Many publishers think that you need to choose between direct sales or ad networks for their advertising sales strategy. Both have tremendous benefits for publishers and fortunately, publishers need not choose between direct advertising sales or advertising networks. Publishers can successfully combine both approaches, and leverage the benefits of every ad sales strategy to boost ad revenue.
We’ll explore each strategy’s benefits in this article, and highlight the key benefits of each for publishers.
Top Advantages of Direct Ad Revenue
The direct ad sales model is inherently flexible because the parties are free to decide the terms of the deals. It follows that the model is well suited to advertisers and publishers willing to think outside the box.
Benefit #1: Direct relationships with advertisers
The single biggest benefit of direct advertising sales for publishers is, since the strategy’s name suggests, a direct connection with advertisers.
It’s hard to overstate the value of having the ability to cultivate a much more personal relationship with your advertisers as time passes. Strong, personal relationships with advertisers is one of the foundations of more lasting commercial relationships, and a key to sustainable advertising revenue for publishers.
Benefit #2: Better terms, more earnings
Because you’re dealing with advertisers right, you’re also in a position to more effectively determine the terms of your agreements with advertisers. You don’t need to agree to an intermediary’s contractual terms to conclude a deal with an advertiser.
Having a direct relationship with advertisers means that publishers maintain the huge bulk of the revenue earned from direct ad sales. The exact same can’t be said of programmatic ad sales conducted via intermediary ad networks.
Benefit #3: Opportunities for more engaging campaigns
Direct ad sales give publishers and advertisers the opportunity to create more engaging ad campaigns which would otherwise be difficult to implement with standardized ad inventory choices.
For instance, a publisher could offer a dynamic advertiser the option of doing a website take-over, and designing a bespoke ad campaign that captivates the publisher’s audiences. This kind of campaign is hard to provide through programmatic channels because it usually is not a’one-size-fits-all’ sort of option.
However, negotiated via a direct ad deal, a publisher and an advertiser could agree on a campaign that is completely tailored to the advertiser’s requirements. This, in turn, creates opportunities for publishers and advertisers to experiment with more advanced ad media that otherwise would not be included in more standardized advertising placements.
Effective audience engagement on social media is increasingly vital. Additionally it is a valuable extension of just about any ad campaign because it is often the key to delivering highly relevant ads.
Direct ad sales can go beyond advertising placements on your site and include a more holistic approach that encompasses rich social media engagement with your audience.
Top Benefits of Ad Networks
Network-based programmatic ad sales are concluded in the blink of an eye, and scale to accommodate bigger ad inventories and interested advertisers. This version has revolutionized the online advertising market.
Benefit #1: No need for a dedicated sales teams
Programmatic advertising sales can be a fantastic option for smaller publishers that don’t have a dedicated sales team that is often necessary for bigger scale, direct ad sales. All you need to do is make your ad inventory available through a SSP (Supply Side Platform).
Advertisers will bid for your available stock and the winning bidders will put their ads on your website. The bidding process, and subsequent ad placements, takes place in the blink of an eye.
Publishers gain the convenience of a compact ad sales model in exchange for a share of advertising revenue that’s typically paid to the intermediaries who facilitate the process.
Benefit #2: Highly targeted, data-driven campaigns
Programmatic marketing offers publishers and publishers the chance to deliver highly targeted ad campaigns at scale. This is typically accomplished through pervasive audience research and tracking tools that inform fairly accurate profiles of your audiences.
These profiles, in turn, help advertisers deliver much more relevant ads that audiences are more likely to respond to. Among the issues that has prompted consumers to block ads is that advertisements have not been relevant to them.
Programmatic marketing helps address that concern and, in the process, leads to a better user experience because advertisements convey offers that audiences might actually be interested in.
Benefit #3: Cross-platform campaigns for greater consistency and reach
Advertising is no longer only a desktop thing. We’ve seen a proliferation of device categories and form factors in the past few years and, with that, a dramatic shift in how audiences consume services and content.
One of the clear benefits of this trend is that advertisers can gain deeper insights into publishers’ viewers’ behavior and preferences, and create even more relevant ads. This is now possible through highly contextual signals from many different device types, places, and actions.
Do not Choose, Use Both! (We Can Help.)
As we pointed out at the outset, there is no need to choose between direct ad sales and ad networks. While each revenue model has clear advantages, successful publishers must always adapt to changing circumstances and market conditions.