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iMedia Connection Article

A New Spin on Text-Based Advertising

by Chad Little
Published September 28, 2006

AdOn Network's CEO offers insight into a hybrid of traditional ad formats.

Ad networks and publishers are continually looking for new and innovative advertising solutions that will increase their ad revenue and provide advertisers with a variety of options to choose from to reach their target audiences. While new ad formats will continue to evolve, sometimes the best solutions can be found by looking at existing formats and leveraging some of their key attributes.

One of these innovative ad types now being offered by AdOn Network combines key elements from several ad types to form a CPC/CPM hybrid ad called a Text Ad. Text Ads are keyword-targeted text-based ads that appear in "Display Ad" locations in a variety of sizes on publisher websites. Text Ads are purchased on a "per-view" basis (cost per impression), but with auction-based pricing similar to how an advertiser would bid on a keyword for a CPC ad. Advertisers also have the option of choosing either contextual or behavioral targeting, and have the ability to track ROI by individual traffic source and keyword.

Building a text ad campaign

One of the built-in advantages to the Text Ad format is that advertisers and publishers are already familiar with its simple format and the uncomplicated setup process. While there can be advantages to graphical and rich-media formats depending on the campaign, text-based advertising will always be a dominant player in the online advertising space because it converts.

The setup process for a Text Ad campaign is a simple three-step process:

1. Set campaign options

  • Start and end date
  • Daily start and end time
  • Frequency
  • Targeting (contextual or behavioral)
  • Spending cap

2. Create your ad (title, description, link)
3. Bid on your keywords

Once the Text Ad campaign is created, a consumer navigates to a page in the network that contains a keyword match (i.e. the advertiser bids on the keyword 'Travel' and the consumer searches for the word 'Travel' or browses to a travel-related page in the network). The match triggers the display of the advertiser's Text Ad on that page in a standard display ad format. If behavioral targeting is selected, the keyword match will trigger the display of their ad at a later date on a different page within the network. The advertiser is then charged their keyword bid amount each time their ad is displayed.

Using the ROI Tracking feature in combination with the Traffic Source Selection tool, the advertiser can then track the success of the campaign by individual traffic source and keyword and optimize their campaign. The ROI Tracking feature will show the advertiser which traffic sources and keywords have the highest conversion rates and they can remove the traffic sources and keywords with the lowest conversion rates.

Benefits of keyword-targeted Text Ads

With Text Ad campaigns, the advertiser is able to take advantage of the simple, self-serve format of a CPC ad and the premium ad location and cost-effectiveness of a CPM display ad. While the advertiser is not paying on a per-click basis, they can still track their conversion rates by traffic source and keyword which allows them to optimize their campaigns and meet their campaign goals.

In addition to traditional contextual targeting that CPC ads offer, Text Ads offer the ability to target consumers with behavioral targeting, which can exponentially expand the reach and effectiveness of the campaign.

From the publisher's perspective, Text Ads offer guaranteed revenue for their inventory because their revenue is not dependant on a clickthrough. Text Ads also provide publishers the ability to offer contextual and behavioral targeting without any additional development on their side.

For publishers, the key advantage of behavioral targeting is that it effectively extends their advertising inventory throughout an entire network. For example, if a consumer views a travel-related page on their site, they have the ability to display a travel-related ad to that consumer while they are on that page on their site. With Text Ad behavioral targeting, the publisher can now display that same travel-related ad to the same consumer when they are visiting a different site within the ad network. This gives the publisher the ability to monetize their traffic even after it leaves their site.

Everyone wins

Content-related text-based advertising provides a win-win-win for advertisers, publishers and consumers. Advertisers are able to tap into contextual and behavioral targeting for their campaigns across a wide network of sites using a familiar and easy-to-manage Text Ad format. Publishers can display more targeted advertising on their websites and leverage behavioral targeting to expand their available inventory, which increases their revenue potential. Consumers benefit by viewing non-obtrusive Text Ads that are relevant to the content of the page they are viewing, or to their browsing behavior.

There is a quote from Jonathan Gilbert in which he said, "Reinventing the wheel is sometimes the right thing, when the result is the radial tire." Restated in online advertising terms, reinventing text-based advertising can be the right thing when the results are increased revenues.

Chad Little is president and CEO, AdOn Network (formerly MyGeek).









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