How to Choose a Content Distribution Channel

Content Discovery Networks (CDNs ) first entered the scene 10 years ago, with Outbrain being the first to market. Since then, the CDN market has been valued at several billion dollars per annum and with barriers being relatively low, there are over 20 players within the space – including Taboola and Yahoo!.  In addition to providing publishers with a new monetization channel, CDNs have opened up new ways for brands to connect with their consumers – a communication channel that major brands now treat as an essential component of their overall marketing strategy.

Savvy brands such as Red Bull and Coca-cola place quality content at the absolute heart of their brand messaging for good reason. It resonates with their audience. Think about Red Bull and the thought of entertaining extreme sports content comes to mind quicker than their product offering.

On the back of the Content Marketing revolution, companies such as Contently and Newscred have grown to help brands create meaningful content. But once content exists, how do you choose the best channels to distribute it and reach your intended audience? At Contentise, we help brands turn great content into great content strategy.

START BY DEFINING YOUR GOALS

So you have great content and now what? With so many ways to reach your audience, choosing a Content Distribution channel can be a daunting task. The first thing that we encourage marketers to think about is defining KPIs for a content marketing campaign. This will help determine a channel that allows you to achieve those pre-determined goals. What types of goals can you set for your campaign? Brand awareness? Direct ROI?

For example, Facebook is a great place to reach an audience due to the size of their network and their great targeting capabilities. Content Distribution networks can provide rival scale and lower CPCs. To learn more about KPI strategy and realization, you can check out our comprehensive Traffic Acquisition guide below.

CONTENT DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS

When it comes to size, Outbrain and Taboola lead the pack with about 50% of market share between the two of them. Outbrain shows itself to have a larger reach across the world’s top 100,000 sites, but on aggregate Taboola has a larger reach as it is better represented amongst the long-tail publishers across the globe.

Just how big are these Content Distribution Networks? In March 2016, Taboola showed that across desktop it is just about the same size as Facebook reaching just over 800 million unique users every month. There is a large degree of fragmentation at the bottom end, whilst at the the top end, Outbrain and Taboola dominate, both in terms of traffic quality, sophistication of algorithms and overall reach.

The majority of the other networks are focussed on Direct Response advertising, and simply use a content recommendation module to able to serve their ads within the main feed of the page. These DR platforms include, Rev Content, Content.ad, Earnify and MGID. The cost of traffic is CPA based instead of CPC because it is specifically sales-driven. For brand marketers, this can be an interesting approach.

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