Content Engagement: It’s Time to Update the Model

Content engagement is ever changing. The way people discover and engage with content remains fluid. With so much content being shared on the Internet, most of what gets posted online is never seen.  According to a recent study, out of the millions of pieces of content published in a day less than 10% are seen. The way people discover content has changed dramatically. However, the way most brands and publishers place their content has not. Therefore, it’s time to update the model of content engagement.

What’s the problem?

In a traditional branded content transaction, the program comes at a fixed cost regardless of how well the content performs. When we transact on a flat-fee basis, there’s no contractual obligation to perform. While everyone has the best intentions, there’s no guarantee of achieving the goal. This also means that the depth of reporting is lacking. Why track things like how engaged a viewer is or if they completed the article or video if it’s not a clear requirement at the end? It’s not that fixed rates are bad. However, they can cause a misalignment of goals between parties.

How to fix it?

Some publishers and advertisers are looking at a new way of buying and selling branded content that focuses on guaranteeing quality reads and views. In this new model, the publisher allocates budget to paid social promotion. While organic reach may be declining, paid reach is stronger than ever. Plus, there are incredible benefits to focusing on quality content performance.

First, it makes branded content more competitive when compared to other digital products because advertisers can easily show true ROI. Second, it ensures that we look beyond metrics. Measuring attention and completion rates weeds out the distribution tactics that don’t deliver.

The Future

Advertisers and publishers want the same thing from their branded content campaigns: a story that resonates with an audience and exceeds performance expectations. How people discover content has changed and it’s time we do, too.