PR firms and content marketing agencies like Walker Sands are increasingly turning to paid media as a way to get their clients’ content in front of relevant audiences.

Outbrain is a leader in this space, and is worth checking out if you’ve got great content marketing assets that need more eyeballs. For a modest price, you can have your content show up on the websites of respected publishers such as CNN, Fox News, ESPN, PC Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and People Magazine.

Here’s an example of how it works. This morning, I decided to read about the Chicago Blackhawks playoff game and ended up on the NBC News site. As you can see from the picture below, there’s a section called “From Around the Web” beneath the article, with links to content on various sites. These are all paid media links, running through Outbrain’s platform.

As you can see from the screen capture above, the AARP, or its agency, is using Outbrain to drive visitors to its website to read an article on “The 5 Most Dangerous Cities in the World.” That’s smart content marketing. They’ve simply created some compelling content and used Outbrain to get traffic to the content. Once you arrive on that piece of content, you see plenty of calls to action to get the AARP Travel Newsletter.

It’s classic content marketing: create great content, amplify it with tools like Outbrain, and then use it as a means to get audiences to do something that you’d like them to do.

It gets even more interesting when you combine earned media with paid media. An example of earned media is a PR placement, something that our Chicago PR firm is exceptionally good at getting. But once we get a media placement for a client, how can we amplify it and get the biggest ROI for our client’s buck?

We’ve got so many tricks up our sleeve on that front, promoting the PR placements on social media and the like, but one that is getting momentum is to use paid media to increasing the circulation and duration of a story placement. And why not? If a media relations specialist at Walker Sands gets a placement on The Wall Street Journal for one of our clients, we can buy ads to drive more eyeballs to that article. It’s a tactic that allows us to promote our clients’ positive press to larger audiences and extend the shelf life of their media coverage. It’s win-win-win for everybody involved.

It’s a great way to get our clients’ content embedded into some of the most high-traffic areas of the web, premium publisher sites that Outbrain works with, including some of the sites below.

We’re not alone in having figured out how to amplify content marketing and media placements by using services like Outbrain. In addition to Walker Sands, top PR firms like Edelman, Fleishman, Weber, Burson and Ketchum are using this tactic regularly now.

Walker Sands is in the fortunate position of having a very strong front-end group that can assist our clients with marketing strategy, content marketing plans, and intensive media relations programs. Those outputs then dovetail with the deep capabilities of our Walker Sands Digital team, which can get those messages to market and amplify them through a variety of digital marketing tactics, including SEO, PPC, display ad campaigns, topic-centric microsites, social advertising, and paid media syndication platforms like Outbrain.

If your marketing messages are not getting viewed by the right people, or are not getting seen by enough of the right people, get in touch. We’d love to help you to be more successful.