Advertising networks are systems that connect various websites, blogs, and social sites with advertisers. Ad networks oversee different ad spaces and match these spaces with advertisements based on a brand’s need. Ad networks can also work with various types of digital advertisements. From your typical display ads that are sprinkled all over the internet, to SEO and SEM ads you see when you open a search engine, ad networks typically cater to these basic digital campaign types.
The top ad networks belong to none other than Google and Facebook and allow brands to create and manage Smart Display campaigns. Google’s Ad network is split into two separate networks, one for search ads and one for display ads. Businesses can choose between the two based on preferences and need and Google will showcase their advertisements across a huge array of sites on the internet. Facebook’s ad network, also known as Facebook’s Audience Network, extends beyond Facebook and allows advertisers to reach users on mobile devices using other mobile apps.
The Audience network on Facebook uses the same targeting methods social media marketers are familiar with (core audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences) and the measurement tools are the same as well. While these two ad networks are definitely the most popular and the most utilized, it means they are also the most crowded. When you choose to join the Google and Facebook ad networks, you’re choosing to go into competition with millions of other businesses. On these networks you’re always vying for prime advertising real estate, which is why looking into alternative ad networks may be largely beneficial to your digital marketing strategy.
Things to Consider when Choosing Alternative Ad Networks
It may seem a little scary to deviate from Google and Facebook because they’re the two most prominent ad networks that carry high authority and have built user trust, but there are smaller ones that have just as much authority and are just as trustworthy, and that can also immensely help expand your business by connecting you with new users who exist outside of Google and Facebook’s reach! You may be wondering if it’s worth it to try a new interface and how to use alternative ad networks altogether, but the reality is that they are quite similar to the systems and interfaces you are already familiar with. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of some things you will want to consider when selecting an alternative ad network to work with:
How do I start an ad network search? As with all things in business, the first thing your team needs to consider is budget. How much are you willing to spend on advertisements? Determining a budget beforehand will help rule out the types of advertisements you’re going to run and some ad networks that may prove to be a bit more costly than others. For businesses looking to achieve a lot within a limited budget, consider using ONE by AOL. This ad network has no minimum deposit and provides a lot of flexibility for advertisers! (It’s practically one of those free ad networks that has all the power of the larger ones!)
Another option is ProveSource’s Display Network.
It gives advertisers the ability to reach more people visiting more 18,000 websites worldwide with simple but powerful options. Many publishers use it to create a new revenue stream for their website since their payouts are much higher than Google Adsense.
Mobile vs. Desktop
Another thing to consider when looking for alternative ad networks is where you will be focusing your advertising efforts. Are you looking to keep your ads on desktop or will you focus on mobile? Where is the best place to advertise your business? By 2025, three quarters of the world will solely use their smartphones to access the internet. To reach the millions of users on mobile, consider Airpush. This mobile ad network allows brands to connect with users across 150,000 different mobile apps. Airpush is a company that prides itself on the transparency they have with their partnered websites like Coca-Cola, Toyota, and an Amazon. This is a huge plus for advertisers because it means users who see their ads are more receptive to marketing messages.
Are you looking to increase brand awareness through impressions? Do you want more emails for your newsletter? Consider what your marketing goals are and how a small ad network could help you accomplish those goals. If you’re looking to increase conversions, consider using Inmobi. This ad network is uniquely designed to target users while they are at specific stages of the sales funnel to maximize conversions for brands.
Different teams have different bandwidths to accept projects. If your team is lacking a digital marketing specialist, you can always outsource the work to a top-notch digital agency like Aumcore that has experience with display campaigns, or you can use a full service ad network that leverages the power of artificially intelligent technology to do the work. If you want an ad network that is more hands on, consider Leadbolt. They also offer self-serve options with real-time bidding for advertisers who are looking to be cost conscious.
When it comes to advertising, there’s always a specific buyer persona you’re looking to reach. When selecting an alternative ad network, another item to consider is the audience range the ad network reaches. For businesses looking to get specific with their metrics, consider using Yahoo’s ad network. While this may not be the first-choice search engine for users, Yahoo is still a prominent search engine, with 3% of the world’s internet users choosing it to surf the web. Yahoo has a large reach and can target geographically, by age, and by many other filters. If you’re looking to target a younger cohort of users, consider advertising on Snapchat. Last year, 78% of all internet users aged between 18 and 24 were active on the social media platform. Snapchat announced this year that they will be developing its own mobile ad network to advertise to its user base and extend their advertising beyond the mobile app. When choosing an alternative ad network, think about your audience and which network will allow you to reach them.
There is no one answer to the question of “what are the best ad networks” because the answer largely depends on what your brand is trying to achieve with its marketing campaigns. The platforms as noted above are just a couple options that your brand can use when considering an alternative ad network.
How to Advertise with Alternative Ad Networks
You may be thinking there’s a trick for how to use alternative ad networks, but advertising with alternative ad networks largely involves the same process you would follow when creating an advertisement with Facebook and Google. Creating campaigns starts with setting specific marketing goals you want to reach and selecting metrics for how you want to track your success. After deciding on your objectives and your key performance indicators, focus on details about your target audience. Build a buyer persona that fits your ideal customer and use those characteristics to draft your audience on the ad network of your choice. From there, you can get even more specific by choosing geographical regions to target ages, occupations, and more. Finally, set a budget for how much you want to spend on your digital marketing campaign and run your ads!
Hopefully, this blog post has demystified some things about alternative ad networks, explained how to use alternative ad networks, and has shown you that they are very viable options. Some networks could add even more value to your business than Facebook or Google.
Best of luck!