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Rich media tips for publishers
August 23, 2010
As most of us know, rich media ad units earn the most for publishers; they are a great way to generate more revenue. Advertisers and agencies often ask publishers what new or unique advertising technologies they can offer for sale. Therefore, innovative rich media has become a sought after technology by Publishers. However, I have noticed that publishers face continual challenges when selling, demoing, and delivering rich media ad units. Here are six tips that I hope will help guide any Publisher who is thinking about rich media.
1. Selecting which ad units to offer: The biggest challenge for publishers is to choose which rich media ad unit that will run on their site. It’s important to choose units that do not overly compromise the visitor's user experience, but that are highly visible (which advertisers like). For example, basic overlay ads that cover content can increase revenue for the publisher, but may negatively affect your user’s experience too much. Sliders or page pushers impact the user experience less but still have great visibility.
• Slider demo: http://www.zedo.com/richmedia/sliderad.html
• Page Pusher demo: http://www.zedo.com/richmedia/pagepusher.html
2. Showcasing your rich media offerings: Once you have decided which unit(s) you want to run it is important to set up some demos of how the unit will look on your site. I find that describing them just doesn't do them justice. These demos should be easily available for your Advertisers or Agencies so that they can access them anytime they want. If you can, use a real html page with a real ad. I find that changing the ad for each advertiser before sending the demo link works best for the agency. That is what they like to show their client.
3. Scheduling rich media campaigns: Avoid running multiple rich media ad units at the same time on the same page. This is really annoying for users. It may result in a performance decline of the rich media ad units and a negative experience for users. Instead use clever frequency capping for rich media ad units. For example show a page pusher on the user's first page view, don't show rich media units on the 2nd and 3rd page view, and show a slider on the 4th page view of each user. Performance and user experience will be better.
4. Use a Publisher ad server even for rich media: Don't be reactive and wait for an advertiser to come to you with a Pointroll or Eyeblaster tag. Instead approach a publisher ad server that offers its own formats for pubs or will create some for you. This will allow you to sell to all advertisers, not just the ones who come to you, and will help you quickly set up ads that integrate well into your site and are pre-approved by all your content teams. And they will be tried and tested, so you know they will work. Some advertisers will still use their own 3rd party ad servers or rich media ad server for their own interaction reporting - which is fine and should be encouraged.
5. Innovate: Agencies often get tired of seeing the same ad units. They get tired of presentations. If you are talking to agencies and big brand advertisers, it adds more value to provide something new and unique. Designing new formats may involve changes on your site, but believe me, agencies love the latest stuff so it definitely pays off!!
6. Get more money: Rich media ad units generate more revenue than regular ad units. They generate high brand awareness. Advertisers are happy to see larger units on their Publisher’s sites as they are more visible. Since rich media units perform better than traditional media and have high visibility, you can charge more than for regular units. Just explain this to advertisers. They get it.