How can an advertiser select a suitable ad network?
An advertising network, or ad network, is known as the broker between advertisers and website owners who want to host advertisements on their websites. Basically, ad network companies help advertisers connect with websites that are willing to provide and sell advertising space. In the same fashion, they help website owners connect with advertisers who want to pay for advertising space. The ad network company ensures that there is a match between the content of the website and the advertisements so that they blend well together. This solution can work well for many advertisers and also website owners because they do not have to spend time looking for individual publishing partners and they can hence concentrate on their core business. If you are an advertiser planning to use an ad network for your marketing campaign, here are some important things you should consider when choosing a provider.
First, be sure to ask questions thoroughly. The ad networks will try to gain your business by offering premium inventory, monthly reports, and assurance that your ads will never be paired with any offensive content. These statements alone are unfortunately not enough. You need to ask them how they pair the ads to the content and the level of targeting that the ad serving providers are offering. Ask them how they screen and monitor the websites in their network. It is also best to ask questions about their ad server, system uptime, advertisement load time, and how they are managing it to make sure that the ads are always updated and served properly.
With respect to reporting, you need to ask the ad network company to provide you a sample of the reports that they usually send to their clients. If they will not give you any details, then you might want to look for another network that can provide one to you. Make sure that the reports contain all the metrics you need to be able to measure the success of your campaign. Compare reports from different ad networks and you may find that some networks are not able to measure certain aspects which may help you decide between one network and the other.
Another good idea is to ask them for references. The references should come from existing and previous clients. Try to contact them and ask for specific information about their experiences with the ad network. Ask them about their overall impression of the network, their strong and weak points, and other information you find relevant. If the company is not able to provide any references then they are either very new in the market or provide very poor services, both reasons should be treated with caution.
Of course, price is always a factor. Try and find a balance between the price they offer, the level of satisfaction you have with their reporting metrics, how professional they were answering your questions, their references, and how much time they have been in the market. Armed with this information, you will surely make the right choice.