Article | August 2, 2022
When print publishers transitioned to online publishing, they were keen to find a way to generate revenue. Their revenue model in the print world was advertising, so they needed to monetize their content online. Display ads were a great start for them. They sold their advertising space to interested advertisers directly. Even then, there would always be some ad inventory that remained unsold. The need of the hour was a platform that could help them sell this inventory. That is when ad networks for publishers and advertisers came into the picture. Let us take a deeper look into how ad networks are helping both publishers and advertisers optimize their selling and buying processes.
Ad Networks: Simplifying Ad Buying and Selling
An ad network is a technology-backed platform that acts as an intermediary between a group of publishers who want to sell their ads and advertisers interested in buying them.
Ad networks for publishers and advertisers first appeared in the mid-nineties as the earliest advertising technology to support online advertising. They helped advertisers buy ad space across multiple publishing platforms.
The primary purpose of an ad network was to collect unsold ads from different publishers and put them up for offer to advertisers at a lower price than what a direct sale would cost. This kind of ad inventory was mostly referred to as remnant, non-premium ads that publishers struggled to sell directly.
Today, ad networks for publishers focus on offering advertisers exclusive ad deals at premium prices. They pre-buy inventory from different publishers and then resell it to advertisers at premium prices to help advertisers get the impressions they expect.
Types of Ad Networks
Based on your audience, industry, topics, and formats, you have four main types of ad networks to choose from:
Inventory-specific networks: Such networks have ads of a specific type, such as mobile or video.
Vertical advertising networks: These are ad networks that focus on a specific topic, such as fashion, automobiles, or business.
Premium networks: These are the networks that offer premium inventory, mostly from popular publishers.
Targeted networks: These networks offer specific targeting capabilities through a built-in ad server.
How do Ad Networks Work?
Ad networks for publishers and advertisers keep on evolving with technological advancements. To understand how the best ads network works, here are the dynamic steps they follow to benefit publishers and advertisers:
Ad networks compile multiple publishers with available ad inventory.
Advertisers create campaigns using the ad network’s campaign panel, keeping in mind their budget, target audience, and any other special attributes.
The publishers install relevant ad network tags on their websites.
When there is a match between an ad campaign set by an advertiser and the publisher’s ad inventory, ad information is sent to the publisher. The ad network provider gets a share of the ad revenue generated from the campaign or by selling the inventory at a higher price than the publisher.
Using the ad network’s campaign panel, the advertiser tracks and manages the ad’s performance.
Ad Networks in Programmatic Advertising
Ad networks for publishers and advertisers are a part of programmatic advertising, which is the process of automatically buying and selling digital advertising space. In this space, demand-side platforms (which help advertisers) and supply-side platforms (which help publishers) streamline the buying and selling process through real-time bidding (RTB).
Businesses and enterprises rely on programmatic advertising for their digital advertising needs because publishers are adopting native ads on their websites. Thanks to native ads, ad blockers don’t affect advertising, and marketers can optimize and improve their ads with programmatic techniques for campaign success. It's no surprise that programmatic digital display ad spending is expected to increase by 25.8% this year (Source: Brand Equity).
In conjugation with ad networks, an ad exchange connects DSPs and SSPs autonomously. An ad exchange came into the picture in 2005 when ad networks were not enough to solve the cumbersome problem publishers were facing ─ selling unsold ad space. Automation in the open marketplace for buying and selling digital ads was the solution. An ad exchange offers a streamlined platform for advertisers, publishers, ad networks, and other parties to connect their ad serving technologies for efficiency.
Ad Network and Ad Exchange: What is the Difference?
In the programmatic advertising ecosystem, the ad network and the ad exchange are two important components that are often mistaken to be the same because of their role in media buying. Let us take a look at the factors that separate the two.
Intermediary between publishers and advertisers
Open marketplace for everyone
Publishers, advertisers and agencies
Publishers, advertisers, agencies, ad networks, DSPs, SSPs and ATDs
Pre-segmented ads for particular audience. Promotes bulk buying and selling.
