Native Advertising Explained – What Is It and How It Works

Native Advertising Explained – What Is It and How It Works

Native advertising is a digital advertising strategy that focuses on delivering a better user experience via unobtrusive ads. When you provide value to users, it result in better engagement and conversions. This post will explain you a guide to native advertising and how to make the most of this strategy.

What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is the practice of placing paid ads that blend with the look, feel, and function of the digital property in which they appear.

You can find native ads as recommended, or sponsored content on a website, or in social media feeds. The thing with native ads is that they don’t look a lot like ads.  They look like part of the page, which is their best advantage because they don’t disrupt the user experience. A native ad enhances the reader experience by adding value without sticking out as a sales advert.

Native advertising offers brands a way to connect with users more naturally. The native advertising’s contextual relevance results in native advertising producing high-click-through rates and conversions.

How do native ads work?

Native ads are subtle. The idea is that users will barely notice they are paid ads, and when they do, the ads don’t bother them. The interest in native advertising started growing in 2012, because of the brands’ need for non-disruptive advertising.

Source: Google Trends

In native advertising, suppliers (publishers) offer their audience, reach, and quality of content to SSP, ad networks, or advertisers, with the aim to monetize their sites. On the demand side, advertisers and demand-side platforms (DDP) look for the best fit to reach their target audience and achieve their goals.

How can you tell if an ad is native?

That’s the paradox with native ads. Because they look like regular content, how can you tell it’s an ad? For instance, you clicked on an article for “Best Hikes Near Prague”, which led to a post review on the “Brand X hiking boots review”, sponsored by the boots brand. The boots brand pays the publisher of the article for your click. To ensure consumers are not misled, there is a requirement to disclose the content is actually an ad.

You may see some of the following features in a native ad

Paid Post”, “Sponsored by”, “ Partnered with”, “Promoted”, “Powered by”. These phrases indicate sponsored content.

Source

Other times, a small icon on the top corner can show that is a paid ad. Or you can see the word “Sponsored”. This disclaimer is part of native advertising best practices.

Native advertising channels

Native advertising can be run manually or programmatically. Regardless of how you choose to manage it, you can run native advertising across three main channels:

Search

The sponsored search results that you see on top of your search results. Engines like Google or Bing started serving native ads in the form of sponsored search results.

Publishers can also insert a SERP (search engine results page) on their domain.

Social

Facebook and Instagram streamlined native in-feed and carousel formats. In-feed ads appear in between social media posts or in your news feed.

Open Web

There are content discovery platforms that serve curated content recommendations and in-feed ads on popular publisher websites.

Types of native ads

The interactive advertising bureau (IAB) identified six types of native advertising units.

  •  In-Feed Units

In-feed units are paid ads that appear in-line with other content.  When you see sponsored posts that appear in social media or in publisher’s sites like Forbes, for example, these are in-feed ads.

For example, here you can see an in-feed ad from PayPal on Entrepreneur.com

Source

  • Paid-search units

Paid search are those ads you can see in the coveted position zero in search results. Paid search results look like organic search results. 

  • Promoted listings

These native ads, appear usually when you are browning for purchasing on an e-commerce site. They are paid by brands and look like any other organic listing. 

  • Display ads with native elements

This type of native ad looks like a display ad, but they are different from a regular banner because they are contextually relevant to the meda they appear on. 

  • Recommendation widgets

You can also find native ads on publisher sites, social media, and search engine results. Recommendation widgets are often at the side of a page or at the end of a post. These ads recommend additional content or products that you may like.

How to Develop a Native Advertising Strategy?

Native advertising is more popular every year, as companies realize its benefits for improving the user experience (and their bottom lines). That’s why organizations are spending more money on native ads.

Source

But, how can organizations ensure they spend wisely and get the best results for their native advertising strategy? Here is how to develop a great native advertising strategy:

1. Set your SMART campaign goals

As with every strategic plan, the first step is to know where you want to go. Clearly define what do you want to achieve. For example, if you want to generate leads, getting more sales, increasing website traffic, or more. Ensure your goals are SMART (Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). Be specific so you can then track the success of your strategy.

2. Define your target audience

Once you know what do you want to achieve with your campaign,  you should understand who is the receiver of your ad. You may have an idea of who is your audience, according to your buyer personas. Factor location, age, gender, and interests to narrow your audience. However, don’t be too narrow, as native ads are a great way to show content to new audiences. The right level of targeting can ensure your ads get to the right users at the right time.

3. Select where you will publish

No less important to know who to publish, is where to publish. As part of your native advertising strategy, you may choose to advertise through an ad network or directly with the publisher. If you choose to go the direct way, examine the publisher’s reach and the size of their audience. Most importantly is to check how relevant is their content for your users. Think as your reader would do, and select publishers that can provide value.

Leveraging an ad network produces more accurate results.  An ad network evaluates thousands of publishers and finds the most relevant for your brand. And all of it happens by the time the publisher page loads, thanks to the magic of programmatic advertising.

4. Build attractive ads

The best strategy cannot succeed if the ads are not attractive to the user. The ads need to catch the attention of the user and encourage them to click them. Keep in mind to test several combinations (A/B testing) until you find out which ad is better for your campaign.

5. Define and allocate your budget

Assigning a budget for the campaign can make it or break it. How much your campaign will cost will depend on how much do you spend on your campaign items, like your cost-per-click. Identify what is your ideal CPC and how much is your spending limit.

6. Monitor, test and adjust.

Once you launch the campaign, you should track the performance of your ads. Test headlines and images, the KPIs like number of impressions, clicks, and conversions.

These six steps can help you design a successful native advertising strategy.

Best Practices for Native Advertising

1. Leverage other media types like podcasts and video

Static and dynamic ads are the most popular, but audio and video are increasing in popularity. Podcasts, in particular, are increasing in popularity. Podcasts’ ad spend is expected to rise to $1.6bn by 2022. Podcast ads are accessible and unintrusive because. Most users are doing other things when listening to podcasts. Therefore, when you add native ads to podcasts, they integrate with the content.

Video is another media that is increasingly popular. With the time people spend watching videos, video ads are proving to be extremely effective. As much as 78% of publishers get more traffic to their website by using video ads

2. Test often and accurately

Ads that blend with the surrounding content usually gets more clicks. Instead of standing out, they keep users on the site for longer. These days, native ads are not only placed on websites but also on e-commerce sites, mobile sites, and applications. To understand the impact of each ad, it is important to measure and track the right KPIs. Besides common metrics like impressions and clicks, measure the engagement of the users, comments, and shares.

3. Do your research and focus on the clicks that matter.

Ads shown in the search result deliver more value to users because they align more with what the user is looking for. Since the user intent is high, you get more value out of each dollar you spend in the campaign. Do your research about what type of content attracts more your users.

4. Use influencer marketing

A recent survey found 84% of consumers make a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation. As consumers spend more time on social platforms, they are exposed to influencers’ content. Most people listen to influencers because they trust their expertise in the product or category.

While influencers have been around for a few years, their impact is growing, and set to be worth $15bn by 2022. For 2022, there will be an increase in short-form video content, and brand media programs.

5. Don’t forget mobile ads

Their mobile is where users are most of the time anyway, so investing in native mobile ads is the sensible way to go. Unlike interstitial ads, native mobile advertising blends with the experience and enhances it. According to one report, native ads show 18% more purchase intent than display ads.

Best and worst examples of native advertising

Now that we know what native advertising is and best practices, let’s see some examples.

The 3 best native advertising examples

  • The Onion’s Tax Ad

First, let’s start with a classic. Back in 2012, this well-known, funniest native advert starts entertaining from the headline: “Woman Going to Take Quick Break After Filling Out Name, Address on Tax Forms”. 

Source

This advert is a textbook example of native advertising. The Onion created this piece for their client. At the time of publication, it was surrounded by the client’s (H&R Block) banners. It resulted in increased brand awareness. 

  •  Clarins makeup and skincare

More recently, The campaign of Clarins focuses on paid posts and blending content for mobile with the “Seven plant extract to boost your makeup routine and skin”

The article doesn’t look like an ad at all. The campaign delivers value to customers and fits seamlessly with the media where it appears. The article subtly promotes the advantages of Clarins, directing users to the promoted product. 

  • 8fit Fitness

8fit is n app that offers custom home workouts. Its native ads campaign appears in several premium publishers’ websites. They have different images, headlines, and content according to the media they appear, combining video, image, and sponsored content.

When you open the video that promises to burn 300 calories in 9 minutes, it drives you to download the 8fit app. Fitness lovers then can get access to workouts, meal plans, and progress tracking. The ads don’t feel like ads.

Worst Native Advertising Campaigns

Here is the Hall of Shame: “Will millennials completely shun the office?”. The New York Times. 

Yes, at the top of the hall of shame is the New York Times. That’s proof that everybody makes mistakes.

This Dell sponsored post misses the mark on engaging the target audience (millennials). The language is not aligned with the New York Times editorial content. Therefore, it doesn’t hit it.

Pros of native advertising

For advertisers

  • Branded native content generates more trust from users. From Generation X and beyond, these audiences trust sponsored content more than traditional adverts. This type of content resonates with young adults because it is more entertaining and engaging.
  • Native ads generate more click-through rate than display ads. Native ads perform well for advertisers in several niches.
  • Builds brand awareness. With native advertising, it is easier to increase your brand awareness, on average 53% more views than traditional advertising.
  • Optimizes the targeting.  Native can contextually target specific audience segments. As an advertiser, you ensure the ad reaches the right user.

For publishers

  • A higher engagement. Ads are more relevant, which doesn’t disrupt the user experience, resulting in a higher engagement and click-through rate.
  • Better eCPM. Native ads usually bring high eCPMs, impressions, and engagement, resulting in more attractive placements for high-paying marketers.
  • Users stay longer on the site.  Resulting in users being more engaged with the brand and content.

For users

  • More value. Native advertising is less “salesly” and provides useful information to users. Users then consider native advertising as more valuable than traditional ads.
  • Better experience. Native ads are more user-friendly. They integrate with the surrounding content giving a more natural experience to users.

