There's Hope! Yahoo Homepage Ad Rates Stop Sliding


Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

Speaking at an investor conference in San Francisco yesterady, departing Yahoo CFO Blake Jorgensen said the company’s “class one” advertising inventory — the stuff that goes on — has finally begun to stabilise.

“We have seen our own class one stabilise through the fourth quarter,” said Blake, according to Digits.

Previously, Yahoo had said “class one” inventory rates had slumped the worst during the current recession.

In other display advertising good news, though on a smaller scale, Gawker Media’s Nick Denton told staffers that company’s ad revenues are up 20% so far in 2009.

Yesterday, we shared some advice for publishers looking to create and sell their own premium inventory. We learned it from Razorfish execs Terri Walter and Sarah Baehr. Here’s that again, in case you missed it:

  • Quit thinking about advertising as something that belongs on the periphery of your site. Package your unit as a “sponsorship.” Advertisers love to convey the feeling that your brilliant content is “brought to you by” their brand clients.  “Sponsorships will always be valuable,” said Terri.
  • Here’s are two words Terri and Sarah love to use: “personalisation” and “depth.”
  • A premium ad unit needs premium content (and a premium sales force to push it). Terri: “The publishers that are having problems are the ones that haven’t invested enough in their content or their ad sales team.”
  • Speaking of your ad sales force, Sarah says publishers need to make sure their sales forces are armed with more than just comScore numbers. To create a unique ad unit, an agency needs to know what’s special about how your readers/users interact with your content. The agency will only figure that out if your sales people explain it to them. Says Sarah: “I can’t tell you why users like your site. If you can’t help me leverage your site in a unique way, I’ll find some one else.”
  • Prepare to hand over lots of real estate. Terri and Sarah love what MSNBC did with its “push-down” Olympics ads last summer.
  • Finally, once you’ve sold them, get comfortable with handing over control to the advertisers. Terri says publishers “have to be open to letting us lead.”

Photo: A. Wong Photography

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