The term Brand Advertising conjures up the image of big budget campaigns from the likes of Nike and Coca-Cola; exactly the sort of interest that many site owners would love to have in their ad inventory. Brand advertising can indeed totally change the revenue profile of a website, but it isn’t about the size of the advertiser or the campaign they are running. Brand advertising is about the objectives of a campaign and understanding those is the first step to attracting more brand advertisers to advertise with you.
AdSense publishers in particular will already be very familiar with direct-response advertising: getting paid when the advertiser sees a measurable benefit in the form of a click. Brand based advertising is about communicating a message rather than getting immediately measurable results. Brand advertisers want their message seen by the right audience and in a positive light.
As advertisers continue to move spend away from traditional media to online, brand advertising is becoming more common. Publishers who understand how to give these critical advertisers what they want will do better as securing their share of that spend.
How then do you make your advertising appeal more to brand advertisers?
This blog post was originally published on 19th March 2015 & updated on the 20th June 2019
Ensuring that a brand’s advert isn’t going to appear anywhere that will make them look bad or cause embarrassment is essential. If a media buyer thinks that there is risk that their client’s is going to be on the phone complaining about where their creative has appeared then they will move on to the next opportunity in a flash.
User generated content (UGC) is a risk area that many site-owners try to turn a blind eye to. Advertisers don’t care who posts inappropriate content, just that their brand doesn’t appear alongside it. That means either applying the same standards to UGC as you do to editorial content, or separating any ad inventory.
Use formats that people want to buy
It can be a pain to fit those 300×250 ad units into your grid based layout, but those sizes exist for a reason. Over 80% of display ads sold have followed standards set by the IAB. Use those same formats are you are likely to see greater demand for your inventory.
The IAB Rising Stars are ad standards designed to be better suited to the modern web. Users are 2.5 times more likely to interact with these units which is leading to increasing demand for them. Demand varies across sectors, but publishers looking to attract brand spend might be advised to at least test rising star units or otherwise stick to the other recommended formats.
Increase your viewability
For ads to have influence they need to be seen and advertisers paying per impression want to be sure that as many of those impressions have influence as possible. This used to mean securing above the fold inventory; those units that are visible without the need for the user to scroll. With the concept of “the fold” changing as users consume the web focus has shifted towards measuring how visible ad units are to users, so-called viewability.
Within Google’s ad ecosystem viewability is measured through their Active View standard. Positioning ad units on the parts of the page where users linger will increase those scores making those placements more attractive to advertisers looking for high viewability units to target.
Less (ads) is more
Advertisers looking or branding exposure don’t want to be competing for user attention with large numbers of other ad units on page. When it comes to branding ads, less ads on a page can actually pay more. Having fewer, larger, units rather than large numbers of smaller ones is worth testing.
Be a quality platform
Advertisers want to see their brands appear in positions that show them in a good light. Quality content that is presented well to a valuable audience is always going to be better at attracting premium advertisers.
All of the above of course comes to nothing if you can’t get your site seen. That means having your inventory targetable and available in the places that advertisers are looking. Getting your site listed on an ad exchange rather than just with a single network can help cast that net wider. Try to understand how advertisers find and target inventory on your chosen platform and be sure to provide full, accurate and keyword rich information to help them find you. Ensure that your targetable inventory units (placements, channels etc) are large enough.
Be open. Be honest.
Finally be honest in the way you present your inventory. Media buyers are smart people with expensive toolsets and will soon uncover fabricated numbers and demographics. If they do that, you can kiss goodbye to that opportunity together with any others coming from that buyer.
Can we help?
Increasing the value of ad inventory and making it more attractive to premium advertisers are just two of the ways that we help website owners and online publishers earn more from their traffic. If you would like to talk about strategies that can help you increase your display ad revenue why not talk to one of our friendly experts today?
Mat has been supporting content creators on the web since 1996. As Co-founder of OKO Digital, Mat became the first person in the UK qualified to AdSense partner status and repeated this first with Google Certified Publishing Partner programme.