Programmatic is the default mode of selling and buying ad impressions online. Typically, publishers partner with sell-side platforms to auction their ad impressions to media buyers. eMarketer predicts that up to 88% of the digital advertising dollar in the US, will be spent on programmatic by 2021. It is common for a publisher to work with multiple SSPs simultaneously to ensure the best possible revenue. And, header bidding wrappers are the most popular and efficient way to connect to multiple SSPs for selling the ad impressions.
While the proposition is quite simple — ‘implement header bidding to experience an uplift in your eCPM and revenue’ — it’s difficult for publishers, especially, the smaller and mid-sized ones to choose the right header bidding provider.
More often than not, to make sure that they are working with the right monetization provider, publishers go through a lot of trial and error, making and breaking partnerships, and finally settling with the ones that work best for them. To make this process simpler and less erroneous, here are the top 9 things you should look for in your next monetization partner.
Sidenote: One, we’ve used SSPs and demand partners interchangeably here. Both refer to the demand. Two, header bidding providers, monetization partners, and header bidding partners — all refer to header bidding wrapper providers. That is, the one you partner with for setting up and implementing header bidding on your site.
Have a look at the offerings of the monetization partner. Do they offer everything you want? To answer this question, you need to be aware of your requirements. Do you need A/B Testing? Yield Optimization? AdOps support? Specific high-impact ad formats?
Before making a deal, make a list of offerings you need from your monetization partner and then find out whether prospective partners can meet your expectations or not. Though it is unlikely to find a partner that can offer all the things you need, you should get most of the challenges addressed with a single partner. Why you ask? Reduced intermediary fee.
2. Demand Partners
The ultimate source of your revenue is from the buyers that want to place ads on your site. The demand from the advertisers is brought to you by the collective efforts of DSPs, SSPs, Wrapper technology providers, etc. Therefore, while working with wrapper providers, look at the demand partners they work with. Your motive should be to ensure that you are getting the best demand that can intensify the competition and improve the yield substantially.
Most of the mid-sized publishers wouldn’t be able to get SSPs like OpenX, AppNexus, etc. directly due to the higher threshold, but a header bidding provider can get them in. You can check with the header bidding partner to see the demand partners they’re integrated with.
3. Sophisticated Technology
Your monetization partners should be technically sound enough so that they can fulfill all your technical needs. Find out whether the platform can help you run header bidding, PMPs, video ads, etc. Find out how they assist publishers in fraud detection, invalid traffic detection, ad-block recovery, viewability measurement, etc. Do they have established relationships with ad fraud detection companies, measurement providers that you can make use of?
In addition, the partner should also be able to support all the different kinds of devices and web frameworks (think, AMP) so that you do not miss any opportunity to deliver ads on any device.
4. Reach & Geography
Some partners specialize in monetizing the audience from specific geography. It can happen due to a strong presence in a geographical market. When a monetization partner has more connections with the brands in a market then the traffic from the same market can be easily monetized by the partner. In other words, the partner will be connected to geo-specific DSPs.
If the majority of your traffic is from a particular country, then see if the partner can help you connect to geo-specific demand partners and maximize your eCPM. That being said, most of the SSPs in the market are connected to DSPs across the world.
5. Terms and Conditions (T & C)
You should pay attention to the terms and conditions of the monetization partner to know whether it is the best fit for you. Some terms and conditions like minimum traffic required to monetize the website can be checked even before contacting the partner. Others like revenue-share, lock-in period, payment terms can be discussed personally. If it is viable for you to enter such terms then only you should take the matters forward.
6. Ad Experience
Only providing the service is not enough, neither an increased revenue or CPM is. You need to make sure that the quality of the service provided is good as well. The ads should not spoil the user experience on your site. So, if your monetization partner is providing a new ad format, then check out how it looks and find out how it affects the user experience.
Especially, keep up with the updates from the Coalition of Better Ads to avoid lousy ad formats and experience. It doesn’t stop with the format. From page load speed to ad rendering, ensure your visitors aren’t getting hampered in any way. The partner should allow you to set a universal timeout for the header auctions, asynchronous loading, among others.
You should be able to receive all the information that you need about the performance of the ads. The reports should provide you the level of granularity you wish for. Check whether the partner provides header bidding reports with proper dashboards. There shouldn’t be any cost or fee that you are not aware of. All the processes should be known to you.
In the case of discrepancies, the partner should help you in resolving them.
8. Premium Support
Your monetization partner should provide you all the support necessary to ensure a smooth process from onboarding till the payment of the revenue. It should provide you the AdOps support so that you can focus on your core business activities. It should be aware of all the industry laws and should be able to make you compliant with any newly introduced policies like CCPA, COPPA, GDPR, etc.
You cannot understand a company completely just by looking at its website. You can dig deeper by knowing about it from the other publishers. You can read what people are talking about it on various review sites; you can visit online communities, forums, and social media groups of publishers, AdOps professionals, etc, and ask the members for their opinions. You can also talk to your connections in the industry if they have experience of working with the monetization partner.
The best way is to take a look at their case studies and understand how the products work to improve the yield.
These were the significant points to consider before choosing a monetization partner for your publishing business. You can contact us if you are a publisher who is looking for increased ad revenue. If you wish to learn more about programmatic advertising before moving forward, then you can start from here. Note that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in adtech. So, ensure your programmatic monetization partner provides you a customized setup, optimization strategies/suggestions, and support.