Content quality is widely viewed as one of the most important variables for driving performance in advertising. Many brands and agencies divide their efforts between premium media advertising and cost effective media advertising. Buying premium content and video is often utilized to build brand awareness and generate exposure, while cost effective media advertising focuses on conversion points and total reach. Bridging the two practices through software for value and decisioning gives advertisers unreached efficiencies. This will be extremely important as the move to cross screen advertising begins to scale.
But what is the formula for automating the process to determine what is to be considered premium content?
The first part of the formula is accounting for simple variables such as site aesthetics and content correlation. One example of this is RecipeExamples.com has minimal ads per page and by contextually targeting, I can tell there is a lot of content regarding cherry pies. However, not knowing the context creates frequent misinterpretations of content quality. The advertiser in this case was attempting to promote their product next to positive cherry pie content, yet the article was written about the unhealthy side affects of the cherry pie.
Widely considered the most common variable in our formula for premium is recognition. Recognizing the publisher at first glance, thus having a presumed expectation of the quality. NYTimes.com is a popular news source; therefore my brand will be near premium content. However, not all content is created equal. Unfavorable positioning, weak content relevancy and competing press are a few of the common issues associated with determining content quality based on recognition.
Content can also be measured for quality by traffic generated. A publisher that receives the highest volume of traffic delivers the most desired content, or so we think. Although I may have not heard of CookingForMe.com, because it receives 6 million monthly visitors, they must have great recipes. Yet this correlation does not hold true because it doesn’t account for how the traffic is generated, the quality of the audience.
CookingForMe.com has weekly giveaways and only offers microwave recipes, thus resulting in their high traffic numbers and skewed view of quality.
Popular in recent years is measuring content on engagement metrics. Determining the quality of the site by the number of shares or reactions a piece of content generates. Although this comes close to determining what can be considered premium content, it does not take into account the most important variable, time.
Understanding the role time plays within content consumption is the key to understanding the effectiveness it will have on an audience. How recently the content was published, the time spent engaging with the content, as well as the speed of consumption. Time is a natural ally of Video, it gives both content and advertising the third dimension.
A publisher’s overall quality is increasingly being tied to how much video content it produces. This is evident in the rise of content studios that are focused on video, and with the traditional TV players investing in new media sensations such as Vice.
This leads to measuring content on the traffic per minute rate it can generate since being published ( a form of virality), combined with time spent and contextual relevancy. To programmatically determine quality of content, the content is first identified for content relevancy, and then given a blended score of traffic per minute and time spent. Ads are then served to environments with content alignment and the highest blended content score.
Only with all of these factors taken into account can we hope to determine what content truly works best for our ad. The right ad in front of the right audience, which is the hope of advertisers and consumers alike.