01 Dec

Google Ads or Display & Video 360 – Which is a Better Buying Platform for You?

Google Ads or Display & Video 360?

That is the question.

Google offers marketers two excellent platforms for buying programmatic inventory, Google Ads (via the Google Display Network) and Display & Video 360 (via the Google Marketing Platform).

Despite both having equally effective programmatic capabilities for marketers looking to buy digital advertising, the two platforms are entirely different from each other based on the available features and capabilities each uniquely offers digital marketers.

To bring clarity to the uniqueness of both platforms, we will be analyzing the precise differences between Google Ads and Display & Video 360 and then identifying which buying platform, or whether both used in parallel, would perhaps be the most correct strategy for your company’s current programmatic media buying activities and goals.

 

Introduction

Google Ads (Google AdWords)

Google’s most used advertising service for marketers for search & display ads on Google and its advertising network. The Google Ads program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only charges when users click (CPC model) the ads.

  • Google owns the world’s largest online display advertising network. (comScore).
  • Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights).
  • Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for brand-and segment-specific terms. (Specific Media).
  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  • 72% of AdWords marketers plan to increase their PPC budgets (Search Engine Watch).This is a strong indication that those businesses were generating positive ROI, because if they were not, then they wouldn’t increase their budgets.

 

Display & Video 360 (DoubleClick Bid Manager)

  • Google’s demand-side platform (DSP) that offers agencies, trading desks, and advertisers access to the world’s most exclusive collection of display, video, native and mobile inventory available in real-time.
  • Display & Video 360 is the evolution and consolidation of DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio, and Audience Center. It offers a single tool for planning campaigns, designing and managing creatives, organizing and applying audience data, finding and buying inventory, and measuring and optimizing campaigns.
  • Display & Video 360 also offers keyword targeting similar to Google Ads but instead of targeting specific search keywords, Display & Video 360 is about contextual keywords.

 

Key Features Comparing Google Ads to Display & Video 360

Creative Options

Google Ads

  • Text, Image, HTML5 (only available for accounts with more than $1,000 total lifetime spend and requires sending an application to Google), Dynamic Creatives and Video Ads.
  • Build and manage creatives in “Ads & Extensions.”

 

Display & Video 360

  • Image, Rich Media (with Campaign Manager), HTML5, Native, Video Ads and Dynamic Creatives (only available with Campaign Manager and a Google Merchant Center account linked to a Google Ads account).
  • Display & Video 360 features a format gallery, an area offering descriptions about each format alongside with example ads for reference.
  • Build and manage creatives with Ad Canvas, Display & Video 360’s visual editor to build and edit creatives in real time.
  • Use data-driven creatives to personalize your creative’s look and feel for different customer segments: Panorama, Cue Cards, Blank Slate.

 

Third Party Data

Google Ads

Google Ads is limited to buying only on the Google Display Network (GDN).

  • Location and language targeting
  • Keyword targeting
  • Device targeting
  • Remarketing

 

Display & Video 360

  • The ability to find the users who could be the ones most interested in your solutions and most likely to convert or purchase.
  • Display & Video 360 provides marketers access to 35 third-party data providers*, which allows you to find users that are similar to your current website visitors, i.e., the types of people who are currently searching for the products/solutions that you offer, and specific demographics or affinity segments.
  • In addition to third-party providers, marketers will also benefit from third-party verification services, which is commonly called third-party data.

 

Feel free to sign up for Display & Video 360 below or contact us if you have any questions.

Device Targeting / Reach

Google Ads GDN

  • Google Ads is limited to buying only on the Google Display Network (GDN).
  • Location and language targeting.
  • Keyword targeting.
  • Device targeting.
  • Remarketing users who have previously visited your website. 

 

Display & Video 360

  • Integrated with 90 Ad Exchanges and includes approx. 1 billion websites. Advertise across all screens -Desktop, Smartphones, Tablets, Connected TVs (Tablet, Smart TV).
  • Advanced Targeting capabilities –Locate and target your current and desired customers based on specific demographics, interests and their purchase intent by using Google’s data. Audience frequency caps for excluding users based on the number of impressions they have been served (across media, channels, and identity spaces).
  • Data Management Platforms (DMP) integration by combining first and third-party data to enable buyers to seek out audiences who have either visited or not visited your website.
  • Audience profile analysis which allows marketers to understand the composition of your selected audience (either first-party or combined audiences) based on its overlap with all other audiences in Display & Video 360 (e.g., Google data, first and third-party segments, combined audiences, and other data sets you have access to).
  • Use your cookies and pixels to reach and monitor your target users across the Google Marketing Platform (only with linked accounts with products in the Google Marketing Platform).
  • Campaign activity features the option to create an audience based on the number of clicks, conversions, and impressions (which are based on first-party remarketing lists or lead to conversions). Once established, you can target the new audience list in multiple line items, both current and future.

 

 

Private Marketplaces (PMPs) & Programmatic Guaranteed (PG)

 

Private Marketplaces (PMP)

An invitation-only RTB auction where one publisher or a group of select publishers invite specific buyers to bid on inventory. The buyer/advertiser knows precisely which sites and ad placements their advertisements will appear on.

 

Programmatic Direct

Method for advertisers to automate direct ad buys for premium campaigns.

Programmatic direct incorporates both programmatic guaranteed deals and preferred non-guaranteed deals. Programmatic direct differs from real-time bidding in that it is a guaranteed-buy rather than an auction like RTB.

Publishers and advertisers are adopting programmatic direct because it allows for premium purchases to be conducted programmatically rather than through the traditional method of direct ad buys.

 

Google Ads

  • Limited to real-time bidding (RTB), buying ads through computer-run, real-time auctions.
  • Google Ads buyers do not have access to private auctions and direct buying opportunities.

 

Display & Video 360

  • Distinguishes itself from Google Ads by giving marketers the ability to target premium inventory available from high trafficked websites across the world via direct deals with publishers and PMPs and programmatic guaranteed buying opportunities.
  • Premium inventory is made available to every partner using Display & Video 360.
  • Buyers can also purchase a set amount of impressions to a particular website’s inventory through Display & Video 360.

