How publishers can monetize while reaching millennial audiences

How publishers can monetize while reaching millennial audiences

By Genevieve Pritchard, Marketing Manager, Yahoo for Publishers

Millennials and tech are closely related—in fact, they're nearly interchangeable. Both have driven serious changes in journalism, media consumption, and communications, becoming disruptive forces affecting traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. As an app-driven and mobile-first audience, millennials are likely to own purchasing power for the foreseeable future.

If you're not catering to millennials, then you're not maximizing your revenue. The millennial generation represents up to two-thirds of internet traffic (depending on the country) according to the GlobalWebIndex report. Your content, design, user interface, and advertising products should be targeting these key stakeholders.

Here are five best practices for publishers to optimize their ad formats to resonate with millennial audiences:

Target new sources of traffic

The traditional hub as a homepage is dying. People are finding content from third party sources.

So where does that traffic come from? Social media, email and chats. As a publisher, you need to work harder to drive people to your content.

How can you keep millennials engaged? Social media.

Sell sponsored social-media posts and leverage native video on landing pages. Market advertisers on these 'millennial packages' that target only the landing pages or editorial categories where millennials are spending most of their time.

Focus on native ads

Native is a gold rush for publishers.

What is the average time spent on pages for millennials? What are the key traffic sources?

Sell digital packages that reach the right people—or performance packages. Sell advertisers on beauty, sports or entertainment packages. Offer these editorial packages at premium prices given the unique targeting abilities. Allow advertisers direct or programmatic options specifically for the millennial audience.

Offer personal experiences

Millennials want personal experiences—custom content that creates meaningful connections. Provide interactive packages or native advertising.

Native ads blend with the editorial content, and are much less intrusive than display. As a high-CPM unit, native can also provide publishers higher ROI.

With native, you're reaching millennials the way they want to be communicated to. Millennials are more open to receiving relevant ads, than being 'marketed to' with banner ads or pop-ups.

Create opportunities for A/B testing

Offer advertisers ability to run multiple ads, creative and CTAs with highest performing ads that optimize automatically—whether this is via a programmatic partner or PMP regulated environment.

This approach allows advertisers to find what message is resonating and optimize, it also helps you keep the highest quality content on your site.

Solidify your app strategy

This is the most important. According to Flurry data, consumers spend nearly five hours per day on mobile devices and 92% of that is in-app as of Q4 2016.

Responsive design will become obsolete, and in the future, online experiences will be app-driven. Having an app strategy is no longer a 'nice-to-have' but a 'need-to-have.'

Millennials often avoid browsers due to slower load time and difficult-to-navigate sites. In contrast, apps load faster, have a clean interface, are easy to navigate, and most content can be found within three clicks. Millennials make most of their retail purchases online, complete bank transactions with apps and even regulate home appliances and security with apps for the Internet of Things.

In a world of rapid-fire news with real-time analytics, these tips can drive more revenue to your bottom line.

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