4 Campaign Strategies for Buying Display Ads on SiteScout

by Ratko Vidakovic on July 25, 2012 · 0 comments

We know that SiteScout RTB may appear a little bit intimidating at first glance (after all, we have access to thousands of websites and billions of impressions every single day). So, we have created this quick user guide to outline four different methods you can use to begin running and optimizing your ad campaigns.

1. Hand-pick Each Site

A Portion of our Site List

Traditional media is bought according to the ‘assumed audience’ of the seller. For example, an advertiser wanting to market to young males would purchase ad space during a football game. While SiteScout RTB allows for much more sophisticated audience modeling (we’ll get into that a little later on), there is still value in hand-picking sites based on audience reach.

As an advertiser, you may already know who your target audience is (if you don’t, we’ll give you some tips on how you can determine this). When you know what your ideal customer looks like, you can focus your resources on sites that reflect your target demographic. Tools like Alexa can provide a free source of information on website audience characteristics. You can then use SiteScout RTB to test different ads aimed at your target audience, and refine your approach accordingly. Remember to run each of your campaigns long enough to gather sufficient data – you need a large enough sample size to rule out flukes and other irregularities.

(TIP: Don’t Forget Placement Optimization! Once you have decided to buy on a particular site, you need to test what ‘placements’ on that site are giving you the best results. For example, are you getting the best return on your money ‘above-the-fold’ or below? SiteScout RTB is one of the few platforms that gives you the granular information you need to make decisions in real time.)

If you find that traffic levels are unstable, or that you are getting fewer impressions than you want, contact your SiteScout account manager. We can work with the publisher directly to arrange for a private deal that gets you the traffic you need.

2. Run-of-Network Campaign Using Contextual Targeting

A Small Selection of Categories

Contextual targeting allows you to focus your campaigns on specific pages, across the internet, based on the content found on those pages. SiteScout algorithmically analyzes pages, and groups them based on category, allowing you to limit your ad spend to pages that match your selected criteria.

While our integration with all major ad exchanges provides you with significant reach, ‘cherry-picking’ impressions based on context will necessarily decrease the scale that you would otherwise achieve. That said, if done properly, you can expect a significant lift in click-through rates (some in the 0.4 – 0.5% range, which is excellent for display).

Here are the best practices for creating a contextually-targeted campaign:

  • Create a campaign using your usual Campaign Basics information
  • Select Run-of-Network (RON) when selecting your sites – this will ensure that you maximize the potential reach of your campaigns
  • Use your standard ad creatives
  • Do not use Day Parting or Retargeting (again to maximize reach)
  • Select the contextual categories that are important to your campaign from the Contextual Targeting tab

(TIP: It’s recommended that you create a separate campaign for each contextual category, so that you can split-test them against each other to see which performs better.)

We’re excited to confirm that we recently finished integrating with the PulsePoint ad exchange, which has introduced around 2,800 new sites to our platform, many of which are highly text-rich. This is perfect for contextually-targeted campaigns.

3. Run-of-Network Campaign using Whitelisted Domains

An Example of a Whitelist

Another useful approach is to create a so-called ‘whitelist’ of domains that you know have performed well in the past, or that you’ve compiled using a competitive intelligence tool. A ‘whitelist’ is simply a list of approved domains that your ads will run on. When paired with a run-of-network campaign, it can prove immensely valuable: sometimes, publishers bundle traffic under a particular SiteID, so you may be able to find traffic on sites that you otherwise didn’t know was available on SiteScout RTB. At the same time, your ad-spend is limited solely to sites that you know (or suspect) will perform. Setup is similar to contextual campaigns: the only difference is that after you create your run-of-network campaign, go to the Domain Targeting tab and create your whitelist of domains.

4. Run-of-Network Campaign using Retargeting Data

Adding a Retargeting Audience Is Simple

Now to get the most value out of your campaigns! SiteScout RTB allows you to leverage the data that you collect through other campaigns (including any of the three above). How?

First of all, your landing pages or tracking links should already have your SiteScout retargeting pixel on them, so that you can build your audience list by dropping tracking cookies on every visitor. You can then target campaigns solely to people who have visited your page or followed a tracking link. The setup process is a little more in-depth, so if your interested in running a retargeting campaign, take a look at our simple retargeting guide for step-by-step instructions.

We recommend testing each type of campaign to see which one works best for you. Successful display marketing requires coming up with new strategies, testing them, and then optimizing based on the data you collect. It’s a process of constant iteration, and we are always adding new inventory for you to try (check out the “What’s New” button on the Sites tab).

Stay tuned as we will be following up with other strategies that you may want to employ (up next: run-of-network campaigns using demographic targeting). In the mean time, try some of the above strategies, and remember to always keep testing!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! We’re here to help.

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