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Competition for advertisers’ dollars has increased in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as many organizations’ marketing budgets have dwindled in response to a shifting global economic landscape.

As a publisher, one way to set yourself apart from the pack, attract new customers, and retain current ones is to listen deeply to advertisers’ challenges and objectives, and put that information into action.

In this article, we’ll explore what the buy-side is looking for when placing media buys, and share a few tips for building and selling desirable products. We’ll also cover how you can add these offerings to your Adpoint product catalog.

6 ways to make your inventory more appealing to media buyers

Make it easy to optimize ads for conversions

Conversion metrics are top of mind for Colorado based e-commerce sheet retailer Sheets & Giggles. The company is growing rapidly in the B2C space and is laser focused on statistics like return on ad spend and cost per acquisition, said Sarah Waller Morrill, Vice President of Marketing at Sheets & Giggles.

Your media sales solution should make it simple for your advertisers to maximize the return on investment of their campaigns. Offering robust reporting is one way to deliver value, because the more in-depth metrics you can provide, the more closely your advertisers will be able to monitor their campaign performance and make adjustments as needed.

“We want data so that we can learn from it,” Waller Morrill said.

Leverage machine learning

Media buyers are looking for advertising platforms that use machine learning to help them build sophisticated audiences, run dynamic ads, optimize campaigns on a large scale, and make decisions quickly.

“Machine learning is pretty amazing for a startup,” Waller Morrill said. “We’ve had a lot of success on Facebook with it.”

It’s tough to compete with Big Tech, but publishers who use machine learning to identify trends within advertising data and enable their customers to act on that information will be one step ahead of those who don’t leverage this technology. For example, you can offer your advertisers the ability to segment audiences or test creative in real-time.

Use contextual targeting

Global data and analytics agency Essence views context as a valuable currency in today’s advertising landscape, said Ryan Storrar, the company’s SVP of Media Activation for EMEA. Instead of focusing on a user’s previous online behavior to serve them an ad, contextual targeting considers factors like the tone of the content the ad will appear beside.

“The assumption is that contextual targeting will become increasingly important in a world where user-level data has been reduced,” Storrar said.

As a publisher in a world where third-party cookies are on the decline, it’s a smart move to provide contextual targeting as an option to maximize your advertisers’ campaign effectiveness. Remember, you have one important advantage over Big Tech in this area: a brand safe environment.

Provide flexible contract options

Brands that have been hit hard by Covid-19-”as well as those worried about a second wave and its financial impacts-”are seeking flexibility in contracts for direct and programmatic media buys.

“Media buyers have to be able to be reactive right now,” Waller Morrill said. “We need the freedom to move budgets to hit audiences when they’re ready to purchase, or to pull back spend, even by the hour.”

While publishers should always consider whether a policy is healthy for their own bottom line, the more flexibility you can offer your advertisers in uncertain times, the more likely they’ll be to stick with you through the storm.

Offer packages and encourage testing

Today’s programmatic ad tech software gives advertisers the freedom to switch between various platforms, such as newsletter placements, Google display ads, and Hulu ads-”the type of bundle deal that media buyers appreciate, according to Waller Morrill.

“In e-commerce, we love to test, even if it’s only for a month,” she said.

Publishers who own various titles across different media can use an audience-based approach to sell packages. This helps ensure better results for your advertisers and higher profits for your media organization.

Share strategic industry insights

Media buyers don’t want ad sales reps to throw them into the deep end with new strategies or technology solutions. As a publisher, you can offer value by walking your advertisers through what has worked well in the past and guide them in how to use your media organization’s ad booking platforms.

Strategic insight is 100% important for publishers to provide,” Waller-Morrill said.

Her comments echo the trend of publishers becoming agencies, selling marketing services like strategic planning, copywriting, and graphic design to advertisers, as opposed to simply placing their ads. Adopting an agency model is a wise move for publishers looking to diversify their revenue streams.

How to use Adpoint to attract media buyers

Adpoint, a cloud-based media sales solution created by Lineup Systems, is the standard for software in the media industry. Adpoint offers advanced order management functionality for media companies like Gannett, News Corp, The New York Times, Time Out Media, and more. Our best-in-class order management system automates and optimizes the sales delivery process for quicker approvals and seamless order fulfillment.

Afton Brazzoni

Afton helps B2B companies serve their audiences with captivating, refreshing, effective clarity through storytelling. She brings 12 years of experience in marketing and communications, with a background in journalism, to her mission to deliver clients excellent content that drives their businesses forward. Afton has extensive experience developing strategies and content for growth-oriented organizations such as technology companies, higher education institutions and the tourism industry, as well as for entrepreneurs.