On Monday afternoon during INMA’s Media Innovation Week in Hamburg, five media professionals shared insights into how advertising revenue fits into their strategies as the industry continues its shift toward reader revenue.
Mediahuis began with four media brands across Belgium, but realised it needed to evolve and diversify its offerings to more fully penetrate the market. Jessica Bulthé, the company’s data analyst digital advertising, told the audience that the company has now expanded into job search, e-shops, real estate, and more.
“All those sites in total generate a lot of data,” Bulthé said. “Which is good, because we get to know our users even better.”
That data is the crux of its power when it comes to working with advertising partners. Working with Cxense has increased the company’s data capabilities, making it possible for Mediahuis to offer partners access to more tailored audiences than its competitors.
MH Data Studio has defined four building blocks for digital campaigns that advertisers can combine in a way that best benefit them. Certain combinations of pixel on site, native content, audience targeting, and match databases can help advertisers reach their desired audiences thanks to the large amount of first-party data Mediahuis has access to across its brands.
The company’s data-driven advertising offerings only work because of the set rules around privacy and transparency the company has outlined. Mediahuis does not use data from its advertisers with other clients and only works with GDPR-compliant companies. More importantly, Bulthé added, is the company’s policy of transparency and respect towards the readers. Without readers, there is no data.
“We are consumer-centric,” she said. “We value our reader above everything else.”
With audiences in mind, Schibsted completed an in-depth study of native advertising formats. Native ads are predicted to drive 74% of all ad revenue in the US by 2021, said Isabelle Redving, creative concept specialist at Schibsted. There have been similar shifts in Sweden, she added.
“What we also like about this format is that it’s something that both our readers and our publishers really appreciate,” she said.
Schibsted’s commercial editor wrote four articles per brand for 16 brands. The articles were divided into groups: informative, emotional, product-focused, and category-focused. The company then tracked engagement with these articles.
The highest performing articles were product-informative ones, said Josefine Kvarnström of Schibsted Brand Studio and Insight. Despite that, the study found that product-informative articles are not the right answer for every company.
“After we’ve seen the results of this one, what we recommend now is that our customers have a mix of all these types of articles,” Kvarnström said.
In the end, getting people curious about your brand is key, Redving said. Be relevant and ask yourself if what you are writing is interesting. Then power that campaign with data, she added.
“Scale your campaign with smart data for the best results.”
The Irish Times
Beyond native advertising, news media brands are digging deep into their brands to drive new revenue. For The Irish Times, Food Month is a celebration of all things food and drink. During the month of November, everyone is encouraged to include food in every topic. At this point, the initiative has become part of the company’s DNA, Eimear Moran, media solutions director, said.
“The content was there and when we published it they came,” she said. “We published more and they came.”
The Irish Times also holds events, planning four commercially lead events and four editorially lead events throughout the month: “Both have very strong KPIs to engage people during food month and to continue that past the month of November,” Moran said.
For VN and VOL.AT, an event to connect students with apprenticeships has grown after its successful first year. Michael Märk, head of regional sales at Russmedia, said the Apprentice Gondolas event drew 500 attendees to consider an apprenticeship in Vorarlberg. The event was a sell-out, and Märk said they expect a 20% increase in participation this year. Social media was an important part of the marketing campaign, he added.
For Shero, a female-focused brand from Ekstra Bladet, social media also plays a crucial role in engaging its young audience.
“Millennials: They consume media advertising different than all other generations,” Mette Pabst, editor-in-chief at Ekstra Bladet, said. “They are digital natives and they have developed their own ways of communicating through social media. So to engage Millennials, you need to have a brand. You need to make a connection. And you need to communicate effectively with them.”
In collaboration with ad partners, like its with campaign with Always, Shero has found four key points to connecting an audience to your advertiser.
- Have a perfect match between media, advertisers, and audience.
- Have the same values; a campaign should be in sync with values of media brand and values of advertiser.
- Trust in the media.
- Be transparent, especially for Millennials.
“These four guidelines create a maximum effect for advertisers and make native campaigns your audience wants to listen to,” Pabst concluded.