Content Distribution Targeting Capabilities

September 6, 2018
Andrew Stark

Distributing content effectively means reaching the audience members that matter most, wherever they are. To do so at scale, you have to utilize distribution partners - channels which allow you to shell out content to the people who are more likely to engage with it based on a variety of factors. Audience targeting is crucial to success, but understanding the different capabilities of each distribution partner can be difficult because different partners have different targeting options. Going into each channel can be tedious, so let’s explore the major differences for distribution categories: Native, Social, and Content Discovery.

First, it’s important to see similarities across all channel categories. All channels have the ability to target your campaign on country-, state- and most likely even DMA-level, including the user’s device. Social and native are very similar within their demographic, and geo targeting (city and even zip-code-level) abilities.

Now, let’s take a look at their differences. Native platforms, such as Yahoo Gemini, TripleLift, or Sharethrough, can tailor your campaigns towards IAB publisher categories and keywords. In contrast, Social platforms have the so-called Interest targeting capabilities, which are the Likes and Follows on Facebook and Twitter.

One targeting capability that sets Content Discovery channels, like Outbrain and Taboola, apart from other categories is contextual targeting. Though you can work around this with IAB publisher categories and keyword targeting on native channels, contextual targeting actually goes a step further and scans the content of the page to match your content with relevant articles.

That’s a lot to consider when selecting the channels for your next content distribution campaign, so here are some tricks to bump engagement with the right audience:

  • Don’t limit your reach by adding too many targeting parameters: Which targeting do you really need, and which would be nice additions? The good thing about Content Engagement as a KPI is that you optimize towards engaged readers only. Do ZIP codes really make a difference in those reading your content? For local businesses or products, it might be very helpful. Match your strategy with your needs first.
  • Be open to new audiences and you may be surprised who’s engaging with you content from broader demographics or geos for example
  • Let the channels find the right audience and optimize towards the most engaged readers (wherever they came from)

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