 

Bidding Strategies

Google Ads

  • Automated Bidding based on marketing goals.
  • Manual Bidding for specific keywords & ad groups.
  • Bid Adjustments – Gives the user the ability to increase or decrease bids based on a set percentage.

 

Display & Video 360

Fixed Bid – Flat CPM, no automation used

  • How it Works: Use “Fixed Bidding” to have Bid Manager place the same bid on every impression inputted by the user, regardless of the impression value.

Minimize CPC/Minimize CPA – While spending budget in full, minimize action cost based on set goal

  • How it Works: Use “While spending full budget, Minimize CPC/Minimize CPA” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line item’s bid to get the best CPC or CPA performance possible, given the amount you have to spend to exhaust your budget

Meet or Beat a Goal of CPC/CPA –  Priorities Performance over Spend

  • How it Works: Use “Meet or beat goal of CPC/CPA” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line items bid to meet or beat a specific performance goal. If Bid Manager can’t both hit your performance goal and spend all of your line items budget, Bid Manager won’t spend all of your line items budget. If your line items goal is overly aggressive, your line item may not be able to spend its entire budget.

 

Display & Video 360

Viewability – Maximize the number of viewable impressions

  • How it Works: Use “Optimize for viewable CPM bid” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line item’s bid based on the probability that each available impression will be viewable.
  • For example, if you set a viewable CPM goal of $2 and an impression is 40% likely to be viewable based on Active View’s prediction model, Bid Manager’s automated bidding will bid $0.80 CPM (which is 40% of $2).

For mobile app install line item:

  • By default, it’s set to automated bidding to minimize cost per action (CPA). Because the action in this case is typically an app install, the default bid strategy is designed to minimize the cost per install (CPI).

Video Exchanges

Both Google Ads and Display & Video 360 allow marketers to purchase video ads on YouTube.

Specifically, the core difference between the two platforms is Google Ads is connected to the AdX exchange as well as any website serving video through the GDN whereas Display & Video 360’s power lies in its ability access to high-traffiked, premium websites from over 35 video exchanges.

Premium video inventory – Buy brand-safe video inventory for YouTube and TV programmatically through Google Partner Select, Display & Video 360’s premium video marketplace.

It is important to mention that Display & Video 360’s immense strength for video is a massive reason for adding Display & Video 360.  Since Google Ads is limited to the YouTube network and a smaller pool of websites offering video, Display & Video 360’s ability to offer 35 additional exchanges provides a considerable advantage for a marketer looking to launch video campaigns and would like to diversify and expand out the campaigns as far and wide as possible.

 

Feel free to sign up for Display & Video 360 below or contact us if you have any questions.

Reporting and Optimization

Both Google Ads and Display & Video 360 offer:

  • Instant Reporting – Allows you to see data immediately, instead of waiting for a report to run and then downloading the file for offline viewing. Instant Reporting is excellent for quick performance checks, ad-hoc reports, and routine analysis of standard dimensions and metrics. Instant reports can be single-use or saved for later, and also made into visualizations like bar and pie charts.
  • Funnel Analytics Measurement – Deep dive into all of your real-time analytics data to investigate whether your campaigns are reaching the right audiences and converting into leads.
  • Precise Campaign Management – Develop and manage your campaigns using Google’s advanced algorithms to adjust and optimize your bids, budgets and optimization strategies to reach your specific campaign goals.
  • Display & Video 360 allows marketers to view the number of impressions, ad clicks and specific website conversions that originated from the ad campaign.

 

Google Ads

Google Ads offers marketers reports which highlight post-click performance and essential metrics about the users.

Google Ads Reports Cover: Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) cycle:

  • User acquisition paths.
  • User behavior on site.
  • Conversion patterns.

Google Ads reports show essential metrics from both Google Ads (Clicks) and Google Analytics (Bounce Rate).

 

Display & Video 360

  • Display & Video 360’s reporting system helps you to analyze performance across Display & Video 360 and take action based on those results, including instant reporting that allows you to quickly access data within Display & Video 360 without waiting for reports to export.
  • Full reporting of more than 66 dimensions and 145 metrics for viewing the essential metrics of a campaign.
  • Manual adjustments – Going through the ads one by one and adjusting the bid.

 

Should you add DoubleClick Bid Manager?

Display & Video 360 will expand and benefit your current abilities to reach your intended audiences. You may be asking, “Why to switch things up when Google Ads is working well?”. We’re confident that if you’re asking this question, then your Google Ads campaigns are probably experiencing positive ROI at a low cost. We want to congratulate you, well done.

However, the central thesis of this eBook isn’t to try to persuade your company to ditch your Google Ads account in favor of a shiny, new Display & Video 360 account.

Instead, as a Google Certified Marketing Partner (GCMP), we would be remiss to ignore the massive benefits Google Ads yields and the success it is potentially already bringing to your company from running ads on the GDN.

We recommend that you should add Display & Video 360 and keep your Google Ads account.

The fact that you are opening a discussion about Display & Video 360 within your marketing plans, reflects the advanced nature of where your company’s digital marketing progress is in general. More specifically, if you’re looking to conquer the next digital frontier with your campaigns, Display & Video 360 is indeed the next building block after Google Ads for digital marketers aiming to take on online video advertising and higher budgets for display advertising on premium websites.

Google Ads is great for video campaigns for reaching audiences in YouTube. Though if you’re serious about running video ad campaigns, Google Display & Video 360 is immensely more suited for your goals since you can reach YouTube in addition to 96 ad exchanges which support video ad formats.

Our perspective is that advertisers should segment Display & Video 360 and Google Ads to each run specific campaigns in parallel to challenge each other and test each platform’s ability to achieve positive ROI. We believe that it is a positive approach to reach new audiences and earn better results. If your company is beginning to feel as though it needs to diversify itself into new exchanges, we can assist you in the decision to start using Display & Video 360 and combine it with Google Ads.

At Total Media, we have an abundance of experience working with premium advertisers seeking to maximize their ROI through Google Ads and Display & Video 360. If you would like to begin using Display & Video 360 and are not sure how to start or how to best use Display & Video 360, we can help you with everything along the way.

