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.”
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.
In a wide ranging interview I talk about programmatic advertising, and also touch on the other 2 elements of the troublesome trinity for publishers: Facebook and AdBlocking.
There’s a Problem with Programmatic, says Keith Sibson
My interview with Laurie Sullivan at Media Post, a warning to publishers in advance of Google’s little publicized crackdown on mobile interstitials. The moral of the story: you can ask your audience for something, e.g. an email address, but keep it small and simple when on mobile.
Rethinking Interstitials, Especially Publishers Relying On Search Traffic.
I was interviewed by Tobi Elkin from MediaPost, discussing the setbacks for the Medium.com business model and why the publishing industry overall should take notice.
Forget Programmatic: Could Email Be A More Effective Channel For Publishers Struggling To Monetize?
RTBlog: What lessons can be learned from Medium’s situation?
Sibson: Programmatic ad revenue is in large part the cause of publisher woes. It started off well. For advertisers, programmatic aggregates and provides enormous reach, as well as powerful targeting capabilities that deliver click performance.
For publishers, it’s turnkey: put a small piece of code on your site, and the money starts to flow. However, now publishers don’t need an ad sales team, and the barrier to entry for new publishing businesses has dropped dramatically. There’s now an oversupply of ad inventory, and CPMs are compressed as a result.
For many, the solution to preserve revenue was to show more ads, which in turn, helped precipitate the rise of ad blockers, which further compressed CPMs (per page view). I like to say that BuzzFeed took $10 billion of publishing industry revenue, and converted it into $1 billion in revenue for BuzzFeed.