This time last year we were adding the finishing touches to our Self-Service Advertiser platform prior to release. Now, 12-months later, we’re celebrating this all important milestone by looking back at some of the features that we’ve added.
When we released our Self-Service Advertiser platform, we had some idea of the direction it would head as a product and the kind of user we expected would be interacting with it. But sometimes things can surpass your expectations. And that’s pretty much what happened with Self-Service.
Adcash Self-Service: A brief history.
So, what have we been up to over the last 365 days? What new features have we added to Self-Service? What upgrades have we done? Well, let’s dive right in.
User Interest Targeting
At the beginning, we allowed our advertisers to reach users based on the verticals of the websites where their ads would appear. We called this “Site Category Targeting”. It was good, but we wanted to offer more. User Interest Targeting allows advertisers to harness the power of true behavioural targeting, ushering in a whole new level of capability for our advertisers.
Our location targeting features were added to further enhance the already extensive list of targeting options added to the Adcash Self-Service platform. Although the feature itself is called “City Targeting” it actually allows you to go even further than that, by reaching audiences in specific parts of cities (and towns).
This is all part of giving our customers the capability to build their campaigns around their desired audience. To reach and engage them, wherever they are. Location targeting can be very useful for “bricks and mortar” businesses, looking to promote offers to potential customers near to their store. Similarly, for online business, by using location targeting you can create messages that use location to add relevance (for example, “People in Tallinn are using this now!”).
Cost Per Click Campaigns
Cost per click (or pay per click) ad campaigns were on our wishlist fairly early on in the development cycle for the Adcash Self-Service platform. But, as with the verticals overhaul, there were a few technical challenges that needed to be overcome before we could deliver.
CPC was one of the most consistently requested features to be added to self-service. Different advertisers have different needs and while CPM campaigns can be highly effective for things like brand building campaigns, CPC is usually better when you have a clearly defined sales funnel and a product you want to sell.
When we first released the Adcash Self-Service platform, the campaign creation process was designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible. However there was one area where we recognized there could be some significant improvements: verticals (or categories to some).
The initial offering didn’t have that many options and they were all displayed on a single level. The challenge for our product team was that updating this list involved some considerable reworking of our ad serving database. But, after many hours and very many coffees, they succeeded.
What this means for our advertisers is that, now, they are able to more accurately select the traffic vertical they want to buy.
Since 2014 we’ve been looking at the incredibly exciting, engaging possibilities that video advertising and we’ve been building a product and team to make strides in that area. We added video advertising to the Self-Service platform towards the end of the year and have been working closely with our partners, on both the demand and supply side, to make improvements and optimize it more and more.
Let’s say you’re a marketer for a Windows-only time management application. You want to promote your new application to people you know are going to be able to use it. So, in this case, you would want to specify Windows. Our OS targeting feature actually allows you to go even further than that, by segmenting the different operating systems by version.
So, to continue with the example above, you may have initially released your application with support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. So, initially you can specify these options. Then, later on you want to promote a Windows 10 version, with creatives saying “Now Available For Windows 10!”. Then select Windows 10 and you’re reaching the right people for your ads.
Zone Blacklisting and Whitelisting
One of the first big features we added to the Self-Service platform was zone blacklisting and whitelisting. This gave Adcash Advertisers the capability to optimize their ad campaigns, by specifying the ad zones they appear in. If they can see that a specific ad zone is not delivering the kind of traffic they want, they can blacklist it. Similarly, if they identify an ad zone that is performing really well, they can whitelist is, meaning their ad will only be displayed in that zone.
The Adcash Self-Service platform is built on cutting-edge digital advertising technology and relies heavily on machine learning to automatically optimize ad campaigns. At the same time, we recognize the importance of giving our advertisers control over where their display or pop-under ads appear. This is why we added zone blacklisting and whitelisting functionality.
Connection Type Targeting
Reaching audiences based on their connection type is one of the many ways Advertisers can get the most from their digital ad spend. Connection type targeting allows you to select from a range of the most common connection types, like Wi-Fi, cellular or even dial-up.
This is particularly useful if you have a landing page that contains lot’s of images or video: an advertiser is unlikely to want their ad shown to people with slower connections if the landing page, say, contains a lot of images or video.
Mobile Carrier Targeting
Mobile advertising is really booming at the moment, surpassing desktop even. So giving advertisers the tools to make the most of this exciting new area is very important to us. By allowing advertisers to target their campaigns based on mobile carriers, they can reach audiences with the most relevant offers.
For example, a media agency working for a mobile network to promote a “new customers” offer may want to exclude people already connected to that network. This way they’re reaching the people who can make use of the offer. By reaching the most relevant audience, they are ensuring that every cent they spend on buying impressions, is spent on the right impressions.
Web Browser Targeting
As the name implies, this feature allows advertisers to reach users of specific web browsers. Sometimes an advertiser may find that their ad campaign (landing pages, pop-unders etc) perform better on one or more browsers, but worse on others. Ensuring that they only target the browser types that they know will play nice with their ad campaign means that their audience will have the desired experience when reaching the page.
Once again, this is about ensuring that the right people see the right ads. If an ad is being shown to people where you know something isn’t going to work or is going to perform unusually, then you should be excluding them from your campaign. This feature allows Advertisers to do exactly that.
Here’s to another 12 months, and beyond!
This last year has absolutely flown by and, while we’re incredibly happy with what we delivered a year ago, where we are now has surprised even us! Thanks to the continuous feedback and cooperation of our partners, on both the supply and demand sides, we’ve been able to build and grow a fantastic product.
So, for everyone who’s been a part of the self-service story: thank you.
As always, if you have any questions, ideas, thoughts or feedback, let us know in the comments below!