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What is an advertising network and should I promote my uniform store this way?

Posted by Rick Levine on Aug 15, 2016 8:30:00 AM

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Increasingly, large chunks of marketing budgets are being set aside for advertising networks. So, what is an advertising network, and more importantly, should you be using it to promote your uniform store? The short answer is yes. Read on to understand what many advertisers have already discovered — ad networks are a results driven, efficient and highly targetable method to reach your target audience.

What is an Advertising Network?

Fair question! Most people have heard the term, but many have no idea what they actually are. Essentially, advertising networks, also known as ad networks, make it possible for marketers to buy internet advertisements across multiple publisher sites and mobile apps. These companies act as the marketing middle man, connecting advertisers to hundreds of sites seeking to host advertisements.

 

The main goal of ad networks is to acquire ad space from websites and match it with the specific demographic metrics sought after by the advertiser. Purchasing digital ad space across multiple, if not hundreds, of websites is time consuming and difficult. Ad networks have bridged that gap making it simple for buyers to purchase ad impressions more effectively and efficiently.

Top three reasons to use an ad network:

1. Reach

Using tools such as ad networks to widen your reach is one way to complement and extend your marketing efforts. As you might know, the internet is an expansive place. While you might have access to a few top publishers, ad networks have the critical mass to get your uniform store exposed to many other, less-known sites in order to fully maximize your chance of exposure to the right people.

Ad networks have the ability to offer advertisers unique, unduplicated reach to tens of millions of visitors. Through their aggregation of thousands of content rich sites, using an ad network will guarantee your ads reach more active viewers. Additionally, advertising on smaller, niche sites available through ad networks, tends to have a higher advertising impact. This comes as a result of far less page clutter and a stronger connection and interaction between the viewer and site creator.

2. Targeting

More and more, fragmented online audiences have led brands to look for better methods to reach prospective customers. Ad networks have stepped up to this challenge by giving advertisers the ability to target and optimize their content to fit specific needs. In order to find the right ad network for you, it’s important to understand the categories ad networks can be broken into. Below, we’ve outlined the core characteristics of two of the most effective ad networks: Contextual and behavioral targeting networks.

Contextual networks place ads on appropriate websites based on the context of the ad. An example of this would be an ad for nurse uniforms on the American Association of Nurse Practitioner’s website. Ad network technology scans the web ad for context clues such as keywords to match the ad with appropriate sites. One benefit of using contextual networks is the ads tend to become part of the content of the website, therefore they are more likely to be considered favorable and valuable as opposed to irritating and intrusive.

Alternatively, behavioral targeting targets a specific person based on his or her previous online behavior. Take, for example, the previously mentioned nurse practitioner. Based on previous sites visited and other measurable online actions, it can be assumed this person is either a nurse or interested in becoming a nurse. As such, this type of network could serve this individual ads related to nurse insurance or an upcoming nursing conference. These ads would be displayed on any site within the network, even if the site has nothing to do with nursing. The key here is not contextual relevance, but to target a specific person based on their previous internet behaviors.

3. Efficiency

Ad networks have curtailed a common digital advertising dilemma — frequency waste. To understand frequency waste, assume a uniform store has placed a campaign on 10 different sites, and each have a frequency cap of four (an individual would only see the ad four times). If that same person goes to all 10 sites, they’d be exposed to the same message 40 times. That could be quite wasteful for a local business, but because the uniform store is working with each site individually, there is no way to manage the frequency across all 10 sites.

Since the uniform store is paying per impression, they’ve spent (or wasted) a hefty amount of money exposing their ads to this person 40 times. If, however, the uniform store had implemented an ad network to manage this campaign, the network would have the ability to track this frequency waste and serve a different ad impression to any site on the plan.

In short, an ad network can control frequency across multiple sites on a media plan, effectively reducing frequency waste. Once frequency is met, the site simply shows other ads.  In comparison, if you are running a display ad campaign across multiple sites without using an ad network, chances are a unique visitor will visit more than one of the sites included in the campaign. Without an ad network, that user will see your same advertisement on multiple occasions.  Each website has its own frequency cap but there is no way to control frequency across all sites included in the campaign. You can avoid this issue by using an ad network.

Yes, using an advertising network is a good way to promote your online store. By reducing waste, increasing efficiency and targeting users based on context and behavior, you have a greater chance of effective online advertising.

For all your uniform store needs, consider industry leader, UniformMarket. See how we can help your online store grow!

 

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Topics: Marketing Your Uniform Company

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