One Million Views & Counting: Criteo Content’s 2019 Year in Review

 

When we started the global content program at Criteo in 2017, we wanted to build a blog that helped marketers make great ads. By sharing our findings from Criteo data, writing about ad strategies, and talking through industry and customer stories, the Criteo content team worked hard to make sure that this blog is a resource for anyone trying to build ads that really work.

This past year was a big year for us: Criteo research got featured on TV and presented all around the world, we helped redefine how we talked about the products and the company, and the blog itself got almost one million views (~955,000). To put that in perspective, that’s a 30% increase in traffic year-over-year. Or, from a 2017 perspective, we had 25k views a month in December 2017, 57k in December 2018, and 82k in December 2019.

Overall, we created:

  • 50+ Blog Posts
  • 20+ One-Sheets 
  • 12 Reports & Guides
  • 10 Webinars

Through our global content program and our work with the amazing Criteo research and data science team, we activated findings about different sales periods and products, sharing them with marketers so they could improve their ad campaigns. By working alongside our localization team, we were able to deliver content in 10+ languages across events, presentations, workshops, and Criteo websites. Demand gen and ops helped us track every download and registration all the way down to the sales level, too.

Here’s what we learned when we analyzed our most popular content:

1. Gen Z is the New Millennial

Our most popular blog post in 2019 was Millennials vs Gen Z: 4 Differences in What They Care About, which was based on our Gen Z Report. The localized Japanese blog post has around 70,000 views this year. The English-language post has 7,000+ views.

The Criteo content team works closely with the localization team, which is a big reason this blog post did so well. With 74% of traffic coming from Google and 17% of traffic coming from Yahoo! Japan, we can tell that the Japanese post started surfacing in search engines.

Another Gen Z blog post, Gen Z’s Favorite Social Networks: YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, cracked the top 10 with 14,302 views.

2. Education + SEO = Big Numbers

With almost 16,000 views, The Average Marketing Email: Open Rate, Click-Through, and More, secured the second spot behind the Japanese-language version of Gen Z vs. Millennials. This SEO-driven post also helped educate marketers on basic stats.

Educational blog posts have great returns, especially if they hit the right keyword.

Published in April 2017, What’s the Difference Between CPC and CPM? is still our third best-performing blog post. In 2019, the Korean-language blog post about CPC vs. CPM had more than 12,000 views and the English-language version had just under 12,000 views.

Another 2017 blog post, 14 Acronyms Every Marketer Should Know, comes in fourth place – thanks to Russia. The Russian-language version of the post is in English, but the URL itself is in Russian. This combination led to almost 10,000 views over the past year. The top cities for this blog are Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kyiv.

Japan’s localized post, What is the Difference Between Remarketing & Retargeting?, had almost 8,000 views and another post explaining our header bidding model received around 6,000 views.

These blog posts are great foundations for more blog traffic. By continually optimizing them with new calls-to-action and related content, we make sure that evergreen posts act as a front door to Criteo.

3. The More Specific, the Better

Want to know a quick hack to really successful blog posts?

Listicles and real-world examples.

That’s why 3 Beauty Brands that Do Content Marketing Flawlessly is our fifth-best performing blog post of the year, with around 8,600 views.

The “beauty boost” doesn’t hurt. There are a lot of people looking for examples of successful beauty brand marketing. Our 14th best-performing post, 10 Beauty Brand Instagram Accounts We Heart So Hard, received around 7,800 views.

These educational posts help Criteo be part of the conversation in specific industries.

4. People Love Predictions & Trends

Every time we make a prediction or name the top trends for next year, we know that the post will do well. Marketers always want to stay on top of the industry, so we weren’t surprised when the Digital Marketing Planning Guide 2019 was our most popular guide in 2019 and the accompanying blog post, The 7 Big Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019, got around 8,400 views.

5. Data Gets Clicks

No one can get enough of the numbers behind Criteo research and Criteo data. Since we do so much proprietary research, we try to make sure that it’s always as interesting and as accessible as possible. The numbers from our consumer surveys like “Why We Buy” (more on that below) got shared across print, digital, and television. With interactive digital planning tools like the Seasonal Sales Dashboard and the Seasonal Shopping Snapshot, we got thousands of people interested in what happens during the peak shopping season at a transaction level.

