When you place ads on your website, you want your software to run efficiently and effortlessly. Ad serving software shouldn’t be overly complicated or challenging to use. That being said, why are so many publishers spending countless hours per week manually placing ads, managing campaigns, and repeatedly testing for performance?
It all boils down to the platform. Choosing the right ad serving software is a big decision. The platforms with the biggest names or glamorous websites don’t always deliver the greatest results. What it’s really about is finding a solution that fits with your existing needs and website infrastructure.
When it comes to ad serving software, we have two main categories: first-party ad servers and third-party ad servers. First-party ad servers are typically used by a publisher’s ad ops department to manage the campaigns running on the publisher’s own site. Third-party ad servers are what advertisers and agencies are using to manage ad codes and track the results of campaigns running on multiple publishers’ websites.
Independent online publishers generally care more about first-party ad serving software, so that’s what we’ll focus on today.
Ad managers, like Broadstreet, cater specifically to the needs of publishers with direct, digital ad sales. Additionally, they are primarily used by local news websites, trade journals, and radio broadcasters. With tools for storing and managing ads that appear on their websites and apps, Broadstreet’s software helps digital publishers monetize their own properties.
If you’re still on the hunt for the best ad serving software, check out the following list of five things you need to look for.
1. Supports Multiple Formats
As publishers look at more diversified revenue streams, they generally need more advanced ad serving software that is capable of inserting multiple types of ads and promotional content across multiple digital properties. While direct-sold ads are common among independent local publishers, we’re also seeing a growing number of sites running native content, sponsored content, and house or internal ads. In an industry where time is money, publishers need to know that the ad serving software they are using can support multiple ad formats – and that they won’t be switching between platforms to manage different campaign types.
2. Advanced Targeting
One of the key benefits that digital advertising offers over traditional print formats is the ability to target ads. This is a major selling point for online publishers, which is why it’s important that publishers not be limited by the ad serving software they choose. With keyword targeting specifically, publishers can target campaigns to specific pages or specific sections of their websites. They can also target keywords to behave in different ways, using zones and selecting for the device. Keyword exclusivity is an especially important feature that publishers can use to ensure certain campaigns only run in zones that mention the selected keywords. This is a feature that is available through Broadstreet.
3. Newsletter Advertising
Today’s publishers aren’t just running multiple types of ads, they are also running ads across multiple channels. While display advertising on traditional websites is still most common, we are also seeing a growing number of digital news publications and trade publications running newsletter advertising. Companies like Broadstreet can save publishers time and frustration by offering tools to manage newsletter advertising through a centralized online dashboard. That means, publishers aren’t flipping back and forth between dashboards when they place and manage campaigns across different channels.
4. Automated Reporting
The best way to sell campaigns is to publish the results of other successful campaigns. As a publisher, you can’t access those results without real-time reporting tools. In addition to providing yourself with the information you need to win over advertisers, automated reporting features also streamline the ad management process. Rather than manually collecting data and emailing it to clients, your team should be able to automatically funnel campaign statistics and performance data directly. In turn, this frees up your time which leads to happier, more satisfied advertisers.
5. Constant Support
Nobody should go it alone. Regardless of the ad serving software you choose, there’s a learning curve, including times when you find yourself with questions that can’t be answered with a general knowledge base or an FAQ page. Ad servers, such as Broadstreet, have prompt and knowledgeable support teams who are available to answer questions and resolve issues at any time. These are the things you should consider when choosing ad serving software. Be sure to ask about these when communicating with potential vendors.
To learn more about selecting the right ad serving software for your publication, contact Broadstreet today.
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