- Navid Nassiri
What can we expect from digital media in 2023?
Following our recent round-up of the top trends of 2022, we’re taking a look at the digital media predictions for 2023.
What can we expect in the months to come and how can publishers and advertisers safeguard their business against a backdrop of growing economic uncertainty?
1. Preparing for media cuts amid growing uncertainty
We’re likely to see media companies working harder than ever to streamline costs amidst the growing socio-economic crisis. Chief executive of NPR, John Lansing, recently announced the network would need to cut at least $10 million in spend following a steep decline in revenue from sponsors, while The New York Times has announced a 2.4% decline in ad revenue for Q2 of this year.
In some cases, this financial pressure could lead to a hiring freeze and potential layoffs. Certainly, to maintain a stronghold during the coming months, digital media companies will need to find innovative ways to maximize revenue while minimizing costs.
2. Developing creative strategies to off-set effects of recession
In a recent report from Markets Insider, executives from leading publishers such as Dotdash Meredith and Gannett revealed their strategies for combating the downturn in ad revenue. While some are responding with a renewed focus on building awareness, reminding advertisers of their scale, audience quality, and commitment to brand safety, others are channeling resources into improving their product.
By using this slower period to explore high-quality targeting solutions, new ad formats, and real-time performance data, publishers are proactively gearing up to reap the benefits when advertisers are ready to resume business-as-usual operations.
Another more customer-centric approach is to focus on driving more value to top customers by leveraging insights, research, and emerging technologies. A number of the executives interviewed spoke of designing ‘premium’ experiences for high-value customers; this would mean helping ad buyers to ‘do more with less’ by combining programmatic offers with other opportunities, either within the publisher’s own portfolio or across other channels, such as newsletters and events.
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3. Leveraging NFTs in publishing
With technology and innovation at the forefront of the collective consciousness, it’s no surprise that interest in NFTs is likely to grow in 2023. Publishers such as TIME and Forbes have already been utilizing NFTs to generate new revenue streams and build connections between readers, and we expect to see widespread adoption within the publishing industry next year.
For publishers, NFTs present an opportunity to enrich the subscription model, offering readers the ability to ‘unlock’ exclusive content across websites, apps, and events. This builds brand loyalty by rewarding dedicated readers, as well as helping to create bespoke communities for users who have similar interests across their NFT collections.
There’s also potential to use NFTs to maximize the impact of brand sponsorships. For instance, a publisher might choose to make a select number of NFTs available to readers for free, as a result of an advertiser’s sponsorship, which is a win-win for the publisher and the advertiser, as both are rewarded with genuine and enthusiastic customer engagement.
4. Attention metrics will become the gold-standard
As we mentioned in our 2022 round-up, interest in attention metrics has gained a great deal of traction as a supplement to standard view-ability metrics. However, with ad performance under greater scrutiny as budgets are squeezed tighter, we’re expecting to see attention metrics implemented as standard for all campaigns, as part of a move towards more granular, results-driven marketing strategies.
When building an attention-driven campaign, advertisers need to understand what’s working (both in their own campaigns and amongst market leaders), implement those learnings when planning channel content, and be able to accurately measure the results.
They’ll need to consider all metrics including click-through rates, bounce rates, conversion rates and in-view time, as well as attention time, hover rate and touch rate on mobile. This data should be monitored continuously throughout a campaign, to ensure that changes can be made when patterns are identified.
5. 2023 will be the year of contextual targeting
It goes without saying there’s been a marked shift away from behavioral targeting in recent years, which uses soon-to-be-extinct third-party cookies. In its place, contextual targeting emerged as an alternative, offering a less invasive yet more effective way to generate interest in relevant products and services.
But for contextual targeting to perform as well as - if not, better than - behavioral targeting, in 2023 publishers and advertisers will need to consider partnering with tech solutions that can facilitate a highly accurate and granular approach, by providing invaluable on-page insights from signals such as text, image, audio, and video. Some brands are already leveraging this kind of technology to improve their marketing performance, but we predict there will be a huge uptick as more marketers seek out a scalable solution that delivers in-the-moment relevance to the user without infringing on data privacy regulations.
For more insights on the latest trends and tips for digital media companies striving to harness their valuable data, head over to our blog.