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The move from print to digital has opened up a world of opportunities for publishers, but it doesn’t come without its challenges, and the rapidly changing internet landscape is certainly putting a great deal of pressure on digital content producers today.
Tightening data privacy regulations, the end to third-party cookies, ad revenue streams no longer stable and increasingly competitive subscription markets - it really is a question of adapting to survive or no longer being able to monetize content.
Digital publishers need solutions to not only overcome these challenges but thrive in the long-term, establishing sustainable, predictable and elevated revenue streams that secure survival.
This white paper provides these solutions - 3 complementary strategies for digital publishers to survive and succeed in 2022 and beyond:
- The challenges faced by digital publishers in 2022
- Step 1: Collect compliant consent or provide a fair alternative
- Step 2: Build a strong, engaged membership base and increase engagement
- Step 3: Establish a recurring and predictable revenue stream through subscription (with best practices on reducing risks of a paywall on SEO)
- Combining the three strategies
1: The challenges faced by digital publishers
Life used to be fairly simple:
The more traffic
The more page views
The more ad impressions
The more money…
But this wasn’t as straight forwards as it seems. In fact, users are more likely to be admitted to Harvard or climb mount everest than click on an advertising banner.
What used to be a stable revenue model is now under unprecedented pressure:
- Thousands of digital publishers are fighting for the remaining 20% of Google & Facebook’s ad market
- Traffic is now roughly 50% mobile, and growing - this is important because ad revenue on mobiles is sold at a significantly lower cost and too much advertising on mobiles has a negative impact on a user’s experience
- Whilst over 42% of desktop users employ ad-blockers
And let’s not forget the fact that advertising models focus on chasing scale, clicks and views, not engagement. This results in user experiences taking a backseat whilst content becomes clickbait and viewers come and go with a short turnaround.
Content monetization then became yet more complex with the increasing concern over user privacy online and tightening regulations:
- Cookie consent rates are falling, with France leading the way (already down 20pts since the April 2021 legislations, and this isn’t set to stop soon)
- Chrome and Apple are turning cookieless
- Cookieless inventories are being sold at a 2 times lower cost (or even not at all)
- Without consent, publishers have access to significantly fewer analytics, data collection and marketing campaign tracking capabilities
You get the picture. If nothing changes, advertising revenues will decrease by 10% every 6 months and publishers who have previously been reliant on this content monetization source alone will be able to calculate their end.
The solution? Publishers have been selling advertising instead of journalism for too long. Let’s make readers pay! With this model, the focus can be shifted to your audience, aiming to deliver the best experience possible and retain each visitor on your site.
However, we’re then faced with another issue. Membership and subscription markets are hyper competitive:
- Household budgets are limited
- Not everybody will subscribe to everything
- Big names are monopolizing the market and able to offer subscriptions for less
That’s why the solution has to revolve around multiple steps and a diversified revenue stream. With this alternative strategy in place, publishers will no longer be reliant on just a single form of revenue but will be able to monetize from users at every step of the engagement funnel, whether they end up subscribing or not.
Let’s go back to basics. Your traffic doesn’t look like this:
In fact, it looks more like this:
The majority of visitors to your site are volatile and anonymous (an average of 80% according to Poool’s research), meaning they bring very minimal value to your business.
However, by simply improving your cookie consent rates, you’ll be able to increase this all important ARPU (average revenue per user) as well as leverage data, track and target even your least engaged visitors.
You can then aim to convert a maximum percentage of these users into identified members who have a value 2.5 times higher than your fan users.
And some of these will even be engaged enough to subscribe, providing you with a value that equates to the same as 30 members, or 300 anonymous users!
So, clearly, by engaging your users step by step, you increase your ARPU.
Hence the 3 step solution.
First, collect compliant consent or provide an alternative to increase consent rates and maximize monetization from your most volatile visitors.
Second, convert anonymous users into identified members to diversify your revenue streams, collect first-party data, increase engagement and develop user loyalty.
Third, establish a predictable and recurring revenue stream from your most engaged, loyal users through subscription.
Discover the 3 steps, and how to put the three together, in the PDF white paper sent to you by email 😉
Discover more about Poool, Didomi, BeOp and State of Digital Publishing:
Poool is the Audience Conversion Platform for digital publishers to take back control of their revenues by converting users into consented leads (via a Cookie Wall), members (Registration Wall) and subscribers (Paywall).
With our solution, your marketing team has complete autonomy to drive conversion strategies through segmenting audiences, building adapted journeys, AB testing and continuously optimizing for long-term growth. Poool additionally provides expert consultancy services to accompany clients in developing successful conversion strategies to monetize their audience. Discover how ELLE, the digital fashion magazine, increased their subscriber base by 250% thanks to an engagement journey built on the Poool platform.
Didomi builds technology that allows organizations to place customer consent at the core of their strategy. By making consent and preferences easily accessible, companies benefit from compliant customer data while seeing higher engagement and increased user trust. Consumers, on their side, are free to choose what data to share and how to stay connected to their favorite brands across touchpoints. Our products include a globally adopted Consent Management Platform (CMP), which collects billions of consents every month, a highly popular Preference Management Platform (PMP), and a powerful suite of bespoke solutions to build better consent and preference management. Find out more at www.didomi.io.
BeOp is an independent conversational technology linked to a cookieless and semantic system. Through simple ‘conversations’, BeOp allows publishers to better interact, retain, qualify and monetize their audiences. Today, the leader of conversational advertising, BeOp works with over 250 premium media and 50% of the top 200 advertisers.
State of Digital Publishing:
State of Digital Publishing is a startup market research publisher and consultancy, in new media and publishing technology. Our mission is to discover and foster sustainable digital media publishing models. We create resources, research and solutions that help develop digital media publishers and editorial marketing professionals their skills, gain better insights and achieve audience development results.