Native advertising challenges

Native ads to have a lot of advantages. That being said, there are some use cases where native advertising can be challenging. 

  • It can be tricky to measure. While some KPIs are not that hard to measure, measuring the ROI (Return on Investment), impact, and effectiveness of the campaign.
  • If you don’t leverage an ad network, it can be time-consuming. Creating native ads can be more complex than traditional ads, and may require many actors.
  • Choosing the right tool can be daunting. Any organization new to native advertising can get confused by the many tools available. Should you choose an ad network? An SSP? An ad exchange? CodeFuel makes it easy for you with an all-in-one monetization platform designed with publishers in mind. Leverage premium advertisers and publishing sites with an easy-to-use, high-yielding solution.

Is native advertising effective?

Native advertising is generally more effective than traditional display ads. Here are some statistics to prove it:

Consumers pay more attention to native ads

  • 25% more consumers see in-stream native ads than banner ads
  • 53% of consumers will look at a native ad rather than a display ad

Native ads generate 9% more brand affinity than banner ads

32% of consumers share native ads vs. 19% sharing of display ads

What drives marketers to use Native vs. Traditional Ads? 

Statistics source

What is Programmatic Native Advertising?

Programmatic native advertising is designed to make it easy for advertisers and publishers to buy and sell native ads. Brands and agencies use a demand-side platform (DSP) to set a budget and requirements to publish your ads. Publishers, on the other side use a supply-side platform (SSP) to sell their ad inventory. Both publishers and advertisers get matched up in real-time via native advertising platforms.

How to Choose The Best Native Advertising Network

Here are six factors to consider when choosing a native advertising network: 

  • Audience: Check that the native advertising network’s reach covers your target audience. This includes verifying the locations where the platform drives traffic from. If your product is targeted to English-speaking countries, your ad network reach needs to target those too. Look at the niches and industries they cover.
  • Ad formats: The more variety of ad formats the ad network covers, the better. Choose a solution that can give you in-feed, recommendation widgets, mobile native ads, etc.
  • Targeting options: Different tools deploy different technologies. When you compare platforms, pay attention to the targeting options they offer. While one platform can let you select publishers, others won’t give advertisers that much control.
  • Bidding models: Each platform offers different bidding models. For example, manual or enhanced cost per click, cost per action, cost per view, cost per mile.
  • Reporting: Consider how the system will report performance. Choose a solution that offers the most information. Ask which KPIs can you measure, if you can export and customize reports, and what are the filters available.
  • Price and requirements: The signup price needs to align with your advertising budget.  Before signing up, check the bidding models, requirements, and sign-up costs.

The CodeFuel approach to native advertising

CodeFuel is a complete monetization platform with a mission to deliver native ads that enhance the user’s experience and journey. Serving highly targeted ads in a way that doesn’t disrupt the UX, will generate more revenue for the publisher.

CodeFuel leverages machine learning and advanced analytics to capture the intent of the user and the context of the digital media they are reading. The ads served with the CodeFuel line of products integrate smoothly with the context, delivering better results for advertiser and publishers. Learn more about the CodeFuel approach to native advertising.

Advertising Media Channels: How to Choose & Types

Advertising Media Channels: How to Choose & Types

An integral part of your advertising campaign is choosing where you are going to advertise. Which marketing and advertising channels can give you the best results for your campaign investment? The right media channels help you reach high intent consumers, encouraging conversions. Choosing the wrong channels can waste your time and money.

But, how do you choose among so many channels available? Should you advertise on social media? Should you run display ads? There are many “experts” out there claiming this or that is the right channel to do. In reality, the best media channel is the best for your strategy.

This post will give you an overview of advertising media channels and tips on choosing the right mix for your campaign. Let’s get started.

What do you mean by advertising media?

Definition of  Media Channel

Advertising media consist of the media channels you use for communicating a promotional message.

Examples of advertising media can include online banners, billboards, print media. When media planners and marketers create their marketing campaigns, they weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type of advertising media.

The role of the advertising media channels

Marketers leverage different types of advertising media, creating a media mix. The media mix allows them to engage with different audiences in different ways. In online marketing, advertisers use advertising media on digital properties or in email marketing campaigns. Advertising media aims to catch the customer’s attention and encourage them to move down the purchasing funnel.

Some media channels are more expensive than others. Television, for example, is the most expensive. Even among online advertising, some advertising models are more expensive than others. That is why you should be very careful and evaluate which ones make the greatest impact for the least cost. More importantly, you should choose them based on the campaign’s goals and the channel’s capability to reach your target audience.

What is a media planner?

Media planners specialize in identifying which media platforms will advertise the client’s brand to the target audience. They work with media planning or advertising audience. A media planner chooses the media channels and creates a media plan to maximize the impact of the advertising.

Media planners work in advertising and marketing agencies and publishing houses. These marketing specialists know how to make the most return from the media plan. Their specific responsibilities include creating the media mix, coordinating ads, and monitoring the success of advertising campaigns.

How to get the most impact per exposure by media planning?

It all starts by designing the right media plan. Before you can choose the advertising channels, you need to know your goals and how you will achieve them. That includes knowing who your audience is, what budget you count on. Then you can choose what is the best media mix to achieve your objectives.

Here is a quick step-by-step from our article: What Is Media Planning? Essential Guide and Best Free Templates to Download

1. Define your goals

Write down what do you want to achieve with your media plan. To find out, look at the organization’s business goals and check how the campaign will align with them. Doing this will help you define the media goals for the campaign. Analyze your organization’s positioning in the market and the marketing problem your campaign will try to solve.

Remember to create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely), so you can track them with KPIs.

2. Define your target audience

Now that you know the What, it is time to define the Who. Who are you creating this campaign for? Gather as much information as you can about your target audience, their demographics, habits, and interests. Then craft the plan around your ideal buyer persona. The more you fine-tune your message, the better the results.

3. Think about your budget, frequency, and reach

At this stage, you have the perfect media plan idea, so it is time to know how much you can spend on your campaign. To determine a budget, start by considering how often you need to run ads for your audience to respond.

Finding the perfect frequency is critical. You want to hit that spot where your ad is repeated enough for the viewer to remember it without falling in the “oh no, that ad again.” At least ten exposures are needed to encourage action from a customer. But be careful; one too many repetitions and your engagement plummet.

4. Select the media channels

Now is the time to choose carefully where you are going to advertise. Consider which platforms you will use, methods, and their pricing models. Use the information you already know about your consumers and your campaign goals to select which channels can have the most impact with less cost.

5. Write the plan

Put everything into writing. A media plan should be as detailed as possible and measurable. Details like the number of impressions you need, the frequency, specific channels,  everything should be in your media plan. But don’t worry, you don’t need to write it from scratch. In the article, we mention that you can have a selection of free templates to download.

6. Monitor, measure, analyze. 

When running the campaign, analyze the goals and track engagement, conversions, and clicks you set in your media plan.

How to measure the impact of your campaign?

A lot of research and planning goes into your media buying strategy. The more refined your media plan, the better. However, without proper measurement, your efforts can be like shooting in the dark. How to measure the success of your media mix will depend largely on what you want to achieve with it. Here is our pick of the metrics you can’t miss:

Impressions

How many times are your ads served (how many people saw your ads)? Most publishers rate their ad space by thousand impressions (CPM). Cost per Mille (per 1000 impressions) is calculated by dividing the campaign’s cost by a thousand.

Cost per Mille: 1000 * cost/impressions

Clicks

The number of users that clicked your ad after seeing it. If you want to know how many times people click on your ad related to the number of times it is served, you need to measure click-through rate The click-through rate is calculated by dividing the number of impressions between the number of clicks.

CTR: (Impressions / clicks) * 100

For example, if your ad was served 20,000 times, and of those, 450 people clicked on it, your CTR is (20,000 /450) = 4.44%

CPC

This metric measures how much it costs each click on a campaign. It is calculated by dividing the total advertising cost of the campaign/ the total number of clicks. This will give you the average cost per click. To calculate the actual CPC, you need to factor in your competitor’s ad rank and your quality score in GoogleAds.

Average CPC: Total advertising cost of the campaign/ total number of clicks

Adwords quality score

Google uses this measure to assess the relevance of the keywords you target. They consider factors like the click-through rate, the quality of your landing page, and the keywords related to the ad.

Campaign Engagement

Campaign engagement consists of the sum of the total engagement taking place in an ad campaign. This metric considers a combination of interactions, not only clicks but shares, comments, and reactions.

Campaign Engagement Formula

Sum (total posts interactions) + (Sum (Campaign Clicks))

We can understand it better with an example. Your campaign consists of two ads, ad “A and ad “B.”

  • Ad “A” receives 300 reactions, 15 comments, and 100 clicks to the landing page.
  • Ad “B” receives 200 reactions, ten comments, and 50 clicks to your landing page.

The campaign engagement for this ad campaign will be the sum of this interaction for both ads: Sum (300+200+25) + (150) = 675

Conversions

Regardless of the platform you are using, conversion tracking is essential. Without it, you cannot understand how your channels are faring. You get the conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions between clicks on the ad.

Conversion rate = Total clicks/ conversions

For example, let’s say your ad got 450 clicks in a set time, and from these clicks, only 45 people finalized the action intended with the ad. Your conversion rate is 10%.

Types of advertising media channels

As we saw before, media planners should clarify the overall objectives behind their media campaign. Then they should consider which channel is the most appropriate for the type of advertisement they will run and the target audience. Here are the three most popular

Video advertising: pros and cons

The popularity of video advertising is growing. It is expected that 82% of internet traffic will be video. Not only do more people online watch videos but the amount of video content is increasing too.

Source

Video ads expanded to include website video ads, app video ads, and social media. As a result, media planners can serve their advertisements in an array of digital properties. Here are the pros and cons of online video advertising:

Pros

  • It is cheaper:  An online ad is cheaper than traditional media like television. A TV 30s ad prime time slot can cost over $100,000. A short video that can be skipped after the same 30s on YouTube can cost you $0.030, per view, with an average cost of reaching 100,000 viewers of $2000.
  • You have instant results: with online advertising, you can track the performance of your ad in real-time and can take action immediately.
  • Multiple formats: rich media ads come in several formats. You have reels, stories, and short shoppable videos besides video ads if you use social media.
  • Across devices and screens: online video ads are always with the consumer, on their phone and desktop. The ad can show everywhere there is a screen.
  • Global reach: online video gives you the possibility to expand your reach. You are not limited to local engagement (unless you want to).

