The Association of National Advertisers is the U.S. advertising industry's oldest and largest trade association. It represents a community of marketers focused on making better marketing decisions and helping foster business growth. The ANA is made up of over 20,000 influential brands, with the goal of empowering marketers to become more effective, build stronger brands, and not only lead industry and social changes but be a driving force for it. By way of their CMO-endorsed Growth Agenda, the Association for National Advertisers provides a 360-degree focus on all elements of the business enterprise.
The Association of National Advertisers was faced with the challenge of increasing brand awareness and redefining its position as the prominent industry expert in the advertising community. Their goal was to create a content hub discussing the latest trends in marketing that their audience could easily access. Leading this innovative initiative was ANA’s very own Michael Berberich, Sr. Director of Content Strategy and Matthew Flynn, Sr. Manager of Research and Innovation. What success would look like finding the best way to drive traffic to the company’s website and increase engagement in a way that they had never seen before.
Producing well over 1400 pieces of content each year, the Association of National Advertisers needed to deliver content in a way that was refreshing and nothing short of cutting edge. Being that the brand was founded in 1910, they knew that the way their readers were accessing content had certainly changed. The ANA team decided to differentiate the way they presented their content in order to achieve increased engagement and properly redefine their legacy as the industry leader. Thus, the Marketing Futures Program was born.
The idea was to create a uniquely designed content hub where readers could discover blog posts on a variety of advertising topics and fully immerse themselves into the brand’s podcast. At the beginning of this initiative, the ANA was partnered with another organization which helped with their current microsites. However, Matthew and Micheal knew that they needed to own this new way of delivering content to make it the best and most innovative version to date.
Through an internal company initiative, reports on emerging trends showed how other companies in the space were using a new technology known as Interactive Content. That’s when the ANA team discovered Ion by Rock Content and they knew they had uncovered the missing link to take their content hub to the next level!
The Association of National Advertisers was able to leverage Ion’s code-free environment to build multiple pages and grow its website into a cohesive network of content that could be accessed globally.
“The reaction that people had when we brought this up to big companies they were just blown away by the animations and just kind of how vibrant it was from anything else they had seen,” (Micheal Berberich, Sr. Director of Content Strategy).
With Ion’s tagging functionality the ANA team was able to track content downloads and page clicks that readers were making. Through the Google Analytics integration, Matthew and Michael were also able to take a deep dive into how many unique visitors were coming to the site and how long they stayed on a page.
This was a key insight for the ANA team because they were able to compare the analytics for the Ion version of their main webpage to the original version and discovered that the Ion page had significantly higher downloads. In addition to that, the Ion page helped the company increase engagement and drive awareness from users that may not have known about the company before.
“The Ion platform allowed anyone to come and see the content and it did expose people who were not familiar with our company.” (Matthew Flynn, Sr. Manager of Research and Innovation)
One metric that the team found most impressive was that when users started their journey on the Ion page their engagement rate was up to 7x higher than that of the original site. This led to an increase in awareness of the brand’s podcast, webinar series, and more.
The content hub was such a success that other internal teams began reaching out to Matthew and Michael to learn more about how they were able to achieve similar results. Using other tools like Rock University’s on-demand Ion training content, having a dedicated onboarding and an “always-on” support team, the Association of National Advertisers was able to truly see the power of Ion. Through their hard work and the help of Rock Content’s Ion a 110-year-old company was able to revitalize the content experience of its audience.