Our Favorite 2019 Projects

To learn more about what the team was most excited about as we look back on 2019, we asked Senior Global Content Strategist Michelle Pruett and Global Content Strategist Tricia Carr to reflect on their favorite three projects.

Michelle Pruett, Sr. Global Content Strategist

 

“Criteo’s podcast, AdTalk, was a cool way for us to test a new format, find a new audience, and drive engagement on a new channel. It let us highlight unique voices and POVs across ad tech, from direct-to-consumer darlings like Sézane and Glossier, to hero brands like Bai, which grew from a small niche product to one of the fastest growing beverage businesses in the US.

The podcast gave us a forum for people on the front lines to tell us what the buzzwords really mean in practice (innovation, customer-centricity, disruption..). In the process, it strengthened our position as a thought leader.”

Listen Here

Why We Buy

“Our Why We Buy survey, which started out as a simple questionnaire, grew into what would become our cornerstone research piece of 2019.

The findings surprised us, especially around things like brand values and customer loyalty, and provided a solid foundation for unique presentations, bylines, and sales materials throughout the year, all around the globe. The stats continue to be cited in the press worldwide.”

Check out the Research

Holiday Content Program 2019 

“From an interactive map featuring data on 17 countries to dozens of localized blogs, reports, slides, and one-sheets, our holiday 2019 campaign was an enormous global effort that required close coordination and collaboration across multiple teams and continents. And our efforts paid off: By October, the Criteo holiday report was ranking on the first page of organic search results.

As of December, our holiday content program has received close to 20,000 views across all of the assets. This was a huge cross-collaboration effort across research, analytics, field, and brand marketing teams.”

View Our Interactive Holiday Dashboard

 

Tricia Carr, Global Content Strategist

 

 

“We wanted the Criteo platform to feel approachable for small businesses that are just getting started with digital marketing. So we created a content series just for them. We launched an ebook, quick guides, blog posts, and an email newsletter with simple strategies to move more customers through the purchase funnel—from the moment they discover your brand to the moment they purchase from you.

The quick guides were localized for eight countries, and the global blog posts got nearly 1,400 pageviews total.”

Download the Guide

The 2019 Webinar Program 

“I was excited to take over our monthly webinar program when I joined Criteo at the beginning of the year. In 2019, we hosted webinars on artificial intelligence, loyalty, full-funnel marketing, holiday, and much more. But most importantly, we changed how we think about webinars this year: they’re not just a one-time deal.

We’re repurposing more webinar content for event presentations and sales enablement, and when we turned one of our popular holiday webinars into a listicle-style blog post, we got thousands of pageviews and ended up on Google as the number one search result, with a featured snippet.”

Watch Criteo Webinars Here

The Criteo AI Lab: Cracking open the black box 

“Artificial intelligence is one of those things marketers know they need in 2019, but many of them don’t fully understand how it works and all the benefits it can offer them. At Criteo, we have our own AI Lab, where a team of researchers and engineers spend their days exploring, testing, and fine-tuning AI models that will soon make the Criteo Ad Platform work smarter and faster.

Since we have this amazing resource at Criteo, I wanted to create content that ‘translated’ their work for the average marketer, and this content was some of our most popular we put out year. Our AI webinar had over 1,000 registrants, and our long-form AI blog post has almost 2,000 views.”

Read the Blog Post Here

2020: The Year of Conversational Content

In the second half of 2019, the Criteo content team started talking to sales teams, account strategists, and creatives on the commercial teams. We wanted to know what kind of content could help them in their day-to-day, especially when it came to talking to prospects and clients. We created 20+ one-sheets specific to different sales needs and we’re just getting started.

With more than 30 offices around the world, there is a lot of complexity to each region and how each team operates. We’re excited to streamline all of our global content efforts next year and focus on sales enablement and demand generation in new ways.

We’ve always worked to make sure that there is a next step for all of our content. Every blog post leads to a gated piece of content and an email nurture with related content will give people more opportunities to learn about Criteo.

Next year, the team is going to think about how we can make sure that those email nurtures feel like real conversations by making them more personalized for each asset that’s downloaded and what each lead really wants from Criteo.

Good content is the foundation for a good conversation. And, as Criteo looks ahead into 2020, we have more to talk about than ever before. We hope you’re as excited for this year as we are!

Blaise Lucey

Blaise has helped Fortune 500s and start-ups build comprehensive content marketing strategies from the ground up. He loves figuring out how technology can tell better stories and foster relationships.