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Integrating online advertising into web editorial: models and strategies

Getting online news media to earn real revenues is a tougher challenge than many newspaper directors expect. Web advertising spend may now be larger than newspaper advertising in many countries, but that doesn’t mean newspapers can expect a big share. The search engines, portals and sales networks continue to dominate the sector, and as the next wave of revenue pours into social media like Facebook, newspaper sites need to fight to earn their share.

Danny Meadows-Klue was the publisher of one of Europe’s first online newspapers ( before co-founding the UK and European Interactive Advertising Bureau trade associations, then the Digital Strategy Consulting group and the Digital Training Academy. For over ten years he has been helping online media brands boost their revenues, and in this strategy masterclass for web publishers he looks at the approaches newspapers can use to boost advertising revenues through integrating their commercial models and editorial opportunities. The topics he covers include:

  • Getting a perspective on your market share
  • Understanding the relationship between content, traffic and advertising revenues
  • Exploring the divergence of web advertising yields
  • Reflecting on the implication for editorial content and product development
  • Focusing on how to integrate Editorial content and advertising in online newspapers
  • The development of advertising targeting principles
  • The application of contextual advertising service models
  • Integrating advanced targeting into classic editorial content
  • Integrating advertising into social media
  • Exploring where behavioural targeting in online advertising fits into the equation
  • Key steps to be careful about when setting up advanced systems

Drawing on lessons from Digital Publishing Strategy Academies he has run across Europe, Danny will give clear tips for what works and flag up the risks. Best practice notes will be available afterwards and participants can talk with him online by emailing .

Download: Danny Meadows-Klue's strategy workshop notes for integrating editorial and online advertising
Download: conference conclusions

More information from Digital Strategy’s team

Many people asked me about the strategy and training I run with newspapers so here is a link to:

Conference write-up: Day 1

IFRA created an excellent line up of speakers in Paris, and it was an honour to play a role. To help participants get the most from the event, I thought it might be useful to share a few of my personal takeouts about what feels most interesting from the sessions. Full materials from speakers are available to conference delegates.
  • TV hits a Tipping Point
    Aftonbladet were already enjoying 200-300k unique users per day to their web TV content, and with and 1m uniques per week they have a strong audience. In the last 18 months we’ve seen newspapers across Europe roll out ‘soft studios’ – small TV production spaces in the newsroom environment. For me it’s the must-have component for every newspaper today. Here’s an example from one of the publications I helped build:
  • Supersize ad formats
    Many newspapers are exploring larger advertising formats. showcased their super-size formats which have a bigger impact to the viewer and deliver more value for advertisers: see the home page of
  • Harnessing the long tail
    Successfully levering the participation of small advertisers through the self-service model is critical for newspapers. This is the way to re-earn the role for a newspaper in local advertising and fight back in the rapidly changing media market.
  • Online advertising
    This week the UK announced new figures for the audit of online adspend in 2007, revealing online crosses 15% of total media spend and leapt 38% year on year. That means the UK web advertising sector will overtake television by the end of 2009, and search engine advertising accounts for over half spend. Because the UK is the only market outside the US where Google declares its revenues ($2.5bn in 2007), most countries probably undercount the search effect…
  • Revenue from readers demonstrated that achieving real revenues from audience subscriptions is possible in the consumer news sector, but only if the market framework is right. This doesn’t mean every publisher should create subscription services straight away, but if there is must-have, very high value content, then it’s worth measuring the potential revenue from subscriptions vs. the advertising income.
  • Culture is everything
    Many speakers have focussed on the importance of achieving the right type of culture inside the business and maybe this is one of the biggest actions from the conference.
  • The skills crisis continues This skills gap is at every level in media organisations and holds companies back. We just completed research about the challenges publishers face with internet advertising sales, editorial and marketing. You can have a free copy of the report here:
  • Getting search engines to work for publishers
    Many speakers talked about the importance of search engines in creating traffic to web publications. I wrote a simple plan for newspapers and magazines to help them achieve this and thought some of the points might be a useful check-list for your own organisation:
  • More about the copyright battle with search engines
    The models and reality of policing copyright is explained at ACAP but this new model for what was once the domain of “Robots.txt” is not without its skeptics

Conference write-up: Day 2

The second day of the conference gave even more ideas about practical things newspapers can do and the key trends that will impact the sector. I have tried to capture a few of the points and hope you can use some of these ideas. Let me know if anything is unclear, and if you have a question just mail me back.

My 10 perspectives on integrating advertising and editorial?

My talk on integration is a summary of a two day workshop we normally run in-company. We included lots of ideas so every newspaper had something to apply. Here ate the key points:
  1. History and context: Expectations of audiences and advertisers shift quickly in a rapidly evolving media channel
  2. Remember the business model: Business modelling should drive advertising yield, product and integration strategies
  3. Integration in simple editorial targeting: Boost the value to advertisers by delivering audiences in the right environment and context; but everyone expects this
  4. Advertising / editorial ratios: Integrating advertising and editorial: listen to your customers and get the volumes right
  5. Integration in video: Don’t overload video programming with high frequency advertising
  6. Yield management framework: Yield management and inventory forecasting are at the heart of web media sales strategies
  7. Integration and targeting with search: Integrating search into sites builds value and relevancy for both user and advertiser, but be cautious about the implementation and check for common mistakes
  8. Integration with audience behaviour: this can transform revenues; but benefits vary significantly depending on yield variations and advertiser needs
  9. Advanced integration with contextual targeting: Contextual targeting can remove many challenges and take you straight to the optimal result – services like Grapeshot offer a new model for newspapers
  10. Integration with user generated content: Massive new volume of inventory; unpredictable quality, watch for the key risks

There will be some extra handout notes to download in a few days time, here: - if you have questions then email me.

Decoupling of users and content

The new behavioural systems can ‘decontextualise’ advertising from content and still reach the right people. This is a strategic challenge to newspapers.

What are the trends in online advertising?

I put together some ideas of the immediate trends in Europe and have put a copy here for you:

How to take budgets from television

If you have online video content then approach TV advertisers with the offer of extending the life of their TV campaigns by running them on the web, either inside your video streams or in large format web adverts. This increases your income and helps TV advertisers learn that there are additional ways they can unlock more value from the content they’ve created.
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