So you’re interested in display advertising, and you want to take things to the next level? Media Buying is great… RTB is great, but the truth is, if you really want to go pro, you’re going to need to deal with the Ad Networks eventually.
In this article, we’ll talk about the CPM Ad Networks. In case you’re not familiar, CPM stands for “Cost Per Mille”. “Mille” is the Latin word for thousand, and so it essentially means, “cost per thousand”. A thousand what? A thousand ad impressions. So with CPM, we’ll be exclusively buying our media in segments of 1,000 ad impressions.
I should note, buying media with the ad networks is FAR more expensive, so you have to get your EPC, and lifetime value per customer as high as possible in order to make it profitable, BUT, once you do, you’ll be able to make a fortune very quickly, simply by scaling your traffic up big time.
Network 1: Tribal Fusion
Tribal Fusion’s been one of the big name Ad Networks for quite some time. You REALLY have to be one of the top dogs in order to start working with these guys, as they require a whopping 500k visitors per month minimum, before they’ll start working with you. They payout big time, so if you’re one of the top dogs, and have that kind of traffic, you can trust Tribal Fusion to help you out. They require ALL of their publishers to have (what they would consider) a professional-looking and attractive website or blog. So, as an advertiser, you can rest assured that your ads will be served on only the nicest of websites… nothing spammy or trashy. Tribal Fusion is widely considered the most successful Ad Network, and it’s for many reasons, but mainly, they know what they’re doing, and the publishers and advertisers who work with them, seem to do very well..
Network 2: Value Click
Value Click Media is #1 on our list, for several reasons. First of all, in my experience, they don’t gouge on the rates like some of the other companies do, which is especially important for an Ad Network, because even a few cents added to your CPM, can mean the difference between a failed campaign, and a successful one. Overall, I’d say these guys are fairly reasonable. On top of that, Value Click’s support is really second to none. If you have a question, comment, or complaint, or, you simply need technical support, it won’t be long before you get all the help you need. Very impressive. One other nice thing about Value Click, is that they really go the extra mile to make sure their ads are quality. They don’t let their network be overrun with junk, which helps the Publishers, thus drawing in a higher level of Publishers than some of the other networks. Overall, a superb network.
Network 3: CPX Interactive
Next up on our list, is CPX Interactive, and they are quite the network. First of all, if you need to scale up a campaign, (and you have a big budget) then CPX Interative is the place to be. The scalability here is fantastic. You can really go form 0 to 100 here if you’re already rocking a profitable campaign. Very cool. They’re also one of the top paying networks overall, being one of the other few networks that doesn’t gouge on their rates. In order to start working with these guys, you need at least 30,000 visitors each month, but once you get there, it’s definitely worth it, so check them out.
Network 4: Casale Media
Luckily, Casale Media isn’t as strict with their publishers when it comes to traffic. You can join Casale Media with only 50,000 visitors per month. That means us, as advertisers, aren’t going to be getting the same level of quality as we would with say, Tribal Fusion, BUT, it’s not a big deal, because there’s still plenty of good traffic to be had here as well. Like it is with many Ad Networks, they do require that the content from their Publishers be family friendly, so that’s great for some advertisers, but, if you want to advertise some adult content, it looks like you’re out of luck. Overall though, Casale Media is a great Ad Network…
Network 5: adBrite
As we continue our list of the top CPM Ad Networks, we couldn’t help but include adBrite, as no such list would be complete without it. One thing that really stands out about this Ad Network, is its user friendliness. It’s really easy for anyone to go in, and access the publishers they need to in order to make their campaigns as profitable as possible. It should also be noted that adBrite is the largest private exchange. They enjoy a whopping 300 million visitors each month to their network of publishers, and half of that traffic is from the U.S, so you can expect quite a bit of quality. Overall, a great ad network, highly recommended.
Network 6: Burst Media
Burst Media is a pretty good ad network. Overall, it seems to be a bit more beneficial to the publishers, as their CPM’s are high, but they don’t gouge too much on the rates… most of the profits, they pass onto their publishers which is nice to know. Then again, all of the Ad Networks tend to have extremely high CPM’s, that’s just the price you have to pay if you want to enjoy the ability to scale up your campaigns extremely quickly.
The publishers who are working with Burst Media also have absolute control over which ads they want to run on their site, so at the end of the day, if you’re running an ad on a site, and it’s very profitable, but the webmaster of that site wishes not to continue running it for any reason, than that’s all there is to it, and the ad will be taken down. Requiring only 25,000 visitors per month to join, they’re pretty lenient on who gets in, as compared to some of the other networks. Overall, I’d say that Burst Media is absolutely great for the Publishers, and pretty good for the Advertisers as well.
Network 7: AdTegrity
AdTegrity is pretty nice, because they help make things easier, and more user-friendly to us, the Advertisers. They segment all their traffic into different categories, in order to make targeting easier, which is always nice. Just like with adBrite, 50% of all Publisher’s traffic is from the United States, so again you’re getting quality traffic. AdTegrity is also one of the few ad networks that requires 500,000 page views (the same as Tribal Fusion) in order for someone to sign up with them as a Publisher, so as an Advertiser, you know you’re only dealing with the top-dogs. Overall, I’d say it’s safe to say that AdTegrity is an excellent network for the advertisers, and while they can have strict guidelines for their Publishers, it’s a pretty good Network for them too. It makes the list.
Network 8: Technorati Media
Technorati is another one of those Ad Networks which you really have to include if you’re making a top Ad Networks list, they’re definitely well-known for being one of the best. They’re actually a social media advertising network, as opposed to a typical Ad Network, but when it comes to social media ads, these guys are at the top of their game, bar none. This is definitely another network which has a very high CPM, so you really need to have a profitable, high ROI campaign, before you should really even think about joining up with these guys. But, in this day and age, if you’re not advertising with social media, you’re missing out, and really falling behind. Overall, this is one network you really should sign up for as an Advertiser, if you can get in.
Network 9: Vibrant Media
Vibrant Media is another great option for those looking to expand into the ad networks. With a wide reach of 250 million visitors they’re definitely worth looking into, because you, as the Advertiser, will have a wide selection of websites to choose from, and will no doubt be able to find several sites that fit your target niche perfectly. This is another ad network that doesn’t gouge too much on their fee, so whether you’re a publisher or an advertiser, you know you’re getting a great deal on traffic, regardless of whether you’re buying it or selling it.
Network 10: AdWords
AdWords can be used to create CPM campaigns. Certain placements allow you to bid per thousand impressions rather than per click. Google’s platform is one of the market leaders and should not be ignored lightly.
Well, that concludes our list of the top 10 best ad networks. Keep in mind, Ad Networks are for the pros, so if you’re not there yet, don’t let that discourage you, just keep using RTB’s, as well as media buying to scale up with, and you’ll no doubt get there soon enough. Most of the traffic on these ad networks can be accessed with either the SiteScout or ClickCertain RTB’s anyways, but usually at a slight mark-up.