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The Most Cost-Effective Ad Platforms In 2019

Cost-Effective Ad platforms for E-Commerce Marketing

Google and Facebook occupy the top two positions. Let us take a look at the rest of the field. Most Ad platforms deliver their ads through an auction while some are based on membership. The number of channels that a platform covers varies with different platforms. Demand-side platforms (DSPs) are ad platforms that serve out ads on mobile browsers and apps as well as on online banners and digital video.

Adobe

Combining all possible sources is implemented by Adobe Advertising Cloud. It also brings in TV advertising into the mix making up a really comprehensive ad platform. The channels that are worked on by Adobe’s DSP are

  • Video
  • Display
  • Native
  • Audio
  • Social
  • Search
  • TV

Adobe’s Cross-screen Planner combines first-party data from Adobe, third-party segments, strategic data from Nielsen to your existing TV or Digital plan to arrive at the exact mix for your ad placements and the ideal spending strategy for your ad budget. Premium Inventory Management delivers access to over 100 digital publishers as well as TV broadcasters. Access is also expanded to include non-traditional sources such as Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) and Social. DOOH is implemented through Clear Channel of America and Vistar Media. Clear Channel has over 450,000 displays spread over 44 of the top 50 U.S. markets and in all continents except Africa. Social inventory includes access to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat while access to Twitter is available as an option. Audio inventory includes Spotify, SoundCloud, Global Radio, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and more. Audio targeting is delivered by analytical methods such as mood-based playlists.

Multivariate Targeting is offered by Adobe Advertising Cloud through open real-time bidding (RTB), premium inventory, geographic targeting. Audience data is available from 40 providers while streamlining of device targeting is implemented with Adobe Audience Manager. Along with all of these device-based targeting features, Adobe also brings in People-based marketing through the creation of unified profiles built upon all devices used by a consumer which facilitates the creation of look-alike consumers. Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager brings in first-party data segments into the mix. The context in which a consumer is visiting your site is revealed by Adobe’s tools thereby enabling you to serve people with experiences. A co-op model allows sites to share information on customers who log in to their sites in two devices, thereby conveying the information on the customer having two devices, to other companies. This is done without the sharing of any other information, personal or otherwise. You can therefore establish seamless communications and experiences for your customers across devices.

Measurement is delivered in real time over 70 metrics and includes off-line sales data from third-party sales measurement partners. Efficiency Tools include Adobe Sensei which is an AI system. Ad performance optimization is carried out by Sensei to deliver predictions. The results are delivered every 15 seconds. Lookalike modeling is also done by Sensei. The Machine Learning platform delivers its decisions by working across all channels.

Amazon

Amazon’s Demand-Side Platform or DSP delivers desktop and mobile web display ads over seven sizes which are

  • Medium Rectangle
  • Leaderboard
  • Wide Skyscraper
  • Large Rectangle
  • Billboard
  • Mobile Leaderboard and
  • Mobile Detail and Search Results page

Ads are served on non-Amazon sites as well by filtering sites listed on online ad exchanges. Amazon has different lead times for different ad types. Lead time is the time taken from receipt of your campaign material until the campaign is ready to run.

Mobile Interstitial ads that are full-screen, with a substantially-sized Close button, are presented during transitions. They are not presented on Amazon Mobile Shopping which is a different ad product from Amazon DSP. Interstitial ads can be created in either Medium Rectangle or Full Screen, with both templates expanding to fill the screen size. They can be presented on Apps in iOS, Android and Fire Smartphones and Tablets.

The aforementioned ad products of desktop and mobile web display and mobile interstitial ads are all a part of Amazon DSPOther ad products on Amazon are Amazon Mobile Shopping, Amazon eCommerce ads, Campaign Landing Pages and Non-Standard Media.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has an in-house audience of over 600 Million professionals. According to LinkedIn, its members comprise of 190 Million senior-level influencers, 63 Million decision makers and 10 Million C-Level executives. LinkedIn’s targeting options are based on profiles created by consumers themselves as the site is based on creating a network of professionals. On LinkedIn, you can target senior professionals or consumers with specific job titles. The list of targeting opportunities on LinkedIn include

  • Job Experience
  • Education
  • Demographics
  • Company and
  • Interests

The targeting can be done over different categories so that only users who are present in all of the targeted categories are brought into the results. Within a category, the targeting picks out your potential users over any of the multiple selections that you have selected. In terms of location, the location indicated in the profile can be used as can the IP Address.

