9 Strategies To Increase Ad Revenue For Your Publication

Blog 1 min read | Aug 24, 2023 | JW Player


With ad spending projected to hit $509 billion in 2023, we’re still living in a highly lucrative age of advertising. But to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS), you’ll need to optimize your ad revenue streams.

This guide is here to help you do just that.

Read on, and we’ll show you how to squeeze every last drop of revenue potential from your ad campaigns, with nine simple strategies guaranteed to plump up your profits.

9 powerful strategies to increase ad revenue

Very few publishers can meet revenue targets without a powerfully optimized ad campaign or two to fill their coffers and fund their evolution.

Many publishers fail by thinking this means “show as many ads as possible” when really, any successful ad campaign involves far more moving pieces than that. Let’s show you what we mean:

1. Own your platform

If all your ad revenue comes from promoted social media posts and YouTube ads, you’re missing a massive revenue opportunity.

Platforms like YouTube will split ad revenue, while social media platforms have strict content regulations that restrict your freedom as a content creator, but the real kicker is that you don’t own your audience there — so you’re at the mercy of their algorithms and admin decisions.

By owning your publication platform, you can:

  • Gain more control over your content and your community relations.
  • Entice companies willing to pay high rates to place ads on your platform.

But it’s not enough to just own your platform, you have to strengthen it. A fuzzy, poor-performing, slow-loading website or video player isn’t going to hold anyone’s interest, let alone attract the eye of those who would spend those big bucks to host their ads with you time and again.

That’s why NewsMedia stuck with JWP in 2017 and drove their ad delivery and engagement to lofty new heights, enjoying an 8% lift in the first two weeks alone.

2. Focus on videos that hold attention

The only way you’re making any money through ads on your videos is if those videos are high-quality.

There’s a reason YouTubers must earn at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in 12 months before they can start monetizing their channel. It’s a simple philosophy: content people actually want to watch is the best place to run ads. If they like the video content, there’s a good chance they’ll watch the ads.

Video ads often get high performance rates because, when executed well, they’re the perfect way to stimulate people’s emotions from every angle; they can elicit a reaction that mere words and pictures could only dream of.

If your video content is captivating enough to keep people consistently watching from start to finish — or for at least 40% of it — you’ll have your pick of big-spender advertisers ready to pay top rates to place an ad in your content.

The same applies if you’re creating video ads for your own ends — be captivating. Remember the wise words a former Pixar storyteller once told Forbes: “Great stories make great ads.” If you need inspiration, go study the best-performing video ads (like the truly unforgettable Old Spice advert).

This iconic, delightfully unexpected end scene is just one of many moments that made the Old Spice advert an instant hit that’s still praised to this day.

3. Use multiple monetization techniques

If you’re relying solely on one form of ad revenue for your publication, you might be selling yourself short. To maximize your money from ads, consider using multiple ad networks and monetization methods, like running your own ads and selling ad space to others.

Also aim to leave no stone unturned; there are a variety of homes for ads online, including:

  • In-app ads
  • In-video ads
  • Social media ads
  • Website banner ads
  • Google results page ads
  • And more

Even among these different ad types, there are various techniques you can use in your ad strategy. For example, website ads can be at the top of a page, the side of a page, laced throughout a page, at the foot of a page or any combination of those options.

The key is to test what works by keeping an eye on essential metrics like watch time and bounce rate, then adjust your strategy accordingly. The last thing you want is to put your visitors off with tiresome interrupting advertising.

4. Use Article Matching by JWP

With JWP’s Article Matching, you can embed contextually relevant videos into your articles, for example, a piece of WordPress content. Visitors to this page will either see a playlist of videos that are highly topically relevant or a trending video playlist.

By greeting visitors with contextually appropriate videos from your JWP library, without any additional editorial resources or work involved, you’re expertly and seamlessly serving your target audience with exactly what they need. Is it any wonder why this powerful strategy can increase video engagement and maximize advertising revenue per video?

Insider Inc is a starlit example of the positive impact Article Matching can have on your publication’s ad revenue; they enjoyed a 61% CTR (click-through rate) increase, alongside a 114% rise in completed video views and a 97% uplift in ad impressions compared to other solutions.

5. Identify more ad placement opportunities

Your ad inventory (aka available ad space) is a limited resource that you need to manage carefully. An oversaturation of too many ads in any one location is more likely to tick people off than convince them to pay attention. Missteps in ad placements can be catastrophic drains on your ad revenue.

The trick behind this strategy is not “identify more ad placement opportunities and then clutter your publication with them all”. Oh no. This strategy is more about identifying the best ad placement opportunities.

We’re talking about everything from placement location to ad quality and even product quality. If you’re going to charge top dollar for a spot in your ad inventory, you need to know exactly what type of ads perform best with your target audience and where to place those ads so visitors notice and click on them.

You’ll only grasp these opportunities fully by testing what works and what doesn’t, and keeping a keen eye on the performance metrics. What works best for your page or app isn’t necessarily what works best for another page or app — it’s your audience that’s being advertised to, not someone else’s.

