Editor’s Note: the following article was originally posted on Skimlinks.com by Debbie Gainsford, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Skimlinks.
It’s tough to be a publisher in 2019. With advertising revenues falling, anything that can effectively and consistently monetize your content is a must, so it’s no surprise that uptake of Skimlinks’ innovative AMP extension has exploded since launch late last year.
The solution, which is the first of its kind, extends our core commerce content technology to AMP articles, enabling publishers to seamlessly monetize affiliate links to merchants.
To date, more than 100 publishers have installed the extension on over 500 domains, accounting for 10M+ affiliated clicks. Some of our publishers have seen an uplift of more than 400% in both sales volume and order value, compared to the same article on the desktop or standard mobile version.
Why is AMP so Important?
As readers and consumers become easier to reach on mobile devices, it has become critically important to give them a seamless experience when they are searching for and reading mobile content. For publishers, AMP has been an invaluable development, as it helps mobile pages load faster, providing an improved reading experience for users. Since its launch in 2015, AMP has grown to power billions of pages across the web, from tens of millions of domains.
The priority for publishers on the AMP platform is to ensure that they can make a profit from their mobile content. In a survey of 124 publisher executives by Digiday this May, 51 percent of publishers using AMP said it was “very significant” or “extremely significant” as a driver of revenues, compared to only 28 percent for Facebook and 25 percent for YouTube.
Our CEO, Sebastien Blanc says “ With the rapid growth of mobile for content and for commerce traffic, mobile monetization has been a top priority for almost every publisher we work with. With this solution we’re confident we can give commerce content a place on smartphones, where more and more readers engage with editorial publishers’ content.”
How leading publishers are monetizing their Commerce Content on AMP
Leading Publishers have installed the Skimlinks AMP script to meet several different business challenges and objectives.
New York Media: Extending to new merchants for uplifts of more than 140%
“We did monetize some AMP articles that linked to Amazon, but we were not monetizing our non-Amazon content, so that is why we installed the Skimlinks extension. Since then we’ve seen more revenue and increased search volume. We now publish all of our content on AMP.” Camilla Cho, GM eCommerce
Around 30% of The Strategist’s audience consume articles via AMP, and they’ve seen great success when monetizing these articles. Their top performing AMP article generated 146% more revenue than the desktop version.
VerticalScope: Monetizing more than just display ads on AMP articles
Kendal Clarke, General Manager of Commerce says “Before using Skimlinks we were just monetizing the AMP traffic with basic display ads, and we didn’t have any commerce links. We installed the Skimlinks AMP extension to capitalize on the revenue we were missing. We knew we generated commerce revenue on these pages via other channels and so it seemed like a no brainer to work with a partner who could help us access this incremental revenue.”
Group Nine Media: Creating a brand new revenue stream with Commerce Content
Group Nine Media have only recently begun their commerce content journey to build a new revenue stream for their business. Working with Skimlinks they have been able to monetize their content across all channels, including AMP. And AMP is a key channel; so far this year, 42% of the Thrilist traffic is via AMP and a staggering 61% of their search traffic is via AMP.
Sam Clanon, Director of Commerce Strategy says “We installed the Skimlinks extension to bring affiliate links to AMP articles for the first time at scale. Since installing the extension, we have captured affiliate commerce revenue using links that are already present in our content. If AMP comprises any meaningful portion of your traffic, Skimlinks is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start generating affiliate revenue from that content.”
Immediate Media: Saving time and resources by automating a manual process
“On radiotimes.com, 15-20 percent of all content is via AMP. AMP traffic is hugely important but monetizing it has always been a challenge. Before installing the Skimlinks AMP extension, we were manually creating and adding affiliate links using the Skimlinks link wrapper. It’s really streamlined the process – no more time spent creating manual links.” says Glenn Caldecott, Affiliate Manager
“If you’re looking to monetise mobile traffic through affiliate marketing, the Skimlinks AMP solution is a no-brainer. The integration is lightweight and easy to implement.”
Reach: Measuring the performance of AMP articles
Publishers know how important analytics are in developing the right content, for the right audience, to maximize revenues. You need detailed insights to understand the performance of your commerce content strategy and to continually improve this key revenue stream, which is why Reach chose to install the Skimlinks AMP script.
“Before installing the Skimlinks AMP extension, we had built a server side solution that adds the affiliate links on the backend, so they’re included on AMP pages. However, we weren’t able to track the impressions and clicks data. Since installing the Skimlinks AMP extension, we can now track impressions as well as clicks which means we can measure CTR on AMP pages, something we couldn’t do previously with our server side solution. We’ve seen a 9% increase in order value from AMP for a top article.” Jeremy Mundy, Senior Product Manager, Revenue
Advantages of Mobile for Commerce Content
Publishers sometimes believe that commerce content on mobile is only appropriate for low involvement, low cost items. However, for many consumers, purchasing on mobile has become second nature, and they are increasingly confident to buy higher ticket items, and those that involve more complex purchase decisions.
This is where affiliate links in mobile content offer consumers a valuable service, as they can go straight from advisory articles to purchase the items they are reading about. We’ve seen from our data that consumers are purchasing TVs worth over US$5,000 from commerce content.
Another area where mobile has an advantage for commerce is in personal items; mobile is a much more private medium than desktop, and when customers are researching intimate or sensitive purchases, they are likely to be more comfortable doing so on a smartphone than on a desktop.
A high-profile example of this comes from New York Media, who were winners of the recent 2019 Commerce Award for Publishers (The CAPS) for Best Mobile Article. The winning article, from The Strategist, was their roundup of the best vibrators available on the market. This was part of a series entitled Things We Don’t Talk About, which focused on finding and recommending the best hygiene, sex, and bodily function-related things we all need but might be too embarrassed to ask about.
Ready to monetize your AMP content?
“If you have AMP traffic that you are not currently monetizing then this is a simple and effective solution. One quick implementation, and then you don’t have to worry about it. The extension has given us an easy passive revenue stream, as we have been able to monetize all the different advertiser partners that we work with” Kendal Clarke, General Manager of Commerce, VerticalScope
To quote the winner of the best Mobile Article at The CAPS, “I cannot imagine why someone would not use the Skimlinks AMP extension for publishing their content.”
Skimlinks Publishers can access the AMP script in the Publisher Hub.
For Publishers not yet working with Skimlinks, sign up now.