Brands like New York Times see the writing on the wall: programmatic ads are not long-term viable monetization strategies. But replacing them - either with direct sales or a self-serve ad product - is no easy task. Still, the benefits are there: in a world where you own your ad product, your ad experiences would be more user-friendly; your site/app would load faster; you'd increase your CPMs; and you would monetize without running afoul of GDPR and CCPA.
To help brands achieve this goal, we will publish regular pieces that offer advice about making the transition - whether that's specific coding instructions or best practices for sales, PMs, and ad ops.
Let’s be fair - it’s unlikely a potential advertiser just stumbles on your Advertise page. Instead, it should be viewed as a sales tool once the advertiser has expressed interest. Alternatively, if you have a self-serve platform, it could be used to convince long-tail advertisers to sign-up and start testing your ad server.
In a future article we will be highlighting specific features and points all Advertise pages should have, but first we wanted to share twenty-five examples of what major brands have done.
These examples should provide a starting point for you and your product, marketing, and sales teams as you look to promote your direct-sold or self-serve ad product.
Tumblr's business page is short and visual, offering GIFs highlighting their Sponsored Posts, Sponsored Day, and Sponsored Video ad units.
Match Group owns popular dating apps like Tinder, Match.com, and OkCupid, and their advertising page provides images of their bespoke ad units, including Branded Profiles. If you click on an ad unit, it takes you to an additional page describing it in more detail.
ZocDoc's business page is presented like a blog article, with visuals and concise, powerful messaging around why doctors benefit from paying to promote their listings.
As can be expected from such a visual-first brand, Snapchat's page screams character and expression. Their header is a carousel that scrolls through videos of ads in action; their audience description is told in pictures versus just text; and they have a clean call-to-action in "Launch your first ad in minutes".
Yelp's page is short and simple: it gives readers a chance to self-identify and click on a button for more info, as well as six stats about the tangible benefits of spending on Yelp. While it's only two panels, it's still quite effective.
Amazon Sponsored Products has a relatively simple page, with a short description of their self-serve ad product and links to case studies. This page's biggest differentiator is the "Get $50 in free click credits" - an offer that no doubt leads to more sign-ups.
WeTransfer offers a highly-polished professional video full of ad campaigns that recognizable brands have run with them. Paired with statistics about the efficacy of their ads, this is an effective "Advertise with Us" page.
Imgur leads with a powerful tagline about who their audience is. Such a statement excludes advertisers not looking to reach Millennial males, but for those that are, this presentation is compelling.
Expedia may have the most extensive Advertise page in the industry, partly a result of owning multiple brands and offering many ad formats such as native ads, banner ads, sponsored listings, and more. Their site has a 'choose your own adventure' feel, with deeper links based on objectives, ad units, and targeting goals. They also offer explainer videos, case studies, and research data.
Grab, Southeast Asia's largest ridesharing (and more) service, starts with a few panels on why advertisers should care about Grab's audience before moving to illustrations of each ad unit, with links to spec guidelines.
Pocket's Advertise page hones in on their target buyer: content marketers looking for innovative, brand-safe traffic sources. This focus leads to crisp messaging and descriptions of their users' demographics.
eBay's Promoted Listings page won't get points for design or flair, but it has all the information a self-serve ad product needs: a quick overview video, key benefits, success stories, and a lengthy FAQ.
Slickdeals follows the general best practices, with audience details, case studies, and ad unit examples.
It's unlikely Facebook really needs to promote Facebook ads, but they nonetheless still have an "Advertise with Us" page. Not surprisingly, it's less of a pitch and more of a set-up guide.
Google is in the same boat - does the quality of their Ads page really make a difference? For this reason the page is sparse - one illustration and some quick value-add statements. Most of their additional links takes you to FAQs and set-up guides. That said - they do offer a phone number to chat with an Ads Specialist. While not all brands can offer such a hotline, it adds a nice human touch.
Pinterest's Promoted Pins page is similar to other self-serve ad platforms: there's a little pitch, followed by instructions on how to get going.
Linkedin's Marketing Solutions page is well-designed and convincing, with high-resolution screenshots of its Sponsored Posts, Sponsored Listings, and Sponsored Messages ad units - followed by a clear CTA to get started on their self-serve platform.
Verizon Media's native ads page is simple and interestingly leads with an image of their platform's dashboard before going into the visuals of their various ad units.
TouchTunes - whose internet-connected jukeboxes sit in over 75,000 bars and restaurants - enables brands to purchase ads within their jukebox and mobile app. Their "Advertise with Us" page spends three panels focused on their reach and audience demographics, and their deeper ad unit pages offer case studies of what other brands have done with them.
Hulu's page is well-designed and has links to plenty of additional content, including 10 different case studies, private marketplace instructions, and their Insights solution.
TextNow's native ads page is short but a great example of how to concisely get across your value-add with visuals.
Spotify uses their page to highlight successful Spotify ad campaigns - and allows visitors to listen to the actual audio ads.
Not to be outdone, Pandora has an immersive page with multiple GIFs, case studies, and links to their more-detailed Media Kit.
B2W - which has a market share of about 50% of Brazil's online sales - offers native ads within their eCommerce sites, and their Ads page does a great job of highlighting the ad units and the demographics of their users.
Roku's Advertising page focuses on what they see as the future - all TV will be streamed - and implies that working with Roku is how you get ahead of that shift. Not all brands can build an Ads page around such an audacious statement, but Roku does it well.
Chris has worked in ad tech for over fourteen years in a variety of roles - giving him customer support, PM, and marketing perspectives from both the advertiser and publisher sides. He's the VP of Marketing at Kevel.