IAS Innovation Summit: The State of Publishing

12/01 By IAS team
IAS Innovation Summit: programmatic transparency

At the IAS Innovation Summit, digital publishing expert, Louise Crosby, Strategic Development Director at News UK spoke with Clement Birdsall from Integral Ad Science, to discuss the rise in sensitivity of advertising with news outlets during a global crisis. In this fireside chat, the experts discuss how sentiment and emotion is key in today’s digital media and how to make best use of contextual targeting. 

A whole new world

Publishers have seen that the main focus of news coverage this year was “undoubtedly the Coronavirus pandemic.” It was vital for publications to cover the pandemic and to produce a variety of articles focused on the topic as it was relevant, needed information for everyone across the globe. During these times where nothing is predictable, NewsUK has had to adapt its advertising strategy. As Louise Crosby highlighted, “most people really turned to trusted news sources for information,” with subscriptions and page views increasing. Whilst that was a positive outcome for publishers, they were faced with two main advertising strategy challenges:

  • Firstly, that brands reduced their advertising spend in lucrative verticals like leisure, travel, and hospitality.
  • Secondly, that due to the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic, brands were hesitant to have their advertising appear next to this content. 

How publishers overcome uncertainty in a global pandemic

Thanks to detailed segmentation of content and audience interests, publishers are skillfully able to support brands efforts to reach audiences throughout their purchase decisioning. Since the pandemic hit, News UK enhanced their offering to provide advertisers with assurance and even greater precision for what content their brand will appear next to. They enhanced their capabilities to offer segments that target the sentiment and emotion being portrayed in the content, this was a step up from the initial contextual targeting that offered avoiding specific content. “This way advertisers can choose between three segments: inclusion, neutral inclusion – positive or neutral content – for example, the banana bread that everyone seemed to love during the first lockdown, and exclusion,” Louise explains. 

The importance of emotion 

The ability to categorise inventory based on the emotion being portrayed was the latest innovation for News UK, and due to this they are able to offer advertisers “emotion-based” campaigns. “This is super important for News UK because the only way you can cut through everything is through emotions of an article – it’s kind of a shortcut to get to people’s attention,” Louise highlighted. Throughout the year, News UK had also focused on and invested in creating content that really speaks to their audiences with the help of semantic analysis tools. Additionally, NewsUK reinforced asking for user feedback on articles and analysed the sentiment of user comments. 

Publishers like News UK use IAS’ Context Control, a suite of sophisticated contextual solutions, to offer a second layer of protection alongside meeting custom brand suitability requirements for each advertiser across their entire inventory. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for brand suitability, as each advertiser will have differing requirements to what content aligns to their brand. However, with Context Control from IAS, publishers can segment their inventory to match a brand’s exact requirements and gain trust from their advertisers. Publishers can ensure that a brand’s advertising will be aligned to high quality content, that is most suitable to their brand message and values.

Watch the full News UK fireside chat from the IAS Innovation Summit here:

Want to know more? Discover more on IAS publisher solutions on our IAS Insider or IAS website.