Neel Kothari & Shashikant Anpat had a fireside chat on the ‘State of the digital publishing industry & the challenges they face’.

Neel Kothari is the CEO of iZooto (the world’s leading ‘owned audience marketing’ platform used by more than 2,000 publishers and e-coms to own, engage and retain their website visitors).

Shashikant Anpat is the co-founder & AVP – Product Strategy of Adgebra, Inuxu Digital Media Technologies (Adgebra is a glocal ad tech platform that caters to Native, video and rich media ad formats and presently reaches over 500 million monthly active users via its network of 2000+ partner publishers managing over 30 billion monthly ad serving opportunities).

Here is the transcript of their conversation in 2 parts.


Shashikant Anpat: What do you feel should be the approach of a digital publisher to improve important metrics like website traffic, user retention, page views, subscriber growth etc?

Neel Kothari: To drive better metrics, a digital publisher should put the audience first. Think of your audience’s needs as the North Star. High-quality content is a must; create what truly engages them. Boost website traffic by nailing SEO, sharing your content on social media, and leveraging push notifications. Keep readers around with interactive features and personalized content recommendations. Make it easy for them to explore by linking related articles and adding engaging multimedia. When it comes to subscribers, use lead generation, exclusive content, and crystal-clear value propositions. And remember, constant data analysis and tweaking your approach based on user feedback is the secret sauce to success!

Shashikant Anpat: As the use of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) becomes more prevalent, how can publishers maintain sustainable revenue streams without having platform dependency.

Neel Kothari: Publishers should diversify their income sources beyond ad platforms. This includes exploring subscriptions, affiliate marketing, and premium content. By doing so, they reduce reliance on a single platform and create a more stable revenue foundation.

Shashikant Anpat: As digital consumption habits continue to evolve, what steps can publishers take to adapt their content formats and distribution channels to meet the changing preferences of their audience?

Neel Kothari: Publishers can successfully adapt by adopting a data-driven approach. This entails leveraging audience insights to inform content creation and distribution strategies. Moreover, a multichannel presence is essential; publishers should optimize content for mobile devices and explore emerging formats while staying engaged with their audience through interactive content. The key focus should remain on the user, with personalization and feedback loops helping to create content that consistently aligns with and meets the evolving preferences of the audience.

Shashikant Anpat: Publishers are often striving to increase the time users spend on their websites. What engagement strategies, such as interactive content or multimedia elements, have you seen yield positive results for publishers?

Neel Kothari: Effective engagement strategies include integrating interactive content, such as quizzes and polls, to captivate users. Additionally, combining text with multimedia elements like images and videos enhances the overall user experience. Engaging users through live streaming, webinars, and encouraging user-generated content also proves effective in creating a sense of community and prolonged interaction. Ultimately, personalization, gamification, and email subscriptions enrich the user experience, promoting extended engagement and a deeper connection with the content and platform.

Shashikant Anpat: What are the latest trends with respect to website/in-app notifications?

Neel Kothari: In the realm of website and in-app notifications, several notable trends have emerged. Personalization takes centre stage, with notifications finely tuned to each user’s interests, preferences, and past behaviour. This tailored approach, which offers discounts on viewed but unpurchased items, enhances their effectiveness. Furthermore, notifications have evolved with the incorporation of rich media, including images, videos, and GIFs, elevating their visual appeal and click-through rates. Automation plays a pivotal role, ensuring timely delivery based on specific timing or user-triggered events, while geolocation-based notifications deliver location-specific content. Lastly, conversational AI platforms have revolutionized notifications, allowing for more natural interactions and user feedback, creating a more engaging and user-friendly experience.

Shashikant Anpat: What is the difference you have found working with Indian & overseas publishers?

Neel Kothari: In our experience, publishers in the West often have higher budgets and purchasing power compared to their same-sized Indian counterparts. We have found the sales cycle longer, even among mid-tail publishers. Adapting to business culture is also essential as communication styles, negotiation tactics, and relationship-building approaches can differ significantly.

Contact Shashikant Anpat for Adgebra‘s unique advertising solutions.