Whether you are an online publisher or advertiser, the world of digital marketing can seem like a daunting byzantine system of visitor journeys, banner ads, and keyword optimization jujitsu.
Advertising has come a long way since the days when half-page newspaper ads dominated the industry. Now every little movement of a customer’s product search or site navigation can be tracked and linked to the effectiveness of an ad. Fortunately, even for the most Luddite entrepreneur, a new wave of ad management and placement software and systems has emerged that can make managing ad feed almost as easy as updating a Facebook page.
“I think too often people don’t realize that these ad systems have the ability to go that far,” says John McCarthy, director of search engine optimization for WebMetro, a San-based internet marketing firm. Dimes. , California.
The trick, according to online advertising specialists, is knowing how to best fine-tune your system so that you get your money’s worth. Experts offer these tips:
Managing Your Online Advertising: Assessing Your Inventory
In this case, inventory means the amount of advertising space available on your site. It also means your fitness as a place of advertising. Ad placement companies are looking for three standard sizes for digital advertising, says Sean Keaveny, senior vice president of adConductor, a company that helps build and manage online ad networks and is based in Burlington, Massachusetts; New York City; and LA. For ranking or top advertising space, the standard is 728 x 90 pixels; a box ad in the article must be 300 x 250 pixels in size; and a left or right panel ad must be 160 x 600 pixels.
But even before adConductor or similar companies start serving you ads, they put your site through an audit process to make sure it meets their needs. This means there is no offensive material, no inappropriate links, and enough content to justify advertisers’ investment.
“We want to attract very high quality brand advertisers to our network,” says Keaveny. You can also set your standards for the ads you want to run: if you’re a family site, for example, you can filter messages about alcohol or gambling in favor of those that target your audience more directly.
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Manage your online advertising: integrate your ad management system with your business
The early days of web advertising were pretty low-tech -; and subsequently quite inefficient. Companies used to track announcements on paper spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents. Ad performance and traffic reports were faxed or emailed to the office once a week.
“Now it’s a lot more complicated between ad volume and ads running in different formats,” says Tom Pace, CEO of Solbright, a global ad workflow technology company. “It goes far beyond text and rich media.”
The difference now is real-time data, instant transparency and detailed analytics. This means that your entire ad management team should have access to the system to see traffic reports, updated ad sales information, and scheduled air dates. With this information shared through a common system with the sales department, general manager and web team, you eliminate the possibility of double-booking ad space or disappointing customers with lesser ads, says Pace. The systems also send reminders: if you haven’t received an announcement a week before the deadline, a reminder alert will notify the sales and creative teams that the deadline is approaching.
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Manage your online advertising: track all your traffic, all the time
The real-time information available through digital advertising systems allows you to monitor the effectiveness of your advertisements minute by minute. For advertisers, that means seeing who is buying your product, what search terms they used, and what sites they visited to get there. For publishers, that means tracking who comes to your homepage, what they seem to be looking for, and the interest in ads on your site.
“In the future, a media manager will need to be much more analytical than they are today,” says Xuhui Shao, chief technology officer at Turn, a Silicon Valley-based digital advertising company specializing in in providing a data management platform. driven digital advertising.
McCarthy of WebMetro recommends that in addition to using a statistics counter like Google Analytics, advertisers even have a separate phone number attached to their online advertisement. A single phone number doesn’t make it easy to sort out traffic sources, he says.
“From a campaign tracking perspective, it’s really devastating,” he says. “You can’t really understand the effectiveness of one particular campaign over another.”
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Managing your online advertising: Frequently adjust your system.
Managing digital advertisements allows almost constant adjustment of advertising schemes for publishers and advertisers.
For advertisers, some systems allow you to set criteria for the desired ad space. This specification is necessary for the instant commercial nature of ad space that makes the ad market look like the New York Stock Exchange.
“Everything happens automatically. In real-time auctions, you only have a few milliseconds to make these decisions,” Shao says. “You really make these adjustments every second.”
A system’s dashboard also allows advertisers to adjust the frequency of their ads. In the past, advertisers could not control the number of times a message appeared in front of Internet users.
“It’s not only boring, but also a waste of money,” McCarthy says.
Now they can stagger ads, adjust frequency, or rotate campaigns with a single click.
It also allows for better budgeting. For publishers, that means being able to see how much ad revenue is coming in daily. For advertisers, this means seeing how well your ads are achieving their goals and if your campaign needs to be changed.
Dig deeper: Advice on advertising budgets.
Managing your online advertising: Know your audience – and your limits
Advertising on the web has its advantages, but first you need to make sure your site or product is in the right category. adConductor’s Keaveny says it’s important for publishers to properly categorize their site and ensure they have a clear idea of the types of advertisers they’re trying to attract. Branding with terms that are too general won’t attract the best ads, but being too specific will miss out on revenue opportunities.
“We need to make sure your site ends up in the right channels to get the best, highest paid advertising,” he says.
For advertisers, McCarthy says a system helps you ensure you have the right mix of ads. You need to keep track of the money you invest in buying an audience. He cites the example of a client who was selling diet pills and wanted to try and monetize a certain set of keywords. The market is saturated with other diet pill ads, so trying to buy a keyword search for the product would be extremely ineffective, he says.
“You can’t monetize this better than the next one,” he says. “Once in a while I tell people, ‘You shouldn’t be doing this right now.'”
Instead, he advises a customer in this situation to follow other search term purchases, such as for a specific ingredient, or to focus on social media marketing.
“A lot of entrepreneurs I talk to tend to forget that it’s a mix,” he says. “It’s not just a campaign that saves the day.”
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