The latest ‘Global Interest Map’ released by content discovery platform Outbrain for 2014 shows what topics interest the world across several categories including news, entertainment, health, tech, sports and auto.
India shows up some predictable and some not so predictable results. For year 2014, the year of election Narendra Modi naturally topped the list, as did BJP and AAP. Apple was the only tech brand to make the list of most viewed content for the general news category.
For the home and lifestyle section, we Indians showed that we aren’t that boring. While the top consumed keyword was colleges, running close was sex positions!
For sports, while Sachin Tendulkar still made his presence felt even after retirement, football outweighed cricked for most viewed content!
The ability to identify these keywords and trends has never been more important for any communication and marketing plan. PR firms in India are now beginning to use tools such as Outbrain to plan their content push. Currently, Outbrain reaches 29 to 30% of Internet users in India and half a billion users worldwide per month. PRmoment India caught up with Gulshan Verma, general manager-India and South East Asia for Outbrain ahead of the release of the ‘Global Interest Map, on how PR firms can make use of Outbrain for their content strategies. PR Companies in India such as Edelman and Weber Shandwick. use Outbrain for planning content. Verma who has worked with Yahoo earlier also holds a patent for interactive ads in a sponsored search environment.
PRmoment India: How can tools like Outbrain help PR firms with their content strategies’?
Gulshan Verma: First of all it helps you to amplify your content across 30% of the Internet in India. It helps you to amplify and supercharge it. If for example you set up ten interviews for a car review, Outbrain can amplify that. It also makes for a transparent market place. You can even pick the OS you want to push the content to.
PRmoment India: How does this ability to track user content help PR professionals?
Gulshan Verma : The fact is that today the business cycle is much faster today. You need tools that can give you the ability to understand within 24 to 36 hours what is trending and make use of those tends.
PRmoment India: How have marketers in India taken to content discovery tools?
Gulshan Verma: Out of the top ten digital buyers in India, Outbrain is working with 5 across sectors such as auto, B2B, FMCG and handsets. Outbrain’s strategy is to recommend only authentic content and not product pages or advertising. Consumers are becoming smarter, they want to know what a brand stand for-which is why even advertising is now about more than one-way communication. The fact is that the reach of the Internet today makes it a serious contender for any other media.
PRmoment India: How do you maintain consumer trust?
Gulshan Verma: We reject 20 to 30 % of the content we get, as it doesn’t meet our content guidelines. We have realized that if we mark sponsored content, users are OK with as long as it’s clearly revealed. The biggest challenge is mass personalization of the content. This matters a lot, as your headline is very different from mine. Users expect something that is interesting and relevant.