 

Feel free to sign up for Display & Video 360 below or contact us if you have any questions.

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

 

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13 Feb

The Best SSP for Publishers

February is an excellent time to begin asking whether the SSPs connected to your ad units have the potential to earn you the maximum yield for every impression you serve. Collectively we can point to dozens of name brand SSPs that provide sufficient monetization and fill rates for publishers.

Our experience working with publishers worldwide tells us that Q4 traditionally features larger budgets and more activity in comparison to Q1, a  typically calmer quarter yielding less revenue and advertiser campaigns. Q2 is approaching and with it comes new monetization opportunities.

The use of the word working relates less to how much revenue you earned from your ad units in Q1 but instead serves as a means for evaluating the fill rates and eCPM performance of each of your ad units. This concept also relates to your critical evaluation of the quality of ads, response rates and service provided by the platform(s).

But let’s talk about what’s really important which SSP will perform the best for you and make you the most revenue for every impression! if your website has more than 5M monthly visitors and you’re not earning significant income, you should be ready to make the necessary changes

We have spent the past year researching the best programmatic supply source providers (SSPs), analyzing countless ads arriving from various sources, and interviewing our clients regarding their revenue performance.

One thing remained clear throughout: DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) is the best SSP for achieving superior monetization results for your website in 2018.

AdX is the World’s Best SSP for Publishers in 2018

 

 

This year we made DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) our top choice for SSP. Owned and operated by Google, AdX outperforms the competition by connecting publishers into the world’s largest exchange of global inventory.  AdX is Google’s exclusive programmatic platform featuring Real-Time Bidding (RTB) technology for premium websites to be paired with premium advertisers.

AdX pairs buyers and sellers across the industry and works with premium publishers and advertisers in the world’s largest real-time programmatic RTB bidding exchange. The AdX marketplace is connected to ad networks, agencies, and third-party demand-side platforms and powered by advertiser demand, conducted via live auction for the ad units.

If you have more than 5M visitors visiting your website per month, then you should strongly consider switching over to AdX. Publishers featuring ad units monetized by AdX expose themselves to the world’s most premium advertisers who are eager to spend significant advertising budgets on widely trafficked sites. Just this difference alone between membership in AdX equates to a substantial financial gain for the publisher who qualifies and begins using AdX.

AdX comes with AdWords buyers baked in which brings together the best of both of these worlds into one package. As a result, your website’s premium demand is amplified by the continued competitive presence of AdWords demand in the connected ad units.

Also, AdX reaches its full potential when it is enabled to compete with other networks via Google’s ad serving platform – DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). By utilizing DFP (either Small Business or Premium), publishers can rotate between ad networks for their ad units, also, to directly selling ad space to advertisers, while always striving for 100% fill rates through the real-time competition since added competition for ad units drives the CPMs higher.

AdX vs. AdSense – Which one is right for you?

5 Ways to Boost Your Website Monetization

8 Ways to Avoid Termination of Your DoubleClick AdX Account

With a multitude of demand sources in competition for more of your website’s ad units, more bidders are involved for more ad units and the stridently pushing higher the price of the winning bids for your ad units. In the end, there’s no comparison; publishers make significantly more money by having AdX paired with DFP on their website.

Ultimately, if you’re a publisher who is aiming to maximize your advertising revenue and your website has over 5M visitors per month, then graduating to AdX should be your goal.

  • Sell your ad space to the highest-paying buyers in real-time
  • Increase revenues from premium and remnant inventory
  • Detailed reports on all of your inventory
  • Industry leading response times
  • Realize higher margins
  • Unmatched brand safety for publishers (and advertisers)

 

If you would like to join AdX and potentially make more money from your traffic, we can assist your website to maximize its potential with DoubleClick AdX.  Contact us today to get started!

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

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24 Jan

A Conversation about Ads.txt with Mr. Sherzod Rizaev of MinuteMedia (Short)

A Conversation about Ads.txt with Sherzod Rizaev, Global Head of Commercial Operations at Minute Media

 

It brings us great pleasure to present a recent interview we conducted with Sherzod Rizaev, Global Head of Commerical Operations at Minute Media.  Total Media has worked as programmatic partners with Mr Rizaev and Minute Media since 2015.  Minute Media’s open platform delivers tech-driven content, advertising, and product experiences for global communities, publishers and brands. Its 5 international newsrooms and 4 video studios publish 1000 pieces of original content in 11 languages each day across its three brands (90min, 12UP and DBLTAP) as well to premium publishers and platform partners including Sports Illustrated, Univision, Oath, Time Inc, ProSieben, and EI.

We recently asked Mr Rizaev about his thoughts and experiences with Ads.txt and how Minute Media has adjusted and responded thus far to Ads.txt.

 

Why did you decide to add Ads.txt to your website?

We were convinced to add Ads.txt to our website for the following three reasons:

  • Following Google’s leadership of the initiative
  • Being able to discover who is monetising our inventory and control
  • Being able to define which other opportunities and partners are out there for us to approach directly

Have you experienced any issues implementing and setting-up Ads.txt? What has been the impact Ads.txt has had on your business thus far?

No, we have not experienced any issues with Ads.txt because we have an excellent development team that have prepared themselves and have covered the set-up and management of the Ads.txt file comprehensively.

 

Have you been approached by 3rd parties who have said that they have a previous relationship with your website yet you do not recognise who they are?

Every single day. Every day we receive a few emails from vendors that are saying, “here is our Ads.txt ID, please add it to your Ads.txt file, and you will generate $1M overnight.”  We see that particular vendors will send the same email to us every day until we either respond or make a decision about them.  In the meantime, we’re not doing anything with these emails.

 

Has the presence of Ads.txt changed your relationship with your approved partners?

One of the primary reasons we added Ads.txt was to figure out who we are working with, where is our inventory being exchanged and to identify the vendors that I recognise. Ads.txt allows me to work with my approved vendors directly, to work just with them, rather than these unknown 3rd party vendors who are reaching out to us every day.

