Every media owner wants to increase digital ad sales and revenues. Whether the publications are world known or small regionals, there will always be targets to hit and inventory to fill. When it comes to your direct sales operation, there are three phases of digital display growth: adoption, value enhancement and volume. Wherever you are in this chart, there are ways you can improve proposition and revenues. In this post, we’ll take a look at the top five ways you as a media owner can increase digital ad sales through your direct-to-advertiser sales team.
Most established media owners already have sales teams in place selling their core ad products – whether that be ads in newspapers, magazines, radio and television, Some media owners have already embraced digital advertising as part of the ad sales mix with experienced teams set up, pitching and selling all day long. Others have only recently started their digital journey, having previously been successful with traditional channels and now find themselves needing to convince their long-term advertisers to buy digital ads from them. The best way to do this is to bundle your ad package – as this typically offers the advertiser the best reach and response. If you offer separate print and digital advertising, advertisers may only select print because its familiar and they understand the value; rather than a digital ad that may seem momentary with complicated tracking and analysis. Either way, buying only one platform will reduce the ability of the advertiser to reach your audience. By bundling print and digital together, there are two wins. Firstly, you’re establishing your digital ad proposition, learning about what works, how much to sell it for and using the results to create longer-term plans. The second win is that your advertisers will see the benefit for themselves and in the future ask for increasing levels of digital advertising and tell others to buy inventory with you; they move from wary tester to confident champions.
The easier the solution, the more popular it will be. We work with media owners large and small and we know from experience that they are very busy. They need solutions that are easy to understand and importantly, easy to assess. The same applies to your advertisers. If you can offer them an end-to-end service which simplifies what they have to do, they will be far more responsive to your pitch. Think about solutions where they don’t need to worry about creating their own ads, as they may not have an in-house designer or help with budgeting because they’ve never done that before. By demonstrating that you can take care of it all, you are more likely to win them over and grow your digital ad sales. If you are struggling to offer your advertisers easy and complete solutions, consider working with a service provider who can first offer it to you.
Your more digitally savvy advertisers will be looking for new solutions that will help them obtain more digital and physical footfall. Industry-wide, digital ad spend is growing tremendously with mobile taking the lead as the fastest growing channel; eMarketer forecasts that in 2017, mobile internet ad spending will reach $133.74 billion. Make sure you’re continuously working to offer new solutions to your advertiser’s problems.
Access all top performing mobile and tablet ad shapes
Click-to-call on mobile ads increase direct response
Sticky ads at the top or bottom of the screen or use ‘ticker templates’ for something different
Ideal for classified sectors and created using data structures which can be updated daily.
Longer term, ‘always on’ campaigns. They are built with data sources and variables to display specific ads to targeted audiences and the right moment.
4.Trust and reputation
Larger advertisers are particularly savvy, have huge teams and budgets and understand the risks and rewards of digital advertising. They already know their target audience’s cross-device behaviour and have a complete plan about how best to approach them with digital ads. Others are new to the game and need a little more reassurance. They don’t have full insight into their key customer’s actions or what is a good click-through-rate or simply have never don’t this before. When approaching this second group, it’s important to build the relationship and show clients exactly what they are going to get so that they feel more comfortable and will then be more likely to start a longer-term relationship with the publication. Show them how digital ads worked for other companies that are similar. Better still, show them how it can work for them. We recommend our clients try selling with spec ads. These are ads that have been made for the advertiser and are shown in-situ on the website so it’s clear to see exactly how the end result will look. We’ve seen fantastic results when this approach is used as it removes so much of the unknown. In a recent survey we carried out about spec ads, we received great feedback about the results sales teams had seen, with one stating that “Being able to deliver a visual product straight to the customer created instant sales, therefore enhancing the chances of the business to be in the forefront of their customers mind”.
It will be hard, in a very competitive landscape, to increase digital ad sales with existing clients or with new clients if your processes are inefficient and deliver a poor customer experience. Whatever your USP, whatever your sales pitch, at the end, the prospective customer will ask you how much it costs. If you incur huge costs through inefficient operations, it will be hard for you to offer these prospects the best rates in the marketplace. Are you a huge media owner with enough reputation that you can sell at premium pricing or do you recognise that there are several publications in the same space as you, and you have to fight to win advertiser’s business? If you fall into the second group, you have to make sure you can afford to give your prospects those competitive prices and this can only be done with optimisation. It’s not just about offering low rates, but also a good overall deal. If you can provide cost-effective creative, but it looks like cheap creative, it won’t be popular to advertisers who take pride in their business. Make sure you work with a service provider who gives you an affordable and efficient service without compromises to quality. The digital ad creative should enhance the campaign and reflect the advertisers brand positively. Regularly check through your production and distribution channels and ensure that you have optimised at every point.