The biggest problem with Internet advertising is a lack of character. All our problems are self-inflicted, triggered by decisions made by digital ad leaders who continue to choose the path to easier money over the moral high road.
These days, online publishing has become a tough business. Competition for the reader's attention is fierce, business models are falling apart, trust is eroding -- the list goes on. If you feel like commiserating with fellow publishers at your next networking event, or if you want to explain to your loved ones why you are losing hair prematurely, here is a handy-dandy list of reasons you can cite.
Publishers, much like marketers, are looking for more precise ways to engage the right audience on their platforms. This has led to a new category of traffic enhancement: the social influencer. The seeding of content through social influencers, when done correctly, is now as scalable as the old-fashioned AOL home page link. This is especially true when targeting the coveted millennial audience.
First, let's define "work" in the context of old-media publishers and how buyers agreed to define it. Pre-new media, the definition of a "publisher working" was primarily defined by how many people consumed the content a publisher produced in any media, and the depth of this consumption. The beauty of this old-media definition of working was the proper alignment of incentives. Whether you were a publisher or an advertiser, investing in better content produced deeper connections with consumers. As a result, publishers made more money, and advertisers felt better about spending it. When new-media publishers arrived, driven by the frenzy ...
Worrying that sponsored content will erode reader trust is as if Captain Edward John Smith of the Titanic had run around on the upper deck worrying about open portholes, after an iceberg had ripped open the side of his sinking ship.
Timing, as they say, is everything. This age-old saying appears to have been completely forgotten in today's digital world: If you ask online publishers and advertisers when is the best time to reach a reader with a promotional message, the answer seems to be "any time." And this, in my opinion, is the most egregious mistake that publishers are making in the way they treat their readers.
I don't watch "Game of Thrones," but I understand it's layered with pessimism. I am an optimist, but am having real trouble ignoring the cold realities of the digital publishing market.
Progressive publishers know that social video is a crucial part of any cross platform content strategy. That being said, all video is not created equal - especially when it comes to social consumption. A recent study by Trusted Media Brands found that 65% of marketers think social platforms are the most important platforms for video campaigns. So, just as one wouldn't shove a VHS tape into a Blu-Ray player, why are many marketers and publishers still trying to cram commercialized destination video into social?
For years we have blamed the banner (display) ad for all of our problems. The thing is, the ad banner didn't fail us. We failed it. We were handed a new medium with millions of consumers on day one. We were handed an exciting new ad to sell to advertisers that could instantly transfer a consumer to an advertiser's (online) store. We were selling time travel. Advertisers, while initially skeptical, quickly started writing big checks to buy these display ad banners. Then we screwed it all up. So what's the problem today? Just about everything. In my fantasy of being ...
In 2009, Tim Armstrong took over AOL and I wrote this column. In light of the Verizon-Yahoo deal, in which Yahoo will be integrated with AOL, it seems newly relevant.