For example let’s say that network “XYZ” has given us access to six different networks, each of their unique reseller IDs through the relationship. Now, I know that they are taking the impression and applying some tag or programmatic floor to monetise the inventory for us.  We’re already working with those partners and we have already seen the inventory on the exchanges.

Unless we have the open channels to generate revenue right now and we have agreed on the rates with them, and we have been working with them either on a pass by basis or a header or however we have previously worked with them, we won’t add them to our Ads.txt file.

 

What are your expectations/predictions for Ads.txt going forward?

It’s still yet to be seen, but I am optimistic about Ads.txt for 2018. Looking at the industry itself, the types of technologies that we want to employ, the likes of Ads.txt, and partners like Google, we believe that unique technologies that will benefit our website will arrive in the coming year.

My prediction is that Ads.txt is going to clear out the 3rd party sellers that have been gaming the system up until now. Ads.txt will force specific companies in the industry to go bust. The business sitting in the middle making money on the buying, selling and arbitrage, they will be the ones that will suffer. Though, it’s only a matter of time before third-parties find a way to trade again in different ways because the impressions are often sold many times over in exchanges.

 

Interview conducted by Brian Blondy, December 2017.

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

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11 Jan

A Conversation about Ads.txt with Mr Sherzod Rizaev of MinuteMedia (Full)

A Conversation about Ads.txt with Sherzod Rizaev, Global Head of Commercial Operations at Minute Media

 

It brings us great pleasure to present a recent interview we conducted with Sherzod Rizaev, Global Head of Commerical Operations at Minute Media.  Total Media has worked as programmatic partners with Mr Rizaev and Minute Media since 2015.  Minute Media’s open platform delivers tech-driven content, advertising, and product experiences for global communities, publishers and brands. Its 5 international newsrooms and 4 video studios publish 1000 pieces of original content in 11 languages each day across its three brands (90min, 12UP and DBLTAP) as well to premium publishers and platform partners including Sports Illustrated, Univision, Oath, Time Inc, ProSieben, and EI.

We recently asked Mr Rizaev about his thoughts and experiences with Ads.txt and how Minute Media has adjusted and responded thus far to Ads.txt.

Why did you decide to add Ads.txt to your website?

First, the choice to add Ads.txt follows Google’s leadership and industry focus on the subject. In addition to working with Google, we also put our inventory on other multiple platforms which follow Google’s lead in the industry. Primarily, an initiative supported by Google or the IAB will always be strongly considered and most likely implemented by our team since Google is one of our website’s primary revenue generators.

Second, Ads.txt gives us a better idea of who is monetising our inventory and on which platforms. For example, if I’m working with a network and they are giving me six different network IDs files, I know for sure now how they are monetising my inventory. Through Ads.txt, I see how much unique demand these providers possess. Supporting the Ads.txt initiative is proving to be crucial for us for figuring out how our impressions are being mapped out onto the global exchanges.

Third, there are some players on our .txt file that I’ve never heard of, specifically some of the exchanges, especially on the video front. We see this as an opportunity to check all of our vendors and to leave no stone unturned at this stage since video is a primary revenue stream of ours.

These three reasons combined: Google’s leadership of the initiative, finding out who is monetising our inventory, and which other opportunities and partners are out there for us to approach directly, convinced us to implement Ads.txt onto our website.

 

Have you experienced any issues implementing and setting-up Ads.txt? What has been the impact Ads.txt has had on your business?

No, we have not experienced any issues with Ads.txt because we have an excellent development team that have prepared themselves and have covered the set-up and management of the Ads.txt file comprehensively.

Have you been approached by 3rd parties who have said that they have a previous relationship with your website yet you do not recognise who they are?

Every single day. Every day we receive a few emails from vendors that are saying, “here is our Ads.txt ID, please add it to your Ads.txt file, and you will generate $1M overnight.” We see that particular vendors will send the same email to us every day until we either respond or make a decision about them. In the meantime, we’re not doing anything with these emails.

As I said earlier, one of the primary reasons we added Ads.txt was to figure out who we are working with, where is our inventory being exchanged and to identify the vendors that I recognise. Ads.txt allows me to work with my approved vendors directly, to work just with them, rather than these unknown 3rd party vendors who are reaching out to us every day.

Unless we have the open channels to generate revenue right now and we have agreed on the rates with them, and we have been working with them either on a pass by basis or a header or however we have previously worked with them, we won’t add them to our Ads.txt file.

 

Has the presence of Ads.txt changed your relationship with your approved partners?

The presence of Ads.txt has helped us to clarify who we are working with. For example let’s say that network XYZ has given us access to six different networks, each of their unique reseller IDs through the relationship. Now, I know that they are taking the impression and applying some tag or programmatic floor to monetise the inventory for us. We’re already working with those partners, and we have already seen the inventory on the exchanges.

Now I ask myself, do I need network XYZ? Yes, I believe that we have more control to decide. But that feeling currently leads to the need to conclude whether we want to work with these guys or not because we have more information in which to judge them and their activities.

In a conversation that I recently had with the IAB, a particular question kept popping up in my mind, “How many vendors are too many?” Looking forward to January 1, we are already looking to clean out a lot of the happenings within our ecosystem within our control. We primarily want to analyse our system and find the ones that we wish to have our inventory monetised by.

We have taken the perspective as we are crafting our Ads.txt list to ask ourselves, how many local partners do we need? How many global partners do we need to serve 80-100M unique visitors?

We’re sure that we are going to need a lot of partners to serve our audiences. It might be that we should have partners that are strong in specific local markets versus our global partners that are strong in our top ten markets.

 

What are your expectations/predictions for Ads.txt going forward?

It’s still yet to be seen, but I am optimistic about Ads.txt for 2018. Looking at the industry itself, the types of technologies that we want to employ, the likes of Ads.txt, and partners like Google, we believe that unique technologies that will benefit our website will arrive in the coming year.

As of today, I believe that it is still early to accurately judge the impact Ads.txt has had on our business and revenue. Though we have seen an impact from our third-party publishers that have seen a dip in their income over the last month. For us, we were ready when Ads.txt launched, and we have been fortunate to have not seen a drop in our revenue. It remains to be seen whether this stabilisation of our revenue connects to whether Ads.txt is working or whether there is no connection at all.

