The last four months here at SiteScout have been extremely productive, as we strive towards becoming the most powerful and intuitive ad platform out there. As a result, we have a massive update for you, but we’ve broken it down for easy consumption.
There have been significant product improvements from practically every aspect of the platform: inventory, data partners, video enhancements, workflow, user experience, and much more. Moving forward, we plan to put out more frequent updates for easier digestion, but for now, let’s focus on what’s new!
Our Newest Audience Data Partner: BlueKai
We have integrated with the largest data exchange in the world: BlueKai. You can think of BlueKai as the AppNexus of data. They are like a galaxy of data providers. If you want 3rd party audience data to target against, you can get pretty much access anything through BlueKai.
To put things in perspective, BlueKai has over 25,000 data segments! To keep things manageable though, we’ve decided to hand pick some initial data providers from BlueKai before opening up more. The first two data providers are Bizo, the leader in B2B audience data, and Polk, the leader in automotive data.
Additional data providers are in the process of being released very shortly. The next ones in the queue are DataLogix CPG and Symphony IRI data. However, if you have any specific requests of your own, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put it in the queue.
To access BlueKai data, simply create an Audience campaign, and you will see these new data segments once you reach the Audiences tab.
Folders & Campaign Groups
When we first built the SiteScout RTB platform, we wanted to keep it easy to use. So creating a complex hierarchy of campaigns and folders was something that we chose not to focus on initially. But, we are now introducing folders and campaign groups, which will allow agencies to organize their advertisers, campaigns, and tactics in a very logical way.
First, we’ve introduced folders. Folders make it easier for you to organize your campaigns and keep your dashboards tidy. Furthermore, if your account has dozens or hundreds of campaigns, using folders (or groups) will drastically speed up your experience in the UI. You can nest folders up to four levels deep, which means that you have the flexibility to organize your account as you see fit.
For example, you could organize your campaigns by:
- Division (East, West, Central, etc.)
- Year (2014, 2013, 2012, etc.)
- Client (Pepsi, Toyota, Nike, etc.)
- Campaign (Diet Pepsi, Q4 Awareness, etc.)
- And so on.
Once you get down to the campaign level, Campaign Groups allow you to, as the name suggests, group campaigns into an overarching group with a shared budget. This makes it possible to create a Campaign Group with a singular goal, but with a variety of campaign tactics within it, like contextual, audience, retargeting, and domain targeting.
More importantly, with a strict daily budget set at the group level, it’s no longer necessary to babysit a multitude of campaigns to make sure that the aggregate daily budget is pacing correctly.
Campaign groups have a number of budgeting options: no budget (in which case only the campaign-level budgets would be used), daily budget, and all-time budget. We are currently working on enhancements to our pacing system that would allow all-time budgets to be automatically paced across flight dates, which will be huge!
When creating a campaign group, you can import existing campaigns into it. This operation essentially copies the campaign to the new group and archives the old instance.
Mobile Rich Media (MRAID) Support
You can now safely run your MRAID (mobile rich media) creative on SiteScout! We have adjusted the “Add Creative” menu to account for this new support. The former “Rich media ad tag” option has been renamed to “Expandable (Web)” and a new MRAID ad tag option is now available. Ad tags uploaded using this dialog will only bid on impressions that support the MRAID version you specify.
(Side Note: Even though we fully support the use of Celtra tags, we don’t have their official seal of approval just yet. We are working on Celtra certification as we speak, and expect full certification soon!)
Video Campaign Enhancements
Since launching Video campaigns back in March, there have been a number of enhancements, making it much more powerful. We’ve added SpotXchange and LiveRail to complement our existing relationship with BrightRoll.
SpotXchange brings a variety of new inventory; from premium websites like ABC, Pandora, AMC, and a number of the ComScore 500 brand name publishers, to more niche, long-tail websites that are best used to achieve reach on user generated content sites, for example. Overall, they provide our platform with 12 billion additional video impressions per month.
(Side Note: While we are not yet fully ramped up nationwide across all US SpotXchange inventory, we do expect full coverage for both US and Canada by the end of the week.)
Recently acquired by Facebook, LiveRail is best known for being the number one source of DailyMotion inventory. Through this partnership, it has opened up roughly 1 billion additional video impressions per month. But we are slowly ramping them up, so expect that number to increase significantly.
In the near future, we will also be adding additional video reporting, which will include: completed views, quartile reporting, skips, and more. Expect this announcement in our next update.
New Inventory Sources
We’ve added several new sources of unique inventory based on demand and expected performance.
