The UK launch of Fiare – allowing online publishers to integrate marketplaces into their editorial websites as a new way of monetising – we’ve compiled an opinion article around what exactly this means for all the industries involved.
Marketing, as we all know, is a game of funnels. Grab the mildly interested at the top and keep as many in the funnel until they reach the buying decision. In the modern, digital world, the crease in that process comes in the form of clicks.
Every click represents a longer funnel and another opportunity to lose potential customers, particularly if that click takes them from where the site on which they started. The problem persists whether you’re selling industrial machinery or mobile phones, the quicker you can get a potential customer to a purchase, the more likely they are to click buy.
We need to find the prospective customer first, though. And we’re not going find them on our own websites. We’re going to find them through search engines, social media and, most importantly, media outlets. Magazines, blogs and newspaper websites are where consumers and potential buyers want to be and it’s where the top of our funnels tend to start. We can effectively reach our audiences on these sites through display advertising, partnerships and native content but, in order to get to that all important buying moment, they’ll need click through to a brand website or shop and then go through the buying process, with a huge number falling out of the funnel in the process.
What if the buying opportunity was hosted on magazine’s site, however? That’s the direction in which publishers are heading. As advertising revenues continue to fall – ad blocking rose 41% between 2014 & 2015 – some publishers are turning to brand marketplaces for new revenue streams.
That’s where Fiare comes in. We work with publishers to naturally integrate marketplaces into their publication websites. We’ve worked with Time Inc. and Dennis in the past few weeks to launch marketplaces integrated into the websites of Land Rover Monthly and County Life. For publishers, they work. Recent partners have seen 37% increases in site traffic and 40-50% margins, but they also create a huge opportunity for marketers to shorten the funnel and create virtuous circle for their marketing and sales.
The marketplaces give brands the opportunity to place their products, services and brand into a shop front directly within their most relevant publications. They can then support it with native content campaigns and, in partnership with the publication, create an end to end sales funnel all on one site – minimal number of clicks and the greatest possible impact. A high end fashion brand could partner with Vogue to place paid content across its site and the hand bag at the centre of it all in the Vogue store. One click away and housed completely under the trust and affinity of the Vogue brand.
The opportunity that these brand marketplaces bring about aren’t just in the shortening of a sales funnel. Magazines are a natural focal point for communities – built around a core interest and home to a range of discussion and debate led by well written insight from their journalists. Placing your own product and services into a publication’s brand story will allow marketers to access that and benefit from it far more directly than any partnerships currently available. This community access, combined with the combination of native advertising and the ability to purchase quickly on site create a virtuous circle for marketers that makes their brand and offerings an ever greater part of the life of the publication and increase the effectiveness of their marketing.
Marketplaces are growing fast as a means of income for publishers. If brands embrace them and make them the foundations of new partnerships with publications, they can mean a new level of effectivity for marketing.
One where they are drawn ever closer to the publication’s community while creating virtual circle of sales and marketing. It’s an opportunity to embrace.