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The New Disruptors in Content Marketing: Discovery Platforms

The New Disruptors in Content Marketing: Discovery Platforms


In the sea of online content, consumers only see a small fraction of what’s out there, and that makes it hard for you to net these interested readers.

Fortunately, content discovery platforms can help you by connecting consumers with relevant content that they otherwise might have missed.

The benefits of these platforms are three-fold. Online explorers get access to hyper-relevant content without having to actively search for it, while publishers boost audience engagement. And for brands producing content, they can engage the right consumers at the right time on the right channels.

Outbrain, Taboola Lead the Way

Content discovery platforms such as Outbrain and Taboola (a former ICo client) are bridging the information gap between brands and consumers as well as equipping publishers with more content. 

It’s important to distinguish the content discovery process from native advertising, though. Articles recommended by Outbrain and Taboola aren’t paid ads disguised as editorial content. Instead, these articles are designed to inform or entertain audiences. And because 70 percent of people would rather learn about a company through articles than ads, this content has huge potential for activating potential customers.

Outbrain reaches 561 million people globally each month and serves 190 billion recommendations. In November, it reached a deal with Time Inc. to become the exclusive provider of external content for Time’s websites. The deal is estimated to be worth more than $100 million to Time Inc. 

Taboola has over 550 million unique monthly visitors every month and serves over 200 billion recommendations each day. In February, it secured $117 million in funding to drive global expansion and increase personalization for users, publishers, and marketers. 

Together, the two companies work with some of the world’s top publishers, including the BBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, CNN, NBC News, and Fast Company.

Content discovery platforms are transforming the exchange of information between brands, consumers, and publishers for the better. And everyone stands to gain in the process. 

How Your Company Can Benefit

Companies such as Outbrain and Taboola are also changing the way consumers interact with brands and the content they produce.

Recent data suggests that 60 percent of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it. This means today’s marketers have more options than ever to locate and engage new audiences. But even publishing consistent, high-quality content doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be found. 

Here are a few tips for leveraging content discovery platforms to reach your target audience:

1. Define your goals.

The first step is to determine what you hope to accomplish. Are you looking to reach new audiences? Do you want to drive traffic to your site? Once you understand your objectives, you can optimize your content to fulfill these goals. 

2. Modify articles for the intended publication.

As with any marketing campaign, you need to think strategically about which content you promote on which platforms. Take the time to go through your past blog posts, and pull content that aligns with the mission of your desired publishing site. For example, if you’re looking to feature content on CNN, choose blog posts that have elements of newsworthiness and that explain concepts in detail (which most of your blog posts should do anyway).

As a rule of thumb, choose content that has a high number of views, clicks, and conversions. Remember, readers should want to click on your content when it’s recommended to them, so push out content that has a proven track record to garner more clicks. 

3. Repackage old content.

While you should modify your content to align with the overall mission of your intended platform, you also should take the opportunity to do some research. Switch up your content to find the presentation that appeals most to your audience. Transfer your blog posts into SlideShare presentations, or use A/B testing to determine the best title. While consumers are discovering your brand’s content, you’ll be discovering how to make it as engaging as possible. 

4. Track your performance.

Consistently measure your results to gauge the success of your content discovery efforts. It’s important to include calls to action every step of the way. Customers should be able to clearly identify what you want them to do next. That could mean directing them to your site from an external publisher or asking them to download a whitepaper. By creating a clear path for your customers, you’ll be able to track their movements and analyze engagement with your brand, making the necessary changes to optimize your campaign.

The supply of online content is growing, and that means the ocean will continue to rise. With more competition, there is more standing between your content and the readers who crave it. As Outbrain and Taboola get better at matching content with the right audiences, you’ll have more opportunities to get in front people who care about your content — and your brand.

How do you think content discovery platforms will transform content marketing?

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About Sarah Morris

Baths over showers. Dogs over cats. Chocolate over vanilla, always. I’m taking over the world with content, one whitepaper at a time.


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