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What Is Ad Network Integration — A Handy Guide to Ad Networks

what is ad network integration

Nowadays, the digital marketplace is the go-to destination for businesses looking to get their products in front of broad audiences. According to HubSpot, as many as 68% of marketers stated they found their paid online advertising endeavors a vital part of their marketing strategy. But how do brands get their ads out there? Surely they don’t wish upon a shooting star and have the ads magically pop up on Google, right? Of course they don’t. They get their ads online through ad network integration.

But what is ad network integration? And what are ad networks, and how do they work in the first place? Well, that among other things is what we’re going to answer in this article. Here’s a quick overview of what we’re going to address:

Let’s get right into what you’re here for!

What Are Ad Networks?

Ad network is a term used for online platforms that mediate the online ad distribution process between publishers and advertisers. Ad networks only exist in the online world, and they do all the dirty work in putting your banner or video ads on someone else’s website or video. 

So what happens when you sign up for an ad network as an online advertiser? You purchase ad space (also known as ad inventory) that various publishers put up “for rent.” In a sense, it’s like getting yourself a billboard. However, instead of renting that ad space for a specific amount of time, you instead get it for a limited number of impressions.

So what ad networks essentially do is make everyone’s lives easier. Instead of looking for websites or publishers to put your ads on manually and contacting them yourself, you can just sign up with an ad network and take your pick.

How Do Ad Networks Work?

As we’ve already mentioned in brief, an ad network takes a publisher’s available ad inventory and sells it to advertisers on a per-impression basis. Here’s a step-by-step overview of how ad networks function:

  • An ad network collects ad inventory from a large number of publishers and then sells it to advertisers following an auction-like system. 
  • The advertiser can then adjust their ad campaign or check reports on it from the ad network’s campaign-management interface. They can even choose to run campaigns across multiple different ad networks if they reach a direct deal with the publishers.
  • Advertisers have to determine their campaign parameters, while publishers have to set up appropriate ad tags on their websites for the ads to work. They can do so by inserting these tags into their pages directly or using a third-party server.
  • After publishing the ad, advertisers have full control over their banners through their ad network’s campaign-management panel without needing to communicate with the publisher further.

Now, in the early days of online advertising, having one ad network was sufficient for most publishers due to the much lower number of websites online. However, since everyone is jumping the digital advertising bandwagon, and there are over 1.5 billion websites on the internet today, the demand for online ads has become much higher than the supply. 

That is why many publishers utilize more ad networks simultaneously to maximize their fill rates. Features like ad tag waterfalling help them with that immensely, but remember not to get discouraged; it’s close to impossible to achieve a 100% fill rate nowadays, even with waterfalling. Most ad networks promise publishers 25%–50% fill rate, so as long as you’re within that rage, you’re getting what you paid for.

The Difference Between Ad Networks and Ad Servers

Since these two terms appeared roughly at the same time and are easily mistaken for one another, let’s quickly disambiguate them.

An ad server is a technology that ad networks, advertisers, and publishers use to track and analyze their advertising campaigns. If you are interested in a more in-depth take on this topic, check out our article about ad serving technology.

Unlike ad servers, ad networks don’t deal with ad management and storage but with transactions between advertisers and publishers. That is where the primary difference between the two lies.

How Can Ad Network Integration Help You?

Aside from the already mentioned reason of convenience, using an ad network has many perks. Here are a few additional benefits ad networks bring to the table:

  1. More Options — Both advertisers and publishers get a whole new world of opportunities when using ad networks to sell or buy advertising services. The auction system that these networks use is perfect for both — sellers get the best deals for their inventory, while publishers get the best deal possible for their budget.
  2. Automated Matching With Premium Impressions — Manually looking for a suitable ad inventory is extremely time-consuming. That is why the automation that ad networks bring to the table comes as a godsend for most advertisers. On top of that, the networks ensure you get the best deals possible!
  3. Better Ad Reach and Instant Payouts — The more publishers’ inventories you have at your disposal, the higher your ad reach will be, naturally. And when it comes to the publishers, they get immediate value as soon as they put their inventory on sale. All in all, there is something for everyone!
  4. Ad Targeting — This perk is more oriented toward advertisers, but it’s a vital one. Ad networks allow you to distribute your ads to a particular user demographic exclusively. Alternatively, they can help you get your ads to users interested in yours or similar products. 

What You Want to See in an Ad Network

If you want to choose the best ad network for your business, there are few things you should look out for:

  1. The Quality of Network’s Inventory — Not all ad networks sell premium inventory from high-end publishers, so you should make sure yours does. If your ad network of choice is only looking to sell any remaining inventory, it likely won’t be a good fit for you.
  2. The Ad Network’s Size — When it comes to picking the best ad network, size does matter. Bigger networks will give your ads better reach, which will result in better ROI overall.
  3. Ad Targeting Options — Since advertisers need to be able to target their ads to maximize their ROI, you need to make sure your network offers the options you need to reach your audience. If not, you should look elsewhere.
  4. Variety of Formats — Even if you only wish to advertise using banner ads, you never know when you might change your mind! After all, the more options you have, the better. Who says you won’t decide to try your hand at video marketing, for example, in the future?
  5. Stability and User-Friendliness — Unless you have some coding skills under your belt, having a user-friendly ad network is crucial. That will save you a lot of time and nerves in the long run. Also, you don’t want to settle for a network that has frequent disruptions of service. That will only create unnecessary downtime on your ads and will result in a loss of revenue.

Ad Network Integration at Brid.TV 

We at Brid.TV understand our clients’ online advertising needs, which is why our platform allows them to monetize videos to their heart’s content. The process is quite straightforward. If you’re a publisher looking to put ads on your videos, you can easily do that by setting up your monetization ad tags through our Bird.TV CMS. However, you’ll need to get your ad tag link from your ad network to do that. You can find a full step-by-step guide on how to set up ad tags properly in our site’s FAQ section.

Aside from that, Brid.TV’s video platform supports GEO ad targeting, ad waterfalling, header bidding, ad pods, real-time analytics, and many more features. All of these exist to help our users streamline their monetization processes and maximize fill rates.

So if you’re a publisher looking for an easy and reliable way to monetize your videos, give us a call. We could even offer you a custom subscription plan specifically tailored to your business needs. We hope to hear from you!

Until next time, take care!

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