By Ashley Welch
This report outlines “best practices” of advertising for news and information start-ups. 22 publishers of local or niche start-ups were surveyed about their advertising practices and what works for them. These practices have proven to be effective for start-ups to increase their revenue and establish a sustainable economic model.
Table of Contents
- Who We Surveyed and Why
- Offer products that best serve your client’s needs and demands and make the sales process as easy as possible for them
- Create banner ads in house to hook customers and follow IAB standard sizes.
- Don’t let your ad network choice undermine your value proposition to your best advertisers.
- IdIf your site covers a niche market, find an ad network that caters to that niche.
- Make your site responsive and enable ads to appear.
- If you have the resources, invest in an app to increase ad inventory
- If you have a specialized skill, such as video production, use it to your advantage to attract and hook clients.
- If you have the resources, invest in video to stay competitive in the market and try using a video network.
- Clearly label sponsored posts to ensure your credibility as a trusted, unbiased information source.
- Don’t let sponsored content overwhelm your editorial content.
- Keep production costs under control — particularly if you’re just starting up and have limited production bandwidth.
- Make sponsored ads consistent with your overall message so users pay attention to them and the brand is happy.
- Offer sponsorships for sections of your web site.
- Package social media posts with sponsored content.
- If you have a significant, engaged social following, sell posts or events against it.
- Offer social media consulting services to clients who do not have these resources available.
- Provide deals that best serve your audience and integrate them into editorial content.
- If you have an engaged social following, offer contests on social media pages.
- If your site caters to different niches within a general topic, offer targeted advertising within those niches.
- Target ads based on reader demographics.
- If your audience has expressed interest in a particular subject area, try selling ads around it.
- If you see an unfilled niche in a coverage area, try to fill that gap and sell ads against it.
- Remember to promote the site’s directory.
- Pay attention to the directory’s presentation.
- Serve your audience’s needs first and don’t compromise your site’s core values, even if it sometimes means leaving money on the table.