The old real estate maxim of location, location, location describes why identical houses can cost vastly different amounts based on their premium locations. In the digital world the value of premium locations is quickly becoming devalued. Publishers are faced with competition from an infinite amount of undifferentiated real estate. Retargeting has created an easement across your waterfront property that allows everyone access to the beach. Your audience is no longer your audience, it is something that can be accessed in countless ways around the web and the value of all property is trending to zero. In fact a recent article shows a 58% increase in the number of display ads that has led to a 23% decrease in CPM.
The fundamental problem across the industry is that all digital advertising has been about monetizing real estate. The publisher generates as many page views as possible, and on each one of those pages they run a number of ads. In order to generate more revenue you generate more pages, more pages equals more impressions, more impressions equals more revenue. However, as we have seen, we are now in a vicious cycle where the value of this real estate continues to fall, falling real estate value means falling revenue which means we need to generate more page views, which devalues the existing real estate which means prices fall further, which means we need to generate more real estate, which means….
You get the picture.
So, if the numbers are right and the trends continue what’s the way out? At Swoop we believe the future is clear. Native Advertising. Stop trying to monetize your real estate and start finding ways to monetize your content. Your content is what brought the reader to you in the first place, and it is what keeps them coming back. Your content is what differentiates you from other similar sites or applications. Your content is where all your unique value resides. However, if we replicate the current real estate based ad experience inside of content, you will alienate your readers and lose your audience. Placing Native Ads inside content has to be done completely differently. You cannot interrupt a user’s consumption of the content. You need to be respectful of the user at all times. You need to be incredibly contextually relevant so that whatever you do matches a consumer’s current mindset. Last but not least, you need to give consumers the choice of whether or not they wish to engage.
In fact the ads must look nothing like ads as we know them today. Instead they need to be much more akin to sponsored content. Content that is relevant to the consumer’s interest or task at that exact moment in time. Content that enhances the users experience. Content that can keep them engaged and on your site. And it all needs to be done in a way that is as scalable and as automated as the current real estate monetization tools.
When done correctly this can be the Holy Grail of advertising – relevant content that an advertiser pays you to provide, that the user asks to engage with, that keeps the user on your site longer and drives greater satisfaction.
At Swoop we believe it is all about location, location, location. But the location is not on your pages, it is in your content. We are committed to leading this revolution to fundamentally remake online advertising into a helpful and relevant source of information for your readers, and a source of revenue that can ultimately foreclose on this broken ecosystem.
In just 5 months since our launch we are thrilled that already over 350 publishers have agreed with us and are now partners in this effort. While it is still early, the results have been incredibly positive and the support from publishers, advertisers and consumers has been inspiring. Our commitment remains to bring more content and better experiences that will enhance your content and your revenue in the months and years ahead.
If you would like to learn more please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.