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Dong Nai Newspaper

Dong Nai Newspaper Grows Reach and Revenue

Vietnamese publisher learns more about its readers to successfully boost engagement, and diversify revenue.

The situation

Dong Nai Newspaper participated in the Google News Initiative’s (GNI) Advertising Lab 2023. The program was designed to support the digital transformation of news organizations in Vietnam, emphasizing audience development, data solutions, and advertising revenue.

Dong Nai Newspaper was an early adopter of electronic publishing technology in Vietnam. The publication now focuses on delivering content that closely aligns with real-life issues and concerns of readers, reflecting the thoughts and aspirations of the local community and beyond.

The newspaper faced the challenge of adapting to the digital landscape, with a staff strength of 63 people and limited technical expertise. The hurdles included developing an effective audience engagement strategy and personalizing content for their audiences, transitioning to programmatic advertising to diversify their revenue streams beyond sponsored articles, and leveraging data analytics to better understand and engage their audience.

Head shot_Báo Đồng Nai
"Through this year's program, Dong Nai Newspaper experimented with and successfully implemented programmatic advertising for the first time. This included applying new advertising features and analyzing suitable advertising placements, leading to over 100% revenue growth without incurring additional costs."
Mr Đào Văn Tuấn
Managing Editor; Dong Nai Newspaper

The action plan

To address existing challenges, Dong Nai Newspaper dedicated a task force of 5 employees to participate in the program. After conducting a review, the team realized that the website employed outdated image formats and uncompressed files, resulting in slow page loading times. To counter the problem, the team converted images to the WebP format for optimizing and compressing files to improve page loading speed, resulting in a 32% increase in pagespeed.

Additionally, Dong Nai Newspaper conducted successful experiments analyzing reader data from Google Analytics 4 to gain a deeper understanding of reader trends on the website. By addressing 92.6% of the issues alerted in Google Search Console, such as minimizing the number of spam pages generated from user searchboxes, adding proper canonical tags, and correcting page structure setup, and implementing targeted content strategies, the website successfully attracted new readers and increased the time readers spent on the site. These combined efforts contributed to a 190% growth in pageviews.

After understanding the trajectory and strategies for audience development, the Dong Nai team explored programmatic advertising. They conducted an analysis and identified suitable advertising placements that resonated well with the audience, ensuring high visibility without causing discomfort to readers. As a result, they successfully opened up 7 new advertising placements with viewability reaching >80%, and activated 3 diverse advertising demands (Ad Exchange, Open Bidding, and Header Bidding), unlocking new revenue streams. Now, Dong Nai Newspaper has a clearer vision and has started building a more diversified revenue model for the future.

  • 32% increase in pagespeed
  • 190% growth in page views
  • ≥100% uplift in revenue
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