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ATA Jul 22

Here’s how to make e-commerce work for your publishing brand

Published: 13 Jul 2022

TikTok has abandoned its plans to launch the ‘TikTok Shop’ after the UK project failed to meet targets. But while the market might not be there quite yet for livestream shopping experiences, e-Commerce remains a major opportunity for quality publisher brands. It’s an opportunity to leverage the editorial trust to help advertisers close the loop between ad spend and purchase, and nearly a third of commercial publishers reported that e-commerce would be an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ revenue stream for their company in 2022.

But what’s the key to successfully leveraging e-commerce to grow your publishing brand? We reached out to five experts to get their top tips for integrating e-commerce into your revenue portfolio…

Test, test, and test again to find the best method to engage and convert your audience.

We continue to see a broad range of publishers doubling down on investing in their own e-commerce strategies, including leveraging data & technology partners to find new ways to intelligently present, engage and ultimately convert audiences with their commercial editorial content.

Jonathan Bradford, Head of Supply Product Marketing, Outbrain

Make sure you’re starting with the right verticals to win the SEO battle.

Alongside ads and subscriptions, e-commerce is absolutely required for a thriving, profitable publishing business – as part of a strategy of shoring up a diverse mix of revenue streams. I’m glad to see more publishers dipping their toes into the e-commerce waters – after all, very often, they provide the inspiration to buy a product or service. To work, though, premium publishers have to start with the right verticals where it’s possible to win the SEO battle; continue to create strong audience-led content; apply ad tech; and connect to the right demand partners at scale – whilst also considering acquisitions, when appropriate, to accelerate the strategy.

Tom Jenen, CRO, Brand Metrics

Think like a retailer. Personalisation is the key to success.

Publishers that want to grow their e-commerce revenue need to think like a retailer, and the biggest e-commerce trend that is happening right now is personalization. Driving traffic to a site is only half the battle. Publishers can segment their audiences using zero- and first-party data to modify each page on their site. The more data publishers can collect, the more they can surface relevant content which includes personalized links, stoppable ads, and articles about specific products that might interest their audience.

Victoria Pindar, Managing Director, EX.CO

Readers who trust your editorial content will trust your product recommendations too.

The best commerce content is reader service editorial. Whether a publisher is covering news, deals, or creating evergreen content for search, keeping objectivity and quality front of mind builds trust with the audience, increasing conversion rate over time. A publisher’s commerce content should be genuine and feel endemic to their brands, but entertaining and enrich at the same time. Publishers should go beyond search for commerce traffic, signposting commerce on article pages, homepages, newsletters, and social channels. Commerce is an opportunity to leverage the trust built by editorial to build a new, recurring, engaged audience that comes directly to a publisher for product recommendations and deals.

Shane Roberts, VP of Commerce Content, Sovrn


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