Without exception publishers think that making money online is about advertising and that advertising is about banner ads – you know those little boxes of varying size that appear in various locations depending on the site you’re looking at.
This is a fundamental mistake that demonstrates why publishers need a partner to take their unfair local advantage and apply it to digital.
Publishers mistakenly think that the web is a digital version of their magazine or simply a new medium for which to experience their existing product and that is incorrect.
Google and Facebook are proving that you can make a ton of money from non-display advertising – more Google than Facebook though that’s partially due to other issues such as the difference in purchase intent between search and social though that’s a topic for another post.
Google – in combining an amazingly accurate search algorithm with the ability for businesses to place contextually relevant ads next to the organic search results. Organic Search is also called Search Engine Optimization and it’s based on Google’s algorithm. Search Engine Marketing is a paid-placement where ads are shown to people based on the phrases they use to search so if someone searches for a “Plumber” they get results for local plumbers as well as SEM results for plumbers who want to artificially appear more prominent than SEO might allow and thus drive more engagement. Does this work? Google’s tracking to exceed $40Billion in revenue annually.
Facebook – in leveraging status updates to satisfy a wide range of needs for people looking to connect decided that ads should not be ads but should be content presented more prominently than might otherwise be the case. Like Google, Facebook realized that if 100 people might normally see your ad or post then they’d likely pay a pretty penny to increase that number to 1000 particularly if the people who see it aren’t random. In Facebook’s case, they don’t have quite the money-machine Google does by showing ads based on what you search but they show ads based on your profile data and based on whether or not your friends have interacted with a brand… if Google shows ads based on what you’re looking for then Facebook shows them based on who you are.
While neither of these are an exact fit for local publishers and local community sites in general the point is that you should look to go Beyond the Banner (TM) ad, we have in a wide range of ways. That doesn’t mean abandoning the banner ad – our banners tend to get 500-800% the click through rate (CTR) of the internet average – it just means that there are a wider range of ways to drive revenue, deliver value, and monetize a web presence. The first thing you should consider – web based advertorials, they need to be content first delivering value to readers by being educational, informative, entertaining and relevant but once you do that the value to you and your advertisers go throw the roof.
In fact, many of the things you’re already doing could be easily monetized. Let Locable show you how to add value to your advertisers and generate new revenue today.