Digital publishers depend on revenue to operate. Some websites leverage paid subscriptions to generate income and others rely on display advertising.

Technology and the evolved digital media landscape allow publishers to make their inventory available to advertisers with a few simple lines of code—and there are companies that specialize in just that. However, sites could become subject to fluctuating performance, increased scrutiny over content, and compliance of strict user privacy and protection regulations.

“When a business is reliant on a steady flow of ad dollars, it matters when CPMs suddenly drop or brands begin targeting away from a site. Publishers should look for partners that provide a total management solution, that is designed to fit their individual needs.”
Michael Snow, Intermarkets, Inc.

The digital media publication, eContent, recently covered expanded managed solutions for publishers. The article goes into detail about the problems that websites are up against. It talks about how content and quality are impacted.

Intermarkets partners with publishers to work for their business. We provide managed services based on the needs of each of individual publisher. Our setup is unique and allows us to provide higher-level support across the publishers organization. Our experienced staff can cover ad ops, accounting services, development support, legal review of contracts, vendor connections, and more. We work for publishers so they can focus on creating quality content for their readers.

If you’re looking for managed services to support the content on your site, fill out our contact form and we’ll create a customized solution to meet your unique needs as a business.

You’ve created a website full of great content and built a loyal and engaged audience, now you want to monetize it. You’re a great publisher, but perhaps not a digital advertising expert. At Intermarkets, we are monetization experts which has helped us identify the top issues that are hurting publishers’ revenues.

Many content creators do not even realize that these challenges are hurting their revenues. We’ve broken down what these obstacles are and how we’ve worked closely with our portfolio brands to combat them and drive higher revenues.

Ad Block

Viewability

Provider Blacklisting

Ad Partner Blacklisting

 
Click here to send us more info about your site and we can work with you to determine how these challenges might be impacting your business.
 

In the current state of digital media, service providers and content channels are vigilant, strictly policing the movement of news and content. Publishers are getting caught in filters that flag their content, and they end up losing out on traffic because search or social media providers determine something on their page is out of bounds.

The rise in clickbait seemed to be an easy cash flow for some publishers, until the providers (quickly) caught on and created systems to stop them in their tracks. Algorithms and filters checked everything, sometimes punishing sites that weren’t necessarily doing anything wrong, but the content was taken out of context and landed them on the naughty list.

One publisher in The Intermarkets Portfolio lost more than 60% of its social traffic in a month due to one poorly sourced article. The recovery of this traffic has been a slow process. From experience, we know the best way out of this hole is not to fall in it, and we can help avoid it.

Intermarkets works closely with all of our exclusive portfolio publishers to educate them on changing industry standards around the use of content. When consulting with publishers we emphasize strategies that incorporate multiple traffic sources — social promotion, content recommendation and search optimization/organic — as well as making sure the quality of their content is strong and consistent.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Ad Block

Viewability

Ad Partner Blacklisting
 
Click here to send us more info about your site and we can work with you to determine how these challenges might be impacting your business.
 

Out-of-context filter flags can cause highly reputable and innocent publishers to end up blacklisted by advertising partners such as ad exchanges and demand-side platforms (DSPs). If a publisher is blacklisted by an ad partner, revenue is lost not just from one advertiser, but from the vast number of marketers and agencies who work with those partners on programmatic media buys.

Many publishers do not even know when they have ended up on an ad partner’s blacklist. Knowing what to do to solve the issue once discovered is even more of a challenge.

Intermarkets prides ourselves on our integrations and long-standing partnerships with the best-in-class advertising technology companies like OpenX, The Trade Desk, AppNexus and many more.

Intermarkets’ Ad Ops team monitors partner performance on a placement basis to detect any day-to-day variances. When the team noticed a partner disappear from our reporting on DrudgeReport.com, we quickly connected with our partner to understand what caused the website to mistakenly be blacklisted and resolve the issue. Our high-touch service and strong relationships ensure our publishers are able to consistently connect with high-quality advertisers who use our programmatic partners’ tools.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Ad Block

Viewability

Provider Blacklisting
 
Click here to send us more info about your site and we can work with you to determine how these challenges might be impacting your business.
 

Since the IAB released definitive standards on viewability in 2015, buyers are keen to looking closely at sites’ scores before considering their inventory. Publishers that were once used to healthy revenues from long pages dripping in banner ads began to see CPMs drop.

When the page loads and ads are called, anything below the fold line was being counted, even though human eyeballs never saw them. The advertisers paying for those phantom impressions grew frustrated, and eventually tools were deployed to measure viewability on websites. Those scores could be integrated into the buying process and impact the value of publishers’ inventory.

Intermarkets’ portfolio publishers were no different and have adjusted course to maintain user experience, while still providing quality access to their premium audiences. We worked with our political opinion and commentary site, thepoliticalinsider.com, to enhance their ad experience. We determined that reducing the number of units from 7 to 5 and deploying in-content native ads would increase revenues. The publisher saw a 70% lift in viewability, resulting in a 50% increase in desktop RPMs and 100% increase on mobile platforms.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Ad Block

Provider Blacklisting

Ad Partner Blacklisting
 
Click here to send us more info about your site and we can work with you to determine how these challenges might be impacting your business.
 

