For publishers with millions of pageviews, managing their website along with ad optimization can be tricky. It takes rigorous man-hours to make things work and move in the right direction. Hence, publishers often look to outsource their ad operations, which can contribute to revenue growth without having to spend internal time and resources.
Ad operations is a complex task, which is why so many publishers prefer to outsource work to ad operations professionals rather than building an in-house team. If you’ve been considering this, here is everything you should know about outsourcing ad ops.
What is Ad Operations?
Ad operations, a.k.a. advertising operations, is the management and delivery of online ads. Ad operations workflow involves various tasks such as ad management, site management, ad revenue optimization, ad performance reporting, and more; all directed towards one goal—better ad delivery and higher ad revenue for the publisher.
There is no secret recipe for publishers to make the ad operations side of work quick or effortless. It requires constant testing and experimentation to reach revenue/growth goals.
Why Hire an Outsourced Ad Ops Team?
There can be multiple reasons for outsourcing your ad operations as a publisher. Here are just a few of them, based on what we hear from publishers who have worked with us.
1. You’ll Save Time
Publishers may not have the time to spare for ad ops, given their hectic schedules around content creation, website management, and other core operations. Outsourcing ad ops frees up a big chunk of the publisher’s time, allowing them to focus on other important tasks.
2. Better Return on Investment
With an outsourced ad operations team, publishers get dedicated professionals taking responsibility and sharing the workload. For their services, publishers either pay a certain percentage of their profit or a fixed monthly/annual charge.
Next, an outsourced ad ops team can boost your revenue by introducing techs that you as a publisher can’t easily get hands-on. One of such techs is anti-adblock. We all know, use of ad blockers drastically damages the publishers’ earnings. This is when anti-adblock technology helps publishers pull back lost dollar from the market.
Whichever the case, outsourcing ad operations tasks usually makes more business sense and delivers better value for money than building a team in-house.
3. Streamlined Revenue Optimization
Designing and executing ad revenue optimization strategies fall under ad operations. This requires subject matter expertise and a professional approach. If you are a publisher with little or no tech proficiency, it might be hard to get your own hands on such tasks in the right manner.
Moreover, staying updated with ever-changing industry trends can be overwhelming. A good outsourced ad ops team, on the other hand, is up-to-date with industry standards and specs.
4. Trafficking Ownership
Ad trafficking is the process of setting ad campaigns for delivery via ad servers. The role of an ad trafficker includes building ad campaigns, then setting up tracking links and ad creatives. The most important task is to optimize advertising campaigns for a better clickthrough rate and viewability. Since ad ops professionals work with a lot of publishers from different niches, they have a better grasp of which ad layouts perform better for different types of websites.
5. Better Campaign Management
A successful ad campaign is a result of proper planning and precise calculation. This requires not only ad tech knowledge but also experience of the industry. For a niche publisher, campaign management will require learning new skills. An outsourced ad ops team can hit the ground running and still achieve optimum campaign management and optimization.
6. Built-in Incentive to Perform
When outsourcing ad ops tasks, you make a third-party company in charge of successful ad delivery and revenue optimization. Since the profit of the third-party company (outsourced ad ops team) depends on the publisher’s ad revenue, the team is automatically incentivized to make the maximum effort for your website and hence assure you the best results.
This is also why you should vary of ad ops vendors who bill you on an hourly basis, as these companies have reduced the incentive to deliver revenue growth, and are known to inflate work hours to increase their own billings.
7. Constant Monitoring
Ad revenue can fluctuate a lot based on seasonality. One day it can sky-high and the next day, it can be touching the bottom of the graph. In such a case, publishers need someone constantly monitoring and tuning campaign performance. So that anomalies can be nipped in the bud.
8. Technical Expertise
The Responsibilities of Ad Operations
Auditing the Website
A website requires periodic auditing to detect and counter issues before it drastically damages the overall earnings. A dedicated ad ops team will be responsible for auditing your site for traffic, user interactions, and ad revenue. On the basis of this data, ad campaigns are adjusted.
Adding/Removing Ad Units
Some ad units may work better than others. It’s the responsibility of the ad ops team to check on low-performing ad units and replace/fix them as needed. This decision is influenced by user interactions and engagement with the site, where an ad ops professional’s expertise is required.
Optimizing Ad Performance
Since each user on your website is unique, ad campaigns need to be crafted accordingly. This includes fine-tuning as per the cookie data of impression (considering geographical location and other demographics). Apart from this, the performance of the creatives depends on when and where a user sees an ad. If not timed correctly, a valuable impression can go to waste.
Balancing Ad CTR and User Experience
Along with getting impressions on ad creatives, advertisers working on CPC models also need clicks on them. A website with a good CTR rate is valued more by advertisers. To improve CTR, the ads need to be viewable. Of course, advertisers are responsible for designing the creative, but campaigns also need optimization to increase user interest and get clicks.
An ad ops team is responsible for all advertising related tasks on the publisher website. Even so, the final call always remains in the hands of the publisher. Basically, if a publisher doesn’t want to go for a certain ad layout, he/she can get it removed from the website, anytime.
One tip for publishers; make sure you have complete transparency with your ad ops vendor. A transparent environment, with good two-way communication between the publisher and the vendor, is the key to generating more income.