It’s been obvious since a while that coronavirus pandemic would have a massive impact on global economy, and digital advertising is not an exception. What the industry has been already seeing and what is actually reflected in Waytogrow’s data too, is the surging number of page views and ad requests followed by huge drops in eCPMs. These dynamics are presented on the infographics below.
Even though it is not surprising, publishers need to take action in order to secure their already shrinking revenues. In this article we would like to propose a bunch of tactics we think might be useful in this challenging time.
Pitch proper verticals
As under lockdown people spend almost entire time at home, they also behave in a different way. They consume more Internet, shop online, play games and so on, but do not go out or travel and are probably not in a mood for buying a new car. It means that some advertisers had to cancel their budgets, but there are other who actually started spending more. According to Waytogrow the verticals that are best to pitch now are the ones you can find on the following infographics. It includes also other useful information.
Go for Direct Deals
Decreasing revenues from open auction do not necessarily have to mean a significant drop in demand, especially when it comes to news publishers. It may be also a result of stronger brand safety filters applied by brands who want to avoid showing their in a context related to coronavirus. In such case it is always good to propose Direct Deals, so brands can have a greater level of safety and publishers can keep at least part of the revenues.
Make a good use of video ad formats
Video ad formats were attractive even before the outbreak, but now they have become another means of revenue protection. Publishers not having any video content can also expand their ad portfolio by onboarding video out-stream. These formats usually come with lower CPMs than in-stream, still they are sold at a higher price than display. So if you did not try out-stream yet, it is a good time to do it,
Use ad refreshing, bid-caching and sticky ads
Sometimes things that were considered controversial in the beginning, prove to be valuable over time. And ad refreshing and bid-caching are good examples.
When it comes to the former, the industry saw it as unwanted and not good for user experience, but now the perspective has changed. If done in an intelligent and non-intrusive way, ie. ad refreshes only after a user has spent enough time on page and not too frequently, it is now fully acceptable. And needless to say, it may positively affect your RPMs.
The story of bid-caching is similar, so these days you can leverage this option as well. In a nutshell, bid-caching is all about saving bids collected in an auction for one impression in order to use them in other auctions. It improves the efficiency of client-side header bidding auctions and may lead to higher revenues. However, you need to make sure you adjust to prebid.js guidelines, which can be found here.
Last but not least, what may also help are sticky ads. They follow users as they scroll through your websites, which usually translates to high viewability and reasonable CPMs. If you do not have capacities to develop such solutions on your end, you can always try Waytogrow’s solution – go here if you want to see more details.
Make your floor pricing and blacklists less restrictive
Even though it might sound obvious, hard conditions require rethinking your pricing and blacklisting policy and potentially softening it a bit. So in case you didn’t do it yet, run some A/B tests and check your inventory performance under lower floor prices and/or with less restrictive blacklists. The results may surprise you!
Talk to your audience
We all know how bad this pandemic is for the economy, still not all your users are aware of the importance of advertising to digital publishing business. And at the same time, as a publisher you can use push notifications, editorial content and other tools to inform users about it and ask them not to use adblocks or to opt-in, at least temporarily, for a paid subscription. Normally it wouldn’t be the best possible solution, but it sounds reasonable to us under current circumstances.
Do not forget about adblock users
And it leads to us to the last point, which is adblock traffic. We already covered this topic here, so please feel free to go through this article for more information, but if not, at least consider adjusting for Acceptable Ads Standard. Given the rising popularity of adblocks, especially on mobile, unblocking at least a part of this traffic might actually save your business.
We are sure there are even more things publishers can do in order to protect their revenue streams. In case you want to go deeper or share your thoughts, please make sure you drop us an e-mail on [email protected]!