I was interviewed by Erik Sass at MediaPost about publisher strategy in the sometimes adversarial relationship between publishers and platforms. I love his opening line: “The platforms giveth, then they puncheth you in the face.”
Facebook, Google Squeezing Publishers Again
Publishers casting about for alternative ways to reach (and take possession) of their audiences are giving another look to older channels like email, according to Keith Sibson, vice-president of product and marketing at email platform PostUp. He noted publishers can also benefit from growing concern among advertisers about brand safety on the platforms.
“It’s a good opportunity for publishers to try to rekindle the direct relationship with advertisers and audiences. Publishers themselves have become reliant on those very same platforms as traffic sources … One good way to hedge the risk centers around building a direct relationship with your audience is through channels like email. We’re not telling anyone to quit Facebook, Google, but don’t let it become their primary business,” said Sibson.
When it comes to audience-building strategies, Sibson said PostUp clients have had success converting traffic referred by the platforms into subscribers: “Of course, they do programmatic like everyone else, they get traffic from Google and Facebook like everyone else, but they view them as an opportunity to convert temporary short-term traffic into a long-term relationship.”
This is a byline I wrote for PerformanceIN. While PerformanceIn is an advertiser focused publication, publishers are a critical part of the ecosystem so their woes should be of concern to advertisers.
The gold rush to programmatic created a digital “tragedy of the commons,” with too many publishers providing too much inventory supply, and CPMs began to plummet. This might sound like a good thing for advertisers – after all publisher revenues are advertiser costs. But publishers are supplementing their falling revenue simply by placing more ads. This hurts the reader experience, erodes trust, and reduces ad performance due to systemic “ad blindness.”
How Programmatic Has Hurt Publishers and Why Advertisers Should Care
My article on Martech Advisor about why and how publishers should diversify away from Facebook and programmatic to survive:
Why Direct Relationships with your Audiences are more Important than Ever
Having lived in Austin for 17 years and maybe being a little jaded on SXSW hype, I wrote this opinion piece on how Email still thrives, despite a parade of startups through SXSW Interactive that aim to kill it.
What’s going to kill email this year at SXSW? Probably nothing, again
I was interviewed by Martech Advisor in what started as a bio piece for me and PostUp, and turned into a discussion of marketing strategy.
Interview with Keith Sibson, VP Product and Marketing at PostUp
Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?
The technology is interesting, but not as interesting as the clear business model it enables and is built around. As an email marketer, if a given initiative does not clearly map to one or more of the levels in the email revenue funnel, then you are wasting your time. Also, initiatives closer to the top of the funnel are more impactful, because they “cascade” down the funnel. It’s easier to achieve a 10 percent increase in list size than a 10 percent increase in the click-through-rate.
Email has always been a (maybe the) lucrative way for political organizations to raise funds come election time. I was interviewed by USA Today on this topic … I really wanted to say more, but I have several political advocacy clients at PostUp that send exactly this kind of email and wanted to respect their privacy.
Campaigns see dollar signs in AOL email addresses
This article ran in the paper edition also. At least I can check “quoted on the front page of USA Today” off my bucket list.
In reaction to the latest of Facebook’s publisher harming algorithm and product changes, I was asked by State of Digital to suggest ways to boost engagement on Facebook. In fact, the best way to use Facebook to drive engagement is to use Facebook to establish a direct relationship with your audience (the Facebook one publisher’s don’t actually own), so that you depend less on Facebook as a channel.
10 Ways to Boost Facebook Engagement Without Ads
10. Encourage Fans to Interact via Other Channels
Brands can also use social media to encourage interaction via other more direct avenues like email.
“This newsfeed change is cause for publishers to stop building their greatest asset on borrowed land,” said Keith Sibson, vice president of product and marketing at email marketing firm PostUp. “Publishers and brands must figure out how to stop being reliant on social platforms for developing their audience. There is great reward in organically nurturing and growing audience relationships.”