It’s pretty safe to say that most brands are evolving into media companies. Creating high-value content is a more meaningful way to connect with your customers and has been around for years. Despite content marketing’s history, most brands are just beginning to realize how much more valuable it is to create highly-engaging content that truly resonates with people rather than reaching them with traditional paid advertising. New technology has also given rise to some amazing new ways to amplify reach so that you can ensure that your content reaches the right audience at the right time and place–ultimately maximizing engagement and in turn, ROI.

Why this shift all of a sudden? Do you remember the banner ads that you saw today? Most people don’t and that’s the problem with traditional advertising.  Traditional ads are being tuned out and traditional PR is not scalable. Content on the other hand–if leveraging the right channels–can give you the brand awareness of a PR campaign with the scalability of an advertising campaign.

Discovery networks like Outbrain, Taboola, Content.Ad, Zemanta and now Disqus are building a highly scalable programmatic marketplace for content. Rather than trafficking banner ads, these companies are trafficking content at scale in the form of recommended articles. Now brands that already have a plethora of content can promote at scale.

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Just like traditional advertising, we’re seeing a lot wasteful spending on these discovery networks though. How do you know you’re getting for what you pay for?

Also similar to traditional advertising, investing in a discovery buy can be just as labor intensive in terms of finding the right network, optimizing the campaign, and cracking down on fraud. Tracking ROI and knowing which content is performing the best is also a big mistake people make. In order to ensure ROI, you need to make sure you’re promoting the right content.

That’s where Markerly comes in. We work with every major discovery network, have a dedicated content creation department, and have analysts tracking and optimizing your content campaigns to ensure you’re meeting your objectives. We also are able to track whether or not there was click fraud involved in your campaign, as well as extract valuable demographic information so you can collect market research about the readers who are engaging with your sponsored content.

What are your thoughts on discovery networks? Do you use them to promote your custom content or sponsored articles?