The internet is full of advertisers’ stories that sing a similar tune to “we moved this ad from the left to the right side of the page, changed nothing else and saw a 73% increase in CTR.” Don’t underestimate this step.

When it comes to placing your own ads, choose wisely. Target publishers and companies that are relevant to yours, so you know you’re advertising to the right audience. And make sure their publication’s ad placements aren’t a mess — just because someone is happy to place your ad, doesn’t mean you should let them. A poorly placed ad can do more harm than good to your bottom line.

6. Diversify content and ad formats

Ads come in all shapes and sizes — video, text, image, banner, interstitial, push notifications, SMS, popup and native — and you should consider diversifying your ad inventory across that list.

But avoid diversifying just for diversity’s sake; it’s important that you choose the right ad for the right situation. The type of ad format that works best in a blog isn’t going to be the same as the ad that works as a scheduled break in your latest video content.

As with the last strategy, you’ll need to test plenty and analyze ad performance to find what ad formats work best in any given scenario on your publication. Do this right and you’ll provide a better user experience, increase CTR and, inevitably, increase ad revenue too.

The other side of this strategy is about your own content, and it’s a fairly simple concept: the better and more diverse your content, the more eyes are on you and the more demand your publication is in; that, in turn, means your ad inventory is a more competitive space and can command higher rates. And those higher rates lead to — you guessed it — higher ad revenue.

7. Identify best ad formats per device type

Consider this the direct sequel to our last strategy: some ad types perform better on mobile devices than on desktop, and vice versa. And as with the previous strategy, you’ll have to test and assess to find what works best for your publication.

That said, there are some industry standards to guide you. Generally speaking, it’s best to focus on mobile-friendly ad formats as this is how the majority of people engage with modern content. The following are the most popular and frequently found mobile ad formats to choose from:

  • In-app ads: highly versatile, suitable for everything from social media to news and entertainment apps.
  • Banner ads: a common choice for modern websites, effective on both mobile devices and desktops.
  • Video ads: suitable for all devices and powerful ways to engage audiences.
  • Native ads: great for informative article placement where your ad is a perfect contextual fit for the content, you’ll often see these non-disruptive ads in newsfeeds.
  • Interstitials: a full-page popup between transitions, particularly useful in encouraging users to your branded app.
  • Social: aka sponsored posts on social media, found on mobile and desktop devices.

And this list should help get you started on designing your ad once you know the format you’re going with:

  • Most common banner sizes for smartphones: 320×480, 300×250 and 320×50
  • Most common banner sizes for tablets: 728×90, 768×1024 and 300×600
  • Most popular banner size in general: 320×50 mobile advert
  • Most native ads: 320×480 or 300×400
  • Most pre-, mid- or post-roll video ads for smartphones: 320×480 or 480×320
  • Most pre-, mid- or post-roll video ads for tablets: 768×1024 or 1024×768
  • Most common video ad lengths: 15 to 30 seconds
  • Most common interstitial ad sizes for smartphones: 320×480 and 480×320
  • Most common interstitial ad sizes for tablets: 1024×768 and 768×1024

8. Invest in native ads

Native ads are designed to blend in with your content. The best of them are nearly indistinguishable from the content itself and often enjoy incredibly high CTRs and revenue generation.

These ads prioritize the user experience above all else, which leads those users to view the ads as highly relevant, even integral information. When an ad feels this natural, the odds of it earning a click increase exponentially.

Consider these ads like an evolution of the standard banner ad, one that’s less intrusive, more adaptable and far more effective at generating ad revenue. Examples include ads for car parts in an automobile blog, cosmetics ads in beauty blogs or even this perfectly placed ad to buy Friends.

As you can likely imagine, native ads work seamlessly with any strong content marketing strategy.

9. Use programmatic advertising

Typical ads run via a display ad network or direct placement, but they’re not the only options open to you. Programmatic advertising allows you to bid for individual ad impressions, rather than simply buying ads or blocks of ad space.

This gives you a much greater depth of control over your ads, similar to social media advertising in how much more specific your targeting can be. For example, you can set criteria around the type of content, the size and the type of ad to serve up.

Programmatic advertising, simply put, makes the entire advertising process infinitely simpler for those buying and selling ad inventory space. It automates the entire ad process and makes sure the right ad reaches the right user.

If you’re not using programmatic advertising, you’re holding yourself back.

Boost your publication’s ad revenue today

JWP’s advertising services unlock the ultimate in speed, quality and flexibility. When it comes to increasing ad revenue, our world-class video advertising software and methods are unmatched. For over a decade, we’ve helped countless digital businesses create incredible video experiences that grow their audiences and increase ad revenue.

As one of the world’s largest network-independent platforms for video delivery and intelligence, we’re ready to help you take things to the next level of targeted video ads. No more misaligned impressions or unwanted ad associations, just real-time contextual signals and accurate targeting.

Contact us today and cut your wasted spend from the equation, or check out our video advertising playbook for digital publishers for further reading.