- Ad Integrations
- External APIs
- Interface Design
- Network / Multisite
Revenue-centered Design, Strategy, and AdOps for a Multi-channel Media Company
With an emphasis on a digital-first future, Sunbeam first engaged 10up in 2016 to redesign its news sites, WSVN.com and WHDH.com, as part of a migration from a proprietary platform to WordPress. Given a clear opportunity to improve web monetization, 10up tightly integrated Audience & Revenue Strategists into a cohesive design process, bringing a focus on ad placement, viewability, and yield to user experience design and art direction efforts. Where some design teams begrudgingly treat ad strategy as a requirement to be imposed after design, 10up’s integrative approach — acknowledging reader ad revenue as a key component of publisher design — established a solid foundation for revenue growth and optimization.
After a successful launch, Sunbeam continued to iterate and improve the sites in partnership with 10up, with Audience & Revenue experts providing regular guidance.
In late 2018, Sunbeam reached out with specific concerns about ad revenue. The television corporation was using an expensive AdOps company to manage ads, and ad revenue didn’t align with traffic. 10up’s Audience & Revenue team performed a comprehensive audit of the ad implementation, identifying several deficiencies. This resulted in 10up — now a Google AdX reseller — assuming management of Sunbeam’s ad strategy and implementation.
Audience & Revenue Services
10up has a history of collaboration with news and media organizations around the world. Our work with clients like The Saturday Evening Post, TechCrunch, and PA Media Group, and partnerships with The News Project and the Google Local News Initiative, encompass everything from initial strategy and modern design to technical architecture and engineering to search engine optimization and analytics.
Our Audience & Revenue team works closely with publishers of all sizes to:
- Maximize the value of every visitor through varied strategies including display advertising, direct reader revenue, and conversion optimization;
- Drive up the number of visitors and time on site through engagement strategy, content marketing, SEO, and advanced analytics.
As part of 10up’s AcceleRev program, the Audience & Revenue team took over AdOps for WSVN.com at the beginning of 2019. Technical issues identified during the audit were quickly addressed by 10up engineers and a new ad strategy was rolled out. Within two months of 10up taking over ad operations, the site’s ad revenue doubled, which encouraged Sunbeam to expand the partnership to include WHDH.com.
For the remainder of 2019, leveraging increased investment resulting from earlier financial impact, 10up worked closely with Sunbeam to:
- Optimize the site for ad viewability, diverting increased effort to enhance site performance and page and ad load speeds.
- Increase programmatic ad yield through further improved ad placements that do not detract from the user experience.
- Improve header bidding results by finding, vetting, and securing new ad networks to compete for ad impressions on the sites.
In addition to header bidding and programmatic ad management, content creators, publishers, and media organizations like Sunbeam also earn revenue from the direct sale of ads. To empower Sunbeam’s in-house sales team and further 10up’s goal of supporting publishers, the two companies jointly invested in the design and development of a custom media kit plugin. The WordPress plugin empowers Sunbeam sales teams to easily create, update, and manage a digital media kit for their digital ad inventory.
Distracted consumers, increased competition, banner blindness, and ad blocking tools make website monetization an increasing challenge for publishers. Yet, with 10up’s consulting, Sunbeam Television Corp increased ad revenue 75% in 2019. 2020 is also seeing continued growth, as ad revenue from January–April 2020 tracked 35% higher than ad revenue during the same time period the previous year.
Increased ad revenue wasn’t the only measurable financial impact 10up’s full suite of agency services had on Sunbeam’s bottom line.
- The redesign and consolidation of WSVN.com and WHDH.com into a single theme and WordPress multisite network reduced technical debt and site maintenance costs.
- 10up engineered a custom settings page in the WordPress admin that enables content managers to update the election season XML feed, add and update candidate data, and set the cache refresh time down to a minute. This eliminated the need for engineers to be on-call on election nights.
The increase in ad revenue combined with the reduction in site management costs allowed Sunbeam Television Corp to expand their partnership with 10up and actively reinvest in strategic consulting, design, and engineering for new digital initiatives.
Since the inception of the partnership, Sunbeam Television Corp has collaborated with 10up to add distinctive features tailored for their audience:
- A basic red banner denotes a low-level news alert, a larger banner signifies mid-level alerts, and a pop-up that visitors must manually close is used for the most critical alerts.
- Two weather-specific alerts designed for Florida’s hurricane season that include visuals like radar storm tracking.
- From API integrations for real-time weather maps to curated content and related content publishing options, new feature additions have increased audience engagement, time on site, and ad impressions.
- A streamlined careers/employment content management workflow allows Human Resources to access applications and cover letters submitted through the websites without ever logging in.
- An integration with AP Media keeps WSVN and WHDH audiences on the pulse of what’s happening daily and during an election cycle, ensuring news coverage is current accurate.
Sunbeam is keeping the focus on revenue growth through its ongoing engagement with 10up and its AcceleRev program. Future work will focus on:
- New ad technologies;
- Site speed;
- Increasing ad viewability;
- Expanding native monetization and video content monetization;
- Identifying the most relevant and best ad buying competitors in the first-price auction world.
Learn more about AcceleRev by 10up, and how 10up’s customers maximize reader ad revenue with hands-on strategy and support. To learn more about the full range of 10up services in support of digital goals, contact us.