Ads are crucial for commercial growth. Paid advertisements can generate a 200% return on investments (ROI) and can boost brand awareness by 80%. Today, companies use various methods to reach their target audiences, and that naturally includes ad network integration.
Hearing words and phrases such as ad networks and ad network integration can be confusing, especially if you are an advertising beginner. Understanding the basics, however, will help you comprehend the industry’s ins and outs.
What is an online ad network?
Ad networks are online platforms that help mediate between advertisers and publishers. They act as a connecting bridge in the online ad distribution process. Advertisers and publishers depend on them to get the ads up and running on a website.
Publishers are companies or individuals that have websites. They have ad space on the website that they rent out to brands and businesses. Ad spaces are like billboards in the online world. Unlike traditional billboards that rent out their space to advertisers for a specific period, online ad spaces rent out their ad space for a certain number of impressions.
Ad networks simplify the online advertising process. Through them, advertisers and publishers can reach out to each other quickly.
What’s more, both parties stand to gain equally. Publishers, for example, can rent out their ad inventory effortlessly, while advertisers can ensure that their ads reach the right target audience quickly by signing up for a display-side platform or ad network. Once this is taken care of, the network will handle the more complex part. And in a nutshell, that’s why many companies prefer ad network integration.
How exactly do ad networks work?
Advertising networks collect ad inventory from publishers and then sell them to advertisers using the per-impression model. Here are some of the steps that ad networks streamline:
- Ad networks compile ad inventory from a large pool of publishers. They then sell this inventory to advertisers using real-time bidding (RTB). RTB is an auction-type system.
- Through this, advertisers can check how their campaigns are running and tweak them if necessary using the campaign interface that ad networks provide. They can also find the reports they require from the campaign management portal. Additionally, advertisers can also run their ads using various ad networks when they get a direct deal from the publishers.
- Before proceeding, however, advertisers need to understand and determine the campaign parameters, while publishers should set up proper ad tags to ensure that ads work effectively on their websites. Using a third-party server or by inserting the tags on each of their web pages, they can set this up with ease.
- Advertisers can use campaign management portals to control the ads they publish on websites. As a result, they don’t have to communicate with the publishers for every single small task.
In the early days, publishers often worked with only one single ad network. Today, with the increase in demand, working with numerous ad networks is normal. With over 1.5 billion websites now online, the demand for online ads is unsurprisingly high. Employing multiple ad networks consequently helps publishers to optimize the fill rates.
Ad tag waterfalling features can also help publishers achieve this goal. Reaching 100% fill is not that easy, even when publishers use every tactic available. Most ad networks only commit to providing a 25–50% fill rate, which is sufficient to help publishers earn enough money.
How can you benefit from ad network integration?
While there are many benefits to ad network integration, the main ones are…
You have a lot of options
When they use ad networks, publishers and advertisers alike can make new connections with each other. They can buy or sell advertising services, and while advertisers can get the best value possible for their budget, publishers can also get the best deals possible for their ad inventory.
You can reach target audiences and receive payouts instantly
Ad networks in command of publishers’ ad inventories can help brands and companies get the best reach rate. On the other hand, publishers get paid instantly for allowing advertisers to use their ad space.
With its automation, you can find the best match
Using manual methods to find the best deal is a complex process. Automation, on the other hand, helps streamline it and allows advertisers to get value for money and publishers to get the best deal for their ad inventory. Consequently, ad networks help both parties benefit.
You will reach the right people
Using ad networks, brands and companies can reach the right audience and/or demographics. To reach specific users interested in the products and services, they can take advantage of different options, such as behavioral and contextual targeting.
What are the different kinds of ad networks?
Although there might seem like many options, the different types of ad networks can be broken down into the following:
- Vertical ad networks: These include topic-specific networks such as technology ad networks, fashion ad networks, business ad networks, and automotive ad networks, to name a few.
- Premium ad network: These ones accept inventory from famous publishers.
- Affiliate and performance ad networks: These ad networks accept revenue share, cost-per-action, and cost-per-click pricing models.
- Inventory-specific or specialized ad networks: These ad networks focus on a specific type of inventory (e.g. video, native, mobile).
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) categories:
Ad networks are a crucial element of the digital advertising landscape, providing a means for publishers to sell their inventory and for advertisers to reach their target audience.
Various types of ad networks are available to cater to different needs. One way to categorize them is by using the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) classification, which includes factors such as:
List of popular ad networks:
How to pick the right ad network?
Here are some of the factors that you need to consider when picking an ad network:
- The quality of the ad network’s inventory
Not all ad networks have tie-ups with high-end or premium publishers. Ergo, publishers and advertisers need to find out the quality of an ad network’s inventory before taking the next step.
- What are the ad targeting options available?
Targeting the right audience group can fetch you the best results and ROI. It is, therefore, important that you find an ad network providing the best ad-targeting options.
- User-friendliness and stability
Advertisers and publishers that do not have coding knowledge should focus on finding a user-friendly ad network that doesn’t suffer from frequent service disruption. It will not only save time but will assist you in working without any interruptions.
- How big is the ad network?
A huge ad network can help ads get better reach and get quality leads. It is, therefore, wise to look out for bigger ad networks.
- And what formats do they offer?
Apart from banner ads, what other ad formats do ad networks offer? Never forget to find this out first so that you don’t miss out on the different types of ad formats available.
How is an ad server different from an ad network?
While it can be confusing, ad networks and servers are different. Ad servers are the technology advertisers that ad networks and publishers use to track and analyze ad campaigns. The ad-serving technology allows advertisers to deliver ads to a specific audience group.
Ad networks, however, do not deal with ad storage or management. They play vital roles in the transactions between advertisers and publishers. In simple terms, they act as intermediaries between the two in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. Through them, both parties stand to benefit from ad network integration.
As discussed, ad network integration can assist publishers in selling their ad inventory. At the same time, advertisers can find the right publishers and increase their ROI when they invest in advertising.
In a nutshell, ad networks are like the bridge between advertisers and publishers. Today, there are different types of ad networks operating in the market. Consequently, companies and brands should only work with ad networks as per their individual requirements and objectives.