As branded content becomes a bigger part of media budgets, marketers need to show how content is driving results for their brands. They want to prove that content can create not just awareness, but also purchase consideration and sales.
To help marketers achieve those objectives, Refinery29 rolled out a product Monday dubbed Converge to connect content to sales. The product allows marketers to follow up branded content with shoppable products that might pique further readers’ interest.
Refinery29’s internal data already suggests that two out of three readers purchase products after seeing Refinery29 content. Converge aims to give readers gentle nudges to buy items featured in branded content.
“We want to help our clients go deeper with target audiences that are engaged with the content we are creating on behalf of the brand,” said Hallie Johnston, SVP of client services and strategy for branded content at Refinery29. “This helps us reach specific audiences more strategically and drive action off the content.”
For example, if a fashion retailer participated in a piece of content about back-to-school trends, someone who read the article might start to see ads from the retailer with products featured in that article.
The content retargeting works cross-platform. So, for example, someone who views a video on Refinery29’s social channels might receive a follow-up ad on Refinery29’s desktop or mobile site.
Refinery29 built the technology in-house using its data warehouse and stores the data in its data management platform.
While brands already retarget customers who click on a product after seeing it in a Refinery29 article, for example, Refinery 29’s Converge helps brands reach customers who have seen the content but haven’t taken any action yet. And it can reach those readers within the same context where they originally viewed the content.
“We have the credibility and engagement with the audience,” Johnston said. “Clients are seeing that as a differentiator.”
Refinery29 predicts the new product will increase time spent on content, click-through rate, total clicks and engagements. And it expects Converge will spike conversions for brands using the product.
Converge is designed to make branded content, an area with often fuzzy, varied metrics, more measureable, Johnston said.
“There is a level of sophistication, maturity and rigor,” she said, “that is increasingly becoming required as branded content becomes a much deeper part of a marketer’s media mix.”