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As a digital publisher, your top two priorities are increasing your traffic and maximizing your revenue from advertising (Hubspot Research).
While this article will not discuss the former, we will try to show you several ways that you can boost your ad revenue.
Waterfalling is out of fashion, Header bidding is all the craze now!
For years, Publishers structured their ad auction in a chain-like fashion, where all of their impressions were offered to a top tier ad network, then whatever they passed on was provided to the second Ad network, then the third, and so on.
While this approach (called waterfalling) was intended to squeeze as much revenue out of each impression, many publishers ended up leaving a lot of money on the table because of it.
That is because if an advertiser is willing to pay more for a publisher’s impressions, he wouldn’t be able to do so if the publisher’s price floor is met in an ad network higher up in the chain.
That’s where Header Bidding comes in.
Contrary to waterfalling, in header bidding auctions, all ad networks get to bid on a publisher’s impressions at the same time. The highest bid then wins the auction, which grantees that the publisher the highest revenue for her impressions; thus, making their ad-selling process more efficient.
Large publishers have noticed a significant increase in revenue after switching to Header Bidding. The Telegraph, for example, has reported a 70% increase in the programmatic ad-revenue after implementing Header Bidding (other major publishers such as CNN International and The Daily Mail have reported similar results).
Jump aboard the Native Advertising train!
In 2018, more than 58% of the advertisers’ digital display ad budget will be spent on native advertising. That’s almost $33 Billion that advertisers want to spend on ads that have the same look and feel of a publisher’s content – basically ads that don’t look like ads.
It is no secret that consumers are growing tired of ads, which causes them to seem them less and click on them less.
That being said, 32% of consumers said that they’re willing to share a native ad, even if they know that it’s an ad.
Advertisers also love native ads because they’re viewed 53% more times than standard display ads.
So, Native ads work, and that’s why advertisers love them and are willing to dedicate more of their budget to them; 92.3% of publishers who sold native advertising last year saw their ad revenue rise significantly.
Still not sure if native ads are for you?
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Blocking ad-blockers to increase your revenue
Since the internet’s early days, digital publishers have relied on advertising to make money. That revenue stream is, however, being threatened by the swift adoption of Ad Blocking technology.
By the end of 2018, 33% of internet users are expected to install and use an Ad Blocker. That means that, as a publisher, you’ll be losing 33% of your impressions!
The situation is undoubtedly critical and has pushed a lot of large publishers to start thinking about alternative business plans; such as paywalls.
But before you change your business model, you can still get around ad blocker by:
- Opting for Native Advertising: Most ad blockers have a hard time differentiating native ads from actual website content. Serving more native ads will certainly increase your ad impressions.
- Installing an Anti-Ad-Blocking Script: Unfortunately, Anti-Ad-Blocking Scripts don’t allow you to block ad blockers (how cool would that be!). What they will enable you to do however is to detect when a user is using an ad blocker. Identifying these users will then help you to filter them out in your analytics (which is necessary especially if you’re selling your ad inventory directly to advertisers). You can also ask these users to add you to their ad-blockers whitelist after identifying them; a strategy that most large publishers are currently using.
You have a lot of data, know how to utilize it!
The Cambridge Analytica Scandal, the new GDPR Law and Apple’s and Mozilla Firefox’s new Anti-Tracking functionalities, are all recent developments in the Ad Tech are making it easier for Publishers to sell against sizeable social media players.
The overreliance of these social networks on Third-party data to sell ads and the fact that they don’t have access to this data anyone has drawn advertisers to Publishers who have their hands on an abundance of first-party data that they control — This shift has especially been beneficial to Publishers in the Automotive, Financial and Retail spaces.
That being said, most publishers do not seem to be using their data correctly to improve their sales. More than 37% of publishers say that their Ad Ops departments don’t have access to their content analytics. Also, only 43% of publishers said that they act on the data that they collect.
That means that more than half of the publishers do not use the data they use to inform their editorial strategy.
Not using your analytics data to improve your editorial strategy and identify the content that guarantees the best viewability for your advertisers’ ads is causing you to leave money on the table. Make sure that you’re well equipped to collect data regarding the performance of your articles (a tool like Google Analytics is a must) and track your customer’s behavior (You’ll usually need to setup a CDP in addition to your Analytics platform) .
If you’re still not sure how to monetize your content and need the help of an Ad Tech specialist.
Do not hesitate our to contact our monetization experts for a free consultation.
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