Cons

  • Option to skip ad: this option significantly reduces the chances your user will view your ad twice. At least, you can set non-skippable or skip-after-30s ads.
  • Ads can be placed in the wrong slot: or next to the wrong content. Sometimes this happens. That’s why it is important to choose the right platform that will give you contextual targeting.

Audio – podcasts: pros and cons

Pros

The podcast is a newer form of audio medium that has been gaining momentum in recent years. It has an advantage over visual ads— the consumer doesn’t have to see the ad —. That gives an extra level of convenience for users. 54% of users will consider a product mentioned in a podcast. As 1 in 4 Americans listen to podcasts, the field has much to offer.

Cons

The other side of the coin with podcasts is that the listener is often occupied with other things, like driving, working, shopping. Additionally, it is difficult for an audio channel to illustrate a product.

Digital content – digital ads pros and cons

Digital ads have different formats, banner ads, interstitials, pop-ups, the list is long. In our guide, Ad Revenue: What Is and How to Increase it? You’ll find a detailed explanation of the different ad types. Here are the pros and cons of digital ads:

Pros

  • You can target specific segments: you can focus your ad in detail over a particular market segment, according to their location, gender, age, interests, and past purchases.
  • It is cheaper than offline advertising: digital ads are more cost-effective and offer a wider reach than traditional media like TV and print magazines.
  • You get accurate result statistics: ad networks and monetization platforms offer real-time tracking of the success of your ads.
  • Provides improved customer experience: the convenience of having an ad the consumer can click and buy instantly cannot be compared to traditional one-way advertising.
  • Features a wide range of formats: banners, half page, interstitial, in-app, the list is endless. There is an ad format for every marketing need.

Cons

  • Ad space is limited: the ad format requires your message to be short, bold, and catchy. Visuals are everything when it comes to catching the viewer’s attention.
  • The number of clicks decreases with the number of impressions: click-through rates are decreasing. At the beginning of digital advertising, it was fairly easy to entice users to click. Now you have to overcome ad blockers and users ignoring your hard work. Some ads are unpopular because they disrupt the user experience. The secret: make the ad enhance the user experience instead. 

How to Choose the Right Advertising Media?

A successful media plan requires creating a calculated strategy that enables you to reach the right user with the right message at the right time and via the right channel —within your budget—. While there isn’t a magic formula to know exactly which channel will give you the best result, you can increase your accuracy by thorough research.

Start by looking at your competitors.

Where does your competitor advertise? By conducting a competitive analysis, you can learn where you may get the best results. Look at the channels they are using, their ad formats, and their types. Do they rely most on video or display ads? Do they use social media? Since you share the same audience, you can get helpful insights into your brand by looking at their strategy.

Do you know your audience?

This is the most important step. You should know where your audience is, where they shop. Most importantly, pay attention to what they value most, what they are looking for from your product or service, and align your message to them.

The importance of the buyer persona

A buyer persona is a construction of your ideal customer. It has a name, an occupation, interests, and expectations. Buyer personas enable you to understand better the needs of your customers. You can tailor your marketing efforts towards the right user when you write for a specific person instead of a generic customer base.

Buyer personas help marketers understand how buyers go through the customer journey. They help you attract and retain more targeted users.

Know your budget

You should budget carefully. Use your media plan to fine-tune yourself as much as possible. Figure out how much money you have for your campaign. This will save you much hassle and heartache when choosing your channels. Then you can prioritize the channels that will give you the best results.

Keep in mind that spending a lot of money on your campaign doesn’t guarantee the best results. To avoid wasting money, craft your message carefully, so your ads get through to the right user.

Set SMART goals and measure them

It is worthwhile to say it again, knowing what you want to achieve is critical for success. To achieve that, ensure your goals are as SMART as possible:

Instead of stating “increasing our sales”, try: “ increasing our sales in the X segment by 30% in the next quarter”. The more realistic and attainable your goals, the better results.

How to Mix the Advertising Media Channels Right

You cannot give all advertising channels the same weight in your budget. Prioritizing your channels isn’t easy. Here is an easy score system that can help you:

  • Find out the impact of your digital marketing channel

This metric will tell you what kind of results you can expect from this channel. When you implement a campaign or strategy, you want to make the most impact. High impact channels bring results quickly. Assign a number from 1 to 10 for the possible results of a campaign based on case studies.

  • What is your channel’s confidence?

The next metric you need to measure is the channel’s confidence. Taking risks with a channel you haven’t used can have its rewards, but investing in channels you trust is best. Again, assign a score from 1 to 10 to the confidence of each channel.

  • Understand how easy your channel is.

This metric will tell you what kind of results you can expect from this channel.

An easy channel is one where you can quickly and efficiently implement your campaign with your resources. A difficult channel requires you to acquire skills, add staff or resources. Again, give a score to each of your channels.

Once you have all scores assigned, add them to find your final score. Then prioritize the channels based on the score. The channels with the highest scores will be the ones you should give more of your investment.

Pro-tip: use search and programmatic advertising

According to a study, by the end of 2021, 88% of digital display marketing in the US will be done via programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising can simplify advertising and target prospects more effectively.

Programmatic advertising overview

Programmatic advertising is the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to buy and sell advertising in real-time. 

Instead of negotiating ads directly between publishers and advertisers, ad networks were created. These are platforms that gather unsold inventory from inventories and sell it to advertisers at a discount rate.

Ad networks and other monetization platforms use real-time bidding (RTB) to make transactions in real-time when it gets to load a web page. When a visitor enters a website, a request is sent to an ad exchange with information about the website. This information is matched against available advertisers, and a real-time auction happens between the advertisers. The highest bidder gets the ad space instantly.

Programmatic advertising, especially if including contextual marketing, enables you better target your users. That means only visitors who are in your target audience can be served the ad.

How CodeFuel simplifies the media mix management

CodeFuel is a complete monetization platform that leverages the power of contextual advertising to reach the maximum impact on your campaigns. The platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver intent-based ads.

You won’t need to endlessly pour over statistics to find the perfect channels to deliver the best results. CodeFuel platform does it for you. Start monetizing today.

What are In-Feed Ads and How to Use Them

What are In-Feed Ads and How to Use Them

In-feed ads are a highly effective method of native advertising. These ads are inserted seamlessly into the feed of an app or e-commerce site, taking the appearance of posts without disrupting the user experience. The result? Engaged users and higher conversions.

There are many types of in-feed ads and a bit of confusion about how to use them right. In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into today’s in-feed advertising. We’ll explore the main-feed ad types of the leading e-commerce platforms and address common misconceptions about this versatile ad type. Let’s start.

What are In-feed ads?

In-feed is a type of ad format you place inside your feed to monetize your site and enhance your visitor’s user experience. It is one of the methods of native advertising that delivers branded content among other content on a digital property.

What makes an in-feed ad? 

  • The ad is delivered as part of the user experience.
  • It matches the format and aesthetics of the ad to the publisher’s content.
  • Discloses the ad as sponsored or promoted content.

What is a feed?

There are different types of feeds:

CONTENT FEEDS PRODUCT FEEDS SOCIAL FEEDS 
Content sites and news aggregations like Forbes, Yahoo, CNN. Ecommerce sites and app listings like Amazon and eBay. Social networking and media apps like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

You can place an in-feed in a news site or related to a product listing on an e-commerce site. This type of ad is native thus customizable to match the aesthetics of your content. Usually, you would want to place the in-feed ad between two content units on your feed or at the beginning or end.

When visitors scroll through the feed, they see the ad, but their experience is not interrupted by it. Therefore, in-feed ads don’t break the user flow and complement the content.

in-feed ads

Source

Types of in-feed ads

In-feed ads are often placed between content that appears on news sites and social media that use the infinite scroll format. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)  explains in-feed ads according to the type of feed.

In the Native Advertising Playbook, the IAB defined the different types of in-feed native ads. Here are the two most common:

  • A summary of the sponsored content

These ads are placed in a normal content feed, written in partnership with the publisher’s team to match the rest. The performance of this sponsored content is measured on brand metrics. Since the ad is inside the publisher’s site, the user remains on the website.

sponsored content

Source

  • Static in-feed ads

Static ads link to the website of the brand being promoted. Therefore, static in-feed ads take the user off-site to a brand’s landing page. The performance of this type of ad is measured in click-through rate and conversions.

Static in-feed ads

Source

The IAB mentions four critical types of ads that can be served in-feed: 

  • The story ads: these are written ads inside editorial content pieces,
  • App install ads: these type of ads directs you to download a mobile app.
  • Product ad: this in-feed ad links to a landing page for a product on an e-commerce site.
  • Video ads: these ads direct the user to video, which can be in short or long format, Vimeo or GIF.

Ad Types

Examples of In-feed Ads:

As you are indeed noticing, in-feed ads are more diverse and versatile than we thought. Here are two examples of how in-feed advertising can be different in terms of integration and function.

British airways in Mashable

Sites like BuzzFeed, Forbes, and Mashable serve in-feed ads that blend into the content. This type of ad mimics page content behavior appearing like part of the content.

Take this example of  British Airways ads as a sponsored content piece inside Mashable:

In-feed ad example

 

Image source

When a user clicks on the link, it takes them to an article written by the British Airways team with an ad reminding users that British Airways has a direct flight from London to Silicon Valley.

In-feed promoted post in LinkedIn

Ads on Linkedin

Here we have an example of a good match. LinkedIn is the go-to platform for B2B advertising. So, with most decision-makers in there, an ad for a cybersecurity platform appears natural. When the viewer clicks on the ad, it leads to a landing page for the product. The disclosure appears right below the company name.

Are In-feed Ads a Type of Native Advertising?

