The door is far from closed to success in publishing, and there are clear paths to prosperity for newer and leaner independent and local outfits. Even as more and more ad dollars go to a handful of giants, publishers have a chance to turn the tide, provided they invest in talent, maintain the integrity of their brands, and build an audience advertisers find worth pursuing.
Amazon’s success comes at a cost for publishers. Its growth means that retail and CPG brands are shifting digital spend away from publishers, siphoning off a key source of revenue. How can publishers compete? Their survival may come down to better ways of monetizing existing channels like email, as well as more effective use of their greatest asset: first-party data.
The hope for publishers lies in email and the power of the email address. With email, publishers have a logged-in channel that’s virtually fraud-free. Email represents a direct relationship with the consumer and one that is detached from platform intermediaries that have unfairly claimed revenue and attribution from the rightful influencer: the publisher. And contrary to popular belief, email is still a channel where people spend over five hours a day. What’s more, email is impervious to subtle shifts of an algorithm that force a publisher to buy the right to reach people, as opposed to owning the relationship with those who have requested a publisher’s content in the first place.
Rather than developing entirely new inventory strategies, which is a heavy lift, publishers can look to what they already have—rich behavioral, subscriber, and social data, most of it seriously under-leveraged. When used properly, first-party data can help publishers drive revenue in two ways—directly and indirectly. It can help them to stop working harder and start working smarter.
The importance of relevant searches extends beyond search engines. For publishers, custom site search that helps make better decisions about how to maximize the impact of their content, know and understand the likes of their users, and increase their level of engagement can make a material difference in their business. “The key to building a relevant search experience is blending complex signals together and ensuring your site search algorithm is always improving,” said Swiftype co-founder Matt Riley.
Microsoft recently announced that Bing turned its first profit since being launched in 2009. The company continues to extend its reach, grow its share of the search market, and add features that make it a stronger commerce tool. The question businesses should be asking is not whether Bing will catch up to Google, but whether they view Bing as a critical publisher to improve the reach of their location data.
A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Why Snapchat Axed Yahoo from Discover (Fast Company)… What’s Actually Working in Digital Advertising? 8 Publishers on How They’re Bringing in Money (Nieman Lab)… Yelp Is Using Image Search to Change How It Finds You a Bar (Wired)…
directoryHyperlocal publishers are frequently on the lookout for new ways to generate revenue from their sites, and one of the most straightforward revenue diversification strategies involves launching a business directory. Here are six tools that publishers can use to monetize business directories on their hyperlocal sites…