Quality Media’s Strategy For Winning Customers

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They say all good things must come to an end. And that includes “tried and true” digital marketing strategies that were once dependable but have lost their effectiveness.

Why don’t conventional marketing strategies work like they once did? Consumers like you and I are no longer as moved by traditional advertising campaigns. I’m tired of them, and I’m sure you are, too. Each day, people around the world are bombarded with up to 5,000 ads apiece. That’s a lot of noise to try to cut through.

Over time, the constant exposure to hard-sell ads prompts fatigue. It also sours the brand experience. Eventually, consumers tune out and turn away — I know I have. That’s not what you want if you’re trying to acquire and retain customers, let alone scale up your operations.

Fortunately, you can bypass this understandable tsunami of consumer skepticism by embracing alternative marketing models designed to engender trust. And one of the fastest-growing models is known as performance publishing.

Supercharged, trust-based brand growth

Developed by full-service performance marketing agency Quality Media, performance publishing sits at the intersection of third-party validation, storytelling, and paid amplification. It’s a tidy place to be, especially when you’re trying to stand out and stay competitive.

Performance publishing puts consumers in the driver’s seat by eliminating unwanted sales pressure and educating them in a way that feels native to their purchasing decision flow. By removing the psychological feeling of being “sold to,” performance publishing encourages consumers to take action at higher rates. Though every decision is still backed by data, performance publishing’s hallmark is its human-centric design.

As Quality Media co-founders (and performance publishing creators) Lauren Kleinman, Lee Joselowitz, and Scott Silver explain, performance publishing allows brands to appeal to modern customers. The founders point out that while AI tools and technologies are appropriate for helping marketers produce output, they shouldn’t be seen as ways to manipulate people. It doesn’t work anymore and can lead a brand’s equity and reputation to plummet.

See, consumers don’t want to be told what to do. They want human-led and human-curated editorial and original content that enables them to make up their minds about a brand or product. Performance publishing is built around this reality and has driven more than $50 million in incremental revenue for Quality Media’s clients thus far, illustrating its efficacy. And the eyebrow-raising numbers don’t end there.

Kleinman, Joselowitz, and Silver note that their brand partners have seen other financial outcomes, including a 30% higher return on advertising spend (ROAS) rates and a 20% reduction in customer acquisition costs (CAC). Why? The answer lies in the innovative way that performance publishing plants and grows what traditional digital marketing methods overlook: trust.

A core of trust

Today, trust has become one of the most valued commodities between brands and consumers. In fact, the majority of customers look through “trust lenses” when deciding which brand to patronize. And when trust is high, money plays less of a factor than you might assume. According to Edelman research, 59% of people say they’ll buy more items irrespective of cost when they trust a brand.

Sounds great, but there’s a big obstacle you have to overcome first: Customer trust is increasingly hard for brands to gain and maintain.

Customers won’t just roll over and believe everything they hear. (I don’t know if they ever really did, but they certainly don’t now.) Most are on high alert for signs of hype or hyperbole. They want substance, not splash. When companies position their products and services in self-aggrandizing ads and promotional campaigns, they risk turning off the consumers they hope to attract.

Performance publishing helps brands break out of this destructive cycle and improve marketing performance through a storytelling-first combination of amplified high-quality editorial, third-party validation, landing page development, and creative. Customers are educated and validated on a brand or product before they ever visit the company’s site. Rather than getting a standard sales pitch, they are led toward a process of organic self-discovery.

To provide a strong, reliable publishing anchor for brands, Quality Media publishes human-based editorial content for all brand partners on The Quality Edit website. There, brands’ products are highlighted through impartial reviews and related content written by a cadre of more than 50 professional reviewers.

Does the system work? Yes, especially for brands that could use a better trust bond with their buyers. The Quality Edit has earned a trust rating of 90% with its reader base, which is significantly higher than the trust given to other premier digital publications. Consequently, by promoting brand partners on the site, Quality Media enables those partners to piggyback on the site’s innate trustworthiness — and earn appreciation and sales from consumers.

Additional trust touchpoints

Beyond establishing consumer trust through The Quality Edit’s content, performance publishing garners trust in other ways, too.

Take sponsored and promoted ads and sponsored social posts, for instance. Each piece of content is thoughtfully designed to encourage scrollers to stop and engage. Those who click through are greeted by landing pages that continue the narrative and establish what feels like an intuitive customer journey toward a purchase.

Content creators fit into the performance publishing trust-promoting model, too. Within the performance publishing framework, influencers are carefully identified and managed for each brand. It’s a selective process that ensures all influencer output continues the trust-building process.

When consumers’ experiences with influencers (and their content) match the product reviews they read on The Quality Edit and the ads they see, they feel they’re being given the “straight scoop”. This makes them more inclined to try the brand, as well as interact further through repeat purchases, user-generated content (UGC,) and their own customer experience reviews.

New Marketing for a New Age

Consumers no longer have the time or patience to give brands their undivided attention or immediate trust. This means your company can’t keep using the same digital marketing approaches if you want to acquire customers at scale and win their loyalty.

In the face of waning outdated digital marketing practices, performance publishing has shown its ability to produce fruit. And if you’re hungry for customers, it may be the best choice to feed your sales funnel.

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