Native ads are paid advertisements. that match the look, function, and aesthetics of the page or app where they appear. They are usually found in social media feeds or as sponsored content on a web page. As you may see below, the IAB includes in-feed ads in the main types of native ads.

The thing with native ads is that they don’t look like ads. They look like part of the content on the page they are to prevent disrupting the user experience.

 4 Types of Native Ads

  1. In-feed ads 

As we mentioned before, ads appear in your feed, such as news, social, or e-commerce.

  • Paid search

Search ads are listing that appear primarily at the top of your Google search results or in the sidebar. They can be text or include images and product descriptions.

  • Recommendation widgets

Content pieces, such as recommended articles, sponsored posts, usually appear on the screen after the article the user is reading.

  • Promoted listings

This type of paid content typically appears in e-commerce platforms, such as eBay. Promoted listings are served with priority in front of more and higher intent buyers, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

In-feed Ads in E-Commerce Platforms

The global retail e-commerce market has grown exponentially in 2020, a whopping $4.28 trillion, according to eMarketer.

In-feed Ads in E-Commerce Platforms

Ecommerce platforms can enhance their visitors’ experience by implementing in-feed ads. For example, adding “articles you may like” or “recommended products” paid content. This type of sponsored content doesn’t appear like an ad, but a recommendation, so the user is more likely to click on it.

Today, with the help of adtech, in-feed ads include video, carousel catalogs, and mobile in-feed ads.

In-feed Ads in E-Commerce Platforms

This ad appears on the side of a product page for a set of pots and pans. When you scroll down, you find “similar items to consider” and the sponsored ad. Notice how it blends seamlessly with the aesthetics of the page.

In-feed Ads in E-Commerce Platforms II

In-feed advertising can greatly support e-commerce platforms. Why? Because in-feed ads meet the main goal of an e-commerce site: keep consumers engaged as they go down the funnel of their customer journey.

In-feed ads are flexible and can meet every stage of the journey.

Advantages of in-feed ads

There are many benefits both for publishers and advertisers implementing in-feed ads. Let’s review a few.

Improved user experience

In-feed ads give users a better, non-disruptive user experience. Since they are part of the user’s flow, they don’t interrupt the journey or alter the look and feel of the website.

Better monetization

In-feed ads provide publishers the opportunity to monetize new spaces in their pages, inside their feeds.

Great for mobile

In-feed ads are ideal for mobile because they help monetize small screen spaces such as mobile devices.

Better reach 

For advertisers, in-feed ads offer an opportunity for reaching highly engaged audiences.

In-feed vs. standard ads

Standard ads, such as display, banner, or the like, are placed around the website content. In the case of pop-up ads, they spring right in the center of the screen. They disrupt the customer experience, and their customization is limited.

In-feed ads, on the other hand, are part of the user’s flow. They are also highly customizable and geared to high intent users.

How CodeFuel Drives Engagement with In-Feed Contextual Ads

CodeFuel uses in-feed ads to deliver a seamless user experience that meets the intent of the consumer. The user engages with the ad because it provides an added value to the ad content and answers the user’s queries.

In-feed ads example

 

CodeFuel leverages AI and machine learning capabilities to offer intent-based advertisements that match the user requests every time. Our complete monetization platform thus drives engagement and maximizes the publisher’s yield.

Start delivering the best user experience with intent-based ads. Sign up here.

Google Shopping Ads 101 – A Beginner’s Guide + Alternatives

Google Shopping Ads 101 – A Beginner’s Guide + Alternatives

Product ads are everywhere and for a reason. They bring results and continue to see growth year after year. Using shopping campaigns now is a standard advertising strategy. They drive additional revenue and increase the brand’s presence on the web.

Google Shopping Ads are the most popular, but there are alternatives, like Bing Shopping that can bring you straight to your intended market.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the basics of Google and Bing Shopping ads as well as tips to implement a successful shopping ads strategy.

What are shopping ads?

Shopping ads are a type of advertising that includes product information like an image, price, and merchant name to promote a product. The ads can be created by using product information that you submit to your ad platform. For instance, Google or Bing. This type of ad shows when a user is searching for a specific keyword.

For example, let’s say you’re looking for succulent plants to decorate your living room. As soon as you type, I’ll be getting different product images together with the product title, price, store name, and reviews. These ads give you information about potential products that may interest you.

Shopping adsShopping ads give consumers useful information about the products they are looking for

The difference between search ads and shopping ads is that the latter display detailed information that encourages purchase, such as product title, price, store name, or reviews even before they visit the online store.

 6 Benefits of Shopping Ads

1. More reach

Unlike common assumptions, Google Shopping ads are not limited to Google’s SERP. The platform increased the number of channels where they display shopping ads. That means you can reach more potential customers. Examples of where you can find Google Shopping ads include the shopping tab on Google Search, Google Images, Search Partner websites, YouTube, Gmail, and other members of Google Display Network.

2. Increased ROI

Investing in shopping ads is a smart move for your marketing strategy. Shopping ads perform better both in terms of click-through rate ( CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and conversions. Let’s see some numbers:

  • A recent report showed that users are twice more likely to click on Google Shopping Ads than on text ads.
  • Another study on ad performance showed that campaigns that use shopping ads have lower CPC ($0.66 vs $1) than search ads.
  • Research by Merkle advertising showed that shopping ads have a 30% more conversion rate.

These ads are more effective in bringing traffic and sales, thus resulting in better ROI. By displaying a lot of information, these ads simplify the entire customer journey.

3. Attract more attention

Shopping ads help your products get the most visibility because naturally, images drive more attention than text. Secondly, did you notice shopping ads tend to be at the top of the result page? That’s on purpose! This makes it easier to catch the attention of potential customers.

Let’s imagine you are looking to buy some women’s boots for the upcoming winter season. When you search for that in Google, your results will look something like this:

Ads with images

Ads with images stand out more than text ads 

The images just pop off the page, right? They draw the eye immediately, that’s why shopping ads need to look attractive on search results pages so viewers are more inclined to click.

4. Better quality traffic

The ads are shown to people with a higher customer intent since they are looking for the products you are displaying. What’s more, many people searching for products on a search engine like Google already decided to buy the product. So if the search shows relevant ads like yours, the customer may find exactly what they are looking for.

5. Easy to set up and manage

Google Shopping campaigns are popular because their setup and management are really easy. To set up a shopping campaign is a simple and automated process done in the Google Merchant Center.

You don’t need to add the information about each product manually. They are tools that can pull the data from your store to generate your ads. You can also set priorities for the campaign. For instance, if a Google search calls multiple ads from your feed, the platform will show the prioritized products, for example, the ones on promotion.

6. Easy to track performance

Google Shopping ads give a complete picture of how your products are performing. You can track your product performance, filter how products are performing at the product, and analyze your metrics. You can also benchmark data, which gives you an idea of how your campaign is performing compared to your competitors.

How do Google Shopping Ads Work?

Shopping ads are automated based on the data sent to the search engines. To achieve that, you need to send the feed via a feed provider to the engine Merchant Center, linking your feed to the engine.

What’s a merchant center? Is an entity from a search engine that centralizes the information and helps manage shopping feeds. For example, you’ll need to create an account in Google’s merchant center before you can send your feeds to GoogleAds. To understand how all of this works, let’s go over the process of creating a Google Shopping Campaign.

How to Create a Google Shopping Campaign

Creating a Google Shopping campaign comprises a few simple steps:

1. Create your Google Ads account.

2. Create your Google Merchant account and link your Google ads account to it.

3. Set your product feed on the Google Merchant Center.

Add your product data, like product title, category, and price. Once you send the feed to Google Merchant Center, you can build campaigns in Google Ads.

How does the merchant center work? In Google or Microsoft, you submit your product data and create a feed according to certain specifications. There is a difference between Google and Microsoft merchant centers: while GMC is a separate entity and you need to create an account on it, on Microsoft the merchant center is under the Microsoft Ads user interface/ tools.

How do you send your feed to the Google or Microsoft Merchant Center?

You can send your product data to GMC in a couple of ways. If you have a few products, you can integrate Google Sheets directly with the GMC that will pull the product data from it automatically. If you have more than a few products, or you have a Shopify or BigCommerce e-store, there are apps in their system that automatically send feeds from your store to Google Merchant Center. Another option is to outsource with a third-party feed provider, but this means you still need to send your data to them first.

Once you choose how you’d send your feed, take care of any setting and admin areas in the Merchant Center. For instance, get your shipping, taxes, business information, and any other settings so you can start advertising your products right away.

4. Set up your campaign

To create a campaign you first need to link your Google Ads account in the Google Merchant Center. To do that:

  1. Go to the Merchant Center
  2. Click the Tool icon and select “Linked Accounts”

Set up your campaign

Image source

  1. You’ll be requested to add your Google Ads Customer Identification Number (CID) and click send.
  2. Go to your Google Ads account. Select “Linked Accounts” You’ll see the Merchant Center Invite option.
  3. Accept the invite.

Building effective campaigns on Google or Microsoft Being is something for another article. Nevertheless, I’ll give you some tips to follow:

  • Try multiple campaigns on your account so you can test the bidding and adjust the keywords for the right products.
  • Look at how your customers search and base your bidding on the natural categories.
  • Choose the main segment categories and then add them to campaigns. Then add segmented product categories into the ad groups.

Conversion tracking setup: Do this before creating your first campaign

Before setting your campaign, make sure you can track how effective your ads are. Setting up Conversion tracking helps you see how every click on your ad converts into customer activity on your website. By setting a conversion action you can track customer actions on your website and understand how clicks on your ads lead to sales and leads.

  1. From your Google Ads account select the Tools icon/ Measurement/ Conversions
  2. Click the plus button
  3. Click Website
  4. Select the type of action you want to track (Sales, Leads)
  5. Enter the name for the conversion you want to track on “Conversion name”
  6. Select a description for your conversion action
  7. In “Value”, choose how you want to track the value of each conversion. You can use the same value for all or assign different values to each conversion.

You can also choose how you want to count the conversions, how long you want to track them, and what to include in your “Conversions” column. Once you are finished with all the options click “Create and Continue” For more information about how to create a conversion tracking, see here.