Pool of various types of ad inventory. Based on an impression-per-impression trade
Top-tier ad inventory, often sold for the first time
All available inventory on sale including remnant ad slots
Optimization possible on-the-go
Stable and determined by the ad network
Dynamic pricing based on real-time bidding by advertisers
Impact on Advertiser
Ad prices are higher
Advertisers can define the pricing
Impact on Publisher
Low control over inventory pricing and optimization
More control over value per impression
Advertisers are unaware of the placement of their ads
Publishers don’t know who the advertisers are
Both advertisers and publishers have each other’s information
Why Advertisers and Publishers Rely on Ad Networks?
A Wider Range of Options
With the help of top ad networks, advertisers and publishers can buy or sell more ad space. As a part of monetization strategies for publishers, they can rapidly increase their revenue through premium or remnant inventory because ad networks bring them the highest paying bids. Advertisers, on the other hand, can easily find any type of ad inventory that matches their budget for ad publishing.
Higher Return on Investment
Top ad networks bring in more revenue from advertising. The better the quality of ads, the higher the revenue for advertisers because they get precisely matched with their targeting needs and they can choose the most profitable deals.
Automation in matching publishers and advertisers is the biggest advantage of advertising networks. It saves the time of manually looking for suitable deals or favorable pricing. The best publishers that bring the best impressions on ads can easily be approached. Publishers can get their inventory sold for the best price thanks to digital advertising networks.
Features of an Ideal Ad Network for Publishers & Advertisers
Here is a list of features you can refer to while choosing an ad network that caters to your needs:
Size: The size of the advertising network matters because it facilitates a steady traffic. The more traffic it can deliver, the higher your ROI will be.
Quality: Identify the quality of the inventory that an ad network offers. It should match the kind of inventory you need.
Audience Targeting: Your ad network should support different audience targeting options so that ad campaigns work perfectly well.
Format Support: Your ad network should support different formats like responsive, call-only, animated GIF or simple banners so you can diversify into different formats without any hassles.
Reliability: Depending on your requirements, ensure that the network doesn’t go down and provides consistent service so your business remains unaffected. The interface should also be easy to use, clean, and rich with data to help your marketing team optimize their personalization efforts.
CTV Streaming Platform Used PubMatic to Bump its Revenue by 400%
Future Today, a premium CTV streaming platform, used PubMatic’s platform to drive its ad revenue. PubMatic helped Future Today partner with a leading CTV DSP and achieve a lucrative private marketplace (PMP) agreement to create incremental demand through direct integration and optimized engagement.
“PubMatic has been one of Future Today's fastest growing demand partners in the last 6 months. The entire team has been a pleasure to work with and they genuinely understand the value of CTV in the market.” – Katya Shkolnik, Head of Partnerships, Future Today Inc.
Display, native, and banner advertising campaigns are critical for marketers like you to scale your business, so understanding how and what an ad network for publishers and advertisers does is important to creating the best, most effective advertising campaigns that bear results.
Advertiser Campaign Management
Article | August 12, 2022
Marketers in the B2B domain have a multi-channel approach to marketing because they target companies as buying groups. B2B marketers are leveraging podcast advertising with the help of advertisers, creators, and publishers for brand building and generating leads. They leverage up-and-coming avenues of advertising, most of which are a part of digital media channels. One such avenue is podcast advertising.
Podcast advertising is emerging as one of the fastest-growing digital media channels for advertising. It is estimated to grow to more than $2.13 billion in 2022, according to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
But, what is driving this growth?
People are finding podcasts more engaging than ever. Consequently, the demand for podcast ads across all categories is growing.
Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI): The Rise of Automated Ad Tech
Dynamic ad insertion is a form of programmatic advertising that uses first or third-party data. This data comes from the device playing a podcast, a device user agent, the device’s IP address, and what episode is requested, to serve ads to a target demographic. The ad server of the podcast hosting platform decides which ads should be stitched into a particular podcast episode. If done well, the audience will never know the difference between a dynamically inserted ad and a baked-in ad, which is a permanent part of the audio of the podcast.
Podcast hosting platforms, advertisers, and publishers adopted DAI because it helps brands win contextual relevance and efficiency through granular advertising opportunities. Through custom audio ads that appeal to the target audience, dynamic or seasonal geo-targeted ads, measurable variables, and performance data, DAI gives advertisers good control over podcast ad campaigns. This control allows them to tailor the campaigns based on the marketers’ demands.
