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Getting real results on content marketing with ACME

ACME Digital, the largest independent publisher network in South Africa, has concluded a series of content marketing campaigns across the network which has gone a long way to revive momentum in the value of brand-safe content.

Grant Thornton, Exclusive Books, Investec, Sable and other advertisers have run marketing on various ACME properties to promote thought-leadership pieces or drive traffic. In all cases these have outperformed standard measures of success in display advertising.

"The ACME offering catered to our digital marketing requirements in two ways," said Ben Williams, GM of Marketing at Exclusive Books. "The direct marketing option - which comprised banners appearing in an email newsletter - had a very high click-through rate and really drove new customer acquisition on our ecommerce platform. The below-the-fold 8Bit option was a good place to generate impressions for our corporate sales division. The leads had a very high value, because several of them converted into bulk sales of books."

While results are consistently good, the marketing placement is a boost for creating internal links for the website as well as marketing across the ACME network. Publishers include ACME’s News audience (Daily Maverick, BizNews, CliffCentral, etc.), Lifestyle and Classified audiences.

Getting real results on content marketing with ACME

“The industry is fully aware of Content and Native but there’s a hesitation gap,“ says Derek Abdinor, MD at ACME Digital. “Its when you scroll to the interminable rubbish at the bottom of otherwise-fair content. Instant Millionz, Six-Packs, Fake News, You Won’t Believe #34 and other trash is cookie-harvesting clickbait. This cynically devalues brand, seller and reader.”

ACME identified local Cape Town startup 8Bit as the best providers and rolled out their technology across participating titles. The 8Bit brand is a publisher favourite in certain European markets and runs a robust delivery channel on top of a solid tech stack.

Pricing for such campaigns follows different models to simple CPM or CTR. “The placement of your content in a premium environment can be difficult to quantify,” explains Abdinor. “I like reflecting that at a base CPM rate with upside for clicks. As we target better with ACME’s millions of user profiles we’ll be able to return insane metrics. For marketers comfortable with a rate card - we’re playing within a range of R50-R100 CPM before we bring targetting into play.”

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