Can you make more money funneling traffic to certain pages than simply using display ads?

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I googled some competition, a newspaper ranking for a keyword in my niche (Chicago Tribune) writing best X for Y content. I closed a video ad, another opened. The page loaded slowly. The second video was them promoting their own content though, and it hit me - this is brilliant.

As a newer site I rank for some longtails, but I can still write the big money posts. Best web hosting, best rolexes, best <expensive thing with big commission>. Every post that a user lands on, run video in bottom right of side bar, sticky position, attractive b-roll footage with text overlay drawing eyeballs and clicks to your money post.

Thoughts? Higher RPM potential then display ads / video? In some niches at least? More work of course, have to actually make a basic video with b-roll footage, host it, figure out autoplay/sticky positioning, but in 2020 that's not hard or costly either.
 

shiftymcnab

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I'd like to see some CTR data for those videos and content style pages. I see them a lot, mostly big brand mega sites do this.

For me, I hate those type/style sites, almost 100% of the time, just back out, especially on mobile. Even of the page is like the best fitting for my needs.

Corner popups, add popups, have a pretty low CTR, once diluted down to conversions from those, is it worth it to distract users, slow down your site and possibly give your entire site a bad look, feel, UX and bounce rate?

Let's say the popup Video gets 3% CTR
Your sales page gets say 3% conversion.
For every 1000 users, you get 0.9 conversions.

Is that worth the effort of creation, more content management, more load, slower page load and so on. How much impact would that have on existing funnel links etc on said page?

I would harbor a guess that a well-placed ad, image, link, social proof, or lead magnet would garner better results.
 
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Well if you look at the larger ad networks and media publishers, they're pushing more auto-play video at users and assigning more and more real estate to ads - why? Even though some users cant stand ads, run ad blockers and actively leave sites with too many ads, these sites are still seeing RPMs INCREASE, even with a few salty users. I can dislike what certain websites do, including the biggest in the industry, but I can also separate my personal feelings (ie: get an ad blocker) from my professional feelings (follow the RPM). Big publishers are increasingly destroying the UX of their sites in the chase for higher earnings. The user experience is atrocious and I think most zombie web users are literally numb to it, they just think that's how the web is. I really don't think a self-hosted video drawing a few eyeballs that loads quickly (ie: Amazon S3) is any worse then the experience that the majority of users see on almost every website nowadays.

The main question you bring up and I agree with is: do you have a chance at outperforming the RPM of a specific ad unit. Because you can still run 12 ads in content while running an autoplay to your own content in the sticky bottom sidebar. So it's not like you are trading one video for ALL your advertising earnings. That wouldn't be true and it's not a fair comparison. We're talking one ad-unit placement - what earns the most revenue in that specific block of real estate on your website? If it's ads - that's fine, but I think it's worth testing. I think good video from relevant content to a relevant money page could have excellent earnings.

I'm not a video guy (yet) but I'd be taking cues from youtube ads, specifically the idea of the 5 second pre-roll. Not specifically the audio part, because I don't think I'd ever run autoplay video with audio (some sites do, but even I have my limits :D), but the idea of grabbing attention fast. I'd probably spend some money on fiverr like 80-100 dollars for a good video editor with plenty of feedback to see what type of "commercials" they can come up with to promote essentially a blog post.

Anyway I might be out to lunch here, I know I'm new here but I have read a LOT on this forum and learned more here then BHW, reddit or any other community. Just wanted to share an idea even if it's not super actionable right off the bat. One day I'll get around to adding this to my arsenal, maybe it's a winner, maybe it's a dud, who knows!
 

Ryuzaki

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I'm going to use headers just to break up all this crap I typed into sections:

On-Site Funneling​

I don't think video is the best way to achieve what you're talking about. Back in the day we used to play this kind of "numbers game" using advertisements in the sidebar. But now since 70%+ traffic is mobile there is on sidebar.

I think something along the lines of those inline text advertisements are better. Like randomly between paragraphs you'll see things like:
  • Related: The Best X for Y to Solve the Problem You're Reading About in this Article
You'll get them in the flow of the content, which means they're engaged. Pushing a hovering auto-play ad at them is going to get you ad blindness, closing the ad, etc. I don't think the engagement will be any better, if the goal is to funnel people to higher paying pages.

Adsense Example​

We used to do this on Adsense before retargeting became a thing, when all ads were contextual and based on the content on the page. You could get traffic from any low competition, high volume keywords and then funnel it to content still in your niche but with waaay higher CPC for ad clicks.

Like "how should I begin preparing for retirement" funnels people to "liquidate your annuity" or whatever. Someone trying to absorb all the info they can is semi-likely to click over to that article or open a new tab and some portion engages with the ads too.

Video Ad RPMs​

You guys are talking about the video ads engagement, visibility, CTRs, RPMs, etc. I can offer some insight from a couple projects where I have those ads running:

Past 30 Days - Site A
PageviewsImpressionsFill RateViewabilityRevenueCPM
Video 1200k+139k+69%93.4%$966$6.97
Video 243k+39k+90%93.5%$284$7.34
Video 320k+18k+91%91%$124$7.07

All in all that's around $5.25 RPMs from videos on that site, keeping in mind that not every pageview gets a video shown. The CPMs aren't bad for the ads that roll with each video either.

Without making another table for Site B with 3 videos, the fill rates are 75%, 91%, and 93% with CPMs of $7.77, $8.03, and $7.67 with viewability at 95%, 93%, and 89%. The RPM here from all added together is... $5.97

So basically, you need to be beating $5 to $6 RPMs according to my numbers for it to outpace just running ads on the videos. I don't have CTR data, unfortunately, so I can't tell you how many people would click through your funnel to the next page.

But I can tell you that you'll need to be having some serious conversion rates at every step with a very high revenue per sale or commission at the end. That may be easy on some projects with highly motivated viewers. On most it's not going to be possible to beat these numbers, I think, when you consider how many people are going to fall off through the funnel and even before engaging with the video (topmost part of the funnel).