Demand for display is as big as it has ever been among advertisers. It is always the first on the list of monetisation options available to brands looking to build their revenue online, but how has the channel fared compared to last year?
Shir Ross, who manages the publisher network for Matomy Media Group, a global performance marketing company, shared her opinion on video ads, network responsibility and industry growth in the Q&A below.
As 2013 draws to a close, do you think the display market is in better shape than 2012?
Shir Ross: Overall, we’re seeing strong growth across much of the display advertising ecosystem. Display isn’t going anywhere, despite the pundits’ prognostications. The IAB’s 2013 Half-Year Report made clear that display, along with search, remains the dominant online ad format. Display now comprises 36.3% of all global online ad spend. That’s not an insignificant sum, considering advertisers will spend more than $100 billion globally on online advertising in 2013, according to ZenithOptimedia. Clearly, there continues to be great demand for display.
We see publishers wanting to become more and more knowledgeable about online ad monetisation. Whereas in the past publishers looked often for a “plug-and-play” solution, today's publisher desires an active partnership. This helps us create partnerships with our publishers that are based on mutually developed goals and targets.
As we outlined in a recent report, The Essential Display Guide for Web Publishers, generating more revenue from a website doesn’t mean the publisher has to rebuild it or flood it with irrelevant ads. There are several quick changes that publishers can make to quickly ramp up their ad revenue, such as implementing premium video ads into their hosted video content. It often amazes me to see how much added revenue publishers can generate using simple tactical moves and quick fixes to their website. An active partnership with the publisher enables us to get to these maximised levels of performance.
What are the biggest differences and considerations between video and traditional display ads?
SR: Most video ads capture a user after he or she has already pressed "play" to activate a desired content video. This action of intent increases the attentiveness of the user to ads that are displayed before, during and after the video. In contrast, traditional display ads need to work a lot harder to grab the user's attention as they lay next to, below and often away from site content. Therefore, rates generated by video ads are considerably higher than those from display ads.
Additionally, different performance metrics are utilised by marketers with video ads (such as view through and video completion rates) as opposed to display ads (which include leads and conversions). These desired outcomes required by marketers affect the nature of the ad that is shown to users (the need for call to action features or just a captivating video).
We will see more and more marketers create cross-unit campaigns that run concurrently in display and video ads as well as in web and mobile mediums. Publishers should work with a reputable ad network, such as Matomy, that offers solutions across these platforms for a holistic monetisation solution.
How responsible is an ad network for educating a publisher on monetisation strategies?
SR: We view the education of our publishers as one of our top priorities. That goes for any publisher we work with, but especially those in our display network. Matomy has a team dedicated to helping publishers monetise their sites. We have in-house experts that train and educate publishers about how to improve and enhance their site in order to generate more ad revenue. My team then works with publishers to help them implement these changes and maximise the revenue opportunities.
We view the relationships we have with our publishers as a mutually beneficial partnership. The more we can do to educate them and train them in monetisation best practices, the better our business will be and certainly the better off the publisher’s site monetisation.
Where will the most growth in display come from in 2014?
SR: There is going to continue to be growth in video ads, especially premium video ads that are embedded within a publisher’s hosted video content or game. If a publisher doesn’t have video on its site yet, now is definitely the time to do so as advertisers are really keen to push premium ads within video content.
Publishers that are already running video content but are still streaming it through third-party hosting solutions are missing out on premium ad placements like pre, mid and post-rolls. Invest in your own player (or get one from your ad network) and use this real estate to your benefit.
Additionally, there will be growth in performance-based ads as more marketers begin to pay for results rather than just views. While the shift from payment for action rather than view means that advertiser budgets become virtually unlimited as advertisers are only paying for converted users (not impressions). Publishers can capitalise on this by working with their ad network to place their ad units in the manner most optimal for maximising user performance and interaction.
How will Matomy be looking to take advantage of next year's trends?
SR: We’re constantly learning and testing different ways to bring more monetisation options to publishers. Publishers benefit by working with Matomy because they can get a holistic solution, cross platform and cross channel. We are actively recruiting new publishers to join our growing network and are happy to work together to find the perfect customised solution for each new partner.
Matomy has been a performance-based network since its inception in 2007. We offer our publishers and advertisers results that are based on performance. We are committed to developing new options that can provide our partners with increased performance. In developing our service roadmap for 2014, we've created solutions for publishers to help them maximise their revenue performance in 2014, whether it is through increased local CPA offers, video ads, mobile monetisation and so on.