Content marketing is a salient form of online marketing that involves the creation and distribution of content for targeted audiences. This method of advertising typically relies on a variety of algorithms to present users with ads that match their demographics and predilections. Appearing at the bottom of articles on news sites such as Forbes, BuzzFeed News, and USA Today, these ads differ from traditional advertisements in that they imitate a feeling of content discovery. Moreover, since people are increasingly using ad blockers, these organic advertisements yield higher traffic and better results compared to traditional ads.
The two main players in the content marketing universe are Outbrain (founded in 2006) and Taboola (founded in 2007). These platforms have partnered with different news brands: Taboola works with publications like USA Today, Business Insider, Chicago Tribune and The Weather Channel; Outbrain works with publication like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and Mashable. The platforms operate in similar manner. In both cases, they allow clients to set audience targets by selecting publications and geographic regions.
Outbrain and Taboola present differences along the following parameters:
Price and budget
Both content marketing platforms operate on a cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model. Taboola typically charges $0.06 per desktops, $0.04 per tablets, and $0.03 per mobile. It requires an initial commitment to a budget of $5,000. Outbrain charges $0.04 per desktop and $0.03 per mobile. It does not require a minimum buy-in budget. This method is used extensively by marketing guru, Ben Givon.
Both companies provide online and phone support. Taboola differs from Outbrain in that it assigns clients with a personal account manager.
Quantity and quality of traffic
Taboola operates better in terms of quantity, as it yields a higher volume of traffic for less money. However, according to Ben Givon, Outbrain traffic is typically higher quality as its presents slightly lower bounce rates (i.e., less people navigate away after viewing just one page), higher conversion rates (i.e., more visitors end up taking the desired action) and more engaged users.
Taboola and Outbrain are both user friendly platforms for content marketing. Since Outbrain requires less commitment in budget and generally yields slightly higher quality traffic, it is probably best to get started on that platform. However, since Taboola works with an impressive portfolio of news publications, it is a good idea to add it on as well, once you feel comfortable with the practice and the results you’re getting.