A survey by research firm Advertiser Perceptions (via Ad Age) shows that online advertisers are shifting away from ad networks and moving back to advertising on content sites directly. More than half (52 percent) of agencies and marketers surveyed plan to spend more on content sites this year. Just 35 percent said they would increase spending on ad networks.
"In the last two years ad networks have taken advantage of the recession, but what's missing from that is why advertisers advertise in the first place -- it's all about brand," said Randy Cohen, president of Advertiser Perceptions. "Content sites may not have efficiencies, but they have more context and more relevance to brands. There's a changing ecosystem for online display advertising."
A shift like this could be great news for publishers. They get the advantage of direct relationships with advertisers for more long-term business partnerhsips, and can essentially cut out another middle man. That's good for revenue.
One thing is for certain: If you plan on appealing to advertisers directly, you will need a robust media kit - including detailed analytics, demographics of your users, ad rates and any other information that will make your site more appealing than the competition. For a company to place ads directly with your website they will want to know as much as possible about your audience and feel secure that your audience feels a direct connection with your website. Also, expect to field questions about your reach outside your website, such as social media influence and statistics.