Campaign creation: Standard Shopping vs Smart Shopping Campaigns

On Google, when you select Shopping as your campaign type, you can choose which type of campaign you want to run. There are two types of shopping campaigns you can run in Google: Standard Campaigns or Smart Campaigns:

Let’s compare both options:

  Standard Shopping Campaign Smart Shopping Campaign
Reach Limited Wide
Bidding Manual and automated Automated
Level of Control High Low
Optimization High Low
Remarketing Optional Included
Where will your ads appear? Google Search Network Search Network, Display Network, Search Partners, YouTube, Gmail
Transparency High Low
Best used for New users You want to automate your campaigns

Standard campaigns offer more control and transparency. This means you can set the maximum CPC for each product. With Smart Shopping, all this process is automated. You are subject to the “Maximize Conversion Value” Strategy, which optimizes your CPC automatically.

How to Create a Bing Ads Shopping Campaign 

Bing shopping campaigns are very similar to Google Shopping. There are a few differences though. For instance, instead of appearing at the top of the page, they appear in a grid format,  on the right-hand side of the search results page.

How do you run Bing shopping ads? 

If you are just coming to Bing Shopping, you need to create a Bing Merchant Center account:

  1. Go to your Bing Ads account
  2. Choose Tools / Bing Merchant Center / Create a Store

This will show Bing where your shopping catalog is stored. You’ll need to update the catalog at least every month.

How to create your Shopping Catalog

There are two main options to create your shopping catalog (also called feed):

  1. If you already have a Google Shopping feed, you can upload it as-is because it integrates with Bing.
  2. If you want to create a new catalog, you can do it as well. Here you can find the requirements for categories

To create a new feed:

  1. Select Tools/ Merchant Center/ Feeds from the top menu.
  2. Select Create Feed and enter your catalog name
  3. Choose your preferred options including country of sale and currency. Here’s help if you want to show your product in multiple countries.
  4. You will need to create a catalog file. You can do it in a spreadsheet or text file. Here is an example.
  5. Once created the catalog you need to submit it. You can manually upload files under 4MB, use an FTP/SFTP if your file is on-premises. If your file is online, you can download the file from the URL or download the feed file from Google Docs. Here you can find instructions on how to do it.

Here are some best practices to ensure your feed will work properly: 

  • Update the catalog at least once a month.
  • Make sure the information, prices, description, and title are accurate.
  • Use high-quality images that show the product clearly with a clear, solid background.
  • Don’t leave any fields blank if possible. Here’s a table with required and recommended fields:
Required fields Recommended fields
  • ID– Product ID
  • Title– Product Title
  • Link– The product landing page URL
  • Price– The product price
  • Description– Detailed product description
  • Image link– the URL of the image with a minimum size of 220px by 220px.
  • Product category– according to Bing taxonomy and predefined categories.
  • Product Type– advertiser’s taxonomy
  • Sale Price Effective date- when the item sale price starts/ends
  • Condition– New/ Used/ Refurbished
  • Custom Label– Identifiers for campaign filters
  • Custom labels can help you create different product groups. For example, in the table below, you find some ideas for custom label metrics you can track and the values you can use to filter campaigns.
Custom Label  Values 
Popularity High demand, low demand
Price range High end, low end, sale
Stock level Limited supply
Profit margin High, low
Seasonal products Winter, Summer, Holidays, Christmas

Create your campaign 

  1. Go to Create Campaign/ Sell Products from your account dashboard.
  2. Choose your settings, for example, priority level. This setting tells Bing which campaigns to prioritize. There are three priority options:
  • High priority: This refers to focused campaigns, such as seasonal campaigns. When you choose this setting you are telling Bing to show these products first.
  • Medium priority: Use this setting for products that perform well on a normal basis.
  • Low priority: A sort of a catch-all campaign is the one Being will look on the last when choosing relevant products for a query.

Segmenting your ad groups

Once you create your campaign you can create your ad groups. Ad segmentation brings a lot of confusion to new users. Think of it as starting with a bucket containing all your ads. Then you divide the content into smaller buckets according to categories. For example, by brand, condition, any of your custom labels, product category, or type. You have a thousand ways to segment your ad groups in the way that best fits your account and campaign.

Ways to get your products into Shopping results

If you want to take advantage of Google Shopping and make sure your products show there are three routes you can take.

The first is simply aiming for organic search discovery. This means when a consumer type a product on Google and you hope your product will appear without needing paid promotion. Google calls this method Surfaces by Google and includes displaying a product in image results instead of text search results.

The second way available is the one we describe in this article, by using Shopping Ads through the Merchant Center. This allows you to set up shopping campaigns and view how the ads are performing.

The last option is a new experience which is called Google Shopping Actions. This marketplace is Google’s option to compete with Amazon and enables sellers to display their products on multiple google platforms including the Google Shopping mobile app and the Google assistant for mobile and even Google Home devices.

Tips to monetize your website with shopping ads

If you own a website, one of the best ways to earn extra revenue is by adding shopping ads to your digital property. How does it work? To put it simply, you partner with an advertising network (Like Google, Bing, or CodeFuel) and they display relevant ads on your website. Every time a viewer clicks on the ads, you get paid.

Ad networks usually pay publishers a rate per click, called Click-Through-Rate. For publishers, one of the most popular ad networks is Google AdSense. Check out our guide on How To Make Money With Google Adsense for more information.

To know more tips and strategies to monetize your website, check our Monetization Guide for Beginners in 2021 article. 

How do shopping ads work on apps?

By showing your ads on mobile apps, you can reach a broader audience. How can you show your ads in apps in the Display Network?. Keep in mind that because of Google’s new rules, Google Ads no longer allows targeting app inventory via AdSense for mobile apps.

  1. On your Google Ads Account, select and click Display campaigns.
  2. Select Placements.
  3. Choose the ad group you want to show to apps.
  4. If you want to target a specific app category, choose from App categories.
  5. If you want to target specific apps, choose Apps, and search by name.
  6. You can also target multiple apps if you know their IDs by choosing to enter multiple placements then enter the IDs.
  7. Once you finish your selection, click Save.

If you don’t want the hassle, you can use an ad network or monetization platform that can automate your in-app advertising. If you are new to In-app advertising, check our complete guide In-app advertising: All you need to know and the best networks

5 Strategies to Maximize Revenue When Using Shopping Ads

To ensure you get the maximum revenue possible with shopping ads is not enough to create a perfect product feed and send it into the world. You also need to create and optimize your Google Shopping Campaign. Here are five tips you need to know to optimize your shopping campaign so you avoid wasting money on underperforming products.

1. Optimize your product feed

This should be where you start. By optimizing your product feed you are making it easier for Google to learn the information about your products. The more data they get about your products the better chance you have they are presenting them to your potential customers. Here are some tips to do it right: 

  • Optimize your images. Make sure you comply with Google’s rules and regulations. You can also conduct A/B testing to check what works best with your audience.
  • Get the price right: Ensure Google is pulling the correct price, and in the right currency.

2. Optimize your campaign structure

This is another strategy that you can use for success. While you may not have a lot of control over your ads there are some things you can try. For instance, you can bid differently for different products. This will allow you to account for differences in profit margins, popularity and conversion rates.

Take advantage of the possibility of dividing your products into different groups. As we mentioned above you can divide them by category, brand, item ID, product type, and custom labels.

3. Find your weak spots

Normally, some of your products are going to perform better than others. By finding your “winners” and “losers” you can adjust your campaigns accordingly. The winners are the products that bring sales, the losers are the ones that albeit getting many visits, don’t get transactions.

You can find which ads are performing well and which aren’t by going to Reports/ View/Shopping.

4. Add negative keywords

You can limit the searches for which the ads will show by adding negative keywords. For example, if you sell silver jewelry, you may want to avoid people looking for gold jewelry. Thus you can add “gold” as a negative keyword. How do you do it?

  • Go to Keywords
  • Click on Details/ Search terms/ All 
  •  Select the terms you want to use and add them as negative keywords.

5. Bid higher for selected search queries

This tip enables you to bid higher for the most valuable search queries. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Identify which search queries bring more value to your business.
  2. Create a copy of your current shopping campaign
  3. On one of the campaigns, you’ll exclude these queries and decrease the CPCs.
  4. Change the priority setting of this campaign to Low while the other is set to Medium. This is going to tell Google to pick the medium campaign thus enabling you to bid higher for better queries.

Shopping Ads Vs. Text Ads

Text ads and shopping ads often appear on the same search results page. Text ads are more flexible in terms of landing pages, ad copy, headlines, and keywords. Shopping ads, on the other hand, are more rigid in their structure. The following table highlights a comparison between the two ad types:

  Text Ad Shopping Ad
Destination URL Landing page or product detail page Product detail page
Character count limit Three 30-character headline fields. Two 90-character description fields. 70-character title field and up to 1000 character description field.
Avg. Click-through-rate 3.17% 0.86%
Extensions Affiliate location, callouts, sitelinks, structured snippets, call, lead form, price, app, promotion, automated. Price, promotion, local inventory, product ratings.

Which ones should you use? You should use both. Text ads allow you to direct the customer to the landing pages. There is a significant value for brands that develop an integrated approach using both formats.

Shopping Ad FAQs

Where do shopping ads appear?

Shopping ads appear beyond Google’s SERP page. They appear on the Shopping tab, on search partner websites, on related sites like YouTube, on the Google Display Network, and the price comparison Shopping service.

What triggers shopping ads?

When a consumer is searching for a product, Google takes the relevant products from your product feed and shows them. That means you advertise based on product types.

Are shopping ads the same as display ads?

Shopping and text ads are based on keyword search. Display ads, on the other hand, display your visual ads beyond the search results page on an array of websites

How CodeFuel Optimizes the Performance of Shopping Ads

Optimizing your shopping ads can seem complicated, but CodeFuel simplifies and ensures high intent consumers are getting your ads. By basing our platform on contextual intent-based monetization, we encourage purchasing decisions from searches and increase conversions.

Learn more about how intent-based shopping ads optimize your campaigns and bring more revenue by contacting us.

