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Content Discovery vs Search & Display

Content Discovery

“Content discovery” refers to a rapidly-growing space in the world of digital media that involves the use of predictive algorithms to help people discover content they may like but never knew existed.

Social media platforms often have discovery-based features integrated into their sites, such as Facebook’s News Feed or YouTube’s “Recommended for You” section. Discovery platforms like TrendMD are built around a predictive engine that all kinds of publishers can integrate into their site, surfacing targeted recommendations for their readers.

Content recommendations are offered in a variety of ways on publisher websites and apps. Recommended stories can be placed within content streams/feeds on a publisher’s homepage or along the right side of an article. The most impactful placement often immediately follows the end of an article, though recommendations can also appear mid-article (especially on mobile).

These types of promoted recommendations are less intrusive than traditional online banner ads, and the best examples create real value for consumers by providing them with relevant and informative content. Story-driven content also enables marketers to create a stronger emotional connection with their target audiences in a way that direct advertisements cannot.

Content discovery can drive results for marketers across industries and in service of many different metrics or goals. While banners ads may only have been effective for high-level brand awareness, content can engage consumers at all stages of the “consideration journey”, driving a variety of goals, such as lead generation, email subscriptions, purchases, and more.

Search ads
Search marketing is a type of 'pull marketing'. Search customers have typed in what they want and they are in the market for your product or service. The customer is "pushing" and advertisers only need to pull them in.



These ads are specifically designed to make a 'sales pitch' to the user. In the above scenario, the user was looking for pizza in New York City. The user is more than likely to click on one of the search ads to learn more about a product or service directly - in this case, pizza.

Display ads
Display marketing is a type of "push marketing". Users are not specifically searching for your product or service when the display ad is placed in their line of site. They may be viewing a video, checking their favorite news or social site, doing research or some other action. Here the advertiser is pushing the awareness of their product onto the user.



Display ads are similar to traditional television commercials. The majority of the audience will not have any interest in the product or service (unless highly targeted or via retargeting), at least not at that time. However, it is possible that the ads foster brand awareness, imparting a visual impression in the viewer’s mind so that they may recall your ad if and when they need your product or service.