Publisher Predictions: Forward thinking is vital for a successful 2023

Contributor, February 2, 2023

Key Takeaways:

    • Publisher proactivity in 2023 is key

    • Maintaining high levels of quality is a must

    • Keep exploring new channels to reach your audience

    • Test first-party data solutions as soon as possible

Publisher Predictions: Forward thinking is vital for a successful 2023

Photo by Nong V on Unsplash

Looking forward into this new year, it’s hard to ignore the challenges that digital publishing, and the economy at large, face.

From consumers hit by inflation and a rising cost of living to the threat of a global recession, the next 12 months will be tough to navigate for the publishing industry.
Usually at this time of year, we look into our crystal ball and share our publisher predictions for the upcoming year.

But with such a unique outlook, we have decided to do something different for 2023, and instead focus on what we believe publishers should be putting greater emphasis on in the coming months.

Despite the strong headwinds, there is plenty publishers can be doing to come out of the other side of a recession stronger. Here are our top three tips:

Don’t dismiss quality

Over the next year, publishers will need to make some sacrifices – but quality shouldn’t be one of them. Let standards slip, and you risk losing the trust of your audience and advertising partners, ultimately negatively affecting your bottom line. Maintaining quality needs to be an ongoing priority, incorporated into your wider business model, and essentially becoming a habit.

Google’s Core Web Vitals are an important tool for ensuring standards don’t drop. These three metrics allow you to see your site’s performance by measuring web page loading times, the stability of your web pages, and the time between a user interacting with a page and when the browser starts to process the request. Ensuring your site measures up well to these helps to keep quality high.

At the end of the day, it boils down to making sure you are doing the basics well. Journalistic standards need to be upheld, ads need to remain safe and non-intrusive, and you need to keep on the right side of Google’s regulations. Any slip in these standards can have long-term ramifications for publishers, and leave them in a weaker position when the economy bounces back.

Trying new things

We all make resolutions at the beginning of a new year, and more often than not, these involve trying something new. So while a time of economic instability may seem like an inopportune time to invest money exploring new types of content, it is precisely this proactive approach that will make your publication stand out, both to existing audiences and new ones.

From short-form videos to podcasts, audiences are always looking for new ways to consume their favorite content. Advertisers are also increasingly looking at these emerging environments to reach shoppers. But before diving into a new social media channel, putting up a digital subscription paywall, or kitting out a sound studio for interviewing guests, you need to answer one key question: Is this what my audience wants?

These decisions need to be driven by your audience. Without the engagement of your core of loyal visitors, any new channel will struggle. Find out what will resonate most with your following, and start your foray into new environments slowly, letting offerings be naturally shaped by your audience.

Embracing first-party

Despite what seems like endless delays, the depreciation of the cookie is inching ever closer. Even if the deadline gets pushed back again, the truth is, the writing is on the wall. Many in the advertising ecosystem see first-party data solutions as the leading candidate to close the addressability gap left by the loss of cookies. For publishers, this is very good news.

But if you are to truly take advantage of this shift, you need to already be exploring and implementing first-party data solutions. Those who aren’t risk falling behind. Focus on building a clear understanding of what solutions work most effectively for you and your partners. Though the test-and-learn process can be costly and time-consuming, it is vital that you start putting the building blocks in place for when the tap is eventually turned off on third-party identifiers.
If you would like to find out more about our tips for publishers heading in 2023, or discuss anything else with us, contact us