Best Mobile Ad Networks for Publishers

Best Mobile Ad Networks for Publishers

An ad network is an excellent way for mobile publishers to monetize their applications or mobile sites by selling ad space to advertisers. In this guide, we’ll explore the best mobile ad networks for publishers and what you should consider before choosing one.

Short in Time? These Are Our Top 5 Ad Networks for Mobile

  1. CodeFuel – Offers a complete holistic solution for publishers, with multiple ad formats and monetization options by enhancing engagement and user experience. Start Now! (read more)
  2. Bidease – A demand-side platform for mobile marketers based on programmatic technology. (read more)
  3. Smadex – Demand-side platform based on machine learning and first-party data. (read more)
  4. Golden Goose – Cost-per-action platform targeted to publishers and advertisers for mobile traffic monetization. (read more)
  5. Ad Colony – SSP platform for developers and publishers. (read more)

What’s an ad network, and how does it work for mobile?

A mobile ad network is an integrated platform that bridges advertisers with mobile app publishers. It enables developers to monetize their applications through passive income from mobile ads.

Mobile ad networks can cater to publishers or advertisers. When they are geared to publishers, they are called supply-side-platforms (SSP). When an ad network is geared to advertisers, it is called a demand-side platform (DSP).

Our Pick: The Top 5 Mobile Ad Networks for Mobile

CodeFuel

CodeFuel

CodeFuel is an all-in-one monetization platform that leverages high-intent ads, search and news for websites and mobile applications.
Features

  • Complete intent-based monetization for applications and mobile sites.
  • Offers search mediation via monetization pages.
  • Uses contextual targeting to present relevant shopping ads that encourage high intent users and increase conversions.
  • Multiple ad formats.
  • Supports multiple platforms and verticals.
  • Advanced tracking and analytics.
  • Centralized dashboard.

Pros

  • The highly relevant ads generate a higher yield for publishers while enhancing the user experience.
  • All-in-one solution. Search, shopping ads, and news for digital property.
  • Multiple integrations with MSN, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and over a thousand quality publishers. Access to premium Google AdSense programs.

Cons

  • Best suited for publishers with middle to large user audiences.

Bidease

Bidease is a demand-side platform for mobile publishers. It offers an ad exchange, real-time bidding, and analytics.

Bidease

Features

  • Multiple ad types, playable, native, banners, interstitial and mobile video.
  • Transparent access to data for advertisers.
  • Personalized dashboard.
  • AI and machine learning-powered.
  • Anti-fraud and brand safety protocols.

Pros

  • Large inventory base.
  • Good tracking for key performance indicators.
  • Transparency for advertisers.

Cons

  • They don’t offer self-service.

Smadex

Smadex is a mobile DSP that offers premium inventory and real-time bidding. They offer transparency for advertisers and publishers, upper-funnel branding.

Smadex

Features

  • Transparent reporting for advertisers.
  • Multi-dimensional reporting.
  • Inventory forecasting.
  • Management options: fully managed, self-serve, or hybrid.
  • Multiple ad formats: banner, native, video, interstitial, playable.

Pros

  • Multiple business models
  • Strong technology.

Cons

  • Focused on large advertisers.

Golden Goose

This ad network for mobile offers over 600 mVAS services from around the world. They have a cost-per-action model.

Golden Goose

Features

  • CPA platform providing mobile traffic monetization tools for publishers and advertisers.
  • Fraud detection.
  • Pay per action.

Pros

  • Large inventory base.
  • Good support.
  • Fast approval process.
  • Non-intrusive ads.

Cons

  • Single payment mode.

AdColony

This ad network specializes in mobile advertising for app developers. Offers multiple formats. They started with a focus on gaming apps and later expanded to other types of mobile publishing advertising.

AdColony

Features

  • A platform for developers and publishers
  • Multiple ad formats
  • Ad mediation

Pros

  • Transparent
  • Large inventory

Cons

  • Not suitable for niche or specific products or services.

Other ad networks to consider:

AdMob

One of the largest Cost-per-Click networks offers tools to monetize apps and mobile websites. AdMob is primarily popular among small businesses and gaming companies.

Pros

  • Good quality inventory.
  • Multiple ad formats.
  • Good reporting and analytics.

Cons

  • Very low prices for impressions and clicks.
  • Tends to have security issues and allow sensitive ads oמ G-rated apps.

Smaato

It is a digital self-serving ad tech platform for publishers and advertisers.

Pros

  • Excellent control for publishers.
  • Good support team.
  • Premium inventory.

Cons

  • Inventory is a bit pricey.
  • The reporting dashboard is limited.
  • Lacks transparency about margins.

ironSource

It is a mobile app monetization and mobile advertising application. It is used primarily by enterprise-level companies.

Pros

  • Large video inventory.
  • Premium inventory in tier 1 countries.
  • Managed platform.

Cons

  • The anti-fraud control is very basic.
  • Poor inventory in small countries.
  • Expensive CPMs.

Taboola

It is a native advertising platform that publishes recommended content in various news sites and spaces.

Pros

  • Easy to set up campaigns.
  • Good support.
  • Many options for targeting.

Cons

  • The user interface is not easy to navigate, manage campaigns or view performance.
  • Doesn’t have performance whitelisting.
  • It is difficult to get traffic from a single region.

What to Consider When Choosing an Ad Network?

Choosing the right ad network for your business can be confusing. There are too many choices, and the jargon can further complicate things. Should you choose CPC or CPM? An extensive or niche ad network? Let’s review some key factors to take into account before signing up with an ad network:

The size of the network

Theoretically, an ad network with tens of thousands of advertisers can give you better performance than one with a thousand. A more extensive inventory means more options to match an ad to your website via contextual targeting.

A large pool of advertisers also means you can target a wider geographical area, increasing the chances for your inventory to be sold. Using a large ad network may also increase your profits. Since ad networks sell inventory to the highest bidder, you have more chances for high bidders when you have more advertisers.

However, the size of the network is not the only factor that matters. That’s what brings us to our second point.

Ad formats available

The ad format is even more critical in mobile advertising. An ad that is not fitting well with the phone’s small screen is a waste of money. Look for an ad network that offers multiple ad formats, standard display units, custom unis, text ads, rich media, video, interstitial, search box, and more.

If you are new and don’t know which format goes better with your application or mobile website, going with a network that offers multiple formats allows you to A/B test the ads for performance.

The quality of the ads

Technically, every ad the ad server algorithm serves you is highly related to the user preferences. But many times, this differs significantly from network to network.

Many publishers don’t care what ads are being served on their websites or apps. While it seems a good idea to increase profits, serving every ad that comes your way can hurt your brand. You can lose all the benefits from creating engaging content for your website or giving your application the best user experience.

Low-quality ads damage your user’s trust, and your reputation may suffer from associating with those types of ads. Users can drop your application like hot coals.

The technology behind the ad network

Look for a network that offers the best technology you can find. Publishers should look for features that not only maximize your yield but make your ad management easier. Features like a centralized ad management system, automated reporting tools, real-time updates, contextual targeting are some of the functions you may look for.

Switching from a legacy ad network to a network based on artificial intelligence and machine learning can help you reach higher-paying advertisers while enhancing your user experience.

Payment terms

Networks pay publishers in a variety of methods, for example, CPV (cost per view), CPM (cost per mile), CPC (cost per click), CPA (cost per action), or fixed costs.

You probably need to try different pricing models to check which one will give you the best revenue. Alternatively, signing with an ad network that offers other compensation models saves you from having to switch between networks when you want to try a new pricing model — you start a new campaign in your existing interface. 

Tips From CodeFuel for Mobile Publisher Success

At CodeFuel, we are experts in mobile publishing, and over the years, we collected from our customers and researched what works and what doesn’t when monetizing apps and mobile sites. Whether you are trying to monetize your app or your mobile site, there are some tips to consider:

  • User engagement is critical: If user engagement is high, it means users are happy. This is especially true for app publishers. The more time the user spends in the app, the more likely they will purchase.
  • Reward loyal users: Discounts and perks can help convert users that are not comfortable with in-app purchases. Also, users visiting your mobile site are more likely to purchase if they are offered “mobile-only” promotions.
  • Create a community: People love to interact on their mobiles, and some sites and apps thrive with communities. Users tend to purchase more when they belong to an online community.

Checklist to create the perfect mobile advertising campaign

Answer these questions to have a campaign plan:

  1. What are your goals?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. Which ad format do you need?
  4. How long will the campaign last?
  5. Which devices will you target?
  6. How will you manage user data?

Once you answer these questions, you can proceed with the following steps:

1. Design the ads.

Focus on using high-quality graphics, especially if you are targeting iPads and tablets too. Your content copy should be compelling, crisp, and clear to encourage a call to action.

2. A/B test

Test different types of ads to check which works better. An assessment after launching the campaign can tell you how ads are performing.

Top 3 Best Ad Networks for Gaming

Everybody is familiar with ad networks like Google and Facebook, but there could be other networks where you can acquire high-level users for gaming apps.

Applovin

Applovin was rated #1 for ad spends on iOS and Android. Their platform attracts users on both systems for multiple types of ads. Applovin reaches 470 million mobile gamers.

Unity Ads

It offers a monetization solution specifically designed for gamers, enabling the integration of relevant ads in-game.

Vungle

It is a self-serve advertising platform. The platform offers tracking tools that help optimize ad spend by tracking KPIs in real-time.

Mobile Ad Formats

When choosing an ad network, it is vital to take into account what ad formats they offer. Here is a preview of different ad formats to help you decide:

1. Interstitial ads

These are full-screen that will appear in the interface of the app. They are usually displayed between app screens or different levels on a game app.

2. Banner ads

These are static or animated images placed inside an app’s interface. They are typically used for advertising a third-party product or promoting the expansion of the app’s functionality.

3. Native ads

These ads may consist of textual or video advertisements that can match the style and form of the application or site they are placed on.

4. OfferWall ads

These are static, dynamic, or interactive. They are typically displayed within a mobile app to provide users with offers to engage with. Mobile games and mobile e-shopping sites use this format for advertising promotions or other games from the same developer.

