What is an ad network?

As an ad network we occasionally get asked the question: “What is an ad network and why should our brand use one?” In this day and age where anyone with a vague level of literacy can become a publisher it’s important that the high quality publishers have an easy way to monetize their websites.

In essence with there being just too many websites out there for ad agencies to sit and listen to. This is why ad networks exist – so that agencies can buy huge amounts of advertising from a variety of websites all in one go. Ad networks are kind of like a supermarket of websites, which saves agencies the effort of having to go every individual website to know what they are about.

An ad network brings publishers and advertisers together

Think of an ad network from the perspective on an actors agent; they make sure the actor gets the best roles and the same applies to an ad network. This gives a publisher the opportunity to focus on their content rather than pounding the proverbial pavement in order to sell their site. Here at OfferForge you can even sign up to the network online without leaving the comfort of your chair. Publishers get easy access to the advertising collateral needed for their sites and can generate an affiliate marketing income right out of the blocks.

For an advertiser the benefits are fairly substantial as well. An established ad network with critical mass is a perfect vehicle to extend reach beyond what the top few properties provide. There is more to the internet than just a couple of key portals and a few top vertical content sites. In fact, the very essence of the internet is about fragmented sources of content. Not to say that top portals and sites don’t offer valuable advertising opportunities, they absolutely do. It is to say, that online marketing plans must extend beyond the top few to include the many other options that exist in order to fully maximize the opportunity that the internet offers. Ad networks offer un-duplicated, complementary reach to tens of millions of unique users, with inventory coming from unique sources through the aggregation of thousands of content rich niche sites. The quality of the sites that are working with the top ad networks has improved dramatically and most have adapted to brand requirements offering significant transparency. Furthermore, many of the niche sites within a network yield higher advertising impact as a result of less page clutter and passionate content interaction with the user. A typical consumer’s “favorites” list is made up of dozens of sites that touch their lifestyles and breed loyalty. The moral: target everyone on different types of websites.

The other benefit for advertisers: reducing waste. If you’re advertising on the top ten sites in your vertical you’re most likely going to have your target audience see your adverts on similar sites. This might be useful for getting your audience to see an advert but will eventually leave your audience with fatigue and indifference towards your brand. An ad network will spread your message across multiple sites using tracking technology to follow users through their online journey.

The big advantage of affiliate marketing as a way of lead generation or selling products online goes both ways. The advertiser ONLY pays for performance. This is different to having an under-performing sales person that you still need to pay a basic salary. Only when the successful leads are generated or the sales are made will the publisher get paid. The publisher only works through the one point of contact: the ad network. There is no need to try and follow up with loads of vendors on payments for commission earned. It is all done through a single interface. Affiliate marketing just works for all parties.

If you have any further questions contact us today for a smarter, faster way to get your message across.

What does the inventor of the banner ad think about the medium?

first ever banner ad

This is the first banner ad ever produced. This artsy, graffiti’d print on a black background telling you to click “right here” is supposedly the first banner ad to ever appear on the Internet. It popped up nearly 20 years ago in 1994 and was an ad for AT&T.

Display advertising is only 19 years old this year but continues to grow massively. Every year we see an average of 20% increase in banner advertising revenue. Technology improvements in targeting and distribution of adverts helps to grow the market.

Not everyone loves the banner; many people see it as lacking in innovation and are becoming a commodity. We at OfferForge tend to disagree but we found a great article on Digiday where they went and interviewed the people involved in the creation and publishing of the first web banner what they think about banner adverts in 2013.

G.M. O’Connell, founder of Modem Media, the agency that created the first banners

The creativity is disappointing at best. It’s easy for me to say it sucks, but I don’t know what the better thing is. My philosophy has been if you’re not serving the customer with what you put online you’re going to end up in a bad place. Most [banners] aren’t serving value. They’re in the business of interrupting what you’re doing. There’s a limited creativity that’s been applied with what you can do with that space and the space itself is very limiting. On cellphones, it’s worse. Today these retargeting ads are creepy to me. I get it, but to do the equivalent of tracking a guy out of a shopping mall to his car and jumping on top of his car is what we’re doing on the Web now. Online is not a medium built on intrusion. It has to work in the context of what people are trying to accomplish.

Bill Clausen, the client at AT&T, the first banner ad advertiser

I think banner ads can be a part of your overall campaign but should not be the primary or only thing you do. It’s like your logo on your Web page. Your banner ad needs to be clever.

