Learn How Rodale Uses Facebook Instant Articles to Earn More Revenue
Diego Sanchez, head of digital partnerships at Rodale will dive into Rodale’s Facebook Instant Article strategy March 23rd at the FUSE Forum on Distributed Content. This executive forum is free for publishing executives to attend. Learn more here.
Since the launch of Facebook Instant Articles, the program has not been without its critics. Media pundit Michael Wolff asserted that Instant Articles present an existential crisis for publishers. If in other media sectors content producers earn licensing revenue from platforms like Netflix and Spotify, publishers should get the same deal -- or so the argument goes. Another concern is that if audiences discover and consume content in full on platforms, they’ll never be compelled to go to publishers’ sites.
On the flipside, publishers would be remiss not to test new sources of revenue. And now is the time for experimentation.
The later is the approach that Rodale has taken with the Facebook Instant Articles. After an initial test with Men’s Health, the company launched six more publications on Instant Articles and is now monetizing its content on the platform through three methods: Direct Ad Sales, Programmatic Ad Sales, and Branded Content Distribution.
Below is a highlight reel of Rodale’s Instant Articles strategy with insights from Diego Sanchez, head of digital partnerships at Rodale.
Publishers are encouraged to attend FUSE Forum on March 23rd to learn more about leveraging the distributed content opportunity.
Direct Ad Sales
Publishers can sell ads directly on Instant Articles, which enables them to keep 100% of the revenue that’s earned. Rodale pitched being part of Instant Articles as part of the company’s overall run of network and run of site packages. “CTRs are higher with direct sold ads on Instant Articles. The format provides a nice clean design environment, and we’re pleased with what we’ve seen in engagement and audience growth,” says Sanchez. Rodale focuses most of its Instant Article monetization strategy on this method.
Backfilling Direct Sales With Programmatic
Sanchez says Rodale looks for programmatic partners that have a unique source of demand and path to sell more mobile ads. Rodale uses Facebook’s programmatic solution Audience Network to backfill their direct-sold campaigns. This helps ensure Instant Article ad inventory doesn’t go unsold.
Boosting Branded Content
Rodale is getting extra exposure for its branded content – and it’s own brand – through Facebook Instant Articles. “Advertisers are really interested in sponsoring our healthy lifestyle content, onsite or in Instant Articles. We find that our branded content even gets picked up by our syndication partners.” says Sanchez.
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.