5. Rich media ads

These include video, audio, and interactive ads, encouraging viewers to engage or act on the content. They can be short (under one minute) videos. Video ads can be in-stream or out-stream. In-stream means that they are streaming inside an app, before, within, or after a video. Out-stream video ads are displayed on a web page inside the mobile app. These types of ads have the highest engagement rates.

6. Push notifications

These ads can catch your audience’s attention when they are not using the app—for instance, sending notifications based on location triggers.

7. Click-to-download ads 

When users click on these ads, they are directed to Google Play or Apple Store to download the advertised application.

8. Click-to-call and click-to-message ads

You can see these types of ads in social media, usually prompting users to click on the ad to send a Whatsapp message or call the advertiser.

9. Search ads

These ads catch your audience’s attention and remind them to use your app while the user is searching for relevant keywords and categories.

10. Social media ads

These ads promote your application directly on their social media feed, for instance, sponsored Facebook posts.

Mobile Advertising Business Models

Mobile advertising can take different forms. They may include:

Cost per click (CPC)

Publishers get paid each time a user clicks on the ad unit. This is the best model for advertisers because they only pay when they take an active interest in the ad.

Cost per mille (CPM)

In this model, publishers get paid for every 1000 ad impressions. This model is best suitable for publishers because the revenue doesn’t depend on the ad’s number of clicks. The publisher can even forecast revenue if the site or app has a steady user base with reasonably stable traffic.

Cost per view (CPV)

In this model, the publisher gets paid each time a user views the video ad. Mobile ad networks provide advertisers with video ad campaigns. Every time a user watches a certain percentage of a video ad (usually half), the advertiser charges.

Cost per Action (CPA)

Publishers get paid every time a viewer completes a pre-set action, for example, downloading the advertised app or completing a registration form. This model benefits both businesses and publishers. Publishers can monetize their inventory faster, and the model offers more options for advertisers too.

Fixed cost

The publisher sells the ad inventory for a fixed price for a specific amount of time. This model is not so common and typically involves selling inventory directly to advertisers.

Why do mobile publishers need an ad network?

Mobile advertising, In-app advertising, in particular, is a growing trend. According to Statista, the global mobile advertising spending was $276.21 billion in 2020, from $230 billion in 2019. The market is expected to reach $341 billion in 2024.

Mobile Advertising Spending

Source

App revenue is also soaring. Despite the pandemic, mobile advertising spending in the US reached $96 billion and is expected to reach $117 billion in 2021.

US Mobile Advertising Spending

Source

There is a huge potential for revenue in mobile advertising. If you are thinking of monetizing via mobile ads, consider using an ad network. The web sells your ad space to marketers and advertisers, getting the highest paying possible bids for your space. When using an ad network, you sell the ad space in your app or mobile website and generate passive income.

An ad network provides revenue while enhancing the user experience by showing related ads. As a publisher, you’ll want a network that protects your reputation by serving highly targeted advertising in various ad formats.

Benefits of in-app advertising

If you want to know how to do in-app advertising effectively, check here.

As we mentioned above, in-app advertising is steadily growing. Mobile apps provide a way to reach consumers where they are, on their phones. They capture consumers’ attention and encourage conversions while the user is consuming content or actively browsing for products or services.

In-app advertising typically offers a higher click-through rate than web advertising, ranging from 0.1% to 0.2% for desktop ads. Additionally, in-app ads get higher click-throughs than mobile web ads. 0.58% in apps vs. 0.23% in mobile web.

Finally, running ads through an ad network is more effective than using a Demand-side platform. Click-through rates on ads placed by ad networks are 0.6% vs. 0.11% in exchanges.

What is mediation in mobile advertising?

Mediation is the process of connecting ad networks within a single software. This system browses the networks for the advertisers with the best eCPM and features them on your site.

A mediation single software kit (SDK) optimizes the ad bidding. If you want to sign up for multiple ad platforms, choose one that offers mediation to get the highest yield.

FAQs

How effective is mobile advertising?

Mobile advertising has significant advantages over other channels. A Czech research found out that mobile ads are 30 times more effective than Internet ads. The average mobile response is 2.72% and can reach 11.8% for the most successful campaign. In comparison, an average Internet campaign has a 0.02% average.

What are programmatic advertising and real-time bidding?

Programmatic advertising is the buying and selling of advertising via advanced software. All types of advertisements are traded via programmatic advertising, not only mobile. For mobile, though, programmatic advertising happens through real-time bidding (RTB). Real-time consists of a live auction in which the demand-side advertising platforms bid on personal impressions from an advertising exchange.

What is the difference between an SSP, a DSP, and an ad exchange?

Demand-Side Platforms (DSP) are advertising trading desks that provide advertisers with a dashboard to buy mobile advertising inventory. The platform bids on mobile advertising inventory on behalf of advertisers.

Ad exchanges are the digital marketplace that acts as an intermediary between advertisers and publishers. They present the inventory from publishers to advertisers.

A Supply-Side Platform (SSP) is similar to a DSP but from the publisher’s side. They use programmatic technology to sell publishers’ inventory.

What is premium inventory, and how can I get it?

Premium inventory is the highest quality inventory for advertisers, belonging to apps and sites with a large user base and quality content. These popular apps and sites are often strict about the types of ads they allow.

How CodeFuel increases engagement and conversions for mobile publishers

CodeFuel offers an innovative and comprehensive solution that leverages intent-based contextual targeting for mobile advertising. It provides news, searches, and shopping ads to monetize your application or mobile site. By focusing on the user intent, advertising gets high relevancy and converts more.

Ready to increase the revenue of your mobile app or site? Sign up for CodeFuel

What is Ad Tech Industry – And How it Makes Media Trading Easy

What is Ad Tech Industry – And How it Makes Media Trading Easy

The ad tech industry has changed significantly from a decade ago. Long gone are the days of negotiating ad placements between publishers and advertisers. Ad tech makes it possible for giants like Google and Facebook to make billions in revenue, and online publishers and developers generate income from their digital properties. But what is exactly ad tech and how it is shaping media trading?

Ad Tech brief definition

Is an umbrella term that stands for advertising technology. It refers to the stack of software and tools advertisers, agencies, publishers, and other industry actors use to plan and manage their advertising and monetization strategies

Evolution of the Ad Tech Industry

Evolution of the Ad Tech Industry

Before the advent of ad tech, media buying and advertising was a manual, complex process that required a lot of time and effort. Then, in the ’90s, e-commerce exploded, and advertising agencies found themselves helping to select websites for their client’s ads. This involved researching, checking metrics, and choosing which website would bring the maximum ROI for advertisers.

The first significant change came with the creation of the first ad server. A software that would automatically serve ads, ended manual ad placement and started the automated advertising revolution. This first ad server would later become the Google Ad Manager.

From then, the ball rolled quickly, and soon other technologies appeared driven by the market needs. Google AdWords, ad exchanges, and real-time bidding are only some of them.

There was a need to improve ad targeting and choosing the most relevant real estate for the ads, thus demand-side platforms were born. On the other side, publishers needed to gain some measure of control over their impressions prices while ensuring their ad space reached the coveted higher-paying advertisers, giving way to supply-side platforms. Other solutions that provide the user data for all this ecosystem to work properly appeared, as Data Management platforms, data analysis solutions, etc.

The state of Ad Tech in 2021 in numbers: 

  • Ad Tech market value (eMarketer): $134 billion. 
  • Market share distribution:

Market share distribution

While the biggest single player is Google, there are other companies that are looking to join the marketplace, whether with proprietary technology—like Apple—or other strategies.

  • U.S companies have increased the spending on programmatic advertising since 2020

In 2019, e-marketer forecasted that by 2020 the % of digital display ad spending will reach 83.9%. The reality surpassed the expectations, and as of May 2021, the percentage had reached 86%.

Digital Display Ad Spending

This change may happen because of the increase in the number of companies adopting automated solutions and undergoing digital transformation derived from the 2020 crisis. The market will continue growing and they expected companies to spend 91% of their advertising budget on digital display ads and programmatic advertising.

  • Companies spent $129 billion in programmatic advertising in 2020.

This figure is expected to reach $155 billion in 2021. (Statista)

So, what is Ad Tech, and why do we need it?

The Ad Tech industry includes all tools, resources, and software platforms that demand and supply sides use to interact, buy and sell ads and optimize advertising efforts.

  • Publishers use ad tech platforms to optimize their monetization activities through advertising.
  • Organizations use ad tech to plan and execute media buying and advertising optimization.
  • Advertisers use ad tech to deliver their ads to potential customers.

Without adtech, programmatic advertising wouldn’t exist. Ad Tech enables the delivery of highly targeted ads, implementing omnichannel marketing strategies among other techniques.

To understand why we need adtech let’s think about the way advertising was done years ago before the ad tech industry was born. Adverts were published with the goal to reach as large an audience as possible without almost no personalization.

While a massive reach can be useful to create brand awareness, this type of ad is less relevant for individual viewers. Adtech makes it possible to deliver advertisements to the most relevant audiences, at the right time and in the right context. Marketers then save time, money, and effort. Publishers, on the other side, can monetize their digital assets while giving end-users the most relevant offer for their queries.

The Ad Tech Solutions of CodeFuel

CodeFuel is an adtech company dedicated to providing monetization solutions for publishers and app developers. Our solutions include:

Search Mediation

CodeFuel offers optimized landing pages that maximize revenue for publishers. Regardless of the platform, you buy your media, our solution can help you increase your revenue. The monetization page is fully tailored for your business needs and the buying platform you use.

Media traders then can monetize search and achieve higher revenue by leveraging the mediation platform.

Website monetization

CodeFuel monetization solutions are designed to transform intent into revenue.

The user-intent-based search enables you to monetize your website with contextual ads. By matching the audience’s intent to the right ad, you enhance the user experience and earn higher revenue.

Search queries

Search queries give a customized search results page (SERP), hosted on your website,  with paid text ads, optimized by search technology.

Shopping ads

When you sign up for your website with CodeFuel, your users are served shopping fuel ads related to their intent. For example, when a user clicks on an ad for a new cell phone, the system directs them to a results page with relevant ads for this specific cellphone model.

