Paddy Power is trying to eke out greater returns from publishing fewer posts as the expense of creating content push it to test whether its efforts can not only sell bets but also make money.
Why are the Daily Mail, Buzzfeed and the Guardian the envy of the perennial mischief maker? It’s because they are the cream of the crop when it comes to making money from web publishing, according to Paddy Power’s head of digital engagement Paul Mallon. Brands with unique content can potentially make money from websites where traditional media outlets are failing, added Mallon, who is studying the methods of the top ten publishers to see what he can adapt.
“We’re trying to take what we do on different channels versus the biggest possible scale,” he added. To do this cost-effectively with fewer posts, the bookmaker is increasingly relying on targeting tools rather than organic reach. “We’re now sending a video to certain audience segments and measuring that performance instead of just blindly chasing big views and making that look good,” said Mallon.
It’s easier said than done for a business producing around dozens of Twitter posts a day, Facebook videos, several blog posts and emails; all of which is managed by a crack team of journalists and social media execs operating its newsroom round the clock. No surprise then that Paddy Power leans heavily on its agencies for video although it is developing a more streamlined way of handling outsourced content.
“We couldn’t produce enough video if we tried in-house,” said Mallon. “We have an in-house video unit and we also rely on agencies and freelancers for video but we have to try and tie that up so it all looks like the one brand. Some of it looks hacky, some of it looks slick but we’ve only just begun with a cohesive video strategy really.”
Paddy Power isn’t the first brand to view quality rather than reach as the key to content. But it’s pertinent now because the gambling firm is seeing that views do not necessarily equate to engagement on some posts. Consequently, there’s more onus on data to push Paddy Power budgets into more potent areas, while simultaneously helping it stay on the right side of wrong when it comes to its controversial ads.
On the subject of new channels, Instagram is set for further attention now that it’s opening up its API to betting companies. There’s also interest in Snapchat and WhatsApp as key focus areas for 2016.
“I can’t think of many brands who produce the standard of in-house social and editorial content that we do, but that’s not to say we can’t be smarter about what we produce, with even clearer measurement of the impact it has on customers,” said Mallon
One area recently installed chief marketing officer Gav Thompson wants the brand to improve is finding that sweet spot between being on the side of the customer and being a challenger brand. And on digital this amounts to how Paddy Power looks as a mobile brand with the bookmaker looking at how it can activate on the channel differently to other advertisers.
Mallon will be sharing more insights into how content innovations are elevating Paddy Power at ad: tech London today (13 October).