Building a sustainable ad model: Creating value for advertisers

Offering advertisers a way to engage meaningfully with the publisher’s audience results in a profitable experience for both sides of the ad exchange.

Written by
Gareth Nicholas
May 13, 2024

In the current digital landscape, developing a long-term growth strategy is more important than ever. An important focus for publishers should be to optimize their sites to allow for premium ad spaces that advertisers can benefit most from. Offering advertisers a way to engage meaningfully with the publisher’s audience results in a profitable experience for both sides of the ad exchange. The greater the quality of a publisher’s inventory, the more likely ad platforms will be able to drive direct sales to the site on top of the pre-existing programmatic demand. And, the better the ad offering, the more successful an advertiser's campaign will be. It’s a win-win!

Optimizing with a data-driven approach to viewability

One of the first steps to assessing the quality of a site layout is to look at data-driven insights that uncover what is contributing to the current ad yield levels and where improvements might be made. For example, the speed at which your ad placements are loading in or the current viewability percentage will help publishers understand the opportunities to optimize the site. To illustrate, a viewability of 43% would suggest that the current ad placements might be positioned poorly, below the fold, or are not loading in fast enough to be seen on page load. Viewability is important for both publishers looking to maximize RPMs and advertisers looking to hit campaign engagement goals. A Google study illustrated that highly viewable ads contributed to a 4x lift in conversion rate compared to ads that did not meet the viewability standards set by major SSPs. Typically a viewability rate of around 70% is considered acceptable, though ad platforms offering premium inventory can drive upwards of 90% viewability for publishers.

Ad mediation and placement optimization

Ad mediation provides a dynamic solution to serving the optimal set of ads in any given situation, based on a publisher's unique layout. This technology has a direct impact on the viewability of ads and so results in higher campaign performance for advertisers and greater yield for publishers. For example, if a publisher’s site layout offers greater right & left rail space, vertical formats can be served for maximum use of space while maintaining a quality user experience. Similarly, if a site maintains a large enough space between content and the footer, the ad mediation tech could suggest that serving sticky formats that remain in view for the entirety of the user’s session duration could drive the best results. This technology works by connecting the best available ad network while sending ad requests to various demand sources. This ensures the best available ad placements are served in the available ad space on a publisher’s site. By design, this process increases publisher fill-rate and therefore maximizes viewability and RPMs.

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So, which formats should publishers look to offer to attract premium demand? 

In general, advertisers tend to bid on placements that drive the greatest campaign value which often means highly viewable, impactful ad placements that drive engaged impressions. For example, Rich Media formats (such as Takeovers) are high-impact by design and can feature static images, video and audio. A great example of the impact these formats can make is shown below in our campaign from Meta Quest 2. When coupled with the expertise of Venatus’ custom in-house Creative Team, brands and advertisers can run campaigns that engage with their target audiences powerfully. Importantly, the publisher organized their content to make space for a surrounding creative.

Outside of Rich Media campaigns, video formats will always yield high engagement rates for advertisers but offering video placements in the correct way is an important consideration for publishers. In recent times, Google has been blocking demand to Outstream Players which are placements that do not have a video player embedded in the page and do not have more content than ads. To combat this, publishers need to implement an Instream Video solution to secure long-term video revenues. These Instream placements run before, during, or after video content so by nature, they require original content to be utilized. Instream ads can still move to an anchored position to the bottom left or right-hand side of the screen when the user scrolls for maximum visibility. Working with an ad platform like Venatus that champions lucrative Instream placements means that publishers can rest assured that they are running high-quality, compliant ads while generating the best possible revenue from each user session. 

Creating value for advertisers should be a primary goal for publishers looking to generate the maximum RPMs from their ad setup. Focusing on the quality of inventory and maximizing viewability will result in greater outcomes for both the supply and demand side of the ad ecosystem. Organizing site layouts and content to offer Premium ad formats will make a publisher’s site more attractive for Direct Sale campaigns, driving incremental ad revenue on top of the incoming programmatic demand. Working with an AdTech expert can help publishers ensure all ad placements are compliant as well as being optimized for generating the maximum revenue per user session.

The Venatus Publisher Team is always on-hand to discuss how publishers can further improve the value they are offering advertisers.

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