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Opinion: Aligning advertiser interests to the evolving publisher world

23rd November 2012

Opinion: Aligning advertiser interests to the evolving publisher world

It was interesting to read that UK digital ad spend grew by 12.6% during the first half of 2012. The most recent figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that during the first six months of 2012, ad-spend reached £2.59m; a rise of £294m on figures collected a year ago.

Display has definitely been the subject of some exciting innovations – be it the new IAB formats that were released to advance the sector’s mobile capabilities to the many technologies supporting the industry’s growth. Not least the better understanding of how to mix human expertise and technology to produce successful campaigns.

But while advertisers have been swift to innovate, they additionally need to work closely with their publisher partners to advance the way advertising is housed.

In the past month, we conducted research with YouGov that highlighted the types of websites consumers visit and the environments in which they are most engaged and open to advertising.

The findings made for intriguing reading not just for advertisers, but also for both publishers large and small.  Consumers now not only rely on major internet portals less but also turn to smaller sites specific to user interests more when consuming content online.

With 92% of consumers currently visit sites specific to their interests when searching for content on the web - the main reason being that they regard these as reliable sources of information.

Due to the personal connection they feel with special interest sites, the results show that consumers have a more receptive mind set when visiting them and consequently, more likely to pay attention to relevant ads that are featured there.

So if advertisers are to drive maximum value from even the most specific of publisher and vice-versa, the two will have to consider  number of things to build the right environments for more engaging campaigns.  

Perhaps the first point to consider is how much a site already encourages user and community participation. This can be achieved in two ways – firstly, by ensuring that any advertising is going to be placed alongside unique content.

With this in place, publishers then need to ensure their site facilitates interaction and comment, as it will provide a more engaging user experience.

Advertisers should also encourage publishers to provide users with the tools to maximise their digital experience. This includes making sure content can be consumed and easily shared over as many touch points as possible.

Users should also be encouraged to embrace advertising on sites, readily bringing to their attention the wealth of different rich media display ad formats that have evolved.

Publisher should look to feature more exciting advertising, such as catalogues of products or “gamified” adverts – something that offers real value to the consumer and is a far cry from standard banner marketing.

Beyond this, publishers should also be optimising search strategies so that campaigns receive the best opportunities of visibility – this means they need to avoid hosting duplicate content, while site architecture needs to be optimised with an internal linking strategy in place to make best use of link equity.

With consumers consistently exposed to an increasing volume of ad impressions featuring ever more innovative advertising formats, display campaigns need to be integrated into publishers’ sites flawlessly, creatively and cleverly.  

Seamless integration of campaigns onto publishers’ sites will not only drive value, but the dissemination of the most interactive campaigns, housed in exciting environments will also garner both advertiser and publisher a hotly contested accolade - true digital frontrunner.