Across the Intermarkets Portfolio we’ve seen a plateau in ad block page views over the last two years. Although adoption of blocking ads has leveled off, our publishers are still looking for ways to recover the revenue lost in the ad block boom. While we’ve deployed a number of different solutions across various sites to drive additional revenue streams, a long-term solution is much more complicated than simply putting new code on the page.

Attacking the ad blockers is a true arms race. As soon as one workaround is deployed, a new blocking method is released, and the cycle continues.

For this reason, we suggest a more comprehensive solution — addressing the problem, fixing poor user experience, educating users on the problems ad blocking creates and attempting to recover lost impressions.

In one instance, after collaborating on with our Strategic Media and Ad Ops specialists, one of the Intermarkets’ portfolio publishers saw a noticeable decrease in ad block usage after running an internal campaign targeting the ad blockers and asking them to support the site by removing the software.

Many well-intentioned visitors are not aware of the necessary role ad revenue plays in providing the content they love. Users activate ad blocking software to eliminate invasive, annoying ads on a handful of sites, without realizing that the software hurts the websites they support.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Viewability

Provider Blacklisting

Ad Partner Blacklisting
 
Click here to send us more info about your site and we can work with you to determine how these challenges might be impacting your business.
 

Attending conferences is a great way to learn what is currently going on in the digital media industry as well as what’s coming up. It’s also a good way to interact, network and meet your fellow industry experts. The tough part is deciding which ones to attend.

In an effort to focus the search, we’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of the top 14 digital media and publishing conferences to attend in 2018.

We hope to see you at one of these events.

IAB Annual Leadership Meeting

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is one of the advertising industry’s leading organizations to develop industry standards, conduct research and provide legal support. The 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, held early in the year, helps to uncover marketing, data and organizational strategies to assist brands, publishers and vendors. Expect more than 1,000 digital decision-makers to attend and get business done.

Digiday Publishing Conference

Digiday is hosting three Publishing Summits in 2018 in Japan, Europe and the U.S. The summits are typically well attended by digital publishing leaders, including those from The Washington Post, Time, Hearst, DailyMail, Forbes and more. There are numerous ways to listen, learn, network and socialize with your publisher peers over the three-day conference.

AdMonsters

As their title states, they are “monsters” when it comes to figuring out the ever-changing digital world. They host a series of events throughout the year and in different venues across the country focused on ad operations and revenue management, including a large Publisher Forum in California and its NYC OPS Conference in the summer. AdMonsters is great for connecting with peers, while understanding and tackling common issues. Topics are typically focused around areas like maximizing revenue and solving technical problems. You’re left with tangible learnings and action items to take back to your firm.

Programmatic I/O

AdExchanger hosts two Programmatic I/O conferences in 2018 — San Francisco in April and New York in October. Both events focus on the evolving nature of programmatic media and marketing. Expect more than 1,000 attendees and 80 expert speakers over 50 informative sessions.  In fact, our own Erik Requidan, VP of Sales will be hosting an Ops Talk workshop in San Francisco in April.

Digital Summit

This event, hosted in nearly 20 cities across the U.S., is a broader-based digital marketing conference covering a variety of topics. One of the great benefits of these conferences is that you have the ability to connect and network with more local digital media experts.

Email Insider Summit

Email continues to be one of the leading ways publishers and marketers continue to interact with their readers. The three-day summit includes a great mix of speakers, sessions and vendors. It is more focused toward brands; however, strong publishers would also benefit from the kind of quality insights and information that is being offered.

Social Media Marketing World

While this social media conference is geared slightly more toward businesses, there are more than enough overlapping sessions for publishers. If you want to keep up with everything social, this a great conference to attend.

Moz Con

This event is hosted by Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz.com (known sometimes as the Wizard of Moz), and is full of sessions focused around SEO and understanding the dynamics of search and growing website traffic.

SMX

According to their website, the Search Marketing Expo is for those who are obsessed with SEO and SEM. It features over 60 sessions across SEO, SEM and retail. In 2018, they’ll be hosting five shows in both the U.S. and Europe. Their multi-track approach allows you to pick and choose the sessions that are most relevant to you and what your focus is.

Publishing Insider Summit

This three-day summit includes a wide ranging list of topics relevant to publishers. The agenda includes presentations, roundtables and group panels as well as ample time to network with publishing peers and vendors. Previous publishers have included such names as Conde Nast, Vox Media, News Corp and Christian Science Monitor.

OMMA Conferences

MediaPost hosts this event in both Los Angeles and New York in 2018. The event is focused around the future of interactive media, marketing and advertising. Its agenda ranges in topics, but has a multitude of interesting sessions for digital publishers. These are well-attended and offer many opportunities to network.

Digital Publishing Innovation Summit

This summit includes two days of interactive and informative presentations from leading publishers, including USA Today, Facebook, Reddit, Economist and more.  Innovation Enterprise, which hosts the two-day event, puts on a few publishing innovation summits in San Francisco and London, in addition to a variety of other events.

