Beyond the crisis: Get ready for the recovery. Smart provides you with some tips!

We cannot escape the news of COVID-19, a global pandemic that is disturbing our lives, our work environment and businesses, large and small. We can already measure the impact that social distancing and the closure of businesses will have on the world economy.

This is why Smart has decided to help publishers gain a clearer overview by analyzing the behaviors on the market and identifying tactics you can use to navigate the crisis.

Based on this analysis, we’ve provided you 3 tips you could implement to optimize – or at least mitigate – the impact on your revenues.

Please note that our analytics team focused on Smart’s figures and three specific markets – those massively affected by quarantine – namely Spain, France, and Italy, since the beginning of the lockdown in these countries.

Tip 1 – Offer high-impact formats in the “safe” context

Some advertisers haven’t yet cancelled all their campaigns, so our goal is to identify these remaining opportunities to help you keep your inventory value for brands.

1.1 – Prioritize high-impact formats

Our analytics team performed an analysis of market behavior, particularly taking a closer look at formats. They noticed that Outstream video is generating more Ad Requests and that the competition seems a bit stronger which leads to a slightly higher eCPM than before on this format. Furthermore, some formats are seeing higher demand, such as Outstream Video.

So do not hesitate to prioritize these high impact formats such as video, and in particular Outstream video, within your inventory.

1.2 – Focus your sales efforts on the right advertisers

During this crisis, it’s essential to focus your sales efforts on the right advertisers. In this previous article Advertisers and publishers: coping with the Covid19 crisis, you can find more information about which type of advertisers are adapting to the crisis and maintaining their investments. These are for the most part:

  • Video Games and online entertainment
  • Governments and institutions
  • Online shopping
  • Telcos and consumer electronics

So feed your sales team with this kind of input to enable them to target the right advertisers who maintain their digital advertising activity to keep their users engaged during this crisis.

1.3 – Use Contextual classification

As of today, some brands do not consider COVID-19 content to be brand safe. At Smart, our recommendation is to not cut all traffic from news outlets and COVID-19 related pages. As we know, news websites continue to drive qualified traffic.

However, for brands that have stopped buying on COVID-related pages, we advise you to use contextual semantic segments to flag all web pages/URLs (desktop and mobile web) with COVID-19 content. Semantic targeting understands what the content is about.

This way, you help prevent advertisers from running campaigns in a context they do not see as brand-safe.

Tip 2 – Short term revenue loss mitigation tactics

Some small adaptations are easy to implement and could help you to mitigate your revenue losses in the short term.

2.1 – Adapt your floor prices

In light of the low demand level during this COVID-19 crisis, we do recommend you adapt your floor price strategy to increase your bid rate.

2.2 – Self-promotion

With regards to the low level of demand due to the shutdown of lots of campaigns, rather than blank spaces, make sure that you use some of your unsold space for self-promotion (premium subscription, online paid content).

It won’t increase your advertising revenue, but it could increase another source of revenues.

Tip 3 – Optimize your setup to be prepared for recovery

If you’re lucky to have all your staff working full-time during this COVID-19 crisis, we do strongly recommend looking beyond the crisis and preparing for recovery as of today.

3.1 – Check your quality status

Improving quality and transparency in the ad tech ecosystem takes continuous effort, and is a crucial requirement for buyers. So if you want to mitigate revenue losses after the crisis, we do encourage you to review your quality setup: Supply Chain Object, sellers.json, ads.txt, app-ads.txt, IAB Framework TCF V2, CMP… Your partners should support these significant initiatives. They will become indispensable for all actors in the programmatic ecosystem.

At Smart, we are strongly supporting all market initiatives dedicated to creating an ecosystem that is both transparent and safe.

3.2 – Check your demand

Make sure you’re connected to all relevant Demand sources. In a context where the bid rate could be low, you should implement all programmatic strategies that could help you increase demand competition, such as header bidding and server-side bidding, even for your video inventory.

And as we are going through a crisis, check if your buyer/advertiser blacklist is still relevant.

The Smart team is here to help.

Let us know if we can help as you cope with this crisis and prepare for recovery.