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Allocating Resources in the Digital Publishing Environment

The digital publishing industry is growing and changing at an impressive rate. While the rapid evolution of the medium and its technology creates many opportunities to monetize it and create new profit centers, so many choices can create confusion.

How can digital publisher and advertisers decide where to allocate their resources effectively?

The choices can be overwhelming. Data analytics, surveys and quizzes, paid content, native advertising, programmatic advertising, product development, tablets, e-commerce, smartphones, time-based advertising, etc., etc., etc.

Audience analytics are an exciting venue for digital publishers and advertisers because of the opportunities for targeted marketing and immediate feedback and proof-of-concept that the data provides. Reader insights are invaluable for monetization through target marketing and curated content.

Embedding advertising into content, informally known as “advertorials” in traditional print media, is another growing component in digital publishing advertising. Publishers are embedding curated content into their news content and their calls to action create new venues for monetization. By focusing on customer engagement and mapping the customer journey, digital magazine publishers and advertisers are better able to understand where and how their customers want to engage with their products. Content marketing and conversion rate optimization should be digital marketing priorities for publishers, as well as social media engagement. The ability of digital publishers and advertisers to promote their products and services by advertising in non-traditional ways will be key to success in the new environment.

The trend is that ad spending is decreasing in legacy media and is being overtaken by digital formats. According to the recently published 2014-2015 World Digital Media Factbook, published by FIPP Insight ( desktop Internet ad spending recently increased from 18.1% to 19.5%.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found that the fastest growing device from which to access the Internet is the mobile phone, according to figures measuring the 2011-2013 period, followed by the tablet. Desktop computer usage is experiencing a continued decline.

Digital publishers and advertisers are constantly seeking to define and leverage reader engagement in an attempt to increase advertising revenues, higher “stick” times on content (including editorial and advertising) and more efficient targeting to consumers interested in engaging in their content.

During 2014, mobile advertising, native advertising, paid content and e-commerce, have all emerged as formats with strong growth opportunities. Spending on mobile advertising is increasing quickly, with in-app content leading the way. Media companies should plan their business strategies to take advantage of the opportunities emerging from the expanding digital media landscape.