My prediction is that Ads.txt is going to clear out the 3rd party sellers that have been gaming the system up until now. Ads.txt will force specific companies in the industry to go bust. The business sitting in the middle making money on the buying, selling and arbitrage, they will be the ones that will suffer. Though, it’s only a matter of time before third-parties find a way to trade again in different ways because the impressions are often sold many times over in exchanges.

I think it is a positive development that the system will be cleaned for the benefit of the publisher as well as the advertiser. If Ads.txt works in clearing out the system more efficiently, I believe that it is going to add quick ad returns since our approved vendors who buy from us are responding directly to us with their creatives. In addition to the absence of the arbitrage of our inventory, I believe that Ads.txt will continue to diminish the chances for us to being misrepresented to the advertiser. In the end, we will deliver much better results for advertisers.

 

Interview conducted by Brian Blondy, December 2017.

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

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06 Dec

Ads.txt December ’17 Updates for Publishers

Ads.txt – December News Roundup:

Today’s post is an overview of interesting and useful content we have recently read about Ads.txt.  Being that Ads.txt is a relatively new development in the programmatic industry, we thought you would appreciate a curated roundup of relevant content about Ads.txt in order to get a good overview of what Ads.txt is and how both publishers and advertisers have been adjusting to it over the final months of 2017.  If you’re interested in additional Ads.txt content, you can read our November 2017 content roundup here.

At Total Media, we have already have an abundance of experience working with premium publishers seeking to maximize their ROI with Ads.txt.  If you would like assistance with Ads.txt, we can help you with everything along the way in addition to providing you with the finest consultation. If you would like assistance with Ads.txt you can reach us here or if you would like to join Total Media’s monetization program for premium publishers click here.

 

Ads.txt – AppNexus Launches an Ads.txt Validator

AppNexus, one of the world’s leading demand platforms, launched a tool designed to assist publishers to ensure that their Ads.txt file has been configured correctly.

On the page, users can either will enter their URL or domain or upload their Ads.txt file directly.

Once finished, the AppNexus Ads.txt validator will check for:

  • Data, comments and variable declaration line
  • A recognizable exchange URL
  • Valid relationship types
  • Valid variable names

The validator doesn’t check for:

  • Valid Publisher IDs – For AppNexus this should be a three or four digit number
  • Vadility of certificate authority IDs
  • Variable values

You can view the Ads.txt Validator here – http://adstxt.adnxs.com/

 

Google Reports Ad Revenue is Increasing for Publishers Using Ads.txt

With Ads.txt continuing to be adopted by the world’s largest publishers, Google bullishly expects that Ads.txt will boost revenue for publishers whom have added the file onto their websites.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal on November 30, Google revealed that the average price of ad space purchased via their ad-buying systems has increased throughout November, a change the company attributes to increased advertiser confidence of the inventory after widespread industry adoption of Ads.txt.  As of early December 2017, nearly 50% of the world’s top 2,000 websites have already added Ads.txt onto their websites.

Since Nov. 8, Google has been actively preventing advertisers from purchasing unauthorized ad impressions on its DSPs which have been identified by Ads.txt. As a result, Google believes that they have significantly reduced the amount of counterfeit inventory in its systems.  As more unauthorized inventory is cleaned from its systems and more publishers adopt Ads.txt, Google believes that advertisers should not only increase their confidence in the inventory, but also their budgets for their next ad campaigns.

“We would expect prices to increase once we started to cut out unauthorised inventory,” said Pooja Kapoor, Google’s Head of Global Strategy and Programmatic to The Wall Street Journal.

According to Google, more than 50% of ad space available for purchase through DoubleClick Bid Manager now comes from publishers using Ads.txt to prevent unauthorized selling of impressions. Powered by the ability to filter out unauthorized inventory, Google believes that increased industry confidence in its DSP makes the inventory more premium and inheritantly more valuable.

“Advertisers and agencies may need to pay a little bit more. But if they don’t vote with their dollars then unauthorized selling will continue,” Ms. Kapoor noted.

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian@totalmediasolutions.com or on LinkedIn

 

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05 Jul

DoubleClick Bid Manager 101

Introduction

If you’re a company or agency looking to expand and strengthen your digital marketing activities, DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), the world’s premier Demand Side Platform (DSP) available for marketers, is an excellent option to set your sights on.

DBM offers media buyers the view into the world’s premium inventory for programmatic media buying across all channels and formats.

In this post, we will be discussing DBM, each of its core benefits for marketers and how DBM simplifies programmatic ad buying and later, ad campaign evaluation.

 

What is DoubleClick Bid Manager?

DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) is Google’s demand side platform (DSP) that offers agencies, trading desks, and advertisers access to the world’s most exclusive collection of display, video, and mobile inventory available in real-time.

Often called the most premium solution in a marketers programmatic advertising portfolio, DBM ensures media buyers the best opportunity to reach the highest level of bidding, targeting and optimization available for launching programmatic ad campaigns.  As we will discuss below, advertisers have the ability to organize and align all of their programmatic buying options within DBM.

 

What are DoubleClick Bid Manager’s Core Features for Marketers?

Targeting

  • Integrated with inventory from more than 100 Ad Exchanges and approx..1 billion websites
  • Advertise across all screens (Desktop, Mobile, Tablet)
  • Elite Bidding Technology – manage multiple bidding strategies
  • Advanced Targeting capabilities – Locate and target your current and desired customers based on specific demographics, interests and their purchase intent by using Google’s data.
  • Ability to reach people on your existing remarketing list.

 

Buying Options

  • All-in-one Solution – Marketers can choose from a variety of options for buying programmatically including programmatic guaranteed, direct deals and open exchange.
  • DoubleClick Bid Manager’s interface allows marketers to plan, seek and purchase premium media within the platform interface.
  • Premium video inventory – Buy brand-safe video inventory for YouTube and TV programmatically through Google Partner Select, DBM’s premium video marketplace.
  • Simplified Buying Process – DoubleClick Bid Manager allows marketers to build, execute and measure campaigns across desktop, mobile and video all within DBM.

