Recession Proof Your eCPM and Ad Revenue: A Guide for Digital Publishers by@rashmi-sharma

Recession Proof Your eCPM and Ad Revenue: A Guide for Digital Publishers

Publishers must identify early on when a recession is reaching out to their doors. With inflation, industries come to face much lesser output as consumers reduce their purchases. With advertisements facing setbacks, ad spending and publishers become largely affected by their lowering ad revenue. With paid apps, the recession will lead to more and more unsubscribers, not only cutting down on that revenue but largely affecting your eCPM rates. Publishers must take serious measures to ensure that all data and privacy is at an optimum state of optimum.
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Rashmi Sharma

Writer, Researcher & Marketing Specialist

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In the past two years, with the global pandemic, the state of almost every other industry went through massive changes. And none of us was prepared to face the sudden challenges of the recession. The extremely volatile nature of every industry became almost too evident. 

The programmatic advertising industry took a backseat, and as a result, publishers went as far as to even halt their operations in the meantime. However, as we slowly and gradually rise through these troubling times, we all are focused on how to make sure we can brace ourselves better through these sudden economic shocks. 

How to Identify an Oncoming Recession?

As publishers, you must be extremely cautious of your immediate surroundings. Whenever there are economic emergencies, the first aftershock is taken by the marketing segment, which then goes on to affect one’s eCPM rates running publishers at a loss. 

And before one can learn to prepare themselves during these troubling financial times, they must identify early on when a recession is reaching out to their doors. Here are your signs for when you need to recession-proof your publishing incomes:

Inflation - Extreme inflation of prices does and will always follow an economic recession. And as we saw in 2019-20, the product prices were at an all-time high. 

Less Output - With inflation, industries come to face much lesser output as consumers reduce their purchases. And with this, the yield curve will seemingly keep lowering.

Salaries Cutback - For multiple industries, the payrolls of employees are affected drastically, with the unemployment index falling unfamiliarly low.

Interest Rate of Loans - The interest rate for a short-term loan seemingly becomes closer to that of a long-term loan, which shouldn’t be the case, but becomes so during an oncoming recession.

There are other signs such as heavy federal taxation or decline in real estate sales, declining GDP, and so on. 

What are the Major Challenges Faced by Publishers 

It is necessary for publishers and likely many others, to recession-proof their earnings, for financial security is one of the utmost goals for any type of job. And especially with publishers, whose incomes largely depend on sources who are bound to make cutbacks. So, what are the major challenges we as a publisher may face during such economic turmoil?

Lowering Ad Revenue

With consumers opting for less and less, trying to survive with the inflating prices, they will consume lesser products. And advertising said products becomes a meaningless effort. With advertisements facing setbacks, ad spending and publishers become largely affected by their lowering ad revenue. 

Also Read: 3 Considerations for Publishers to Get the Best Out of Falling Ad Revenue

Missing Revenue Goals

Software, especially applications such as certain social media solutions, are largely dependent on earnings from ads, and even big companies like Snapchat end up becoming affected and fail to meet their revenue goals. Seemingly smaller app publishers face even worsening conditions. 

Spending on Other Sources 

Advertisers can completely shift their focus. For instance, video advertisers largely shifted to TV, bringing on the looming doom of publishers, who end up facing not a temporary but a permanent loss.

Less Consumption 

Let's say that you still end up finding sponsors and advertisers, they will pay you according to how much user consumption their ads see on your space. And with paid apps, the recession will lead to more and more unsubscribers, not only cutting down on that revenue but largely affecting your eCPM rates. 

What to Do and What Not to Do in Times of Recession: Tips for Publishers

Keep Your Eye on Growth

While it is certainly going to seem that keeping on the down low will be a safe option, it is not advisable. Even in a recession, you must keep your eye focused on growing. At the same time, there will be advertisers who are going to try and keep their enterprises afloat and seek out publishers. Seek out that opportunity, and remain ahead of your competitors in taking up that opportunity, for they’ll certainly be less.

Amp up your profile, show them how you’re relevant, and how you can help them reach their target market better and reach. Show them you’re worth it and show them how their expenditure for your ad space will be justified and, in turn, worth it for them.

Select the Right Partners Keeping the Ecosystem Intact

While this might seem a time to give and take whatever you have at hand, it's not a good idea for publishers. By investing in suspicious third-party advertisers, you can put your consumers and your image at risk. You must take serious measures to ensure above all that data governance, and privacy is at an optimum state.

Moreover, your goal to keep your head above the water will certainly be affected if you invest in solutions and partnerships which put your consumers at risk, and in turn, your trusted, reliable ecosystem starts depleting. 

Utilize User Data to Reach Out to Relevant Sponsors

We are quite aware of how enterprises today largely depend on user-oriented data to offer a better experience. As said, you must improve your strategies to prove your relevance to sponsors, and one such way is this - selling to your audience and, in turn, advertisers with the help of a data management platform. Say you are the publisher of a mobile gaming app. 

While the common advice would be to get sponsors relevant to the gaming industry, in times of recession, it may not feel wise to be so picky. Instead of selling on your site sections, you can use a DMP to leverage the user information and pick and choose any sponsor.

Say you come across a sponsor selling electronic mobile appliances, the DMP will help you root out consumers who have similar interests, and you can focally advertise to them, thus offering better targeting for your sponsors. This will also help you in ad revenue optimization as sponsors offer better eCPM rates for targetted audiences. 

Upselling Your Content

Find out alternate ways to monetize your application. For instance, you can sell your remnant inventory at a premium to both advertisers and consumers. Similarly, your content needs to be worth the extra fee. You can leverage data and reach out to bigger sponsors and without risking user privacy, opt for an optimized profile which will help in faster selling and higher rates of ad space in your app. 

Seek Alternate Monetization Methods

As publishers, there are plenty of new alternatives to increase your income from your websites and apps. Use the development of blockchain technology and the rise of cryptocurrencies to your favour and bring in solid additional revenue. Use the perks of browser web mining in an attempt to monetize your audience and, in turn, offer them an improved user experience. 

Reach Out to a Larger Audience

There’s no other time essential than now to increase your reach. While you may be satisfied with your user count, a bigger number will always work in your favor. Find out how you can reach out to a larger audience.

Find ways to how you can keep them consistent on your application so that your CPMs remain at a steady high than your competitors, also helping you sell better to your sponsor with solid, proven numbers. For even in shaky economic times, all your sponsors need is a higher reach, and you can sell on that. 

Summing Up!

Times like economic recession brings us down, resulting in many publishers ceasing their operations completely. What is necessary is to boost your struggles and give your everything to keep your head above the water, for likely not everyone is.

Remain on a steady path of growth so that you can brace yourself well in such tough times. Remember to try only harder and not any lesser!




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