In advertising, audience data can make or break a campaign. As the era of third-party cookies comes to an end, publishers and brands alike are searching for new ways to measure their audiences.

In response to these challenges, publishers are turning to solutions that can leverage first-party data based on real-time content consumption trends. With this live data, publishers can quickly adapt their marketing and messaging depending on constantly changing consumer behavior. They can also use first-party data insights to take advantage of detailed programmatic reporting and discover new audience segments. Armed with this goldmine of data, publishers can forge more robust, data-driven relationships with advertisers.

Here are five ways publishers can prove their value to marketers by using first-party data insights to understand their online audiences.

1. Get granular when it comes to audience insights

With real-time demographic, psychographic, and browsing interest data, publishers can better understand audience behavior and contextual interests and identify unique audiences wherever they live on their network–down to the section, article, or author level. As a result, publishers spend less time gathering data and more time connecting with brands. 

With granular audience insights, publishers can:

  • Increase discoverability and drive non-endemic leads by highlighting diverse content and audience segments;
  • Measure, validate, and receive detailed reporting on their programmatic deals and activate the desired ones;
  • Maximize the value of inventory by making hard-to-sell inventory more attractive to marketers;
  • And control the use of their content and audience segments to drive desired business outcomes.

2. Highlight diverse content and audience segments to drive leads

Leveraging real-time first-party data insights enables publishers to build personas that are in request for proposals (RFPs), and uncover a detailed picture of unique insights about that audience across their websites. By being able to easily identify audiences and more accurately respond to RFPs, publishers can win new business they previously may have lost. Publishers with access to advanced intelligence and granular insights are extremely valuable, as those insights enable marketers to customize their campaigns to fit their unique business needs.

Let’s look at how Quantcast can provide publishers with these granular insights. The content segments paid feature of Quantcast Connect, part of the Quantcast Platform, allows publishers to measure, validate, and receive detailed reporting on programmatic deals and activate the desired ones. With content segments, publishers can analyze both traffic and audience segments to different parts of their content hierarchy. Categories, articles, authors, and even keywords can be measured and broken down within the content segments tab.

3. Customize insights based on your own taxonomy 

A robust content segment hierarchy makes our audience planner tool even more powerful. Categories, articles, authors, and even keywords can be measured and broken down within the Content Segments tab. 

Publishers can validate audiences on RFPs and understand where (within that publisher’s taxonomy) the RFP audience is most likely to live, which informs their pre-sales strategy. For example, a publication might input an audience they want to reach on an RFP and find that the overall index for all of their inventory is just around the average index (100). However, if they have detailed content segments in place, such as category or article, they might discover that they’re highly likely to reach this audience; it might just live within their sports vertical, so that’s where they should focus the conversation with the advertiser. If publishers have a robust content segments sector, the audience planner feature becomes more powerful, with better storytelling ability.

Quantcast’s ability to measure granular audiences beyond the site level (e.g., a category, individual article, etc.) is made possible by a massive 1P data set combined with AI methodology. One of the key capabilities of Ara®, our AI and machine learning engine, which underpins the Quantcast Platform, is its ability to organize the open internet into an Ara TopicMap, which enables insight into live consumer behavior, interest, and intent. Ara operates on real-time data, which means it handles massive scale (up to 20-40 petabytes of data processed daily) and can operate at a minimal delay.

Forbes, the iconic business information brand that convenes and curates the most influential leaders driving change, leveraged the Quantcast Platform to gain insight into their readers. The company had a long-standing, successful partnership with an investment and money advertiser who wanted to reach high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) keen to invest. The client was only interested in aligning with money and investing content. Forbes needed to identify what channel would best align with the client’s audience demographic. Forbes knew the Lifestyle channel consisted of the right audience demographic once the Quantcast Platform’s audience insights helped to tell that story. 

The results were powerful: HNWIs were 5x more likely to be a new mortgage customer, 2x more likely to have a household income of $150k+, and almost 3x more likely to be interested in investing than the average internet user.

Based on this data, Forbes expanded the client’s reach. Performance was strong; ads running within the lifestyle channel showed a 50% increase in click-through rate (CTR), and a 24% increase in interaction rate, demonstrating the value of lifestyle content for reach against the client’s desired audience. Forbes knew the Lifestyle channel consisted of the right audience demographic once the Quantcast Platform’s audience insights helped to tell that story. Forbes successfully prospected new customers and exceeded their goals.

4. Create engaging content experiences for users

Publishers recognize the need to build more meaningful relationships with their users by creating engaging content experiences that benefit both consumers and advertisers. In doing so, they can drive customer acquisition and retention while expanding campaign reach for their advertising clients.

One such publisher is BDG (formerly known as Bustle Digital Group), one of the fastest-growing global publishers in modern media, home to a portfolio of distinct media brands including Bustle, Elite Daily, NYLON, The Zoe Report, Scary Mommy, Fatherly, Inverse, Mic, and many more. BDG’s varied publications enable it to provide a range of content, but the challenge is determining what content connects with its audiences. To reach and engage its audiences, BDG sought real-time insights to understand that audience, what is on their minds, and what is driving their consumption behavior. Working with Quantcast, BDG was able to gain audience insights about how its content is resonating and being engaged with, and by which audiences, across all of its sites. When BDG focuses on what their audience wants, the publisher sees rates of engagement that are three to four times higher than when it does not. As a result, BDG has achieved the largest reach and engagement of any Millennial and Gen Z-focused publisher.

5. Leverage audience KPIs for campaign optimizations

By gaining access to real-time first-party data, publishers can stay on top of audience key performance indicators (KPIs) for mid-campaign optimizations and deliver value-add insights to advertisers that could lead to additional revenue opportunities and/or renewals. This allows publishers to broaden their reach and uncover additional sites and segments, which opens up new possibilities for both sides of the media ecosystem. For example, by using the Quantcast Platform, BDG has validated and verified that it delivered upon the KPIs that advertisers set out for the agency with any campaign.

Publishers that leverage real-time data insights can grow their business and prove their value and reach to media buyers by being able to easily adapt their advertising strategy to ever-changing audience behavior, better align with advertisers’ requests for proposals, and demonstrate audience reach and campaign performance to brands to drive business growth. By taking advantage of Quantcast’s cookieless capabilities, which use our expansive first-party data and AI/ML to reach new and existing audiences, publishers will be well on their way to future-proofing their digital measurement for the post-cookie era.

Learn more

The new, evolving digital advertising landscape is an opportunity for publishers to refocus on the value of first-party data, contextual signals, and the discovery of diverse content and audience segments. Be sure to read the first blog post in this measurement series, How Publishers Can Leverage First-Party Data to Drive Advertiser Relationships. Watch our recent webinar to learn how cookieless activations and measurement are possible today, or sign up to get a demo. Fill out the form here to get started with free access to real-time audience insights.