Ad formats on LinkedIn are

  • Text
  • Single Image
  • Carousel
  • Video
  • Dynamic
  • Message

LinkedIn has a new Objective-based Advertising experience in its Campaign Manager tool. It makes campaign creation easier and provides automated bidding.

Text ad campaigns currently have the following objectives

  • Website visits
  • Lead Generation and
  • Video Views

While proposed objectives are

  • Brand awareness
  • Website Conversions
  • Talent Leads
  • Job Applications

Among the ad formats that we saw earlier, Single Image, Carousel and Video are categorized together under Sponsored Content. Another category is Dynamic Ads which is comprised of Follower Ad, Spotlight Ad and Jobs Ad. The Message Ad format comes under Sponsored InMail head. Looking in detail into the first category of Text Ads, a Headline with a limit of 25 characters and a Description with a limit of 75 characters, both including spaces, make up a Text Ad. The Text Ads appear on the LinkedIn Home Page, Profile Pages, Groups Pages, Messaging Page, My Network Page, Who’s Viewed My Profile Page, and Search Results Page. A campaign can have a maximum of 100 Text Ads.

After you have set up your campaign in the Objective-based Experience in Campaign Manager, you can check out the Forecasted Results window. Here, you get the forecast on the projected number of impressions, projected number of clicks and your projected spend.

Outside of LinkedIn, the LinkedIn Ad platform extends to cover a publisher network termed as LinkedIn Audience Network.

Bidding can be set to be Automated or based on Maximum Cost (manual setting of Cost Per Click, Cost Per 1000 Impressions or Cost Per View). The minimum daily budget is $10 but it might not be enough to generate the kind of data required to deduce performance metrics. On the other hand, if you have set a Cost Per Click bid and you have not received any bids, there are no costs involved. An example bid is if you are targeting ten clicks per day and you are ready to pay $5 for each click, your daily budget would be $50.

With Sponsored Content, you can go in for Objective-based bidding if your targets are website conversions or lead form submissions. The default bidding option will be enhanced Cost Per Click. The bid will automatically be adjusted higher when presented to users who will convert or submit the form.

Bing

Focusing on cost, Bing says it keeps costs in check. In Bing’s Ad Platform, you pay only for clicks. Bing search is used for 11 Billion monthly searches across the globe according to comScore data. Bing’s network consists of Bing, Yahoo and MSN search results.

Flipkart Ads

Flipkart Ads works with 10 Million daily visitors and 100 Million registered users. Flipkart’s products are

  • Video Ads
  • Standard and Custom Banner
  • Interstitial and
  • MRaid Rich Media

With Flipkart audience data, you can target the targeted audience on Flipkart and also on other apps. In terms of personas, you get to target Flipkart Shopper Audience or FSA Personas such as those who are interested in travel, gadgets etc. Gender and Geography-based targeting is offered by Flipkart. Reports of campaigns are delivered to you by the company’s sales representative with all data on engagement and execution. Its network includes video ads placed on Hotstar.

DU Ads

Baidu’s DU Ad Platform has 3.5 Billion Daily Ad Requests. The Platform offers Average Revenue per User (ARPU) based results which it says is more meaningful in terms of monetization than eCPM. ARPU Analysis reveals true revenues that are not affected by impressions which is the case with eCPM. DU Ad Platform or DAP is built upon behavior modeling of 1.6 Billion users. Its offices in India, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan and Egypt offer local-language support. DAP’s ad options range across

  • Native Ads
  • Banner Ads
  • Offer Wall Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Interstitial Ads and
  • Trigger Ads

DAP works with Facebook, Google, appnext, ADXMI, Yeahmobi, Mobvista, ironSource, Taptica, Pubnative and Glispa.

