Content Strategy Looks at Ads and Newsletter-Only Content

New report looks at the efficacy of ads on websites versus social; Huffington Post tries newsletter-only content strategy; Condé Nast rethinks digital website strategy

Which content strategy works best, ads on a publisher’s website or ads on social media? We begin by looking at a story from AdWeek, which is reporting on a study from Neuro-Insight that looked at this very question.

“Publishers’ own websites could be mightier than the almighty news feed when it comes to impact for advertisers, according to new neuroscience research comparing social platforms and premium sites.”


“Neuro-Insight, a neuro-marketing company, examined content from four major publishers—Condé Nast, Forbes, Time Inc., and The Atlantic—and found that test subjects were 16 percent more likely to find web posts relevant or engaging than similar content in social feeds. To understand how readers related to different types of content, Neuro-Insight connected 100 people with “neuro-mapping” technology and showed them videos in a Facebook newsfeed or a publisher’s website.”

The article continues with more on the results. “Along with being more personally relevant, publishers’ websites might be more memorable—they had a 19 percent greater impact on the rational left side of the brain, and an 8 percent greater impact on the emotional right side of the brain, the study found. Memories of video ads were also more detailed on the websites, with 8 in 10 performing better than in a social feed.”

Next, we move to Digiday reporting on Huffington Post’s website strategy of publishing newsletter-only content to connect with younger audiences. “To introduce itself to its next generation of readers, the Huffington Post is going straight for their inboxes. On Monday, it will launch The Tea, a weekly newsletter targeted at female Generation Z readers (or, as they were once known, teenage girls), but unlike most newsletters, which just repackage content originally published on other platforms, The Tea’s content — an exclusive interview with a celebrity — will only live in an email. If you want it, you need to subscribe.”

“The Tea is the first of several products that HuffPo will launch this year in an effort to acquaint teenagers with the digital native publisher, which has been busy creating new brands on various platforms to serve as delivery vehicles for content that lives on Huffington Post itself.”

The article continues by discussing the evolving focus of Huffington Post. “This new product is just a small test. But it’s a sign that the Huffington Post, which once defined itself by committing to SEO, then dedicated itself to winning on social platforms, is thinking more about direct connections.”

Finally, we stop at MediaPost, which is reporting on Condé Nast, which reworking its digital strategy. “Condé Nast is renaming and refocusing its Digital Strategies and Initiatives team. As Co/Lab, the team will focus on “building” rather than “fixing” Conde Nast’s digital strategy, according to a staff memo from chief digital officer, Fred Santarpia.”

“The Co/Lab team is responsible for building and executing strategy across Condé Nast’s digital, mobile and emerging platforms. Their goal is to expand the reach of the company’s brands and strengthen its marketing offerings and its relationship with consumers across devices.”

How will these content strategies fare going forward? We will keep you posted.


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