Top 3 Ways Content Recommendation Services Can Help You

There you are. Reading an article on The Huffington PostRolling Stone, or CNN, and as you scroll to the bottom of the page, you see a collection of articles recommended just for you. You click on one of them, and all of a sudden you’re on a new website, but how did you get there?

These articles are actually sponsored links powered by content recommendation services like Outbrain and Taboola, the leaders in the industry. They usually appear at the bottom of news or content-heavy websites and they are grouped together under a header such as “Around the Web,” “You May Like,” or “Related Content.” These native ads feel more natural and less intrusive than other forms of online advertising. In fact, they are hand-picked for users based on a set of thorough algorithms related to:

  • What’s on the webpage
  • Previous user behavior
  • Context of the user’s visit
  • Trending topics

For instance, if you’re reading an article on ESPN, the recommended content might be sports-related, but a heavy dose of pop culture, politics, or tech news might appear instead if you regularly visit those types of sites.

Content recommendation services aren’t a new trend – Outbrain was founded in 2006, and Taboola was founded one year later – but their usefulness in digital marketing is growing rapidly. At RepEquity, we utilize these tools in a variety of ways for our clients, promoting content and engaging new audiences. Below are the Top 3 ways we use content recommendation services.

1. Attracting new readers

The overarching goal of employing content recommendation services is to attract a wider audience. Simply by appearing in the “Related Content” section of a webpage, an article is already reaching a larger group of people, but getting them to click through to a landing page takes something special. That’s why headlines are so important.

In these types of articles, it takes a captivating headline to generate a click-through. Headlines that include a question, a phrase such as “You won’t believe…,” or a list are much more likely to capture a reader’s attention. And yes, we kept that in mind when writing this blog’s title.

2. Promoting the brand

Sometimes, when we launch a new brand or a new website, it can be hard to generate momentum right away. Blog posts and articles that amplify what the brand or website does are key, and if they are promoted through a content recommendation service, the word will get out quicker and more efficiently. Once a new audience of readers begins to access this content, more traffic is inevitable.

3. Reaching the right audience

Services like Outbrain and Taboola are so effective because they allow you to make changes on the fly based on their analytics. We typically run articles with multiple titles or pictures at first, track the results, and then focus on the title and picture that performed best. Likewise, we can track the demographics of users, and gear content or headlines toward either the people who ARE landing on the site, or the people who we want to land on the site but AREN’T. Optimizing content for the correct audience segment will only lead to higher conversion rates, including purchases, sign-ups, downloads, and leads.

Content recommendation can make all the difference

Understanding how these services work is essential to digital marketing. It’s an easy, and relatively cheap way to reach a new audience, promote content, and analyze how effective your current content is for generating leads.