Video ads are the new frontier. Tech and fast internet gave small businesses the same kind of access to customers that used to belong to the select few that could afford to run expensive ads on big (and small) screens around the world.
Now every marketer who can create a smart, exhilarating video ad has the means to reach customers in the places they live. How? With video ad networks and exchanges.
What is a video ad network?
But there’s more to video ads than social media, and that’s where video ad networks and exchanges come in.
Creating ad deals with individual advertisers takes a lot of legwork, paperwork, and negotiation. A video network, however, buys inventory space in bulk and gets more favorable rates due to their size, so when you use them they connect you with ad space at various locations for a lot less stress (and money) than if you had gone solo.
What should I look for in a video ad network?
How do you choose a video ad network? What features should you look for? When picking the perfect partner, make sure they can do these three things:
1. Advanced audience targeting
Chose a platform that allows you to get specific about your audience. Look out for platforms that allow you to show ads based on location and audience behavior patterns, and that support retargeting.
Showing relevant ads impacts your conversion rate and helps you decrease ad spend.
2. Supports all devices and formats
We consume info and media on all sorts of devices and being able to reach people where they spend their time is crucial.
Pick a network that supports different video formats and devices, and allows you to test and experiment with various ad lengths and placements.
3. Strong analytics
Pick a platform that gives you solid access to all your performance data so you can actively improve your strategy instead of relying on the chuck-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach.
Video marketing still largely relies on trial and error. You make an ad based on research, you put it out there, and then make adjustments based on the results. But to really gather and understand the results, you need access to powerful analytics that help you break down behavior into patterns you can interpret.
Best Video Ad Networks and Exchanges
Let’s take a look at some different video ad networks and exchanges and see what they’ve got to offer.
BrightRoll relies on Yahoo data to target audiences and boasts clients like Ikea, Kellog’s, and L’Oreal. It offers two main services: DSP programming and exchanges.
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) gives you access to Yahoo user data so that you can create better target audiences. It supports different devices and allows audience targeting and campaign tracking in real time. The exchange offers high quality inventory ad space across trusted partners.
If your ideal audience uses Yahoo on a regular basis, using BrightRoll can be a smart decision.
DoubleClick is Google’s answer to BrightRoll, using Google’s proprietary data to offer you a large selection of different ad products. DoubleClick supports different devices and can reach a variety of platforms, including mobile apps and audio ads.
It’s powered by Google’s data, so if Google is the search engine of choice for your ideal ideal audience then DoubleClick’s video ad network is definitely worth a look.
IndexExchange is a global ad marketplace. It’s built around the idea of transparency, so companies sell ad space in real time and you can see exactly what you’re getting. Their clients include The Economist, Business Insider. and The Telegraph. If you’re looking for an easy to use exchange that doesn’t need a huge investment on your part, IndexExchange is a good place to start.
YuMe uses data-driven audience insights to help marketers reach their ideal audience segments. They support multiple screens, including desktop, TV, and mobile, and use proprietary tech to connect you to the right people.
One by AOL
One by AOL focuses on simplicity and powerful audience insights to help you get more efficient with your video advertising. It’s integrated with thousands of mobile apps, giving you access to an incredibly important audience segment.
One is all about helping you reach your audience where they are, even if that’s across multiple devices. They use a combination of AOL and Verizon’s data to help you understand your audience, and to reach them in a way that actually works.
Diving into the world of video ad networks and exchanges
With a pretty huge (and often overwhelming) wealth of options, it can be hard to figure out which ad network or exchange is right for you. The first step is to understand which providers your customers use.
Most of us here are pretty hardcore Google users, so if we made up your ideal audience, trying to reach us using Yahoo’s data will be harder. Figure out what tools and sites your people use, then find the network that lets you reach them there.
Whatever you do, don’t settle for anyone that doesn’t sell mobile ads. Your audience spends a lot of time on mobile devices, and for your ads to really work you have to be able to reach them there.