In our multi-screen world, consumers see hundreds of advertisements vying for their attention daily. To stand out and garner a positive response, content needs to be visually appealing, interactive, and concise. That’s where one of our newest partners, Apester, comes in. Apester provides premium publishers, including the likes of CNN, Business Insider, and Variety, with tools to create, distribute, and monetize interactive content for savvy audiences. We caught up with Apester’s CEO and Founder Moti Cohen to learn more about how the company works with video publishers and technology partners, as well as their unique approach to developing a great user experience that leads to better outcomes for advertisers.
What is Apester’s unique value proposition that has enabled the company to work with so many top publishers across the globe in a relatively short amount of time?
Apester’s mobile-first CMS is a plug-and-play platform that provides online publishers and enterprises with the layers they lack in order to reclaim their audience long lost to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, and Amazon. Today, these tech giants have total control over audiences’ traffic, attention, and user experience. By giving online brands access to their tools, we finally allow these brands to compete with the giants.
We provide publishers with scaled content distribution capabilities, analytics tools, and a non-disruptive monetization model that taps into programmatic in-stream video. We’ve built close relationships with leading online publishers and content creators around the world, empowering them with content creation tools to help them reclaim their audiences. Our content units are produced by editorial teams, ensuring great results with a professional look and feel.
How do you work with publishers to make their content more engaging?
Inspired by familiar social network experiences, our platform offers a variety of innovative interactive content formats. One example of an innovative vertical format we’ve brought to publishers is Apester Story. It’s the first drag-and-drop editor for story creation, the first self-serving monetization platform for stories, and the first story mobile-focused media player for the open web. Recently, we’ve launched the Story Suite for online publishers, which includes even more Story-related features such as the Story Strip, a carousel of a site’s live Stories, located at the top of an article or a section page. Story Suite also includes the new export feature, which allows users to share Apester Stories on social channels such as Instagram and Snapchat.
In addition to Apester Story, we also offer a broad selection of compelling creation formats such as interactive videos, polls, quizzes, and personality tests, each characterized by another strong benefit. Polls have a strong content completion rate, stories, which are multi-slide formats, have a high number of engagements and advertising opportunities, and personality tests and interactive videos have the highest rate of social shareability.
In total, our content formats significantly increase editorial and commercial publisher KPIs, such as 150% more dwell time on page (up to 8 minutes more per user), 400% increase in a page’s social share and total interactions, and up to 25% increase in revenue per reader. Per month, we provide a total of 600 million content impressions.
With these kinds of metrics, lots of ad tech players must come knocking on your door. What is your vetting process when it comes to choosing technology partners to work with?
We look for various strengths when vetting new technology partners. First, we make sure they can provide us and our publishers with the safety and transparency required. That means protecting us from unwanted ads and providing a quick response when red flags are raised. We also look for partners who have strong demand relationships, high fill rates, and RPM.
How does programmatic video factor into your strategy?
As a company that cherishes publisher and content creators’ user experience and performance, we make sure our ad stream is uniform, stable, clear, and efficient. Programmatic video allows us to focus on creating new content experiences, while letting our publishers partners enjoy non-disruptive monetization opportunities.
We’ve achieved a perfect mix of pre-roll and mid-roll streaming videos within native content, thus creating value from engaged users who are in the middle of an interaction: they either state their opinion on a poll, answer a quiz, or enjoy consuming a story in a vertical, familiar experience. That’s one of the ways we challenge the in-stream-out-stream dichotomy and it explains why our RPM grew approximately 400% since we launched our programmatic video offering.
What advice do you have for publishers and advertisers who want to improve their audience engagement today?
Make your content accessible to anyone, focus on mobile-friendly interfaces, give your readers innovative experiences they are familiar with from social networks, and avoid disruptive ads or video players and clickbait.
Editorial content is getting more visual, more interactive, and more succinct. As advertisements resemble editorial content more and more, directing itself to users’ frontal lobes, rather than to their basic needs. In short, we recommend publishers and advertisers embrace the changes in how media is being consumed in order to reclaim their audience.