Six Key Mistakes Publishers Make When Dealing With Mobile Inventory

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Six Key Mistakes Publishers Make When Dealing With Mobile Inventory

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Industry news has made it clear that Mobile is an increasingly important part of publishers’ revenue chain. There’s no question that over the next 24 months we will continue to see drastic growth within Mobile and the continued maturation of Mobile and In-App advertising. If you’re still not convinced, make sure to check out these stats via Digiday, The Drum, and Wikipedia.


But, simply accepting that Mobile and In-App will play a key role in the future of publishers’ monetization strategy isn’t enough. Especially if you’re making common mistakes that effectively cripple your monetization efforts.


So, we reached out to our Publisher Account Managers, experts working on a daily basis with a wide range of publishers, and asked them to identify key areas where publishers are blowing it. Think you might be making one of these mistakes? It’s time to sit down with your publisher Account Manager for a strategy session.


1. You're Not Responsive


Having a responsive site means more than just building a webpage that adjusts to fit whatever screen the visitor is using.  It means having ads, images, and supporting materials which are built from the ground up with a responsive mentality in mind.  From carefully accounting for load times, to ensuring that the ads that get served on mobile devices are responsive this not only improves your ability to monetize your inventory, it helps ensure you avoid negative experience issues caused by inappropriately sized ads or material that is slow to load.


One key benefit tied to using a responsive site with HTML5 is that you’re able to run video and video-related ads without the need for a mobile video player. This coincides with the ability to embed and monetize real mobile placements which bring with them higher CTR and engagement rates than traditional desktop ads re-purposed for your site.


A well designed responsive website further improves your ability to monetize your inventory by creating a clean look that cuts out unnecessary clutter in turn putting your content and placements front and center where they’re sure to garner the most interest and engagement.


2. Flash vs. HTML5


Flash ads are already endangered and with upcoming changes, such as Chrome’s discontinued support for Flash, will be going extinct in the near future – not only in Mobile where they’re already non-functional, but on Desktop as well. This is bad news for Flash, but good news for you, the internet, and everyone in-between.


Right now it is essential that publishers make sure all placements are HTML5 compliant and that you are working actively to de-value, discontinue and discourage Flash inventory wherever possible. Flash is already incompatible with most Mobile devices which means every time you accept a Flash banner, you’re effectively blindfolding yourself and tying your hands behind your back. If you’re not able to render the banner on Mobile or In-App (not possible if Flash based), you can’t sell that inventory.


Want to know more about this change? Read our post about the Flash to HTML5 transition.


3. (In)Visibility


If you can’t find it, and it’s not defined correctly it won’t be effective. In the rush to create new placements, many publishers are mistakenly inaccurately designating their placements. Best case, this means that your placements don’t get seen. Worst case, they serve up the wrong inventory and let’s face it, that’s bad news for everyone involved and likely to be highly counter-productive.


4. Not Utilizing Mobile-Specific Options (hyper-local targeting)


Mobile and In-App inventory has exciting options that Desktop and traditional inventory do not. If you’re applying the same settings and options to this inventory as you use for Desktop, you’re costing yourself money. You know that person who only uses their smartphone for phone calls and is fundamentally missing out on all of the functionality they could be getting? If you’re not using Mobile and In-App specific options such as hyper local targeting, responsive in-view and custom mobile-friendly ad placements, you are the ad tech equivalent of that individual. With a few small changes you’ll be able to add new creative options to your placements, enhance their impact, and gain access to new ways to profit from your ad sales.  


5. Getting the Category Wrong (Mobile & In-App)


Be aware that categories often differ slightly for Mobile and In-App.  If you’re not using custom categories for this inventory, then at best you’re missing out on opportunities to expose your content and secure top-value CPMs. Worst case, misclassification will get your content flagged either by our system or by Advertisers and Agencies who may add you to their exclusion list or refuse to work with you moving forward. Remember, setting the right IAB category and matching it to your app store settings only takes five minutes, but if done incorrectly can cripple your inventory.


6. SDKs


Software Development Kits (SDKs) are essential to maximizing the monetization potential of your placements. These SDKs boil down to being a small piece of code (though they can offer much more robust and complex functionality) that helps ensure that core aspects of your site are cooperating with other sites and platforms. Adform provides our own robust SDK which offers a mixture of tools and benefits including integration with AdTruth and Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions (mRAID) - a widely adopted protocol that allows banners to communicate actions such as expand and close with a wide range of mobile platforms. To better understand what an SDK can do for you, view our mRAID infographic here.  For an example of Adform’s SDK offering, view our Mobile Tracking SDK OnePager.


Concerned you’re making one of these mistakes? Contact your local account manager who will be happy to discuss in-depth where these issues can be addressed and how you can better maximize the value and impact of your placements.


Not currently an Adform client but interested in talking with one of our sales people? Contact [email protected] or request a Free Demo to learn how we can help you make the most of our inventory and placements.


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