By the end of the year 2024, ad spend will reach $885 billion. As such, ad networks—platforms connecting advertisers and publishers—will play a crucial role in business for years to come. Nevertheless, since there are a lot of ad networks in the market today, picking a new ad network can be confusing.
Many of these ad networks will promise you the best results, so carefully study which one is best for you before getting involved. If you skip this step, you might lose your money and/or get poor results.
Here are our top seven tips for finding a new ad network.
1. Target audience of new ad network
Marketers can be aggressive in their marketing efforts. If you’ve seen their ads running on popular social media channels, it is easy to believe a particular ad network might be right for you.
However, if you want results from an ad network, you are better off using the following method. First, off ask yourself the following:
- The target audience that an ad network can connect with – are they right for you?
- Which ad networks are your competitors partnering with?
If you take the time to answer these questions, you will find the right ad network. Other things to consider before working with an ad network are the demographics, app types, and audience groups that they work with – again, are they a good match? You should also be wary of platforms that work with too many of your competitors. Overall, your research should ideally lead you to a growing ad network that doesn’t have too many contracts with your peers.
2. Have a custom approach to testing
Not all ad networks are the same, so you can’t apply the same testing principles to them equally. Instead, when picking ad networks, you should use a customized approach.
Indeed, this is the reason most ad networks have guidelines for their advertisers to follow in order for them to generate optimal results. For example, they might indicate your testing duration and some of the basic requirements you need to follow to run a campaign.
To this extent, while cost-per-installs (CPIs), number of installs, and return on ad spend (ROAS) may change drastically during this period, don’t panic. Wait until the testing period is over before making your decision.
Here are some of the fundamental testing principles that you should stick to:
- There should be minimal changes to the number of elements you will change after each test.
- Pick the best-performing one after making the necessary diagnosis.
- Do multiple tests rather than relying on data from a single test.
3. Leave enough time to test your new ad network
Most ad networks have a recommended test period, normally around two-to-four weeks. Therefore, do yourself a favor and follow their recommendations.
This testing period is necessary because the algorithm needs it to understand your app and your target audience. Testing for a week or less is not a good idea, as you will not understand the variations that appear on weekdays.
After two full weeks of testing, you will have sufficient data to make an informed decision. You can also modify and optimize your campaigns based on the data to get the best results possible.
4. Permit the ad network to pick the right ad creative
Ad networks use artificial intelligence (AI) to promote ads. It’s, therefore, a good idea to have a number of ad creatives and then submit them to the ad network. Once you set the campaigns, the artificial intelligence in the ad network can identify which ad creative is working and will push it to ensure it appears more frequently than the others.
5. Check on more than a few KPIs
As app marketers, you might be confident that you know which key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to monitor when testing an ad network. If you miss some of the KPIs, you might not completely understand whether the ad network is up to the mark. Tracking ROAS is good, but there should be other KPIs you should be checking.
If yours is a mid-core mobile game app, here are a few of the KPIs you should consider checking:
- Cost-per-action (CPA) and CPI
- ROAS of Day 1 and Day 3
- In-app purchases (IAPs) of Day 1 and Day 3
- Install per mille
- Retention of Day 1 and Day 3
If you check on these metrics, you will better understand if you are getting positive results from an ad network.
6. Beware of ad fraud
Ad fraud is real. If you are not careful, you will end up becoming a victim. If you discover an ad network that none of your competitors use, you should proceed cautiously. Many fraudsters are looking for potential targets online, And if you aren’t careful, you could lose a lot of money.
Here are some of the most common types of mobile ad fraud:
- Click spamming or artificial clicks on an ad
- Inaccurate targeting fraud (budget spent on wrong targeting)
- Visibility fraud (ad stacking, invisible position blocks impressions, etc.)
- Software development kit (SDK) spoofing (which involves the hacking of app codes to report fake installs)
When you are running a campaign, keep an eye on these things. Check to see if the traffic quality from an ad network is good and assess the likelihood of post-install fraud. Most mobile marketing platforms’ anti-fraud features help identify ad frauds before they occur. They can save a lot of money.
7. Ditch tests that are not working
If a test is not producing the results you expected, ditch it. Many marketers give ad networks more than one chance, but if they aren’t performing after the recommended testing period, you should remove it from your list and search for new ad networks.
8. Analyze the results
The time and resources you have to analyze data after running campaigns are some of the key factors in identifying the best ad networks. Do you have enough??
Here are some steps you should take after testing a new ad network:
- Study the traffic quality
- Compare the results with other ad networks that you are currently using
- Analyze the potential for fraud
- If a test is successful, you need to optimize the campaigns further
While this is time-consuming, if you follow this step when selecting a new ad network, your decision will be better informed. Ultimately, however, it all boils down to how much time and resources you have to analyze the performance of the campaigns you run in an ad network.
There are numerous ad networks out there in the market. If you are planning on testing new ad networks, you should follow certain steps. Only then can you identify those ad networks that can get you the best results. This article lists seven steps marketers can follow to find the best ones.