GumGum is one of those sources: They offer unique in-image and in-screen ad formats. In-image ads are where the creative floats over top of images within web pages. As a result, the supported ad sizes are different than usual. The most common sizes are 728×90, 468×60, and 320×50, with 234×60 also available. Here is how it looks:
In-screen ads are where the creative floats at the bottom of the page. Both mobile and desktop inventory are available for this format. See the below image for an example:
Generally, CTR are higher with these formats than other placements because the ads are so adjacent to the content. Moreover, ad tags are not loaded until the ad is in the browser viewport, which means that these ad units have very high viewability, as shown in this report from DoubleVerify.
We have also added quite a bit of niche inventory to the platform. AdNetwork.Net is an exchange that’s focused on Latin America inventory. They are the exclusive seller of Gawker Media inventory in Latin America, and have roughly 65 million impressions per day. Batanga is another Latin American exchange with an average daily volume of 35 million impressions. Ybrant Digital is a performance marketing exchange with an average daily volume of 35 million impressions. And Media Shakers is a performance marketing exchange with an average daily volume of 200 million impressions.
More Product Improvements
Now that we’ve covered the major updates to the platform, let’s dive into the various miscellaneous improvements that have enhanced the user experience.
Enhancement: Geo-Targeting Design
When creating a new campaign, we have redesigned the area where you choose the locations to target. The new design is an attempt to improve the intuitiveness of the targeting logic. (Locations are always “or” rules between lines, except for exclusions, which are always “and” rules).
To add geographic regions like country, state/province, or city, clicking the big green “Browse & Add Locations” button will bring up the familiar tree list. In addition, we’ve also added a handy lookup tool for DMA codes, which means no more having to memorize codes. Simply click the “Lookup…” button in the DMA section.
New Basic Optimization Feature: Optimize To CTR
By popular request, we have added a new option to our Basic Optimization feature: Optimize to CTR. With this option, you can now specify a minimum CTR and sample size. Once the sample size is reached, if the placement hasn’t reached the minimum CTR, it is automatically turned off.
New Inventory Feature: “Add All” Button
We’ve also created an “Add All” button for adding all the visible sites within the inventory screen when creating a new campaign. This button supports the bulk addition of up to 2000 sites.
If there are more than 2000 sites listed, the “Add All” button will be greyed out. To narrow down the size of your site list, simply add additional filters.
(Pro Tip: For an easy and effective way to narrow down a site list, use the ‘Minimum Impressions’ filter to show only sites above a specific number of daily impressions.)
Improvement: Increased Inventory Export Limit
When viewing the Inventory tab, there has always been an Export button that allowed you to export your current view of the site list. You can export the entire, unfiltered site list, for your own offline planning. However, if you wish to filter the list, and then export it, you can do so as well, but there is a limit to how many sites you can export. The limit used to be 1000 sites, but that limit has now been increased to 10,000.
Improvement: Ad Quality Process Change
After creating a campaign, if you wanted to add additional sites, those sites would automatically require review before becoming active, but no longer. Sites now immediately default to “eligible” review status, which means they are active. This should speed up the review process and allow you to scale your campaigns that much quicker.
New Payment Option: PayPal Support
We have always supported PayPal as a payment option for funding your account. However, it was never integrated within the interface… until now.
You can now easily fund your account via PayPal or credit card, right from the platform.
New Feature: Easily Apply for API Key
When logged in to the SiteScout interface, there is now an option in the Help menu that lets you apply for an API key. Simply accept the Terms and Conditions, and a request will be generated automatically. One of our digital media specialists will reach out to you with follow up questions before your key is generated. Once you have your API key, you will be able to programmatically create and control campaigns, and you will be able to access all of your campaign reporting and asset statistics.
New Feature: Bulk Add Sites By Site ID
You can now add a “whitelist”, so to speak, composed of sites (using their Site IDs) when creating a campaign and adding inventory targets.
By using the “Add Sites by ID” button on the Inventory screen of the campaign editor, you can paste a line-separated list of Site IDs in the format of “1-12345″ (as shown in Detailed Reporting and elsewhere throughout the UI).
New Feature: Search Field For Contextual and Audience Segment Selection
Many people have been asking for an easier way to find the category or segment name that they want, without having to manually browse through the various tree grids in the interface.
We solved this by adding a search field above the grids, making it easy to find the segment of your choice by name.
Performance Improvements and Bug Fixes
It’s also worth noting that there have been numerous bug fixes within the platform, so the overall user experience should be much improved. Furthermore, there have been countless improvements in how we display error messages (such as providing more direction to troubleshoot the error), and in the overall performance and stability of the platform.
Stay Tuned For More
That’s it for now, but there is much more in the pipeline. We have some exciting announcements just around the corner that we know you will love. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback about this product update!