6 Proven Ways to Attract Advertisers and Increase Readership

    Last updated: April 17, 2023

    Despite uncertainty in the global economy, the ad market is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2023, according to experts at Magna, one of the world’s largest ad buying firms.  

    The resilience of the advertising industry has been attributed largely to digital innovations, including streaming ads, short-form ads for Instagram and TikTok, as well as the rise of e-commerce advertising.  

    But success isn’t a given, especially with investments getting tighter and layoffs gradually spreading throughout the industry.  

    Stay ahead and read our Q3 2023 email engagement report to uncover trends & best practices for success:

    So how can you secure advertisers and deliver sustained success over time? How can you position your publication for advertising success without sacrificing the quality of your content? And how can you diversify your ad model in order to protect your organization against economic risks?  

    In this post, we’re tackling those questions so you can set your publication up for success, both in this uncertain market and beyond.  

    1. Diversify your advertising streams   

    Facing financial headwinds and increased pressure, it’s tempting to just stick with the one advertising strategy that works. But as demonstrated by the recent collapse of programmatic ad tech vendor EMX Digital, depending on one advertising stream leaves you more financially exposed in the event of unexpected bank collapses, financing shortfalls, etc. That’s especially important to consider with interest rates projected to rise once again following the March bank crisis 

    For best results, look to combine traditional ad opportunities with digital, paid, sponsorships, programmatic, etc.  

    2. Generate more first-party data about your audience 

    The more data you have about each person in your audience, the more valuable they’ll be to your advertisers. So if you’re generating first-party data from your audience, and you’ve got it cleaned and stored in one easily accessible place, you’ve got a huge leg up on your competition. And to a certain extent, you can attract advertisers that are above your paygrade.   

    Need to build up your customer profiles? Here are a few places to start:  

    • Distribute feedback surveys to elicit quantitative feedback  
    • Develop a data collection strategy for each of your marketing channels. What kinds of content do users on each platform expect? From there, determine what topics your team can speak about effectively enough that you can justify putting it behind a lead form. You may need to consult with subject matter experts to create this content, but it will pay off in the form of prospect information and advertising opportunities down the road.  
    • Agree on standard data labeling and standardization procedures across your organization to ensure that the account owners for each of your marketing channels (email, social, advertising, etc.) are collecting data in a uniform, usable way  
    • Use a CDP to easily consolidate customer data from each of your marketing channels  
    • Create behavior-based marketing segments using website analytics for more precise insights and targeting  

    3. Maximize impressions with content recommendations

    Despite all the different techniques, practices, and jargon that gets thrown, generating ROI for your advertisers really comes down to two things: getting more people on site and keeping them there longer.  

    One of the best ways to keep someone on site? Use your first-party data to personalize your content to their individual needs.  

    You can achieve this through a lot of different avenues.  

    The benefits of personalization are twofold: Not only keep audiences on-site in a natural, non-intrusive way, but when they do engage, you get even more information about their needs, preferences, and interests.  

    So next time they’re on your site, you’re even better prepared to serve them with relevant content that’ll keep them engaged with you (and your advertisers).  

    4. Repurpose content to get more backlinks using the skyscraper technique  

    Imagine: For the last few years, you’ve pumped out two posts per week, each of which was well-researched, well-written and relevant to your audience at the time. But now, all that work is outdated, sitting on page 20 of your website and useless to advertisers. And you need to reinvent the wheel to create new content that’ll attract advertiser interest and backlinks.  

    Or do you? Periodically refreshing old blog posts can net you significant interest from advertisers — without forcing you back onto the hamster wheel of content creation.  

    Here’s how to implement the skyscraper technique to refresh your content and turn it into backlinks. Here’s how to do it:  

    • Find popular content in your niche that has been linked to other sites.  
    • Update each of these pieces with newer research, relevant keywords and insights specific to your company.  
    • Promote your content to relevant sites and advertisers.  

    5. Focus on SEO  

    Advertisers want to know that you can expose them to a sizable audience in the segments that are most likely to make a purchase. To prove your value, you need to stay relevant to your audience and consistently get them onto your website.  

    But since many publishers work within resource-strapped small teams, overhauling their entire SEO strategy means totally upending their content strategy or investing in an outside agency.  

    Good news, though: Even incremental changes to your website architecture can help you boost traffic and attract new advertisers. Here’s where to start:   

    • Use keyword research to reach and attract your target audience 
    • Reduce loading speed by optimizing your images 
    • Seek to include target keywords in your article between 3-6 times 
    • Use meta descriptions to further demonstrate the value of your content  
    • Support your points with outbound links to credible research or expert quotes.  
    • Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices 

     6. Prioritize usability 

    In the rush to get good content on your site, it’s easy to forget about the next step: ensuring that people can see it. If your pages are loading too slowly or your design isn’t user-friendly, your conversion rates and page view counts will suffer, regardless of what’s on the page itself. Keep your conversions high and your bounce rates low with these on-page optimization tips:   

    • If you’re using dynamic content on your pages, opt for lighter-weight image and video files 
    • Test your pages on multiple devices types and sizes to maximize access to your content  
    • Optimize and compress all of your on-page images 
    • Test your pages on both light and dark mode to ensure your content is always visible  

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