Andrew Anker, CEO at HotWired, the first publisher to run banners

Typically, you’re giving interesting content, and you bring in a certain type of person. They’re willing to view a sponsor’s message. That’s a tight media equation that’s broken down. The basic principles we started on have gotten lost. We’ve over-optimized for direct response.

The trick is that marketers are getting lazy and we need to inject a huge amount of creativity in the medium. If we consider the strides in technology we need to ensure that creativity follows that technical revolution. Contact us today for a new approach to banner advertising and help with your creative.

So is the banner ad still alive for affiliates?

Most definitely! All affiliate programs still offer banner ads to their affiliates to promote. They have however evolved greatly from those first ads, but they still fulfill the same purpose.

The use of these banners have however evolved and you can definitely no longer just throw up any ads anywhere on your website. Affiliate programs try to accommodate publishers by bringing out the banners in different sizes and using different imagery. These can then be used on websites (aimed at desktop and mobile users), on social media and in email marketing.

When used correctly the chances to make money online is still largely based on the banner ads that you get from affiliate programs. So there is definitely no reason to write them off yet!

Offerforge launches Action-Based pixel tracking

As an advertiser you may potentially have the need to payout different amounts for different actions. For example, consider an advertiser who is collecting lead information for a home mortgage campaign. This advertiser may want to pay out more for leads that have higher credit scores than for ones with poor credit scores. This feature will enable advertisers to set up separate payout amounts depending on whether each lead’s action is designated “Good”, “Average” or “Poor”.

Another application example is in the casual gaming or micropayments markets where an advertiser wants to pay referral fees based on actions such as registration, activity or in-app purchase.

Action-Based Pixel tracking is the latest update to OfferForge’s current pixel structure that will allow for payout values to be set up on a per-campaign basis. The advertiser can set multiple levels of payout values and this feature can be useful for cases in which an advertiser would like to pay a different rate per lead/sale depending on the situation that is tracked.

To use Action-Based Tracking, you will first need to set up the actions that you would like to have available in your campaign. Next, each action should be assigned the appropriate payout. The actions tracked will then be viewable in the admin, affiliate, and advertiser interfaces of OfferForge.

Any lead or sale which you would like to receive an Action-Based payout will need to have an Action Keyword assigned to it at the time it is tracked. Currently this can be accomplished with pixel tracking and also for leads and sales imported through the advertiser interface.

In order to track a lead or a sale from a OfferForge pixel fire, your advertiser’s thank you page will need to append that value to the end of the pixel using the query string &action=[Action Keyword].

evriPay launches CPA campaign

evriPay provides fast, reliable and secure payment acceptance for merchants. Use the Express product for selling products from a website. Use PayMi to get eCommerce payments even if you do not have a website. It is quick and convenient with sign-up taking place on the evriPay.com website and the merchant account being activated instantly.

Evripay CPA campaign launched in Offerforge

It is great news that evriPay have joined forces with Offerforge to launch this CPA campaign. Offerforge has been a leader in affiliate programs in South Africa for a number of years now and this should prove a very fruitful endeavor.

You as a site owner would be able to earn commission on each of the sales done from the creative you display. If you think this might be the offer for you and your site, you can sign up through the advertiser page at the top of the page.

Dr. Demartini Affiliate Program launched

Dr Demartini Affiliate Program

OfferForge is pleased to announce the launch of another blue chip advertiser: Dr. Demartini.  The self help space is an enormous market and in many segments outpaces fiction as the most sold media.

Dr. John Demartini is a human behavior specialist, educator, internationally published author, leadership and performance specialist, business consultant and a sought after authority on maximizing human awareness & potential. He is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on human behavior and personal development. He is the founder of the Demartini Institute, a private research and education organization with a curriculum of over 72 different courses covering multiple aspects of human development.

His trademarked methodologies, the Demartini Method and the Demartini Value Determination, are the culmination of 39 years of cross-disciplinary research and study. His work has been incorporated into human development industries across the world.

Dr. Demartini travels 360 days a year to countries all over the globe, sharing his research and findings in all markets and sectors. He is the author of 40 books published in 28 different languages. He has produced over 50 CDs and DVDs covering subjects such as development in relationships, wealth, education and business. Each program is designed to assist people to activate leadership and empower themselves in all seven areas of their lives: Financial, physical, mental, vocational, spiritual, family and social.

To participate in the Demartini Affiliate Program and earn generous revenue shares on products sold, please log into your affiliate panel and get started now.

Due to the popularity of the doctor your work as an affiliate marketer becomes a lot easier. The campaign is a cost per sale campaign and will appeal to a wide demographic in South Africa.