 

Reporting and Optimization

  • Full reporting of more than 35 dimensions and 50 metrics for viewing the essential metrics of a campaign.
  • Funnel Analytics Measurement – Deep dive into all of your real-time analytics data to investigate whether your campaigns are reaching the right audiences and converting into leads.
  • Precise Campaign Management – Develop and manage your campaigns using Google’s advanced algorithms to adjust and optimize your bids to reach your specific campaign goals.
  • DBM allows marketers to view the number of impression, ad clicks and specific website conversions that originated from the ad campaign

 

Unified Platform with DoubleClick

  • Use your cookies and floodlights to reach and monitor your target users in DoubleClick
  • Data created from DBM can be used and monitored throughout DoubleClick

 

Verification

  • Google’s DoubleClick Verification provides fraud protection for advertisers

 

 

Conclusion

Be a part of the world’s most premium solution for delivering your message. DBM will give you the best opportunity to reach the highest level of bidding, targeting and optimization available for your programmatic ad campaigns.

As an official DoubleClick Certified Marketing Partner (DCMP), Total Media has a rich history of working on DoubleClick platforms with different integration options. We have been an official value added partner of DoubleClick by Google since year 2009 and a partner of DoubleClick for 11 years, specializing in both buy side and sell side platforms.

If your company is searching for the leading programmatic opportunities, we would be happy to provide you with more information about how you can begin using DoubleClick Bid Manager.

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian(at)totalmediasolutions(dot)com or on LinkedIn

 

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03 Jul

How to Make $20,000 from One Ad Unit!

 

Introduction

In our experience, creating a website is simple. Either you build it yourself through a clever pre-built template from companies such as Wix or Squarespace or you can hire a web designer to create something that suits your needs. The end result is often a difficult project with limited experience.

Though where things get really tough is building up a loyal user base that will drive revenue from your sites’ traffic monetization.

After working with publishers of all sizes across the world, we’ve come to understand that what helps publishers achieve an effective monetization strategy, and subsequent revenue flow, is building visitor base through consistent and persistent content creation and publishing.

Without a frequent stream of original published content, your site will not attract and retain enough visitors to monetize.

The goal of this post is to underscore the importance of using your published content to push your website to new levels of financial success. The planning, execution and evaluation of your content strategy will influence the eventual success of your monetization strategy.

In this article we will dive into why content is the core driver of web traffic and how increasing your web traffic from unique content will be the primary catalyst for your website’s monetization growth.

If the idea of earning $20,000 USD or more per year from one ad unit on your website is your goal, read on so you know how to begin planning and executing the necessary steps and understandings to reach your financial goals with your website.

 

The Importance of Content

It is our belief that content is the gasoline that drives your financial growth in the long term.

The decision to embrace a content-first strategy reflects an effort to have your content be at the center of everything you do and how your company/website aims to attract new customers/readers.

Everything your website represents will be displayed through your content and subsequently, will be amplified to attract visitors to your website that will view and potentially click on your ad units. The more updated and interesting your content, the more visitors will come to your website, and the more valuable your CPM prices will be for purchase via direct sales and through programmatic markets.

 

For your Ad Units to be Financially Valuable, Your Content Needs to be:

  • Published on a frequent basis
  • Relevant and unique to your target audience
  • Well-written and grammatically correct
  • Original in nature – meaning not aggregated from third-party sources
  • Timely and self-aware of its purpose
  • Useful to explaining, solving or demystifying a challenging or popular/interesting topic.
  • Properly referenced

 

The Key Benefits of Excellent Content:

  • New traffic to your website through SEO (Google, Bing, etc.)
  • Higher CTRs
  • Establish your website as a thought-leader on particular topics
  • Each new piece of content will act as a separate revenue stream for your website
  • Content influences and converts visitors into paying customers
  • Higher CPMs for your ad units
  • Social engagement – Shares on online social networks

 

Focusing on Your Content Strategy

Creating content for your business is a large part of an effective marketing strategy for attracting your target audience.  The central goal of good content creation should be to publish posts which fulfil the needs and interests of your current and ideal readers/customers.

Through your content your company will have an excellent opportunity to connect with interested individuals whom are seeking influencers to enrich their interests and potential business needs.

The trick is to finely tune your content marketing strategy in order to build out a plan of content which is specific and repeatedly clustered around particular subject areas.  The core benefits here would be to publish on a consistent schedule and to begin being categorized by Google’s search result algorithms as an influential and focused publisher for user search results.

Google will eventually pick up on your content’s subject consistency and begin aggregating your posts in search results relative to your content’s topical focus.  If you achieve this, you have a winning content creation strategy.

If enough people begin clicking on your content, well, then the good times start to roll:

  • Higher search rankings on your posts in search results
  • Better status in your industry as an influencer on your subject matter
  • Higher CPMs for your website’s ad units

 

Your New Monetization Strategy

Once you have the content strategy in place, now you have to think about the monetization strategy. There are a number of ways that you can monetize your website. It is obvious that first you must define the appropriate ad slots on your pages, decide which areas will be sold at a premium rate and which ad slots can be secondary for lower prices.

Your monetization strategy will most likely be a combination of direct and indirect selling. For the sake of this content, we will focus on the indirect channels method, specifically, through Google AdSense or DoubleClick AdExchange.

When going indirect, you must keep in mind the platform policies of monetizing your content through various platforms. Each platform allows certain ratio of ad units placed on your pages vs the content around it. Google for example, requires over 50% content on the page. In addition, one must take note of ad placement policies of each platform which will determine the success of your monetization strategy as well.

 

Earning $20,000 a Year Starts from an Ad Unit Yielding $55 a Day! 

Let’s say that you have gotten your content strategy and monetization strategy all lined up. What would you specifically need to do to reach $20K from one Ad Unit through indirect/programmatic channels? What should be your expectations?

First, we should break down the bigger goal into smaller goals. So if the number you are going for is $20K/year, what would it be on a daily basis?

