For those of us not familiar with Youth Nation, please tell us more about your digital properties and core audience.
In Youth Nation, we focus on a young, 14 – 24 year old audience across two channels, the first being Teen Times, specifically for 14 – 18 year olds with all content being themed around celebrating teen life. The second then College Times, specifically for 18 – 24 year olds with all content being themed around celebrating college life.
We find it very challenging, although we have a very strong audience in Ireland and Europe we actually generate more revenue from the US market which is frustrating but I feel they’re more receptive to what it is we’re doing than agencies in Ireland and Europe at the moment.
It seems like for a few of your core properties like CollegeTimes.com and TeenTimes.com, you’ve followed a Buzzfeed-type model with trendy content, but that appeals to an Irish or European crowd. How has that worked so far and are there any insights you can share to producing and monetizing this type of content?
Thats exactly the model however the key thing is we don’t focus in on specific regional markets. We keep content open to travel or go viral by focusing in on the ideas, norms behaviours of our market and staying away from anything focused on specific regions. With this strategy things are going well, our market is growing but of course, as we’re not focusing in specifically on a given market, it is that bit more challenging generating premium revenue.
Since your content caters to more of a Millennial audience, what type of clients do you typically work with? Are there certain customer categories that perform better for Millennial audiences? What about any counter-intuitive brand verticals that performed better than you thought they might with your audience?
Entertainment based clients the likes of Netflix and the big movie producers have all preformed really well. Then of course the FMCG’s have all equally done very well. Our young audience although being young with little to spend are in fact the leaders and spenders of tomorrow. So our market offers a great opportunity to introduce ones brand and build up future business.
What does a typical campaign with Youth Nation look like? (website ads, sponsored posts on social channels like FB/Twitter/Instagram/Vine/YouTube videos, email newsletter ads, virality of their branded content on social posts).
Ideally we like to advertise within content when working on behalf of a client as that allows us to show off our real creative expertise in reaching, engaging and influencing our young audience on behalf of a client. Thats our core skill as we’re all the time developing it in our organic content and so I fell thats our greatest value.
Distribution for a publisher these days are extremely important, especially to build the kind of reach necessary to attract large brands to advertise. Are there any new channels (like Snapchat, or others) that have worked well for distribution?
We solely focus in on Facebook & Instagram for our distribution as this is what works best for us and compliments campaigns as the advertising systems within the platforms are market leading. There is opportunity of course in some of the new channels and as the business grows we’ll develop those platforms but for where we are now, Facebook & Instagram are our key channels.
A huge portion of consumers these days access their content primarily on their mobile device. How has this informed the way you produce, distribute, and monetize your content?
80% of our traffic is mobile and so with that everything we do is primarily focused towards mobile.
Facebook recently announced that it would open up Instant Articles to all publishers come April. What is your opinion of this and how do you think this will effect the publishing ecosystem as a whole?
As our core product is content, we’re really looking forward to this as we’ll be able to generate considerably greater results now for clients. We’ve been anticipating this now for some time so we’re really looking forward to it.
Consumer privacy is taken very seriously in Europe, and it almost seems as if every year they are adding more regulation on the ways advertisers, publishers, and technology companies can track and store consumer data. How do you think the privacy situation in Europe will evolve over the years to come?
Honestly, its all evolving and changing so fast that we just adopt a very open and transparent approach ourselves and lean on the support and guidance of consultants to keep us in line as I just feel its so complicated and ever changing.
Lastly, what is your take on the future of the publisher monetization in Ireland and Europe?
I think the future is all in content, I can’t see pop ups and ad units lasting very much longer and I feel instant articles are going to dramatically impact web traffic so with that I feel the real area of growth is going to come from content.
Youth Nation is the parent company of College Times & Teen Times.
Through creating and curating engaging content these online magazines reach over 100,000,000 young people weekly. With this reach and understanding of our young audience, we help brands authentically connect with their young target market
Please do get in touch with any feedback you may have, business enquiries you’d like to make or content you feel we should be featuring, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, check out our various social channels:
Twitter: @YouthNation/ Instagram @youthnationonline/ Facebook- youthnationonline/ YouTube- youtube.com/user/youthnationonline