Data dollars: monetise your user-generated content platform with self-serve ads

UGC monetize

What do Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Soundcloud, Spotify, TikTok, Snapchat and Tripadvisor have in common? They are all major user-generated content (UGC) platforms that monetise their audiences with self-serve ads. 

But you don’t have to be a tech giant to start earning – you just need an audience. 

Self-serve is everywhere

When you go to the supermarket and use a self-checkout counter, that’s self-serve. When you handle your finances through your bank’s web platform rather than visiting a branch to speak with a teller, that’s also self-serve. In advertising, self-serve refers to an automated ad-sales platform where the advertiser buys ad space and first-party audiences directly from the publisher. A key benefit of self-serve is that it’s one of the few ways advertisers can buy first-party audiences, considering the impending disappearance of third-party cookies. 

UGC is an advertising goldmine

Advertising has traditionally been an exchange between brands (buyers) and publishers (sellers). Before the internet, most publishers created content that was distributed through television, radio and print. Now the majority of ad spend goes to digital content instead – and as the saying goes, content is king. 

The way we consume media is no longer a top-down process. User-generated content is a dynamic form of media consumption where the audience is highly engaged and an active participant in the creation, critique and dissemination of content. 

This is largely down to the growing use of smartphones with high-speed internet. The last few years have seen massively increased data consumption and production of UGC, such as live streaming videos and podcasts. The global user generated content platform market size is expected to reach USD 18.65 billion by 2028

As a consequence, the potential for monetising such an audience is enormous. 

Save time – maximise revenue

So how do you tap into the value of your UGC audience? First, recognise that your users can both be an advertising audience but also ad buyers themselves.

As an example, consider Soundcloud’s self-serve ad tool. Built as a white-label solution by tech provider DanAds, Soundcloud Promote allows all Soundcloud users to promote their tracks and reach new listeners for as little as $20. Better still, the platform makes use of a single sign-on function. Users, in other words, don’t need to log into a separate platform to use the promotion tool: it sits right on top of the existing Soundcloud website. 

Think like your users

Why does this solution work?

First, because the ad type is so relevant to the particular audience. They’re on Soundcloud to listen to music – and the ad is a suggested track that keeps them on the platform. Promoting native content is a huge asset for UGCs for this very reason, and is rewarded with a CTR that is extremely high in comparison to display ads. 

Second, it’s an accessible business tool for people with little experience or knowledge of digital advertising. It’s simple and low-cost enough for the average user, so there’s a huge SME market to tap into. A “boost” promotion function allows advertisers to amplify the impact of their UGC contributions without needing to learn the ins-and-outs of a separate system. 

Third, Soundcloud has a source of essentially passive revenue, thanks to the platform being fully automated. Manual input on the side of the UGC platform is required only at the setup phase. This frees up time and resources for value-generating projects. 

Start capturing ad revenues

If you have a UGC platform and want to start selling ads in an easy, cost-efficient way, try self-serve. At DanAds we work with publishers of all sizes, industries and nationalities. Reach out and find out how our white-label self-serve solution can turn your UGC audience into a powerful new source of revenue. 

About DanAds

We are the industry-leading provider of self-serve technology, supplying publishers with white-labelled and customisable self-serve ad platforms

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