How to Grow Self-Serve Ad Revenue for Publishers

So, you’ve made the decision to integrate a self-serve advertising platform into your media portfolio. While your media business is already thriving, with revenue coming in from your direct sales team and programmatic ads, you’re eager to automate and maximize your revenue potential. Self-serve advertising seems like the logical choice, especially when you consider that tech giants have been reaping billions in ad revenue through such platforms. However, implementing a self-serve platform is more than just a technical project; it’s a strategic move that hinges on marketing and growth.

As a media owner, the approach might seem straightforward at first glance – promote your self-serve platform vigorously across your media channels, post on social media, and issue a press release to announce its launch. Simple, right? Not quite.

The process of launching a self-serve advertising platform can be broken down into two critical phases: the launch phase and the growth phase. While many focus on attracting new advertisers during the launch, it’s essential not to overlook the potential for streamlining the process for existing advertisers. They’re already familiar with your brand, making it easier for them to adopt this new service. This allows your direct sales team to concentrate on reaching out to new potential advertisers.

The launch phase of any new product or service necessitates careful guidance. Identify a select group of 10-20 existing advertisers and invite them to an exclusive pilot program. Conduct a webinar to introduce the platform, guiding them through its features. Following the webinar, offer one-on-one support to help them set up their first advertising campaigns. Maintain regular communication with the participants and solicit their feedback. As their usage and ad spend increase, encourage them to recommend your platform to other businesses in their network.

Moving on to the growth phase, where you aim to build a steady demand flow, you’ll need a continuous marketing approach. Remember, your self-serve platform is, in essence, a new business. Any new business requires marketing. The objective is to lure advertisers away from big tech and back to your media channels. Therefore, it’s wise to run targeted ad campaigns on big tech platforms, emphasizing the unique benefits of using your media portfolio. Utilize social media platforms to share success stories and case studies of advertisers who have experienced growth through your platform. Consider launching a newsletter for all your advertisers to regularly share the advantages of your self-serve platform. Don’t limit your marketing efforts to just your own media portfolio; expand your reach.

Offering a self-serve advertising platform to both existing and new advertisers can streamline your ad inventory management. However, remember that this endeavour is as much about marketing as it is about the technical aspects. Without the right marketing support and a well-planned go-to-market strategy, the potential rewards may remain elusive. When executed correctly, a self-serve platform can yield higher returns, reduce operational workloads, and automate ad operations. In the end, it means more revenue with less effort.

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