With almost online publishers that are running their business on Instagram, they often want to increase their website traffic. The reason why they want to increase their site traffic is always like their competitors get more traffic than I do”. What this really means is that their competitors are earning more display ad revenue than they are. Then to compete with their competitors, they believe, they must increase their website traffic.
The truth is that these publishers are trying to solve the wrong problem. There’s no denying that advertising is one of the largest revenue streams to online publishers. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, online advertising spending in the United States increased 15.6% during the first quarter in 2013. However, during that same time period display ad revenue fell 8%.
Advertisers are getting smarter, they’ve learned that one-third to half of Web display ads are not even seen and that many banner ads appear below the fold, can be removed by ad blockers and often times don’t load before visitors move off of the page. Even if a banner ad is seen, the average click thru rate (CTR) is a very low 0.1%.
One thing is happening is that less trafficked publishers are trying to play catch up by increasing traffic. However, higher trafficked publishers are trying to figure out the way to replace lost display ad revenue. In the end, most of the publishers I speak with are just plain scratching their heads.
Here are some tips that publishers of all sizes should do to increase their revenue and their advertisers revenue.
1) Focus less on more traffic and more on the traffic you already have
Publishers often overlook their biggest asset, their audience. They think they need more traffic but in reality they just need to know more about the traffic they already have. 9 out of 10 publishers can’t tell if a visitor on their website is a subscriber or a stranger. Think of what a different experience your audience would have if your content responded to them based upon who they are.
Publishers should think of subscribers as family and welcome them with personalized messages and an engaging experience. That would cut back on consumption fragmentation. On the other hand, they should treat first time visitors like sales leads and get the lead to convert on an offer so they become a contact in the publisher’s database. A great way to get a first time visitor or stranger to convert into a contact in your database is to offer them a free issue of your magazine. Then, once that stranger becomes a contact in your database, you now have a permanent profile of that contact and can market to them until they do become a subscriber.
2) Engage your audience with more of their favorite content
This is the second way that publishers can use to increase revenue on Instagram.
Now that you can differentiate if your website visitors are strangers versus contacts, and contacts versus subscribers, delight your audience with more of what they love.
Publishers often forget that Content is the big reason that people visit their website, not advertising. So you should use Instagram analytics to track what articles almost of people in your database is reading. Know what videos they are watching. If they are opening newsletters you send to them, how do they usually interact with them? Are they engaging with you in social media and how does that tie back to your website? When you know all of this about every person in your database, suddenly the audience that you already have becomes much more valuable to you and to your advertisers.