This post was most recently updated on March 23rd, 2022
2022 and beyond present a number of significant changes in ad monetization for publishers. Preparing for these changes will involve overcoming some challenges, however, they will ultimately lead to ad monetization methods that are more effective for publishers and give users more control over their data and privacy. Adapting to the ad monetization challenges of 2022 will benefit customers, publishers, and marketers alike.
For years, third-party cookies have been a central part of user data collection and ad targeting online, helping publishers learn more about how people browse the internet to present more relevant ads to each user.
By the end of 2023, Google aims to completely phase out the use of third-party cookies in their browser, a move that other browsers are likely to follow. The decision comes as a response to rising consumer demands for more privacy and control over their data online and changing regulations intended to enforce those expectations better.
However, this does not mean a return to placing ads based solely on the page’s context. Data-driven, personalized advertising will still be effective with some changes to how publishers handle data collection and management. In particular, it will increase the importance of publishers collecting and using zero-party data (information that consumers have proactively provided to your company) to deliver effective ad personalization.
While it may be disruptive to many publishers’ current ad monetization strategies, this is ultimately a good thing. Zero-party data is better data. Here’s why:
Ad monetization using zero-party data is also more appealing to consumers. Besides giving them better control over how their data is used online, it can also be used to provide additional benefits to consumers, such as getting a more personalized experience from your content. 87% of people are open to giving this kind of information to businesses if it leads to better personalization for them.
Thanks to the ever-rising demand for more personalized advertising, changes in data management will have such a big impact on 2022. Continuing to meet this demand while meeting changing regulatory requirements and data privacy expectations will pressure publishers to keep up. Providing this personalization should be a priority for publishers not just because it’s what consumers want but also because it makes their platform more attractive to advertisers.
On the other hand, this also represents an opportunity for publishers to optimize how they gather consumer data. The end result is creating a personalized ad experience for each user based on information they have provided you directly, rather than gathered from third-party sources such as tracking cookies.
This change means an increased focus on encouraging users to provide more information about their preferences and narrowing down the key data points you need to provide effective personalization. After all, while users want better control and understand how companies use their data, they don’t want to spend lots of time completing exhaustive opt-in processes.
And on that note, publishers will also need to think about the value proposition to the user of providing that zero-party data. In other words, how will that data be used to provide a better experience to the user, besides more relevant ads?
Using customer data to deliver more relevant content provides an immediate improvement to their experience interacting with your content. This is a valuable incentive to encourage users to complete your opt-in, survey, or poll.
Machine learning and AI are on the cusp of becoming mainstream in many digital industries. In fact, 85% of business executives believe that using AI and machine learning will enable their companies to hold a competitive advantage over the coming years. For ad monetization, this results in increased use of machine learning and AI to optimize ad personalization, placement, and bidding processes.
These tools can help companies organize their data, extract useful correlations from it, and analyze a page’s content and context to create more effective contextual ad placement. This can help publishers ensure that the ads shown on a given page are not disruptive or inappropriate in the context of the content they are shown alongside. According to a Deloitte survey, online consumers are more likely to respond positively to ads that are relevant to and do not disrupt the content they are accessing.
Publishers need to meet the privacy regulation requirements of all the regions they operate in. On average, non-compliance problems with data protection regulations costs organizations almost $15 million.
The major ad platforms, particularly Google, are quick to ban non-compliant publishers, making data regulation compliance vital for maintaining consistent ad monetization. Keeping up with their changing requirements and the different rules of each region can be challenging without expert advice. Effectively localizing your approach to data regulation compliance is an ongoing task, particularly as many data regulation organizations worldwide consider changes to address the use of AI in processing and gathering data.
When it comes to discussing changes in how data is handled, it is easy to focus solely on the impact this will have on using consumer data to deliver more effective ads. However, it is important to also consider the challenges those changes create in measuring the success of ad campaigns to improve monetization.
It will no longer be so easy to track user identities and behavior across different platforms. One way to combat this is to use any of the email marketing software listed here to collect the emails of those who click on your ads and automate email deliverability to engage subscribers and encourage them to become customers continually.
Invalid Traffic is a monetization challenge almost 99% of publishers are facing which includes impressions or clicks pseudo-inflating advertisers’ total costs and impacting publishers’ earnings. The problem is that these clicks and impressions have no value and come with potential AdSense bans. Since these clicks caused by automated tools and bots are not actual conversions or leads, they are worthless.
Not just that, invalid traffic messes up with the analytical data, making it difficult to plan campaigns on the advertiser end and to forecast inventory on the publisher end. Hence, when you notice suspicious traffic (like a sudden increase in users or spam comments), it’s best to take that seriously.
Spam traffic only diminishes the valuation of a publisher’s ad inventory. Follow these tips to cope with Invalid Traffic:
Here’s the course that 300+ pubs used to scale their ad revenue.