The Value of Advertising in Digital Editions
January 18, 2012 by Joy Curtis
It seems logical: you create a publication with the intent of one day – preferably soon – turning it into a profit center. After all, as passionate as an editor might be about a topic, writers, designers and vendors all need to be paid.
At any point, we can dive into a tactical discussion about generating revenue with free versus paid content, or on how to make advertisers happy with optimized ad space. But the first thing any publisher should understand is the inherent value they’re offering advertisers with a digital edition.
To give you a starting point, consider these 5 values you’re offering advertisers, just by having a digital edition:
1. Direct Links: Never underestimate the value of being able to connect readers directly to advertisers’ websites or product pages. In a recent survey of tablet users done by The Association of Magazine Media, it was revealed that "59% of respondents said that they wanted to buy directly from adverts, with 79% saying that they want to be able to purchase products and services directly from editorial features." Which brings me to my next point:
2. A Position Near Relevant Text: In the digital age, it’s all about relevancy. In the process of designing for digital, you can position advertisements near editorial covering an industry-related topic, creating a natural flow between editorial and advertisement, and an organic call to action.
3. An Engaged Audience: You already know readers are interested in your publication. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have their contact information. But not only are digital readers no strangers to satisfying their demand with a quick click which advertisers can appreciate, but they also have shown increased engagement with ads in digital editions. A study done by Dr. Alex Wang from the University of Connecticut comparing WIRED print and iPad editions revealed "digital magazines outperformed static ads by as much as 70 percent in areas such as engagement, attitude and purchase intent."
4. High CTR Positions: While there are plenty of positions around the digital edition for paid sponsorships, the Left of Cover position and bellybands are hot commodities due to their high click-through rates. Keep in mind, banner ads on websites are only viewable as long as the reader remains on that page or doesn’t scroll beyond them. With digital editions, banner ads can have six times the engagement time, long enough to grab the coveted click.
5. Archived Issues: Advertisements can be viewed again and again, even months after the publication date. With digital editions, previous issues are stored in an archive tab for readers to return and read at any time, exposing them to past advertisements.
There are always steps publishers can take to make money with their digital magazines or catalogs, including adding tabs, an ad index, or more interactivity. But before you approach your advertisers with these solutions, make sure everyone grasps the basic values digital editions bring just by being digital.