Why You’re Not Selling More Digital Sponsorships
[Sponsored] And what you can do about it.
Advertising is the lifeblood of any publishing business. It’s the primary revenue driver. It keeps the whole train running.
So, to sell more advertising is, in general, always a good thing.
To do that, the industry needs to follow the money of its advertisers. Marketing and advertising budgets are shifting from print, direct mail, etc. into digital. In 2016, B2B marketers will spend 52 percent of their budget on digital initiatives.
The publishing world has done it’s best to follow that shift of budget with digital sponsorship and advertising opportunities like:
On site display
But still – overall revenue from digital is pretty underwhelming for most publishers we’ve talked to and worked with. Why? We were curious about this question as well. So we dug in a little bit – and talked to several publishers and advertisers to try to better understand this problem.
We discovered a simple explanation: the digital advertising products offered by publishers just aren’t compelling enough.
Think about it from the perspective of the advertiser. They pay for an ad package. It's placed for some amount of time. People see it with a half-dozen ads from other advertisers. Then it’s over. That’s not very compelling.
They might still buy a package like that because of the strength of the publication and its audience, but the package itself is underwhelming.
But there isn’t any other option, right? What else is there to offer advertisers? Glad you asked!
It’s called Sponsored Retargeting.
With Sponsored Retargeting, you can offer your advertiser access to your audience wherever they might be online.
That means that your advertiser doesn’t get exposure to your audience only when they visit your website. With Sponsored Retargeting, your advertisers get exposure to your audience wherever they are online.
So when an audience member visits your website, Facebook, CNN.com, and then ESPN.com, your advertiser's ads follow them along the entire way – increasing their likelihood of responding by 70 percent, according to Digital Information World.
Quite an improvement! That’s legitimate value to offer your advertiser – and legitimate value that they will see.
There’s also a huge advantage for the publisher. You can sell significantly more Sponsored Retargeting packages than any other kind of digital sponsorship.
How many on-site display packages can you sell while still guaranteeing compelling impression numbers for each advertiser? Not that many. And how many sponsored emails can you sell before your audience tunes you out or unsubscribes? Even fewer.
How many Sponsored Retargeting packages can you sell, when the inventory for the ad placement is made up of 95 percent of all consumer websites? So many that you’ll never hit the ceiling.
You've got a more compelling product to offer advertisers and virtually endless inventory to sell.
How to get started
Although it is a somewhat advanced product to sell, the process for creating, selling, and fulfilling Sponsored Retargeting packages is actually pretty straightforward.
Get started with a retargeting product.
Setup the tracking pixel from that product to start aggregating your digital audience.
Create advertising packages to sell – a best practice is structure the packages as a total number of impressions over a period of time (e.g.: one million impressions over the next 30 days).
Train your sales team and sell them!
Fulfill them by gathering ads from the advertisers who buy the packages and running campaigns on their behalf through your retargeting product.
Keep in mind that the above process is very simplified. Just point number four on the list has many implications that we won’t cover in depth here.
This process is also based on using standard retargeting tools. They aren’t designed for this use case — they are designed to be used on behalf of one party and not to run other paying advertiser's ads.
So they are painfully lacking in key areas like advertiser accessible reporting and certain key campaign configuration stats. Still, you can use them to fulfill these kinds of campaigns.
A suggestion: Use a process like the one above to validate this idea within your organization.
If you find that it works, or just want to start with your best foot forward, use a tool built for this like:
We wish we could add to that list. But no one that we're aware of does this beside us. Good luck getting going and feel free to reach out to us if you'd like some help!
Feathr is a digital marketing and monetization platform built exclusively for the needs of the events and publications industry. We can’t wait to see everyone at The Folio: Show coming up. We’ll be participating in "How to Create Your Most Detailed, Effective Attendee-Marketing Plan Ever," and "15 Fresh and Out-of-the-Box Sponsorship Ideas Guaranteed to Resonate With Buyers."