Taboola

Taboola is a Content Discovery and Native Advertising Platform with an audience of 1.4 Billion people which is about 44 percent of the internet population. The platform presents your videos as native advertising on the sites of prominent publishers. Videos are presented to visitors on these sites as they complete viewing an article or a page. Videos play only when they are viewable and audio is controlled by the viewer. Data on its audience enables Taboola to present the right content to consumers. Engagement can be worked upon in partnership with Taboola’s creative team. Among the publishers that Taboola serves its native advertising are Bloomberg and TMZ.

Taboola’s suggestions for campaign optimization include separation of campaigns by device, location, and product or content type. Taboola suggests a minimum budget of $50 per day so that enough data is generated to inform decision making on reaching performance goals. Campaign Targeting options include Lookalike Targeting, Targeting Audience Segments, Custom Audiences, Location Targeting options, Connection Type targeting options (WiFi only), Campaign Platform targeting options (devices), Operating System Targeting options, Campaign Scheduling, Retargeting users who have been to your site, Excluding users who have been to your site and Retargeting users who have clicked your Taboola campaign.

Adgebra

Adgebra is also a Native Ad platform that offers support for 10 Indian languages. It serves out more than 10 Billion Ad Impressions each month. It partners with 3000 publishers and has an audience of 75 million. Adgebra’s targeting options span Language, Site, Location, Keywords, Device, OS and Telecom operator.

Criteo

Criteo is an Ad Platform that also brings in 1.4 Billion shoppers each month, who generate over $600 Billion in eCommerce transactions every year. Its engine is based on Kinetic Design which focuses on the visual impact of Ad impressions, Product Recommendations based upon customer behavior and Predictive Bidding that takes shoppers, publishers and interactive actions to arrive at the right bid. Criteo’s Dynamic Retargeting delivers personalized video ads while App retargeting delivers dynamic mobile ads based on your entire product catalog. Criteo Sponsored Products delivers native ads on 70 of the top retail sites.

Outbrain

Outbrain offers native advertising over four themes of

  • Health
  • Finance
  • Tech and
  • Home Décor

According to Outbrain, its sphere spans 80 percent of the premium publishers around the world. Outbrain offers a simple process of setting your CPC and only paying for users who have real interest in your product/service. The range of content that can be placed as native ads includes

  • Product pages
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • 3rd Party reviews

AppNexus

AppNexus says its DSP is cost-effective as it offers a direct pipeline between buyers and sellers of ads. According to AppNexus, it offers the ‘industry’s most competitive pricing.’ AppNexus channels include

  • Video
  • Connected TV
  • Mobile
  • Display and
  • Native

In video, the types of content that AppNexus gets presented across its publisher portfolio includes

  • Connected TV
  • Live Streaming
  • Full-episode player
  • Instream and
  • Outstream

With Instream, AppNexus ties up with the opposite of DSPs which are Supply-Side Platforms or SSPs which represent Publisher-based optimization of the selling of ads to DSPs. AppNexus has tieups with over 150 Direct Publishers, and 15 Video SSPs, making it possible to present 500 Billion monthly impressions. With Outstream, your ads are placed on native publishers who have high traffic.

AdRoll

AdRoll is a platform similar to Bing, focusing on Display ads. The audience size that AdRoll has built up is 1.2 Billion online shoppers. The display platform works with Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento 1, Magento 2, BigCommerce and Yotpo. Email audiences are delivered through MailChimp, HubSpot, Marketo, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, Zoho and Privy.

AdRoll for Shopify automatically creates target segment populations. Dynamic ads are created with personalized product recommendations. Ads are placed on Facebook, Instagram, web, mobile and email. Integration with MailChimp allows for automatic sync of your MailChip email list with AdRoll enabling retargeting and personalized campaigns. AdRoll says it can deliver 5x return on Ad spend.