$55 per day in revenue is what we are looking to achieve ($20,000 per year / 365 days)

In order to earn $55 per day, we’ve created a set of plausible scenarios of what would have to happen:

  • 55 pages on your site earning $1 per day
  • 110 pages each earning $0.50 per day
  • 220 pages posts each earning $0.25 per day

There is one additional parameter that you should track, and that is how many pages your visitors view per each visit – # of pageviews.

Let’s say that your website has 220 pages, each of which features one ad-unit of ADX, for you an average Cost per Mil (CPM) of $0.25.  In addition, your visitors visit on average 2 articles per each visit – 2 pageview per visit.

With the above in mind, in order for you to reach your daily goal of $55, you would need to generate 220K impressions per day to your website. This translates to 110K visits per day at 2 pages visited per user.

Now, you may think that it sounds like a pretty big number. You may wonder how you drive 110,000 visitors to your site on daily basis. The good news is, that by altering any of the components of the above equation, you are able to achieve your goals quicker and easier.

It should be pointed out that the CPM rate of your website ad units will fluctuate based on your core topics and the geographic location of your visitor traffic.

If a majority of your visitors are from a tier-one markets (North America, Western Europe, etc.) and your website’s content is featured in a competitive vertical, it’s likely that your CPM would be higher than featured in this example.

Let’s look into what happens when your CPM rate is increased from $0.25 to $0.40 through good traffic, intelligent content and expert ad optimization.

 

$55 per day / 0.40 CPM = 138 x 1000 = 138,000 page views per day (50M per year)

Keeping the 2 page view average per visit, you will be able to achieve your goal with just 69,000 visitors per day.

This is an interesting example because it shows that with just a small $0.15 increase in average CPM, from $0.25 to $0.40, you will arrive to your goal much faster and with fewer visitors.

Consequently, you will earn much higher monthly revenue if your visitor base remains the same as in the original example, 110K. Within this scenario, your site will earn a massive 160% increase in profit because the $0.15 bump will reward your site with an additional $12,000 USD annually from the consistent stream of visitors that you’re already been receiving.  The beauty in this is that the same traffic, arriving at a 60% increase in price per CPM, would be $12,000 USD more profitable, compounded and advantageous for your financial goals.

 

Strategies for Increasing Your Revenue

We would like to advice you to diversify your monetization sources.  Publishers are not limited to only using AdSense on their website.  You are free to add new monetization channels in parallel within your monetization strategy!

By adding additional channels of monetization or re-organizing/optimizing your ad stack into your ad waterfall, your goal of making $20,000 a year from an ad unit can be easily overachieved due to  additional monetization revenue.

Furthermore, with the push to produce more content (hopefully you’re already thinking about adding unique video content as well) on your website, matched with the monetized posts with direct and organic site traffic, your revenue growth will be compounded with every impression that occurs on every one of your website’s pieces of content.

 

Conclusion

While at first it may feel like taking a deep dive into the unknown with so many intriguing options available to publishers, we completely appreciate that adding new monetization solutions to your website is not a straightforward and simple process.  Regardless, you shouldn’t be hesitant to press forward and try to do whatever you can to improve your monthly revenue.

Your website should be a vehicle for making money and we’re here to assist you along the way to amplify your monthly ad revenue. Regardless of the size of your website or your current CPM rate, Total Media can enable your website to add all of these effective monetization streams to your website and then expertly manage all of the complex optimization thereafter.

We hope the writing of this post has assisted you to better understand the benefits of looking into the ways to increase website traffic from content and how to view the ways it is possible to increase the revenue you can earn from your traffic. We hope that we have empowered you with valuable information which may make your website’s revenue potential more viable than it is today.

 

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian(at)totalmediasolutions(dot)com or on LinkedIn

 

 

 

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22 Mar

5 Ways to Boost Your Website Monetization!

 

Introduction

If you’re a publisher and you’ve been thinking aloud that you’re not making enough money from your website, then you’re definitely experiencing a very common reality among publishers of all sizes.

The decision to take action to improve your revenue could be the most essential step you can make towards strengthening your website’s profitability and future-proofing your digital portfolio for years to come.

Today we will expose some of the most beneficial options for generating significant financial returns for your website, specifically, by optimizing your display, mobile ad units through preferred deals and private auctions, choosing between Google AdX and Google AdSense, and lastly, adding video monetization in order to earn significant CPMs.

We believe that website monetization is an essential financial lifeline and is the most important aspect to focus on for increasing website revenue.  Since there are so many ways to improve your revenue, let’s get started!

 

Programmatic Optimization

These days we see the struggle publishers face in striving to keep pace with all of the new programmatic advancements emerging in the marketplace.  Both publishers and advertisers are navigating frequent and ever-changing technologies constantly emerging in the programmatic industry. There is no doubt that there is a lot to know and a lot to do whether it’s simply optimizing an ad stack, exposing inventory on strategic display and mobile ad networks or working with an expert optimization specialist like Total Media.

For publishers committed to programmatic on both display and mobile, it is essential to be up-to-date in order to create the highest value for themselves and their advertisers. In particular, two of the most beneficial programmatic technologies currently available are preferred deals and private auctions.

 

 

Preferred Deals

Preferred Deals allow individual buyers to negotiate fixed-price, first-look deals with sellers.  The CPM is generally higher than regular programmatic and on par with direct sales because advertisers are seeking impressions based on the specific data available or gathered by the advertiser previously.

Preferred deals are based on direct agreements between publishers and advertisers where generally advertisers approach the publishers about specific ad sizes, placements and audiences and the two parties negotiate a specific fixed price for the impressions amongst themselves.

What’s unique about preferred deals is that they are executed programmatically.  Whereas once advertisers would simply send publishers an ad tag which would link to the allocated ad placement, now the entire execution runs through DSPs and SSPs (e.g. DoubleClick AdX & DoubleClick Bid Manager), where a deal ID get things moving along.

 

 

Private Auctions

Private auctions are programmatic deals that allow publishers to create a higher-priority auction available only to white-listed buyers of their choosing for specific inventory the publisher desires to make available. One such SSP allowing private auctions is DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) by Google, which when setup through DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) delivers the best results for publishers. Any advertiser interested in participating in a private auction is recommended to be using a DSP (such as DoubleClick Bid Manager).

