Publishers: Are You Ready for Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

For advertisers, the peak sales period of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is arguably their most important time of the year. It’s also a very lucrative time for publishers. As a result of advertisers paying more for impressions and clicks, there’s higher ad spend and traffic that translates directly to increased revenue for publishers.

During Black Friday / Cyber Weekend 2020, publishers on the Outbrain network saw a 22% increase in RPM.*

*Compared to pre-Black Friday levels (October 1 – November 26).

2021 – Another Record-Breaking Year?

Despite supply chain concerns, the 2021 holiday season is projected to top last year’s growth in online shopping. Outbrain’s global research shows that:

  • 56% plan to shop online and in-store
  • 38% will exclusively shop online 
  • Consumers aged 18-35 are more likely to increase their holiday budgets compared to other age groups

So, What Does This Mean for You?

Here’s your last minute checklist to capitalize on increased traffic and CPCs over the holiday season:

Optimize ad formats

  • Videos and swipable gallery images are particularly appealing ad formats when browsing for a product (Outbrain 2021). To increase engagement, test and support a variety of interactive and dynamic ad formats that consumers enjoy. 
  • Outbrain Tip: Support all Smartad formats such as carousel, clip, video, and In-Article Native to ensure your site features optimal paid experiences. 

Make sure you’re connected to the best demand partners

  • Quality advertisers are willing to pay top dollar for placement on your pages during the competitive holiday season and featuring quality brands/ads/products will in turn lead to greater engagement with all the content on your site.
  • Outbrain Tip: For Outbrain partners, you’re already there! Outbrain works with the world’s leading brands and agencies to offer full funnel demand, maintaining quality through strict guidelines and review processes. Publishers can also access a suite of content filtering tools to further refine their ad experiences. 

Leverage first-party data and interest-based targeting to engage relevant audiences

  • Most consumers do not plan their purchases far in advance, with 57% “making their lists” up to 2 weeks ahead of Black Friday/Cyber Monday (Outbrain 2021). Being agile in identifying shopping trends and serving content related to burgeoning products and services will push consumers down the purchase path faster and more efficiently.
  • Outbrain Tip: Let Outbrain’s interest-based, personalized recommendations do their work and then use the Content Report to identify trends and help inform editorial strategies.  

Take advantage of existing retail content

  • 69% prefer to have information about a brand before purchasing (Outbrain 2021). Publishers can repurpose and highlight existing editorial content (opinion pieces, “best of” lists, how-to videos, buying guides) to help inform buyers looking for research guidance from sources they trust, fueling monetization and engagement.
  • Outbrain Tip: Launch an Audience Campaign to prominently feature and highlight this content in your placements. 

Consider subscription discounts 

  • Readers are looking for deals during this time and may seek self-improvement or opportunities to treat themselves. Investment in premium content can be just as appealing as other products and services.  
  • Outbrain Tip: Set Audience Rules to target and customize experiences and deals for readers to drive them down the funnel to subscribe. Use the Conversion Card to promote your subscription discounts in the ideal placement.

With smart monetization and preparation for increased traffic and ad competition, there are ample opportunities for publishers to maximize profitability. Black Friday is nearly here, so make sure you’re ready!

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