Anyone reading industry news lately knows that a lot of publishers are struggling to monetize right now. The old rules just don’t seem to apply anymore.
That being said, publishers with diversified monetization strategies are doing much better on average. Across the industry, we’re seeing more and more publishers experimenting with new campaign types and revenue streams, and there are few signs that this trend will slow down anytime soon. As you may know, we’re currently conducting our “State of Publishing in 2020” survey (please take a moment to fill it out!), and so far, we’re seeing that a whopping 70% of respondents are experimenting with new sources of revenue.
One area that’s having a “moment” is lead generation campaigns. I’ve written before about the strength of newsletter campaigns. Right now, we’re seeing some fascinating and successful applications for lead generation campaigns. Let’s dive in.
An Innovative Ad Format
First, a bit of background. Amongst Facebook’s many ad formats is the Facebook Lead Ad, which allows an advertiser to capture a lead within a user’s news feed.
A couple of years ago, Anyword developed an innovative ad format that makes the user experience of a Lead Ad much better. The user gets a tease of article content and is prompted to sign up for access to the rest of the article. Once they sign up, they get directed to the article. We call this product “Content-to-Capture”, and this is what it looks like in the feed:
We see conversion rates on this ad format are on average 30% higher than a regular lead ad.
Most of Anyword’s customers use Content-to-Capture (C2C) as a way to drive newsletter subscription sign-ups. The majority of publishers currently running these programs are news publishers who care about ongoing engagement and traffic numbers in general.
With that being said, we’ve seen some unique new approaches and strategies around this. I want to highlight a couple of those approaches.
Lead Ads for Ad Revenue
There are plenty of publishers who run campaigns that optimize for ad revenue. The primary goal of these campaigns is to get the lowest CPC possible and maximize post-click engagement.
Here’s where things get interesting. Generally speaking, CPCs vary between ad formats. There are, of course, a large number of factors that determine the CPC of a particular ad, from spend caps, to post text, to targeting, and so on.
The interesting factor here is that we’re seeing CPCs for Content-to-Capture campaigns at record lows at the moment.
Here for example, are the CPCs of a publisher that recently launched a C2C campaign and how they compare to their ongoing traffic CPCs:
Lead Generation for Brand and Affiliate Campaigns
- Petition signatures
- Donation solicitation
- Mid-funnel outreach to drive paid subscription sign-ups
Time to Own Your Audience
Look, things are crazy right now. If there’s one thing that can help publishers weather this storm, it’s to take steps now to own their audiences and diversify their revenue mixes. When you’ve got a user’s email address, you can engage with them in any way you see fit without relying on paid platforms to do so. Whether you want them to see a banner ad, buy a pair of shoes, or simply engage with your content, email continues to be the most effective way to communicate with your loyal users. So if you’re not doing email acquisition yet, now’s the perfect time to try.