DAI is evolving and has great potential in transcription-based targeting using AI and machine learning. It also has greater creative interactivity to make audio ads engaging through voice interactivity, personalization, and mobile phone engagement.
A podcast advertising example using DAI would be a brand creating multiple versions of pre-recorded audio ads that are served to target audiences on any podcast that meets the campaign criteria.
Podcast Advertising Anchors Digital Marketers for Effective Outreach
Edison Research’s Podcast Consumer 2017 report found that:
24% of people between the ages of 18 and 54 listen to podcasts monthly
Listeners are almost evenly split between men and women
Listeners tend to be affluent, mainly educated consumers
In the 25-54 age bracket, monthly listening has grown year over year for the past four years
These stats demonstrate the growing market for podcast advertising and a very stable demographic that B2B marketers would want to target. Marketers rely more on podcast advertisers and platforms to tap into the potential of podcasts as a media channel.
Here are some of the ways in which podcast advertising can enhance B2B marketing plans and bring in more conversions:
Listener behavior expansion− By understanding what kinds of podcasts the target audience listens to, marketers can create ads that appeal to them, and advertisers can help them get the perfect spot for the ad campaign to make it more successful.
Pivoting messaging is easier− Using different voiceovers, marketers can deliver the same message but elicit a different reaction from their target audience. Recycling old ad files is also a viable option to save time and resources.
Human connection− Hyper-personalized targeted ads relevant to the podcast content create a human connection with the audience and can influence their opinion about a brand.
Personal influence− Podcast hosts create a personal influence on the listeners so they keep tuning in to the podcast and even listen to the episodes again after a period. Ads on such podcasts receive stronger engagement and response. Additionally, hosts can also relay brand messages to listeners and influence their buying decisions.
Regional marketing− Podcasts are a great way to connect with a target demographic residing in a certain geographical area. Geo-targeting is a boon for region-specific marketing endeavors.
Effective storytelling− Podcasts can fuse autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) for immersive storytelling to impress listeners. The continuity and power of an engaging narration keeps the listeners subscribed and attached, ensuring that any kind of advertising on such podcasts can reach a wider audience.
Advertisers Are Helping B2B Marketers Generate Revenue
According to a forecast by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), podcast advertising revenue will exceed $4 billion by 2024. Marketers are dependent on advertisers to tap into the podcast advertising potential to generate revenue in the following ways:
An estimated 62 million Americans (Source: Edison Research) listen to podcasts, and this number is expected to grow. An interview by a product expert on an industry-relevant podcast can help get leads without wasting any budget on creating awareness, making it cost-effective. It’s no wonder LinkedIn and HubSpot have started their own podcast networks to host business and career-related content.
Brand Building & Customer Retention
Apart from using podcasts to generate leads, it can also help with brand building. Sponsoring a popular and relevant podcast episode can create a brand’s reputation and trust. It can also help retain existing customers as sponsorships demonstrate a continuous commitment to industry growth and development.
75% of podcast listeners were happy with the purchase they had made from podcast ads (A Study by Voices, the #1 voice marketplace). This goes to show that podcast advertising brings out expected results and conversions without compromising the customer experience or opinion.
Podcast as a Medium for Thought Leadership
Podcasts are a great medium for B2B thought leadership. They are a free space to express expert industry opinion, talk about the current industry trends, address the pain points of the customers, discuss tech advancements, and create a personal connection with the listeners. Tailored thought leadership content can fuel brand engagement and bring in leads that convert because of brand trust. Feedback gathered through interactive content can help B2B marketers create personalized marketing plans to align their goals with ad campaigns better.
Podcast Ads: Taking the First Step
Before you step into the world of podcast advertising, make sure you consider aspects like target demographic, podcast ad pricing, industry/brand relevant podcasts, ad purchasing, the reputation of the podcast advertising network, and podcast advertising platforms. Policygenius, a New York-based insurance agency, invested early in podcast advertising through Ad Results Media, an ad agency. Policygenius achieved its ROI goals, and its media spending increased by 10x in two years.
You can buy podcast ads directly, through a podcast advertising network, or programmatically. To track the success of your ads, use KPIs like unique listeners, ranking and reviews, subscribers, social sharing, and episode-by-episode metrics.
