But the survey also found that advertisers are planning to reduce spending slightly on pay-per-click advertising, in part, because of the click fraud problems that have surfaced. This serves as a message to publishers that now is the time to find meaningful ways to measure Web metrics and to come up with a meaningful system for pricing online advertising. As advertisers gravitate away from print and into the online arena, publishers should stop offering online advertising as an addendum to print and look for ways to fully monetize the Web for what it is worth.
Publishers who continue to operate without working with competitors need a reality check. Reed has it right. With the loads of free information available on the Internet, especially in the b-to-b space, itâ€™s all about getting the information to readers in the most efficient way possible, and the way to do that, is through a solid search function online.
Or, even better, publishers should do what Forbes is doing, making its annual lists of Billionaires, Most Powerful Celebrities, Top Companies to Work For, etc., a true multimedia experience. Forbes realizes that there are a lot of people out there that just will not pay for news anymore. So rather than trying to beat them, theyâ€™ve joined them.
Whenever a special issue of Forbes comes out, itâ€™s one of the top stories of the day highlighted by the search engine Yahoo. From the Yahoo story, readers can link to Forbes Web site where they can find even more articles and information on the special information contained in that franchise issue. And Forbes doesnâ€™t just offer little teasers on its Web site of the articles featured in the print version of the franchise issue. Instead, it gives readers full magazine articles and original Web content that can either complement or be read in place of the magazine.
And the effort is working because even when the franchise issue doesnâ€™t fly off the shelf, hits to Forbesâ€™ Web site increase greatly during the week that the issue hits the stands. Using those metrics, Forbes can probably, if it hasnâ€™t started to already, begin charging advertisers a premium to advertise on its site during peak traffic weeks such as those when its franchise issues come out.
Staffing your technology department can be pricey. Computer guys donâ€™t get paid peanuts. For example, an XML coder can charge $45 to $65 an hour to code content for various digital uses. But itâ€™s important for publishing company owners to face the reality that they are going to have to spend the money on hiring the right people to run their Web sites and e-media properties. That means building a department that is devoted entirely to creating digital products, that works directly with editorial, sales, marketing and circ.
Donâ€™t misconstrue the concept, either: IT and e-media are not one in the same. You donâ€™t want the guy that sets up your voicemail to design your Web site, itâ€™s just not a smart business move. At the bare minimum, publishers should invest in at least one strong e-media manager. That person may cost a pretty penny, but they will be well worth it. From there he or she can train college grads and give them the skills they need to drive your Web properties to their maximum capacity.