 100 characters show the HIGHEST AVERAGE CTR > Headlines with 16 – 18 words generate the HIGHEST AVERAGE CTR
  • 9. Owned VS. Earned Content Performance Engagement INSIGHTS Ben Peacock
  • 10. Owned VS. Earned Content Performance Earned media campaigns generate more engagement than owned media campaigns run by brands in Outbrain’s network › 27% higher average CTR on EARNED CONTENT When targeting mobile users, earned media campaigns cost less than owned media campaigns › 16% lower average CPC on EARNED CONTENT
  • 11. Amplifies Positive Earned Media in Real Time with Outbrain Outbrain is part of our PR arsenal now. We’re not only able to use it strategically for earned media; we’re using it opportunistically as well. We plan to do more this year. - MOLLY MCKENNA, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AT MCDONALD’S Outbrain + McDonald's=We're lovin' it!
  • 12. With only a handful of seeding campaigns with Outbrain, McDonalds increased the reach of their earned media by 10%.
  • 13. U.K. Engagement by Traffic Source
  • 14. Shelter Amplifying Conversions The Tenancy Deposit Checker was part of a larger content marketing campaign advising on deposit protection. This tool had a conversion rate of 23% and a CPA of £1.3 74,000 consumers have read the positive reviews so far, at a cost of £0.15 pence/click
  • 15. • 290 000 readers since launch • Great editorial content • High CTRs up to 0.25% • Mobile and desktop targeting • 15% bounce. Significantly lower compared to Display and Facebook • Featured on mix of publishers both broadsheets and tabloids, attracting different target audiences • Post-Click Engagement. Installing the Outbrain widget
  • 16. Mobile Optimisation INSIGHTS James Byrne
  • 17. Based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015. (Morgan Stanley, 2013) An independent consumer trend report published by Netbiscuits in May 2013, found that over 25% of respondents spend more than 6 hours on the mobile web each day. (Netbiscuits, 2013) Among the top 100 advertiser websites, just 37% were optimised for mobile. (Internet Advertising Bureau, 2013) 76% of consumers will leave a brands mobile website if it is not optimized for mobile. (Netbiscuits, 2013)
  • 18. Material Upside for Mobile Ad Spend vs. Mobile Usage Source: KPCB
  • 19. Total Minutes (000) There are 580% more total minutes spent on optimised sites 4,500 4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0 3,970 Definition: Total Minutes The total number of (usage) minutes spent by visitors on the website during the report month. 584 Non - optimised Optimised Source: IAB Optimised Site Study, GSMA Mobile Media Metrics (MMM) in partnership with comScore
  • 20. The average minutes per visitor increased by 2 minutes on optimised sites Average Minutes per Visitor 6 5 5 Definition: Average Minutes per Visitor 4 3 3 The average number of minutes spent on the website during the month, per visitor. 2 1 0 Non - optimised Optimised Source: IAB Optimised Site Study, GSMA Mobile Media Metrics (MMM) in partnership with comScore
  • 21. Mobilize your content: Objectives 1 Drive app downloads 2 Build your social following 3 Acquire newsletter subscriptions 4 Increase sales Things to consider 1 User experience • Mobile friendly content site • Responsive/behavioural design 2 Device Targeting • Key consumption times • Key consumption formats
  • 22. Brands that have Responsive Design
  • 23. Baines & Ernst Launches A New Site Using Responsive Web Design And Mobile Conversions Leap 51% “Our main focus was to deliver a consistent user experience across all the devices so our potential customers can find the right information on any screen.” — Imran Khan, Head of Online, Baines & Ernst Source: Google Think Insights
  • 24. Optimisation Recommendations Traditional Implementation country divided almost equally between the pre dominantly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south. The insurgency poses the greatest threat in years to the security of a country of more than 160 mil lion, which is Africa's biggest oil producer and most populous nation. More from the Guardian Morsi supporters in Egypt pledge to die rather than disband protest Guantánamo Bay: the US was dead wrong, but no one can admit itod Guardian/ICM poll: public confidence in Tories' economic competence surges From Around The Web Outraged Muslims pelt charity walkers with stones (Daily Star) If You Want To Be Awesome At Emails, Add Yesware To Your Gmail Today (Forbes) How just £5 a day has grown to over £275,000 over 25 years (Hargreaves Lansdown) Recommended by Latest Implementation For articles, mobile CTR is 34% higher than desktop CTR and 8% higher than tablet CTR
  • 25. Best Practises Rachel Barber
  • 26. Thank You