This piece was originally published on Campaign Asia-Pacific.
Few industries have experienced as much disruption as publishers and media owners in recent years, thanks to the proliferation of digital channels, the explosion of social media, and sharp decline in traditional print revenues. The days when publishers could rely on just a handful of revenue streams are long gone, and many have quite understandably branched out into new brand extensions, spanning face-to-face events, podcasts, videos and subscription models. Even with these efforts, publishers face an uncertain world with no blueprint on how to navigate the current crisis.
Yet publishers still have one huge advantage to leverage — trusted content.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that consumers, especially in volatile periods, look towards credible and trusted news sources for information. In an age of fake news, opinion masquerading as fact, and self-appointed experts waxing lyrical on social media, respected publishers have something that can cut through the noise — consumer trust.
As such, it is vital that they maximise the pull of their content to boost advertising streams across their online platforms. After all, even the New York Times, which has pioneered one of the most successful digital subscription drives, still gets one-third of its $415m revenue from advertising. And it is no surprise that, according to the IAB, the digital advertising sector is the only media type that continues to enjoy double-digit growth.
This is not only because digital is attracting ever-increasing traffic across multiple devices, but because there are a whole plethora of complementary advertising solutions to deploy, from traditional display and banner ads, to video, in-app, search and social advertising, not to mention the synergistic benefits of native advertising.
Here are five ways we think publishers and media owners can maximise revenue streams in this digital landscape.
1. Partner for content amplification
If publishers want to truly maximise the revenue potential of digital, they need to partner with a company that is as trusted as their content and can deliver a full 360-degree suite of content and advertising solutions.
Put simply, a piecemeal approach may have some success, but a cohesive strategy will always provide more than the sum of its parts.
When it comes to content, our partners can expand their audience reach by having their content featured on Yahoo. Likewise, they can simultaneously benefit from the premium, trusted content we have on our brands, ranging from news, sports, finance, tech, entertainment, lifestyle and everything in-between, to enhance their sites.
This easy access to high-quality content can help augment content that can help to fight news fatigue and also drive traffic and engagement on their own sites, coupled with the chance to tap into a large new audience with their content featured on our trusted platforms, which can be major revenue drivers for publishers.
2. Press play for video innovation
Within the digital advertising sector, video continues to be the fastest-growing segment and now accounts for over 15 percent of all revenues. This growth is likely to continue unabated as more consumers unplug from traditional broadcast TV and instead tune into online videos and on-demand services across mobile devices and smart TVs.
This has resulted in ample opportunities for publishers.
If they already have video content, then instream solutions such as pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll come into play. If not, then outstream ads can run anywhere on their website. In addition, Verizon Media’s Video Syndication also gives publishers the opportunity to extend their audience across our owned and operated sites like Yahoo, and across our network of 4,000+ trusted distribution partners.
We can also help publishers expand their video content with a library of millions of videos from over 600 premium content partners, while our automated technology can create revenue-optimised playlists, relevant to the individual, to drive deeper engagement.
Both these opportunities create a new revenue stream for the publisher.
3. Let’s go native
Native advertising, where ads match the form and style of the content published on the website or app, offers immense opportunities for publishers, not least because it is often highly regarded by consumers.
An Ipsos report found that more than 60 per cent of consumers view native ads favourably, especially when they are non-intrusive, contextually relevant and seamlessly blend into the user’s content experience. Our research has also shown that consumers prefer native ads to ‘traditional’ ad units.
These ads can span sponsored articles, in-feed posts or search results, and also benefit from being less at risk from ad blockers. Native ads are also remarkably flexible and allow brands to create truly creative and immersive campaigns expertly crafted for the target audience. Depending on the content in which the ad appears, brands can leverage text, images, video, in-stream advertising and even in-game formats.
There are even publishers who now only offer native placements in order to maintain a more consistent user experience, proving that blending in could be the new standing-out.
4. Search for success
Publishers constantly need to find new ways for users to find their content. Deploying search solutions, either from keyword hotspots, display, native or even search-to-search, can help them monetise the process at the same time.
For those that don’t, Yahoo Hosted Search (YHS) provides partners with a complete solution for a powerful, scalable search experience for users.
According to the IAB, search now accounts for 16% of all desktop advertising spend and 15% for mobile, reinforcing the fact that it is an option publishers should actively seek out.
5. Let data deliver for digital
When it comes to digital advertising, and especially display, publishers need to know which ads best fit their site, while also experimenting with the vast range of aforementioned opportunities to identify those that can reap the best rewards. This means they need access to the most effective analytical and reporting tools.
The right analytics can translate into big revenue gains by providing insights into potential buyers that may have been missed or which audience segments are the most lucrative. We know that even small adjustments can help significantly maximise yield.
Experience of utilising the Verizon Media Ad Platforms: Analytics Insights and Reports tells us that in most cases, publishers can grow revenue by up to 20% with a data-driven and systematic approach. With the challenges faced by publishers unlikely to disappear any time soon, such gains in yields could prove to be critical.
Building the right partnerships
Publishers can achieve their 360 monetising strategy by putting into place optimal solutions for their platform. One leading solution is Verizon Media’s Ad Platform, a simplified suite of intelligent advertising and publishing solutions that offers cutting-edge omnichannel programmatic platforms for both buyers and sellers.
Publishers sell their media via our SSP in a way that makes them more successful and boosts revenue. Working with Verizon Media also means leveraging the advanced technology of Verizon, a Fortune 20 company and global communications & technology leader pioneering 5G tech. As one of the three core pillars of Verizon’s global business, Verizon Media has proven successful relationships based on innovation, trust and transparency with our partners.
From partnering for content amplification, to video ads and syndication, native, search and display ads, and transparent data analytic and reporting tools, we work with our partners to ensure that they reap maximum benefits on their sites by availing a full suite of tools — and importantly, ensuring that our publisher partners receive their revenues in a timely manner.
Reach out to our publisher representatives to start a conversation on your 360° monetising strategy.