This week’s update includes a look at private marketplaces and how they are helping AdThrive publishers’ earnings, the early implications of this week’s Google core update, and the latest consumer insights into reader interests and spending behavior.
We’re also wrapping up our vertical webinar series with a final deep dive into trends in “Life & Lifestyle” categories.
And lastly, we’re sharing four simple things you can add to your to-do list for the upcoming week that will help improve your business!
AdThrive COVID-19 coverage
Click here to browse all of our posts about the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the digital media industry.
Advertising and content trends
Strength in Private Marketplaces
We talk about private marketplaces (PMPs) a lot here at AdThrive. While most ad management firms mainly rely on “open market” programmatic ad sales, we have a dedicated ad sales team that brings unique ad revenue to our publishers. There are a number of reasons we deliver the highest revenue for publishers, but PMPs are a very important factor.
And now during the coronavirus pandemic, these special deals are truly standing out as a key reason why AdThrive publishers’ RPMs are recovering more quickly than the rest of the industry. PMPs, as a percent of total network revenue, are now higher than they’ve ever been before, including the previous record, Q4 of 2019!
PMPs not only put more money in publishers’ pockets, but they force open market advertisers to place higher bids in ad auctions to win an impression. Additionally, the people who buy ads do so through both PMPs and in the open market and an active ad sales team helps convince advertisers to spend more money on AdThrive sites in the open market as well. This means PMPs provide a triple benefit that is bringing more value than ever to AdThrive publishers.
Google’s May 2020 Core Update
Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it doesn’t mean that everything else stops. On May 4, Google confirmed that they’re rolling out a broad core algorithm update. These types of updates herald “significant, broad changes” with “widely notable effects” to how Google ranks results in search results.
It’s still early, but we see some emerging trends:
- It was big and broad. This change appears to have affected search results in large ways across many verticals. Often, a core update may focus in some areas and avoid others, but it does not seem that this was the case this time.
- COVID-19 was likely a factor. Because users’ search activity is a factor in rankings, their behavior changes in categories like travel, real estate, health, etc. is changing the way Google is ranking things. This is likely contributing to the News vertical being one of the biggest early winners from this change.
- Google Discover is also affected by the change. Like other core algorithm changes, this change has affected Google Discover, so publishers who get traffic via that source may also see changes.
We’re monitoring this closely. The rollout hasn’t completely finished yet (Google’s Danny Sullivan will post when it is complete) so when it is done, we’ll be able to get a better read on any changes we can recommend to publishers to adapt to this new change.
Understanding your readers right now
Sharing consumer insights is one of the ways our ad sales team is helping ad partners adapt their spending habits to these quickly-changing times. We work hard to bring them unique perspectives and ideas for pivoting campaigns and reaching consumers exactly where they are right now. It’s a win-win for advertisers and AdThrive publishers!
This week, our data team put their finger on the pulse of some fascinating trends that we thought would be really valuable for publishers. The better you can understand your readers’ new priorities and interests, the better you can connect them to your content!
First, people are facing lots of uncertainty right now, from emotions to finance. They’re dealing with job fear and losses. Quarantines and self-isolation is putting a strain on relationships. It’s all getting exhausting.
To deal with these uncertainties, people are looking for ways to take control of their situation. Tangible things they can do right now — today — to move forward. Taking care of their families, taking care of their possessions, and making progress for the future. Content that helps them feel control over their circumstances will do well right now.
Another way people are dealing with uncertainty is by seeking out indulgences. Despite financial fears, certain things that might have been considered luxuries in the past are becoming normal expenditures. “Treat yo’self” is a key theme at the moment. How can you help your readers distract themselves?
It’s a complicated time and we’re seeing interesting patterns of conflicting values emerging.
People are interested in pragmatism and indulgence. They’re saving money by DIYing and deal hunting, but they are also comfortable prioritizing self-care and even a little decadence.
Traditions hold a lot of comfort right now, but folks are feeling a little stir crazy and are open to reinvention. They’re trying new hair colors, remodeling, and working on themselves.
The collective spirit may be one of the most heartwarming things to see come out of all this, as people work harder than ever to connect with one another. At the same time, people are also feeling a pull to self-reliance. If they can’t buy it right now, they will learn how to make it — and just maybe they’ll do it even better themselves.
As you’re creating and promoting your content, how can you tap into these major tensions right now and give your readers exactly what they’re looking for?
Some things you can do right now — today
See what we did there? Take control and keep marching on…
Sign up for our latest deep dive webinar
We’re wrapping up our vertical webinar series this upcoming Wednesday. So far, we’ve covered these four topics — find them all in the AdThrive Community Facebook group:
Our next webinar centers on all things “Life & Lifestyle”. This is a pretty broad category that will touch on how consumer lifestyles are changing in many different areas, from fashion and beauty to sports and entertainment to pets.
COVID-19 is massively shifting our lifestyles — understand how and why, and give your readers exactly what they’re looking for right now and in the next few weeks and months.
AdThrive Vertical Deep Dive: Life & Lifestyle + COVID-19
Friday, May 15
3:00 pm EDT
Sign up here
(open to current AdThrive publishers)
Put these four simple things on your to do list next week:
1. Do you have a Quick Start Guide for your email list?
You may not have control over search engines or social media platforms, but your email list helps you reliably reach your audience. As email marketing expert Matt Molen suggests, put together a Quick Start Guide of your best material to encourage visitors to your site to sign up for your email list.
2. How’s your brand style guide looking?
A united look and voice helps establish your brand, giving your readers confidence that they can rely on you as an expert in your field. It’s particularly beneficial for remote collaboration! Use this helpful guide and take some time to create or solidify your brand image.
3. It’s a great time to brush up your media kit
Why are you the absolute best choice to help brands achieve their goals? Answer this question (and show off your solid branding strategy) for potential partners with an attractive, professional media kit!
4. Put that “collective spirit” to work and make new connections
Now is a great time to build relationships! Use the insights we’ve shared to brainstorm some collaborative projects and content series.
As Chet Holmes explains in his book The Ultimate Sales Machine, create a list of your “Dream 100” — one hundred people you would love to work with. Then, start making contact!