The budget suggestions by AdRoll are based on the target population in terms of numbers. If your target population over a 90-day window is between 10,000 and 25,000 visitors, AdRoll suggests a budget of $55 to $110 per day. If your target population over a 90-day window is between 25,000 visitors and 50,000 visitors, the suggested budget is $110 to $215 per day. A target population of 50,000 visitors to 100,000 visitors can be addressed with a daily budget of $215 to $430 per day while a target population of 100,000 to 500,000 visitors is addressed with a budget of $430 to $2150 per day.

If your monthly ad spend is up to $1000, you get Complimentary Ad Creatives twice per year. For monthly ad spend of up to $5000, you get four Complimentary Ad creative per year and quarterly strategic meetings. For a budget of up to $10,000 per month, you get a bi-weekly strategy meeting.

Pinterest

Pinterest has 250 Million people, with 80 percent of them on mobile. The basic ad format on Pinterest is called Standard Pins. When you pay to promote a pin, the Standard pins are termed as Promoted Pins. They appear in a natural mode in combination with organic content and can be used to build brand awareness or for regular business requirements of boosting traffic and sales. Promoted Video is suitable for building awareness of your brand. Promoted Carousels can feature five different cards, each with a separate image or landing page. Promoted App Pins can be used for getting apps to be installed. Installation of the Pinterest Tag delivers the capability to track what your visitors do after checking out your Promoted Pins. The metrics that can be tracked include

  • Page visits
  • Signups
  • Video views
  • Lead Generation activity

Targeting of consumers can be carried out on the basis of gender, location, language, device and on

  • Interests
  • Keywords
  • Audience

Ads targeting different audiences can be grouped into different Ad groups. Spending limits can be set at the  level of your campaign or at the level of a daily spending limit. Budgets can be specified for each Ad group. T Spending limits can be set at the  level of your campaign or at the level of a daily spending limit. The minimum recommended starting budget for an Ad group is $50 per Ad group per day.

Adbeat

Adbeat is an intelligence tool that offers information on what your competitor are doing. Adbeat has three monthly plans. Standard Plan at $249 per month allows you to search for advertisers, ads and publishers by keyword. You can search for all Display, Programmatic and Native ads.

Froggy Ads

Froggy Ads serves out 480 Billion Impressions every month. Its Five Billion Display Ad opportunities each day come with a minim bid CPM of $0.10 as does its two Billion Native Ad opportunities each day. Popup and Popunder opportunities are also available at 2 Billion plus each day and come at a minimum bid CPV of $0.01. Redirect ads, contextual ads and browser extension opportunities are all available at a combined 2 Billion opportunities and more, with a minimum bid CPV of $0.01.

AdButler

AdButler delivers 500,000 Ad requests at $46 per month with additional requests charged at $0.12 per CPM. If you go in for 1 Million Ad Requests, you pay $76 per month while additional requests per CPM are brought down to $0.105. Geographic targeting comes at an extra $10 per month while Enhanced Analytics costs another $15 per month. With the addition of another $49 per month, you get Extended Support which includes Standard Support, after-hours phone and in-app chat support.

ADspot

ADspot offers bundles for different sources. Its WordPress Bundle offers 1000 impressions for $4. The Webhosting bundle delivers 4000 impressions at $15.5. A Student Bundle covering Thesaurus, WikiHow, Turnitin etc. delivers 7000 impressions at $24.25. SEO Bundle with 6000 impressions costs $19.75.  Marketing bundle comes with 5000 impressions that cost $17.5.Android Bundle with 7000 impressions comes at $22.75.

PropellerAds

PropellerAds has a reach of 1 Billion users around the world. The ad formats offered by PropellerAds are

  • Push Notifications ( 200 Million users)
  • Onclick ads (1 Billion users)
  • Native ads (100 Million users) and
  • Native Interstitials (40 Million users)

Twitter

On Twitter, you can target the following goals

  • Awareness (Promoting your tweets)
  • Tweet Engagements
  • Followers
  • Website Clicks
  • App Installs

Twitter suggests an initial budget of $30 per day. Twitter Promote Mode at $99 per month makes for a very simple solution with the potential of reaching out to 30,000 additional people and gaining 30 new followers each month on average.

