Newspapers and their digital platforms are uniquely positioned to reach and engage a local audience, which has become a critical selling point for advertisers. As advertisers shift their focus towards programmatic buys, newspaper advertising can be both convenient and highly effective.
Programmatic advertising has become popular because it allows advertisers to pinpoint and reach a highly targeted audience. Through Real Time Bidding (RTB), “yet-to-be-sold” media is auctioned to advertisers seeking a particular group based on various factors such as location, age and consumer preferences. According to Mike Smith, director of publisher solutions at Centro, newspapers are audience-specific, trusted brands that resonate with readers. Selling ad space on a programmatic exchange assists advertisers in pinpointing these publications and boosts the effectiveness of advertisements. In turn, publications see an increase in ad revenue.
In NAA’s recent webinar “The Programmatic Opportunity, and How to Capitalize on It,” Smith discussed the anticipated rise in digital ad spend in the coming years. Local businesses are expected to increase average spending on digital ads from $38 billion in 2015 to $47 billion by 2019.
“One of the big value propositions…is this idea that there’s conversion tracking,” said Smith. “We’re able to link the ad itself to a conversion, whether that conversion is an actual purchase or perhaps a visit to a specific page. It’s one of the reasons that programmatic has become such a powerful solution.”
The benefit of real-time conversion tracking appeals to advertisers and news publishers. Through programmatic advertising, both parties can monitor audience engagement with the web content and ads. New research from Centro demonstrates the growing interest in monetizing interactive content across a variety of platforms:
- 56 percent of RTB will be mobile and video content by 2017
- 94 percent of advertisers are spending parts of their ad budget audience extension
- 56 percent of publishers win revenue from plans that include audience extension
“People often look at audience extension, or as I like to call it, offering the rest of the web to your client, as a way that they’re going to shift dollars,” Smith said. “But I think it adds credibility to your property becoming not just a newspaper company, but a well rounded media company.”
In order to capitalize on this opportunity, Smith recommends setting a clear value proposition to emphasize the benefit of a newspaper’s reach and engagement with local audiences. “Your newspaper.com is an extremely valuable .com. The number one value is local trust. The second your newspaper stops providing local content is the second that the advertisers find it to be a less valuable place.”
Shifting from direct buying and selling may seem risky considering the relative newness of programmatic advertising. Yet selling space on the programmatic market emphasizes the quality of ad space, which is where news media stand out.
“This is where quality and viewability becomes so key [in programmatic advertising]. As [metrics on viewability] get standardized and more available and more affordable, people will notice that newspaper .coms and local media .coms get far more viewability, time spent on page and other metrics that are important than other random websites. So as that quality goes up, people will come back to buying more and more from the local newspapers.”