So OK, Q4 was terrible for ad rates and so far in Q1, it’s impossible for Web publishers to know who will be advertising on their sites even two weeks out. So OK, it’s a tough environment. Time to stop worry and start doing something about it.
We talked to PubMatic’s Rajeev Goel — his company helps publishers optimise their remnant inventory — and he gave us five tips to share with publishers looking to survive the current nuclear winter:
- Ad networks are fine for remnant inventory, but make the premium ads you sell directly look and act very different. Use custom ad units: roadblocks, takeovers, skinned sites. Techmeme makes sponsored posts work.Third parties can help you build these new ad types. Try VideoEgg’s user-initiated page takeovers, for example.
- Encourage users to register with the site. This can increase and advertiser’s ROI by as much as 300% and mean as much as a 200% boost in remnant CPMs.
- Diversify your ad-network base. It’s easy to pick one ad network for remnant stuff and just go with it. But relying on too few ad networks can make it so ads are shown too frequently to the same users, negating impressions.
- Some sites get as much as a third of their traffic from overseas. Instead of handing this traffic to a large domestic player, try some foreign ad networks. If the dollar slips again, you’ll benefit from the currency exchange too.
- Renegotiate with your suppliers. Last year, when you could count on a $5 CPM, it was OK that your CDN wanted to charge a $.25 ad serving fee. But it’s a different world.
Photo: Beige Alert