Wrapping It Up
Podcasts can be a great advertising avenue for B2B companies to influence their buying groups and create new customers. Its monumental growth as a media channel and its ad revenue over the past couple of years indicate that it is here to stay and should be harnessed for a wider reach and bigger sales numbers.
What is the role of podcast advertising networks?
A podcast advertising network is a full-service podcast advertising solution that maintains podcast ad inventory and manages ad campaigns for marketers.
How is podcast advertising different from traditional advertising methods?
Podcast advertising uses automated ad tech to create dynamic ad campaigns across relevant podcasts, while traditional advertising methods focus on print ads, outdoor billboards, and cable television.
Which are some popular podcast advertising platforms?
Some popular podcast advertising platforms are Midroll, AdvertiseCast, PodGrid, and Archer Avenue.
Article | July 20, 2022
With live sports on hold for the foreseeable future, broadcasters have started reairing games from yesteryear to keep audiences entertained during the coronavirus pandemic. For sports fans who know the outcome, reruns can be dull. Enter Super Squares, an app developed by Tampa-based React LLC that can put the adrenaline back into those dusty classics. The iOS and Android app is a modern take on “football squares” players check in before a game and make predictions, answer questions about ads and the game at regular intervals, and earn new super squares.
Article | June 1, 2022
As a marketer, your goal is to create ads that stick in the minds of your audience. You devote extra time and resources to creating memorable graphics, engaging CTAs, and interesting copy that works. You also buy just the right ad spots. But, what happens when your potential customer scrolls right past your ad? Your costly video ad never creates a difference and your campaign fails. Combat this video ad fatigue with audio advertising to effectively influence your target demographic.
After the audio content boom driven by podcasts, audio advertising is rising and becoming marketers’ new favorite. Nielsen Catalina Solutions’ 12-month-long study of audio ads on Spotify versus video and display ads found that audio ads were up to 25% more effective than other ad formats.
Mostly, audio ads are delivered through podcasts. We’ll dive into this shortly. First let’s look at how audio advertising can influence the buying decisions of your target audience:
Audio Advertising: Superpowers Explained
Audio advertising uses a broad content category such as background scores, jingles, and branded content apart from audio ads. By fusing audio ads into audio experiences such as ad-supported music streaming or podcasts, marketers can position relevant products and services in front of customers. Here are more of its advantages:
Audio Ads Offer Immersive Experience
A study done by Lightwave and iHeartMedia showed that one of the biggest benefits of audio advertising was its ability to connect with the audience on a deeper level. Remembering catchy jingles is also a part of this connection. Audio ads communicate emotions, capture the attention of the listeners within seconds and engage them enough to paint a picture in their minds. They achieve this without a big budget or production crew. A strong script and an audio booth are all you need to create an immersive audio ad.
They Have a Greater Reach
Primarily, audio ads are delivered through podcasts because they can be easily categorized and are widely consumed. According to Statista, almost 60% of all U.S. consumers older than 12 listen to podcasts. Interestingly, 70% podcast listeners do not multi-task while listening to a podcast, so you are catering to alert listeners who might end up retaining your ad (Edison Research). Apart from podcasts, audio ads are also run in locations such as radio, music, and news streams.
They Are Insightful and Creative
Marketers can use 3D and 8D audio to create soundscapes that offer an immersive experience. Additionally, audio ads create a 1-to-1 relationship. With the help of programmatic advertising, they also collect many layers of data that provide buying insights. Integrating audio ads with voice assistants is a creative approach to entice customers while being interactive.
Nars Cosmetics UK used Spotify to offer its customers voice commerce. Upon hearing the ad on Spotify, they could order samples and set up delivery using their smart speakers.
Smart Speakers Are Changing the Game
Smart speakers are contributing to screen-less moments in American homes. This means your video ad campaigns won’t get the kind of response you expect, but your audio ads just might. The Edison Infinite Dial report found that there is an average of 2.3 smart speakers in each home in the U.S. This number shows that a wide range of people use voice search and will listen to audio ads as a result.
Summing It Up
Audio advertising drives engagement and conversion through immersive storytelling, catchy jingles, and longer ad retention. It can be a great addition to your digital marketing strategy and refine the way you influence your audience’s buying decisions.