Within the private auction, publishers establish a specific floor price with the chosen advertisers and lets this small group of buyers compete in an exclusive, private programmatic marketplace auction. The floor price, in general, is higher than that of the open marketplace, so the buyers can pick and choose the premium impressions that they would like to bid on based on certain known parameters beforehand.

 

Video Monetization 

In recent years, featuring monetized video content on a website has become an important avenue for publishers to consider within their monetization plans. Video content is a highly effective method for both engaging website visitors as well as providing the ever-growing pool of advertisers a means for running video programmatic advertising campaigns.

While many publishers jump right in and adopt video, most have chosen not to, whether due to lack of video content, site layout or even due to knowledge how to implement the technology in the correct manner.

The decision to not feature video could be a strategic mistake for publishers.  Video is increasingly proving to be the best way for publishers to increase their current revenue stream through opening themselves up to receiving significantly higher CPMs as compared to display advertising.

This is due to the fact that advertisers are continuing to adopt video advertising as an essential method for delivering their message and are willing to pay premium prices for interested and longer engaged audiences.

 

Google AdSense

As the standard monetization default for websites, AdSense is the world’s largest contextual ad network enabling online publishers of any size to monetize their website and mobile assets.  AdSense includes ads displayed in search engine results, Google products and on the Google Display Network (GDN). AdSense serves high fill rates, with almost unlimited demand. It offers fast and reliable payment in most regions and the security of working with Google.

Whether you have recently added or you have been using AdSense on your website for years already, the essential question to ask yourself is whether you are making enough money with Google AdSense.

We are constantly hearing from our clients that are only using AdSense on their website and are apprehensive to move on from it despite being dissatisfied by the revenue it is generating.  We agree that AdSense is a great option for growing publishers and we understand the concern they express when discussing whether or not to drop AdSense for another monetization solution.

Conversely, there are additional methods for optimizing ad units in addition to various monetization solutions that a publisher could add that would open up excellent possibilities to further monetize their current traffic and grow revenue exponentially through strategically placed ad units and expert ad unit optimization.

 

DoubleClick AdX

DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) is Google’s programmatic platform featuring Real Time Bidding (RTB) technology for premium websites to be paired with premium advertisers. AdX pairs buyers and sellers across the industry and works with premium publishers and advertisers in the world’s largest real-time programmatic RTB bidding exchange. Connected to ad networks, agencies, and third-party demand-side platforms, the AdX marketplace is driven by advertiser demand, conducted via live auction for the ad units.

If you have more than 5M visitors on your website per month, then you can and absolutely should switch over to AdX.  Publishers featuring AdX on their websites are exposed to the world’s most premium advertisers who are eager to spend significant advertising budgets on sites that are widely trafficked.  Just this difference alone between membership in AdSense and/or AdX equates into a significant financial gain for the publisher who qualifies and begins using AdX.

In addition, AdX reaches its full potential when it is enabled to compete with other networks via Google’s ad serving platform – DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). By utilizing DFP (either Small Business or Premium), publishers can rotate between ad networks for their ad units in addition to directly selling ad space to advertisers, while always striving for 100% fill rates through the real-time competition since added competition for ad units drives the CPMs higher.

With a multitude of demand sources in competition for more of your website’s ad units (5 instead of AdSense’s 3), more bidders are involved for more ad units and the stridently pushing higher the price of the winning bids for your ad units.  In the end, there’s no comparison, publishers make significantly more money by having AdX paired with DFP on their website.

Ultimately, if you’re a publisher who is aiming to maximize your advertising revenue and your website has over 5M visitors per month, then graduating to AdX should be your goal.

  • Sell your ad space to the highest-paying buyers in real-time
  • Increase revenues from premium and remnant inventory
  • Detailed reports on all of your inventory
  • Realize higher margins

 

If you would like to join AdX and potentially make more money from your traffic, Total Media can assist you in making this happen and putting your website on the path to maximizing your financial yield from advertising.

Though if your website doesn’t have millions of impressions per month, chances are that you have already added AdSense to your website as one of your first decisions for monetizing your website.

 

Conclusion

While at first it may feel like taking a deep dive into the unknown with so many intriguing options available to publishers, we completely appreciate that adding new monetization solutions to your website is not a straightforward and simple process.  Regardless, you shouldn’t be hesitant to press forward and try to improve your monthly revenue.

Your website should be a vehicle for making money and we’re here to assist you along the way to amplify your monthly ad revenue. Regardless of the size of your website, Total Media can enable your website to add all of these effective monetization streams to your website and then handling all of the complex optimization thereafter.

We hope the writing of this post has assisted you to better understand the programmatic landscape and it has empowered you with information to make you more website revenue than you are earning today.

 

 

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28 Jun

Video is Transforming Programmatic in 2016

Introduction to Programmatic Video

In recent years, the decision whether to feature video on a website has become an important element for publishers to consider. The question is what is the most effective way to use video to better engage visitors as well as provide eager advertisers a platform for programmatic advertising.

While many publishers jump right in and adopt video, a large percentage of publishers have chose not to, whether due to resource limitations or because of an unwillingness to make changes to their site content, layout or even user experience.

Though the decision to not feature video could be a strategic mistake for publishers.

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09 Feb

Digital Video in 2016 – The State of the Market for Publishers

hand press play button sign to start or initiate projects as concept

In 2016, digital video content will become a publisher’s most essential and effective tool for engaging and monetizing the waves of traffic visiting their websites.

According to a study conducted by Cisco on global internet traffic and the trends pushing forward in the coming years, consumer internet video traffic is expected to account for 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic online in 2019.

Video content is so much more visually dynamic than simple textual content in how it creates an additional element of stickiness for visually pleasing and engaging users, and as a result, further lengthens website visits and overall consumption of content.

Though the clearest benefit deriving from creating and displaying video content lies in video’s ability to yield significant financial returns for publishers who pair the content with advertising. Eager advertisers are willing and ready to pay high CPMs to distribute their advertisements on the video content.

So if the benefits for having video content are clear, why haven’t more online publishers begun producing original video content in order to meet the surging demand of users and advertisers?  

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