Newsfeed

You can also add a news feed to your website. Powered by MSN, it includes over a thousand premium news publishers. This increases your user’s engagement, by encouraging users to have a longer dwell time on your site. Ultimately, this translates into more conversions.

App Monetization

CodeFuel uses intent-based search to monetize your mobile app or browser extension. Add search capabilities to your application, which returns a customized SERP with relevant text and shopping ads.

Key features of CodeFuel solutions

  • Simple integration: easy installation and integration with search engines and ad networks.
  • HUB Analytics: get the information you need to improve your performance with the analytics hub.
  • End to End Support: complete account management with strong business intelligence.

Ad Tech Basics

Advertising technology analyzes, manages, and delivers advertisements according to the requirements of the advertiser and target audience. Campaigns look to maximize the effect of ads, ultimately increasing ad revenue.

Who are the actors in AdTech?

The ad tech ecosystem consists of Advertisers, demand-side platforms, ad exchanges, ad networks, supply-side platforms, and publishers.

Publishers make their impressions and ad space available through supply-side platforms and ad networks at ad exchanges. Demand-side platforms bid on those ads through real-time bidding, selecting the most relevant ad types and placements for the target audience. Thanks to adtech, this supply-demand loop takes place in seconds, in the time that takes a page to load.

The role of user data

This loop of supply and demand generates revenue thanks to a key component: user data.

Understanding the user behavior and activity on a particular platform is the core of the effectiveness of programmatic advertising. User data is what makes it possible, via sophisticated software algorithms, to deliver the right ad to the right person at the right time.

You can buy user data or you can gather it on your own. But, the goal is to gather actual data from actual people (behaviors, interests, attitudes, and attributes) to be accurate in your targeting. The more you can refine ad targeting to the user, the better your bottom line will look. Why? Because the more the user relates to the ad, the more inclined they will be to click on it. That’s simple.

For publishers, the more your website, application, or extension marketing efforts apply to your target audience, the higher the value of your digital real estate for advertisers.

Advertising Technology for advertisers

Advertisers conform to the demand side of ad technology. Solutions geared for them aim to reach the target audience in the most efficient way and for the lowest possible price. These solutions help advertisers to run and optimize personalized programmatic campaigns, targeting and retargeting potential customers.

The advertiser’s ad tech stack may comprise some or all these types of tools:

  • A remarketing/ retargeting tool 

The fast pace of digital communications and the short attention span of customers means that sometimes a consumer will have interest in an ad but not follow through. Later, the consumer cannot find the ad or recall the name of the company (didn’t happen to us all?). Therefore, retargeting is essential for marketers to push consumers down the funnel.

  • Prospecting tools 

Expanding their customer base is a priority for most companies. Thus, machine-learning-powered prospecting tools help companies find their target audience in ad networks and ad exchanges. The more marketers use the tool, the more the system learns and refine the prospecting process.

  • Data management platforms

As we mentioned above, leveraging user data is a basic concept of programmatic advertising. Gathering, processing, and analyzing consumer behavior and transactional information makes it possible for companies to pinpoint the ads to the users to the dot.

  • Demand-side platforms

This is the technology that facilitates finding, bidding, and placing the ads at the right placement automatically. The system works automatically, serving the ads according to relevance for the end-user, the budget, and the criteria specified by the advertiser. Some of the top demand-side platforms are:

  • Facebook
  • Rocket Fuel
  • Amazon
  • AppNexus

Advertising Technology for publishers

Ad tech for publishers aims to achieve the highest price for the ad placement or impression from the most relevant buyers.

The right supply-side platform, like CodeFuel, can maximize the revenue of your digital property, whether is a website, an application, or an extension by delivering the most relevant ads to high intent users. It uses contextualization and intent-based technology to ensure the right ad gets to the user most likely to click on it.

This enhances the user experience, increasing the value of the website or app for advertisers, thus ensuring higher bids.

Elements of the Ad technology Ecosystem

Elements of the Ad technology Ecosystem

Image credit: Nagle

Ad exchange

This solution works as an intermediary in the real-time bidding process. Ad tech providers use ad exchanges to connect DSP to SSP. Publishers and advertisers don’t usually have access to the information shared in the ad exchange. However, their traffic and inventory pass through the ad exchange on the way to the advertiser or publisher, respectively.

Ad networks often buy both traffic and inventory from ad exchanges to sell on their own.

Ad Exchange

Ad network

Content delivery network

Ad network

Image source  

A CDN is a distributed network of servers deployed in multiple data centers. The goal of a content delivery network is to serve content to end-users with minimal latency and load times. CDNS are used in adtech to host ads so they are served to users from the closest server, minimizing the time to load the ads.

Ad server

These were among the first ad tech developments, used to host and store ads, then serving them on the publisher’s website. Nowadays, ad servers are full ad tech platforms for launching and managing ad campaigns, connecting publishers and advertisers.

Ad servers also collect data on ad performance to optimize campaigns. This technology is what makes it possible for media buying automation.

Agency Trading Desk (ATD)

Is a set of tools used by media agencies to plan, buy and manage to advertise. Organizations that are not yet ready to install a DSP or justify an in-house team use ATD services. The downside of using an agency trading desk is that advertisers don’t have direct access to the inventory.

Demand-side Platform (DSP)

Is a platform that allows users to buy inventory from various ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSP). Unlike an ad server, with DSP advertisers don’t need to negotiate prices with publishers. They set their CPM (Cost per Mille), target preferences, and can launch the campaign. A DSP also lets you set bidding rules and optimization tools that help run your media buying without having to be on top of it.

Supply-side Platform (SSP)

Is the publisher’s side of a DSP. This ad software enables publishers to make available, manage, sell and optimize inventory on their websites and applications. SSP also works based on real-time bidding. That means you don’t need to negotiate rates with advertisers. You only need to embed an ad tag and or a header to the website, which will allow the browser to request an ad for that place in the website. The tag is forwarded to the SSP, which automatically selects a suitable ad from the DSP according to the publisher’s data.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

A data management platform enables advertisers to understand in-depth their audience’s behavior. The DMP collects data from different sources, hashtags, mobile apps, cookies, APIs, etc. The platform uses third-party cookies to define the user profile and develop behavioral targeting in a DSP or ad server.

Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Customer Data Platforms go a bit further than DMP. Not only collects third-party data but also personally identifiable information (PII). Thus a CDP can create a complete profile with a name, company email, and other data, gathered under consent, from analytics tools, Customer Relation Management tools, subscriptions, newsletter signups, transactional systems, etc. This technology will probably be very popular once third-party cookies are phased out by Google in 2022.

Inventory and Ad Quality Scanning Tools

Inventory and Ad Quality Scanning Tools

Image source

These tools are critical to prevent ad fraud, which affects around 37% of ads. Inventory and ad quality scanning tools help prevent traffic bots, malvertising, and ad fraud by scanning the ads before being served on the website.

How Ad Tech simplifies media trading

Without ad tech, programmatic advertising wouldn’t exist. By automating the media trading process it takes the negotiation out of the hands of publishers and buyers, simplifying the process. Ad tech enables advertisers to bid on the most relevant ad placements for their campaign without having to check site by site. Simply input the requirements and budget and the platform will find, bid, and acquire the best ad placements at the best possible price, then serving the ads immediately.

On the supply side, ad tech helps publishers to sell ad space without having to find and negotiate with advertisers. It also makes it possible to sell impressions and inventory in seconds. Thus, ad tech is taking the hassle out of media trading.

The current trends in the Ad Tech Industry

Where is Ad Tech going in the next few years? The industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years and is not willing to stop evolving. Here are the top trends that are shaping the ad tech industry:

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

These two technologies help advertisers analyze massive amounts of user data, incorporating behavior analysis to predict the actions of a user online. This data is processed and correlated to serve the right ad according to the user intent at this moment.

Post cookies optimization

Google’s phasing out third-party cookies by 2022 is causing major upheaval in the programmatic industry. Some markets report significant drops in buyer’s bid rates as a consequence. In Germany, buyer’s bid rates decreased by 40%.

Companies are trying to find a viable user identity alternative that doesn’t affect them so much. Some alternatives may include storing data without using cookies by opt-in forms, universal ids, data pools, among others.

Programmatic everything

When Netflix and Amazon Prime changed the way we consume multimedia content from cable to digital, advertisers needed to transition with them. Now, programmatic advertising is making its way to television, audio, and podcasts to take advantage of the power of data for this segment of the market.

Ad Tech or MarTech?

While often confused, adtech and martech are two different industries. Is true, they intersect in some features and functions but each one has a different approach. Putting it simply is the same difference between marketing and advertising.

Advertising implies using paid media and content for promoting products and services. Marketing is a more broad approach to promotion, and inside the marketing mix of activities is advertising.

Ad Tech
Use cases
Paid ad campaigns
Channels
Display ads, video ads, PPC, social media ads, CTV
Purpose
Simplify media trading, optimize monetization revenue
Users
Media buyers, ad agencies, website owners, app developers, networks
MarTech
Use cases
Paid and unpaid promotion methods
Channels
Social media, email, direct sales, content marketing, video marketing, conversational marketing
Purpose
Facilitate and automate marketing strategy implementation
Users
Marketing teams, freelance marketers, sales teams
Ad Tech
Use cases
Paid ad campaigns
Channels
Display ads, video ads, PPC, social media ads, CTV
Purpose
Simplify media trading, optimize monetization revenue
Users
Media buyers, ad agencies, website owners, app developers, networks
MarTech
Use cases
Paid and unpaid promotion methods
Channels
Social media, email, direct sales, content marketing, video marketing, conversational marketing
Purpose
Facilitate and automate marketing strategy implementation
Users
Marketing teams, freelance marketers, sales teams

Make the most of your media trading with CodeFuel

CodeFuel ML and AI capabilities facilitate media buying while improving the revenue for publishers. Getting the right monetization solution is critical for success. Leverage user intent in your digital property by using search, shopping, and news to engage users and improve their experience, serving them ads matched precisely with their queries.