Over the last year I have helped over 250 publishers establish independent branded apps on both the Apple and Google apps stores. This in itself might seem like a great accomplishment, except being a former publisher in the industry I know the real story is how these publishers can turn this new audience development and engagement into a new revenue stream that provides growth and longevity in their local markets.
Two strategies that seem to dominate conversation in the publishing industry: First National Digital Ad revenue – is there a place for publishers to capture national revenue, how do they enter that marketplace and at what rate? Second is local revenue growth with new medium – how do we effectively add to our growing bundle of digital opportunities? How do we train our sales team on value added sales opportunities ? And how do we use our current market strength and new digital audience to help local advertisers win?
For today’s Blog I will focus on the second. How do you effectively bundle new digital or mobile strategies in your local marketplace so that you offset new start up expenses and show profitable business additions your first year? Here are 7 – Monetization strategies for local publishers.
7 – Monetization strategies for local and brand publishers.
1. Interstitial Digital Pages – Interstitial pages are full page digital ads that are placed
throughout your publication. They look like they belong in the publication but are not
part of the original print publication.
a. Publishers can sell Interstitial individually
b. Publishers can sell Interstitials as part of bundles to online advertising
c. Publishers can add interstitials for event sponsorships
d. Publishers can provide Interstitials as Value added in contract upgrades in
print or in sponsored special sections.
e. Interstitials can be sold via marketing agencies or bulk discount ad programs.
2. App Sponsorship Packages – Exclusive monthly packages that provide local
advertiser exclusive Digital placement in APP product.
a. Publishers can sell sponsorship bundles that provide advertiser competitive
advantages in digital fronts. Example Advertiser is exclusive real estate
company in app, they get full page ad on page 1, and full pages every 5-8
pages and they get live links in app to landing pages on the web to collect
data or provide reader analytics. Plus they get Logo sponsorship stamp on
b. Publishers can sell Digital only special event or special feature sections. These
sections are hosted on the app and the online html 5 reader. Sponsored
content – ie Auto repair tab sponsored by local car dealer… Bridal planning
guide sponsored by local bride store… Vacation planning guide sponsored
by local hotel or resort. These special features need to go online as well,
providing advantages for local advertiser on all digital fronts. Limited expense
on publishing side as no print production.
c. Sponsored Content Push Notifications – The Direct Mail of Digital. Imagine
sending out local hospitals annual report via push notification on your APP in
between publication dates. Special release for your readers and hospital gets
3. Digital up-sells – Rich media up-sells – Most APP platforms that feature digital editions
offer Rich media features. This means that you can add advertiser links, Advertiser
propaganda and Advertiser Video directly to your paper.
a. Local Car lot can now run his TV commercial into his print ad by simple tap on
the screen. Furniture Dealer can now ad Feature Sheet for sofa in the ad by
simply clicking the screen in the app. Local event can now take reservations
or sell tickets by adding link to landing page online in the app.
i. Hyper Links opportunities – Ad hyperlinks have been an add-on for
years in digital. Now Place links in digital editions and allow readers to
easily search out more information in the story or ads.
4. Insert Ad Sales – Increase Insert Revenue by offering Digital distribution through app
and online flip editions. Many large agencies already produce digital editions. Simple
ad on to rate package to include not only print distribution but digital as well.
a. Add it to your pre-print or we print programs, not only print their flyer for them
but now place it on your digital editions also.
5. New Digital only content and Ad sales – Starting revenue might be low but there is
the opportunity to build new brands and new content that is sold only for digital
readers. Great reason to download the app and great entry point for advertisers
looking for low rate packages. Example – Local Recreation and Family guides
published quarterly on line and digital only. Advertisers pay low yearly fee (prepaid)
to be in all editions.
6. Use advanced Analytics in App to increase ad rate and ad link sales – As the
audience develops the advanced analytics in the app will allow you to build more
creative ad markets. Have an advertiser that wants to pay per click, fine charge a
premium rate per click in the app, the analytics will track it. Want to increase Ad rates
this year but don’t have increased print circulation, use digital audience
measurements to certify digital deliver y and add this audience to your print
audience. No you can show value for rate increase.
7. APP Coupons – In the age of Groupon and Living Social Coupon deals, publishers
can provide local merchants the ability to produce mobile only coupons that don’t
cost them 75% of profit, like a Groupon coupon does. Instead with push notifications
and or Digital only coupon sheets, publishers can display printable & sharable
coupons, link the coupon to clients landing page, and targeted event coupons at a
very cost effective and profitable rate. With annual invest of $1000 you only need to
have 5 customers doing Coupon monthly at $25 each to make a profit of $500 for the year.