Digital Ad Quality and Non-human Ad Traffic
The value of precise data to target your exact customer cannot be overstated. It truly is the most unique thing differentiating ad platforms today – and is why people love our Brand Lift hyper-targeting platform.
However, it’s an extremely concerning trend that so many ad agencies and platforms have set the expectation for low CPMs. Low CPMs are great, but never at the expense of quality. Sadly, CPMs have become the new screening mechanism for digital media RFPs.
The result of this? The largest brands and advertisers continue to feed bad sites & apps, irrelevant placements and waste countless dollars on under-performing media. This results in frustrated or neglected customers, disillusioned brand marketers and aimless media companies.
So what do you do to fix it? Is there hope for your brand’s digital media spend? Absolutely! Let’s take a look at 3 extremely simple rules you can begin applying today to your media budgeting and planning decisions to begin realizing a greater ROI and a greater sense of pride knowing your impressions are truly doing something useful for your customers. Not only that, you’ll exploit a tier of quality ads that your competition has simply ignored because they thought it was overpriced, giving you privileged access to the audience everyone else is missing.
Alright, let’s get right into it…
Rule #1 – Take out the trash
No Fraud & No Junk Sites & Apps (NHT & IVT)
Invalid traffic is both greedy and elusive. It’s critical for brands to leverage multiple Invalid Traffic (IVT) prevention filters to protect against placement against completely useless digital properties.
There are a few examples of this, and while technically different, they tend to flock together:
- Too many ads on the site, spammy sites
- Double-served ads (or more… it happens more often than you’d think!)
- Ads that serve on sites or apps dominated by bot/non-human traffic
- Ads in almost unviewable areas
- Excessive ads below the fold
Rule #2 – Keep good company
Right Content & Context for Your Ad
Just because a site or app is legitimate, doesn’t mean your brand’s ad belongs there. In some cases, it would be irrelevant, in some cases weird and sometimes it’s just straight up bad for your brand.
There are a few examples of wrong content & context:
- Inappropriate content: illegal, hateful, racist, discriminatory, violent, tragedy, profanity or other controversies
- Culturally alienating content: strong polarizing political content, conspiracy theories, heavily religious, etc.
- Category irrelevance: you wouldn’t show a dog treat ad on a DIY home repair site, you wouldn’t show an ad for donuts on a weight loss app.
- Activity irrelevance: maybe you shouldn’t pair your hair care ad on a page about buying the perfect wig
What are some good examples to emulate?
- Airbnb ad on a travel app
- Organic food ad on a healthy food hack blog
- Mid-market furniture ad on a value-driven site showing local deals on home decor
- Hot tub ads on sites about how to incorporate pools & spas in your backyard space
Rule #3 – Proof is in the interaction
Right Positioning & Format on the Site or App
After you’ve screened out the garbage sites and apps, as well as those properties that provide content that just doesn’t align with your brand, then it’s time to think about the best place to put your ad on a site or app.
Step 1: Exclude low-quality positions, like below the fold or unknown positions
Step 2: Optimize for engagement metrics using machine learning
Who has time to do this when you’re talking about programmatic, real-time media? There’s simply isn’t time, and even the best guesses or models would fail. That’s why it’s so important to set interaction standards: minimum CTRs or, for video, view completions you expect to see.
While you may want to set your minimum around the average initially, as you collect volume you will want to raise this minimum threshold to encourage optimization towards the greatest quality impressions that will drive engagement.
Well there you have it, three simple rules for cleaning up your digital media quality. Not only will this yield better brand reputation, but you WILL see the results in your performance. At Mediavision2020, we’ve consistently seen 1.5x to 3x performance improvements from enforcing these rules in programmatic media buys.
Curious how to incorporate these rules in your next big digital ad campaign? Give us a call or drop us a note, we’d love to walk you through it.