Understanding Video Ad Networks: Where to Focus Your Attention
As the popularity of video advertising continues to grow, so does the number of video ad networks. This makes it harder for brands to choose where to allocate their ad budgets. Since not all video ad networks are created equal, brands need to evaluate their needs before investing their resources. Here’s some food for thought:
What Is a Video Ad Network?
A video ad network is a technology platform that enables brands and agencies to buy video advertising on websites and apps. Video ad networks help advertisers reach their target audiences by aggregating inventory from multiple publishers and delivering ads across various devices.
Video ad networks offer a variety of features that can benefit advertisers, including:
- Access to premium inventory that might not be available on an open exchange.
- Targeting capabilities that allow advertisers to reach their desired audience.
- Transparency around pricing and performance so advertisers know what they’re paying for.
Google Ad Exchange (AdX) is an example of a video ad network. It provides publishers with a marketplace where they can buy and sell digital advertising space—kind of like a stock exchange for media.
5 Criteria for Choosing the Best Video Ad Networks
Choosing the right mix of video ad networks gives you your best chance of reaching the right people at the right times. That’s why brands need to take an active role in selecting their ad networks instead of just throwing money at a publisher.
Here are five criteria to guide your choices:
Inventory: Inventory on a video ad network can vary greatly. Some networks only work with premium publishers, while others allow anyone to join. Brands need to be careful about where their ads will appear, as they could show up alongside channels or content that doesn’t fit with their image.
Cost: Video ad networks typically charge based on either impression or action (click-through) pricing models. These costs vary between networks. For example, YouTube charges by both the view and click-through rate (CPC), while Facebook only charges by CPC.
Targeting: Some video ad networks allow advertisers to target by demographic information, such as age, gender, and location. Others allow targeting by interests or keywords. And some video ad networks allow for both demographic and interest-based targeting.
The most effective video ad campaigns take advantage of all the available targeting options to reach the right audience with the right message.
Device and Ad Format Support: Brands that want to use device type in their targeting profiles need to make sure your video ad network supports your chosen devices. The same goes for ad format—not all devices will support shoppable experiences, clicks, scans, or the option to choose your own experience.
Analytics: Data and analytics help you measure how your ad strategy is performing. While most video ad networks will provide some data-driven insight, some platforms may offer more granular information than others.
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