Startup Knotch Promises to Help Prove That Branded Content Actually Works

Startup Knotch Promises to Help Prove That Branded Content Actually Works

Marketers continue to pump more money into digital content–either for their own social media profiles or in the form of sponsored content. But many in the industry complain that there are few proven methods for gauging whether all this branded content actually works.

That’s where the startup Knotch says it comes in. The company has just raised $4 million as it looks to build out a standard digital means of tracking the impact of content produced by, or for, advertisers. Among Knotch’s investors are Greylock, Allen & Co. and Stanford University, as well as individuals such as former Facebook U.S. sales chief Tom Arrix and the entrepreneur Michael Birch.

In addition, Ross Levinsohn, former chief executive at Yahoo, has joined the company’s board.

Here’s how Knotch is different: For standard banner ad campaigns, it’s common to use a digital survey to quiz people on whether they liked and were impacted by a particular digital media ad. Instead, Knotch lets readers rate a piece of content by simply mousing over a pretty image at the end of articles and answering a quick question or two.

Knotch’s product for advertisers is currently in beta. But the company is testing it on a few sites with editorial content. For example, at the end of this Forbes piece on Super Bowl ads, people can indicate whether this year’s ads were good or bad by mousing over the Knotch unit, which causes bar graphs to appear. One end of the graph allows someone to rate the ads positively, the other end negatively.

Similarly, this post on about the Netflix show “Bloodline” lets readers rate the show itself via the Knotch module (Netflix did not pay for this article–it’s an editorial piece). After readers make their choice, they can share their feelings with others via multiple social media networks.

According to Knotch founder Anda Gansca, the online ad industry desperately needs an alternative to tracking the impact of brand advertising via digital surveys.

“Nobody ever told me they enjoyed answering a survey,” she said. “I wonder, ‘who are these people?’ Those tools were created for display ads. Meanwhile, brands are working so hard to get their audiences to love their content, and so much of this stuff now is in editorial environments, and we end up shoving something [like a survey] in their face.”

Among Knotch’s early beta testers are Vice and the digital agency MEC. In some cases, publishers pay Knotch a flat fee to employ the product; in other cases, an advertiser might pay the fee, said Ms Gansca.

Gian LaVecchia, managing partner at MEC, said while there are plenty of ways to track whether ads can drive sales to e-commerce sites, “we are increasingly trying to buy attention, and there is no ‘return-on-content’ measure,” he said.

If Knotch can get that right, it could have big implications for the way that ad dollars are spent, predicted Mr. Levinsohn.

“So much of branded content money is flying blind,” he said. “If you can get the measurement right, the tactic becomes potentially far more valuable. Read more here

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Suite of Free Tools

$0.45 USD - $4.00 USD

Note: The accepted formula that Auxiliary Mode Inc. uses to calculate the CPM range is $0.45 USD - $25.00 USD.

The range fluctuates this much because many factors come into play when calculating a CPM. Quality of traffic, source country, niche type of video, price of specific ads, adblock, the actual click rate, watch time and etc.

Cost per thousand (CPM) is a marketing term used to denote the price of 1,000 advertisement impressions on one webpage. If a website publisher charges $2.00CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad. The "M" in CPM represents the Roman numeral for 1,000.

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated daily earnings

$0.00 - $0.00

Estimated monthly earnings

$0.00 - $0.00

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