Ad blockers have changed the landscape, whether we like to admit it or not. What was once the poster-child for earning potential online has now become a second class citizen. While most publishers today start by offering display placements to advertisers, savvy companies have begun offering more custom solutions to advertisers. The result? More income in publisher’s pockets.
If you’re hoping to maximize your publication’s earning potential, it’s probably time to start considering native opportunities, sponsored content, and even offering advertisers multiple touchpoint bundles for reaching your carefully curated niche audience.
Here are the three things you should be prioritizing over display advertising while you put together an advertising strategy in 2016.
1. Your Advertisers Want Contextual Ads.
The native advertising market is expected to grow into a $21-billion industry by 2018 in the United States alone. When you consider that display advertising (banners) is on a trajectory to hit $17-billion by 2018, it’s pretty obvious that purchases of native content are growing at an unprecedented rate. If the numbers tell us anything, it’s that advertisers are considering native advertising opportunities before everything else these days. If you’re not considering native options for your publication, you’re limiting your earning potential in a big way.
When it comes to native advertising, the opportunities are limited by nothing but your imagination. If you can build it, and it is embeddable in your design and content ethos, brands will be interested in your offerings. Think brand-designed content like infographics, advertorials, and other content like single-sponsor issues created by brands for promotion on your website.
Native offerings are a fantastic way to provide advertisers with reach into your audience without forcing disruptive display advertisements on them. Newsletter ads and social media mentions are other wonderful ways to give value to advertisers. Just remember to approve content that your audience will enjoy. There’s no point in running native advertisements for programming applications if your publication’s focus is fiction writing. If it seems disjointed, pass on the opportunity and wait for a better fit.
While display advertising may be the quickest way to get started with advertising in your publication, native advertising should be the backbone of your sales offerings moving into the future.
2. Brands Want You To Tell Their Story Too.
While we’re on native content, I should mention sponsored content (paid storytelling). Did you know that readers are 25 percent more likely to look at sponsored articles compared to traditional display advertising? There’s a reason for it. Sponsored content usually involves a publisher’s content team developing and writing a brand’s content themselves. That usually translates into a tone and style that’s synonymous with a publication’s regular content. Reader’s appreciate that kind of thing, especially if product endorsements or brand stories are genuinely targeted at their interests.
As a content publisher, you know your audience the best. You know what resonates with them and what interests them. You can provide tremendous value to brands by writing and developing content on their behalf for your audience. But, much like the native content example above, make sure you’re providing content that is on-point and related to the copy you’re already publishing.
Sponsored content offerings are a fantastic way to extend your publication’s earning potential. If you haven’t considered it yet, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to grow your revenue.
3. Offer Multiple Touchpoint Solutions.
A one-off, simple advertising campaign that focuses on delivering a message in one format will never be as successful as a campaign that engages your audience on multiple fronts at once. If it worked for the allies during the second world war, a multi-pronged advertising approach would certainly work for your advertisers. Package up all of your advertising opportunities, and begin selling them collectively to advertisers.
Combine your social advertising offerings with your unique opportunities, then merge it with your native advertisements and sponsored content offerings across your publication. Once you package up that offering, start pitching it to brands as an opportunity to reach your audience on multiple fronts and in a variety of formats. They’ll bite if the price is right. Heck, include your traditional display advertisements as another vector to anyone looking to reach your readers.
The more you can deliver a brand’s message to your audience, the more valuable your offerings become across the board.
The most important thing to remember when setting out to compile a sales strategy for your publication is that while display ads still play an important role in an advertising strategy, you have plenty of tools available to drive value for your advertisers. Use them all in balance. If you’ve spent time cultivating your audience and building a recognizable brand in your niche, advertisers will embrace the opportunity to develop creative campaigns that your audience will enjoy.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, and don’t be afraid to challenge advertisers to develop something great.