Organic content makes up most of the web, yet advertisers obsess over the small percentage of paid and earned media. In today’s post, Skai’s Jason Pratt shares some insight on what marketers can learn from organic content to help optimize their messaging.
I was having breakfast with Michael Akkerman at Pinterest last week, and he made a great point to me that I thought was worth repeating.
His point: The vast majority of what you see online is actually organic content, and only a tiny fraction is paid media. We’re talking like 90-95% is organic. Yet we spend all our time as advertisers focused on that 5%-10% of paid media (which of course is our job, and is very important for us to do) and largely ignore the valuable treasure trove of organic conversations our brand is having with our consumers.
This is true on Google, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, Snap, Twitter, etc., etc.
That ratio may be different on some of the crazier sites that you might get lured to, by those “You might also like…” links. However, in the “above-board” web, you’re seeing almost all organic content.
Maybe the fact that the vast majority of Internet content is organic is obvious to you, but it does bear repeating and reinforcing because this should be of paramount importance to a paid media buyer or marketer for a couple of reasons.
A few reasons how organic content can help your paid media
Firstly, the amount of data your organic or content marketing colleagues have about engagement rates, creative response, what messaging works, brand loyalty, image preference, virality, etc. dwarfs what most paid programs can generate. It makes sense to work “across the proverbial aisle” with them to find out what’s working organically and build your paid media plans from that. Of course, you can test into anything, but why spend money to test things that are already known by the organic team?
For example, in paid search, most SEM managers get their first set of keywords from the SEO team who are looking at referral traffic and analytics and seeing how people are reaching your site. This is a great example of leveraging organic data and it’s a bit obvious. But there’s a lot more of this type of thing we’re not always doing.
Secondly, the creative you need to make great paid media already exists in your company – it’s the creative your organic and content marketing teams know works for them. Get a hold of their best stuff and determine how it can fit into your paid program. This isn’t just promoting an existing organic Facebook post, this is looking at the brand from the consumer’s point of view when they’re interacting with your brand’s content all across the web and using those insights to improve how you’re advertising to those same consumers.
The amount of paid campaigns I see that have late starts or don’t launch at all due to lack of content or lack of ability to produce creative is immense. Paid media, with all its virtues around reach and measurability, is by nature “content-poor”, however, your organic content marketing teams are “content-rich”, producing hundreds of pieces of new and fresh content every single month. Go get some!
As a paid marketer, you can look at this organic content and all associated performance metrics to inform your creative, audience, bidding, and targeting strategies. You will have a holistic marketing strategy, It will make your paid program better, and your customers will be more engaged.!
Take a content marketer to lunch. Find out what they’re doing this week. What do they know that you don’t? It’s going to be worth it!