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We had a great time kicking off 2018 attending these events already, and look forward to returning in 2019:

Consumer Electronics Show

More commonly known as CES, this Las Vegas “event” is packed with a who’s who in tech, digital media, marketing, advertising and more. With over 4,000 exhibitors and 180,000 industry professionals covering more than 2.6 million square feet, you better be organized for the chaos. The show continues to grow – over the last few years it has attracted more and more digital media, publishing, advertising and marketing experts. CES C-Space is a dedicated conference for innovators, marketers and creatives discussing the next disruptive trend. The sites and networking are unparalleled.

AdExchanger Industry Preview

This two-day conference held in January is a great way to kick-start the year. It’s an opportunity to hear from industry leaders, data gurus and industry pundits of what is expected to happen in the year ahead. The agenda typically includes a wide range of industry trends and insight; it’s a great networking opportunity as well.

By Vipul Mistry

The industry is reflecting on the past year and trying to predict what changes will come in the new year. Publishers will continue to build on the momentum of the past year, while returning to their roots, with an increased value placed on things like user experience and e-newsletters.

Here are 5 of the many publishing trends that we are bound to see in 2018:

Focus will return to user experience

A publisher’s objective is to keep readers engaged so they consume more content and spend more time on the site. The question is, how do publishers accomplish this? They do it by improving the website experience. This process starts with quicker page load speed and a cleaner ad experience. Publishers also need to eliminate pop-ups, remove excess content recommendations and turn off audio on videos so that readers are less overwhelmed. To continue improving the user experience in 2018, you should expect to see more ad experiences that are natively integrated into the content to create a more seamless effect. When publishers improve the user experience, ad blocking declines and revenues improve.

Video will stay hot

Video was big in 2017, and it will continue to be a large investment for publishers in 2018 as well. Social media powerhouses Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram continued to be at the forefront of video creation in 2017 with live streams and quick snippets being captured. In 2018, publishers will take a more strategic approach to creating video content. Longer form, higher quality video will be essential to capture a reader’s attention as people become accustomed to watching more video for a longer period of time.

The old is new again

Marketers are becoming more interactive in email, adding new and unique features to capture a reader’s attention, especially when it comes to mobile. The email newsletter is no longer a static document, but, instead, it is a living, breathing entity that can be easily updated as news develops and stories change.

A refined programmatic approach

AppNexus’ CEO Brian O’Kelley coined the phrase “supply-path optimization (SPO),” referring to the ways advertisers optimize the path to the advertising inventory they want. On the other side, publishers are taking a more streamlined and refined approach to working with buying partners. Publishers need to provide additional insights and analysis to optimize performance for the right buyers. This process helps reveal which partners best connect publishers directly with buyers. Offering customers greater transparency and trust across the buying process will yield long-term success.

Moving beyond digital ads

More and more publishers are thinking of ways to increase revenue beyond digital ads. I continuously see publishers thinking about subscriptions or micropayments to access unique content. Commerce is also a huge opportunity for certain publishers. With online shopping continuing to grow, a well detailed path to buying products can, and should, be created by publishers.

At Intermarkets we are all about our clients, our culture, and our team! This year marked our 20th year as a company and we wanted to look back at 2017 and celebrate our staff and achievements as an organization.

We are proud to announce Kary Jones has been appointed to a new role for the company, Manager of Publisher Development as part of our Strategic Media team. She joins Vipul Mistry in building strategic approaches for diversification and portfolio growth. She will also be an essential partner, working one-on-one with the publishers to develop tactical plans for monetization, brand recognition and partnership opportunities.

Kary brings more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience to the role. She has been a part of our Intermarkets team for more than 4 years, working directly with the portfolio publishers and advertisers. Prior to Intermarkets, she oversaw consumer-based advertising at POLITICO. She also worked at The Washington Times for more than a decade and as she moved into management at the publisher, she served as the liaison between sales and editorial teams. Her career has positioned her to keenly understand the needs of potential publishers when it comes to content creation, user experience and optimizing ad placements.

“This new role at Intermarkets signals a new growth strategy for our company’s evolution and I am incredibly proud to fill it,” said Kary. “The media industry is ever-changing and I look forward to educating qualified and diverse publishers on how Intermarkets can help strengthen their brand recognition, focus on ad optimization and bring to the table strong vendor partnerships, while they, the publisher, focus on what is most important to them, the content of their site.”

Together, Kary and Vipul will identify quality publishers across a variety of categories to introduce them to the high-touch, personalized consultation that Intermarkets offers.

Our publisher offerings include:

  • Operations management: Intermarkets actively and aggressively manages ad quality with exhaustive measures – human and tech – to ensure that both user experience and revenue opportunities are maximized. Intermarkets leverages a customized ad server and has established partnerships with the best-in-class ad tech vendors across the process.
  • Sales and revenue management: Intermarkets has ongoing conversations with brands, agencies, media buyers and technology vendors. We ensure websites are easily accessible by premium advertisers in a safe marketplace.
  • Publisher services: Intermarkets leverages data insights and analysis for quarterly business reviews to evaluate performance and introduce new opportunities.

For more information, visit our Publishers page.