Congratulations, publisher, you’ve won the pitch for that big native ad campaign. But branded content is notoriously low-margin, leading some publishers to lose money on campaigns if they aren’t careful. High-cost, premium content isn’t cheap to make. And without experience in honing efficiencies across production and distribution, only shrewd publishers will make content studios profitable.

A publisher might win a quarter of the campaigns they pitch for, in some cases spending a few grand on a concept video to explain the vision before they even win the work. The sky’s the limit with content production and distribution costs, and that’s in addition to salaries and other overheads, of course. Here’s how easy it is for that juicy campaign fee to disappear before you know it.

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