Reddit

Reddit has over 130,000 communities that delivers targeting on the basis of Relevant Communities, Relevant Conversations and Relevant Catalysts. Its 330 Million Daily visitors spend an average of 36 minutes each day in app. In terms of age, 51 percent of visitors are in the age group of 18 to 34. The minimum daily spend for an ad on Reddit is $5. The initial billing threshold is $20 or the end of the first month, after which you will move into the next billing thresholds of $50, $100, $250, $500 and so on.

MoPub

MoPub is an app-focused hub for DSPs, with 180 DSPs and 49,000 Apps, rolling out 450 Billion monthly App advertisements. The Twitter-owned company’s Marketer Program is designed to perfect your programmatic strategy. MoPub Marketplace is the hub between publishers and DSPs. The ad formats that are available on MoPub are

  • Video
  • Native
  • Native Video
  • Opt-in Video (rewarding an user in app for viewing a video)
  • Rich Media (MRaid) and
  • Display

Inmobi

Inmobi, previously known as mKhoj, also delivers in-app advertising in partnership with more than 200 DSPs. The reach of the platform is 1.6 Billion mobile subscribers. The platform provides you with more than 75 data points which leads to 90 percent viewable impressions.

AdColony

AdColony says it is the first mobile ad platform that is built upon the foundations of

  • Integral Ad Science or IAS (protects brands from ad fraud, agencies from fraudulent traffic)
  • MOAT (analytics and measurement company) and
  • Double Verify (ad authenticator)

AdColony’s MOAT video score is 93.7 percent Valid and Viewable. Its IAS In-View is 95.2 percent. DoubleVerify certifies AdColony as 93.7 percent Authentic Video Viewable. AdColony says its Invalid Traffic rate of 1 percent is 12x times lower than averages for the industry. AdColony says its user-initiated ads are 3x more preferred by customers and have 90 percent video completion rates.

Quora

Quora has 300 Million monthly users and is a platform where you can reach out to the ‘highly-educated’ segment, especially in the U.S. Targeting is delivered through

  • Broad targeting
  • Interest targeting
  • Topic targeting
  • Keyword targeting and
  • Question targeting

The regular targeting options of location, platform and device are all available. The ad formats on Quora are:

  • Text Ads
  • Image Ads
  • Promoted Answers

Perfect Audience

Perfect Audience is an Ad Platform that specializes in retargeting. It works across the following channels

  • Web
  • Facebook
  • Shopify
  • Dynamic (Personalized ads)
  • Mobile
  • Twitter
  • Hubspot
  • Cross-device

Perfect Audience assures 20x Return on Ad Spend. Bidding is on CPM basis and there are no setup fees or minimum spend.

Chartboost

Chartboost delivers mobile gaming in-app audience of 900 Million people around the world over 300,000 Mobile apps. It can be used to deploy

  • Immersive HD videos
  • Playables
  • Interactive End cards

Chartboost assures 50x Return on Ad Spend.

AerServ

AerServ delivers in-app header bidding with its OpenAuction server-side solution that works to optimize monetization for publishers. Its Rewarded Video ad format allows your ad to be seen with the full attention of the viewer while the non-rewarded video format allows publishers to display ads even without installing AerServ. Another ad format where users will give their full attention is an Interstitial ad. Adpods deliver back-to-back video ads that receive a positive response from the viewer. Other ad formats on AerServ are native ads and banner ads.

Unity Ads

Unity Ads also operates with gaming apps and has data that demonstrates that 68 percent of users prefer rewarded video among video advertising formats. According to the company, half of the world’s games are created on its platform. The Ad formats that Unity delivers are

  • Augmented Reality ads
  • Banner ads
  • Display ads
  • In-app Purchase (IAP) promos
  • Playable ads
  • Video ads
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