There are a lot of factors that are swirling together at the moment that prompted this specific post. It’s dedicated to today’s modern content producer. Typically these posts are dedicated to marketers, but this presents the revolving circle of digital marketing. Marketers in today’s day and age are also content producers and content producers are also marketers. It has become more than apparent to my firm CTV Advertising, that certain Content Producers in the Connected TV realm and for that matter those distributing their content within other emerging media formats could use some help.
First, here are some important factors relevant to EVERY content producer, publisher and broadcaster:
1. Most new formats of content within the digital world will need to be found, distributed and placed across a variety of media that converges together to create one seamless story. “Transmedia” and converged media are the rule of the day.
2. Given a nearly endless array of content and non-linear ability to watch any of it at any time and virtually in any place (Tablets, Mobile, Connected TV) creates a declining value to pay models. Advertising based models continue to increase in importance.
3. New and emerging media is precisely that new and emerging. It has a differing capability for novel ad placement areas, novel advertising strategies and novel ways to sell these ads. Old methods, methodology and partners are not conducive to ad sales.
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What do these factors mean? It means that if you want to create/distribute content on emerging media such as Connected TV, Tablets and other formats, you should start looking deeper into your monetizing strategy. What works in one area, such as mobile, may not be the same for other mediums. The strategy needs to change. So do the partnerships. The three main strategies that all need to be utilized together in today’s climate are:
An Internal Sales team, An exclusive external sale team (Ad reps) and ad networks/exchanges.
Why utilize this holy trinity for successful advertising revenues?
1. Fill Rates: Any single sales channel for advertising has flaws. Each should be used cohesively together. Ad networks are excellent for remnant and lower cost inventory. They are less well utilized for premium placements, large full scale buys, and novel/unique advertising opportunities. This is where Ad rep firms come in and are successful . The small internal team manages these two sides to achieve fill rate success.
Bottom Line: Given a world of advertising opportunities, a smart company utilizes a small internal sales team, An exclusive sales representation firm, and Ad networks/exchanges to create the greatest fill rates, hedged strategies, and successful revenue generation.
2. Relationships: We speak to many content producers especially in novel areas like Connected TV that believe that once they select a great Ad network for monetization they are done. Here is the truth, networks are great, but they also have strong weaknesses. Your offering becomes drastically lowered in relevance when it joins a network of many others. It becomes a cog in the network ad machine. Brands and Advertising agencies no longer create a relationship with you. They create a relationship with the network. You are controlled by their fate, their choices and they have the relationships.
Bottom Line: Networks are great, but they need the help of Ad reps to create relationships with the buy side. They also need the help of Reps to go ahead and offer unique and creative Ad opportunities and higher revenue potential.
3. Order and Organization: Here is the next area we see far too much of. Content providers who think that having non-exclusive relationships are a smart idea. Multiple Ad reps, too many networks, this is a path to failure. When reps aren’t exclusive your property matters less to them and so they push it less hard and have weaker sales knowledge and strategy. Ad Agencies also know that if a property has tons of Reps, they have to shop around for the best price. This is a worry to the agency as their client could get pitched a cheaper price by a differing rep. This makes the agency look bad. Make the agency look bad in front of one client and you‘ll never see them again. Lastly, having a bunch of reps means that you suddenly have to deal with a bunch of reps and their issues rather than dealing with sales.
At CTV Advertising we have service offerings in all of the above areas for our clients as well as consultation on the area and so we are able to equally debate the positives and negatives of each sales channel above. Nine times out of ten the three prong strategy above is the most consistently effective ad monetization strategy, in a world of ever increasing offerings and competition, I’d make make sure you have your stategy perfected, it keeps the lights on.
Author: Zachary Weiner- CEO of Connected TV advertising and marketing firm CTV Advertising.