From Google AdWords, AVNads, Etology, ExpressPro Yahoo Paid Inclusion, to banners, video and text ads that we and other agencies sell, the choices abound! Some advertisers seemingly do well everywhere they run, while others test many sources and seemingly never find the high conversion traffic sweet spots being sought after.
In order to make best use of the online ad buying experience, here you a few ideas, from the perspective of a long time buyer and seller:
-Establish a relationship with your account manager from each venue where you run ad buys, whether testing or recurring. If you don’t have a staffer from the traffic vendor assigned to you, ask for one.
-If you don’t like the one you have, ask for another. It’s quite critical to have someone who comprehends your business needs working for the vendor, one who will have ongoing communications with you, after the sake during the campaign a few times, as well as when they want to sell you the next campaign.
-Talk to your vendor contact, even if for 5 minutes, regularly, as in every week or two, no less. The vendors need to know your view of how things are going to compare against the data they make available.
-Share your revenue stats data and even access with the ad source. While not all traffic vendors will do this, enough of the established sources will have your sales rep view advertiser revenue stats to compare against the ad spend data and measure your effective CPA easily. If a vendor is willing, don’t hide the stats. The vendors have a strong bias towards making campaigns work – advertiser turn over is no good for anyone.
-Make sure you track everything! And I mean, everything – every campaign from a single source, if buying on multiple sites. Most affiliate program software allows for sub-ID tracking by affiliates. As such, when using the affiliate system to create house accounts to track online ad buys, create a sub-ID and distinct tracking URL for every part of a media buy that can be separately identified – ad spot, type of creative, page or site from vendor.
-If a source you trust has multiple ad buying options/multiple networks or properties, set an overall budget to spend with that company which can be sliced up more easily among several options to test, versus buying campaigns from traffic vendors a la carte. A budget on account allows the vendor greater flexibility in placing your ads across properties they seek to fill ad space on with steady long term advertisers. Many traffic vendors will provide enhanced client support services when there are greater client resources for media testing.
-Expect increased focus on legal compliance requirements for advertisers. All credible sellers will require enhanced compliance from online ad buyers, with regards to site content, creative materials and record keeping requirements. While this is nothing new, it is our expectation that as media source compliance rules expand, it will have the trickle down effect, requiring online advertisers and the media suppliers to be more conservative with certain types of marketing efforts.