The Future of Marketing is Editorial Traffic – By Oliver Roup

by Colleen on February 9, 2015


The increasing uptake and adoption of cross-device web use is shaking up previously held assumptions about the most revenue-rewarding advertising streams available to merchants, publishers, and the affiliate landscape. feedfront-cover-29-188x240

The most significant outcome has been the transposition of the banner ad from the standalone premier revenue position to a complementary method used alongside other innovative revenue strategies. Consider the growing number of mobile users who consume editorial content on small screens, which guides their purchasing behavior, and it becomes very clear that banner ads cannot remain the only advertising solution to speak to customers and drive revenue to publishers. There needs to be additional marketing strategies brought forward to effectively manage advertising efforts across multiple devices.

In the mobile heavy content consumption ecosystem, the advertiser’s landing page can actually serve as the ad, arrived at after being directed by links located within non-sponsored, unique, and informative online content. The “ad”, or lack thereof, should create a seamless channel from a publisher’s site to an advertiser via the publisher’s own content.

This positively reflects their brand and craftsmanship, rather than take away attention in an incommodious way. This marketing channel should equally reflect the advertiser’s brand and bring a seamless consumption experience to the audience.

It is not surprising to note that this style of content is increasingly created by enthusiast entrepreneurs on their editorial sites and mobile apps where their passion becomes the driving force of consumption. For example, PurseBlog, J23, and Audizine all epitomize this new phenomenon. The other positive outcomes of this approach range from the lack of additional overhead to content links being much more economical than search, display and native strategies.

The importance of this more mobile and cross-device world is repeatedly evident in mainstream news. Although mobile is yet to be most brands major revenue stream, they are seeing a sharp increase in both usage and influence.

Shockingly, even large traditional editorial houses have seen a turnaround in their dwindling readerships due to uptake of mobile and monetization strategies. The New York Times, for example, is growing due to programmatic and native marketing. Their EVP of advertising, Meredith Kopit Levien stated, “Only 10% of digital revenue comes from mobile. In the past year, though, mobile increased from one-third of user sessions to over half of user sessions”. Mark Thompson, Times CEO followed Levien’s claim stating, “Smartphone, tablet, and video, taken together, are now a significant reason why we turned what was a revenue stream that was in slight decline to a revenue stream that is growing healthily,” said Times CEO Mark Thompson.

Influential brands continue to tout their success with marketing strategies that rely on content created by online enthusiasts to drive consumers to their site or app. For them, marketing channels must be integrated across mobile devices where space is at a premium.

The future of marketing in our cross-device world relies on harnessing the power of enthusiast content, not simply relying on an ad unit.

Oliver Roup is Founder and CEO of VigLink
This article appeared in issue 29 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in January 2015.

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