Do you know where your ads are being shown?
If you don’t, you should. Almost 70% of firm value is intangible with the biggest portion of that value sitting in branding. Your ads should encompass your brand and protect this value, there are reasons people buy Coca-Cola over an own brand cola drink – brand trust and uniformity.
The number of brands that advertise online is huge, it is a great resource for spreading brand awareness, however there are certain tools that must be employed to protect your brand’s image in the eyes of the consumer.
Where are you publishing your ads?
By creating publisher white and blacklists you can ensure brand image safety on the web. By allowing the advertiser to fully select publishers that they feel are safe for their brand the negative effects of advertising can be halted. For example brand clash – if I am advertising a green product I would not want to advertise on a car sales website. Given the power of social engagement and word of mouth this is the kind of control that is definitely necessary.
Drilling down we can use services such as Peer39 to categorize a URL based on the content of the page. Targeting rules can be set to explicitly target or exclude impressions based on any combination of category, quality or safety. For example, not advertising a large engine 4×4 on any pages about global warming, this is particularly important for RTB networks where programmatic buying is in operation.
Keyword based blacklists
At the deepest level of filtration services such as eTrust offer keyword based blacklists that allow the provider to block ads on non-brand safe sites when working through publisher networks. A keyword blacklist can be created at no direct cost to the advertiser.
Not just where but how often?
The number one complaint about internet advertising is that users feel ‘stalked’ across the internet. This is a symptom of a bad provider. Again there are tools that can be used to stop the negative effect on brand image that this can have when done wrong.
A vendor should have a limit on the number of ads they serve, eg one ad per 15 mins/hour/day/week. Many retargeters run on a cost per click pricing model and as such will want to show ads as often as possible. Performance based pricing with your vendors removes the incentive to buy very cheap poor quality inventory to chase clicks. Otherwise you risk both wasting money on unnecessary ads and also a poor brand experience for your user.
Cross device tracking
By working with a provider who has cross device capability you can ensure that the frequency capping mentioned above is truly effective. With 90% of users using two or more screens a day to browse the internet it is important that we know which devices belong to which user so that we can not only serve them brand relevant ads on their second device but also make sure they do not see too many repetitive ads – this limits the spam effect.
Never be afraid to ask your provider questions when it comes to the safety of your brand. Trust in a brand is paramount for driving sales, don’t lose your users trust by putting too much in your providers, without these tools you seriously risk your brand image and your advertising budget.