Ad Tech & Ad Ops

Digital Ad Operations | A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

June 18, 2020 5 min read
Digital Ad Operations

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Digital Ad Operations | A Comprehensive Guide For Beginners

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Online publishers massively depend on digital Ad Operations for generating revenue. It is an effective way of monetizing websites. After all, if a quality website can’t earn money, it is failing in its purpose. The introduction of programmatic advertising has provided some great automation, such as line items, header bidding wrapper, demand handling, etc. However, the volume of manual mediation to enhance earnings has progressed significantly. 

In ad tech, Ad Operations work for both sides—sell-side as well as buy-side. The constant efforts from both ends make the ad campaign successful. In this post, we will majorly focus on the sell-side i.e. the publisher side. 

What is Digital Ad Operations?

Ap operations is a team or a department that is directly responsible for revenue generation through ad campaigns. Digital Ad Operations, also known as ad ops, is the system that supports the management as well as delivery of advertisements through digital mediums. This includes, display, video, text, search, mobile advertising, etc.

In simple terms, Ad Ops is responsible for setting, running, managing, as well as testing of ad campaigns. And in order to do the same, the Ad Ops team interacts with various platforms like ad exchanges, ad networks, ad servers, SSPs, DMPs, etc. 

Digital Ad Operations

The features of Digital Ad Operations

It is not wrong to say that Ad Ops is the engine that drives a publishing company. Irrespective of whether an Ad Ops team has to handle one publisher account or multiple accounts, here are some of the things they have to be responsible for:

Trafficking

Trafficking involves monitoring and distribution across ad exchanges, tracing third-party ad tags from different vendors, as well as conducting troubleshooting, if applicable. An ad trafficker is a person taking care of running an ad campaign, with the help of an ad server. 

Scheduling

The timing of ads plays an important role in the success of every ad campaign. Hence, some ads are made active for specific hours of a day, while others are active during different hours. Moreover, special days such as holidays, weekends, etc contribute towards efficient Ad scheduling. For instance, an ad might perform better during the weekends because that is when the target audience is more active on the internet. 

Optimization

As per the changing trends and standards, ads need to be polished, SEO optimized, as well as altered accordingly. There are many other determinants that help to improve the CTC. These might include the location of the banners itself. And depending on the layout of a certain website some spots on the pages might be better for the ad displays than others.

Demand Management

Most of the premium publishers have a huge sales team that is accountable for retrieving great demand from the market for their website. Hence, with recurring demand, publishers search for individuals who can manage this demand. This includes writing down the terms of each contact, engaging in negotiation, as well as keeping track of their performance.

Yield Management

Everything in Ad Operations comes down to one thing – revenue generation. Hence, the person responsible for yield management has to find various opportunities that will lead to better revenue generation via advertising. For instance, structuring websites on the basis of user interactions and then designating pricing to the different parts of inventory to get better profits.

Maintaining Reports

The Ad Ops team needs to pull and read several reports from a first-party ad server and third-party ad server, demand partners, etc. These reports normally consist of advertising discrepancies, impression-level metrics, as well as attribution metrics(i.e. CTR, credit weighing, etc. However, if a publisher has a consolidated revenue analytics dashboard, this work can be done by the machines as well.

Apart from these primary goals, the Ad Operations team is also responsible for the following tasks:

  • DMP integration
  • Running audience extension campaigns
  • Regularly analyzing demand partners and setup to get the better yield
  • Experimenting with new tags and techniques
  • Pulling inventories for RFPs

How to create a good Digital Ad Campaign?

In order to make your ad campaign successful, you need to indulge in careful planning and take calculated actions. 

Set Objective

Before starting your campaign, it is necessary to define your goals and objective clearly. You need to know what this campaign is supposed to achieve, be it an increase in revenue, brand promotion, or both.

Select Platform 

There are many media platforms that can help deliver the message of your campaign to the target audience. For example, email banners, social media, video content based websites, etc. Depending on your ad message, you must choose the medium that is the most suitable.

Create Message

Your entire campaign should be centered around one message, which should be strong yet clear and easy to understand.

Evaluate Results and Make Changes

Post the release of your ad campaign, you need to carefully analyze the results. These results will then be used for making any necessary changes in the campaign and re-configuring it.

In-house vs. Outsourced Digital Ad Operations

In-house Ad Operations refers to a team that takes care of the entire inventory of a publisher. All of their targets and goals are defined keeping in mind the publisher’s website. However, when it comes to partnering with other networks or agencies, publishers end up taking help from outside agencies for Ad Operations. These outsourced Ad Operations brings advanced strategies to the table. 

Most of the medium-to-large publishers go for in-house as well as outsourced Ad Operations, to get the best of both worlds. In-house Ad Ops provides them with a sense of security as well as trust. On the other hand, the outsourced Ad Operations increase their profits by getting them more reliable available demand.

Moreover, the publishers who receive traffic in billions of dollars might get overwhelmed when it comes to managing their audience. In such cases, they divide their traffic among outside agencies. This helps them in improving their profits without getting their hands dirty while optimizing for each impression.

Final Words

A successful ad campaign can mean different things for publishers and advertisers. Publishers want to gain better ad revenue by focusing on their user experience and making it flawless. While advertisers, on the other hand, look to communicate with the right audience, show them a great ad, and ultimately convert them.

This where Ad Operations comes into the picture for both sides. It creates and defines strategies that will satisfy the requirements for both publishers as well as advertisers. Without Ad Operations, the publishers’ ad inventory would become stagnant, comprising of boring layouts and no testing. Hence, putting together an Ad Ops team is not an option, but an essential part of the programmatic ad industry.

Digital Ad Ops does not have to be complicated. The key is to get a good understanding of all the aspects associated with it before you decide to dive in. And once you have mastered the basics of its foundation, you can easily make your way up from there.

FAQs:

1. What is Digital Ad Operations?

Ap operations is a team or a department that is directly responsible for revenue generation through ad campaigns. Digital Ad Operations, also known as ad ops, is the system that supports the management as well as delivery of advertisements through digital mediums. This includes, display, video, text, search, mobile advertising, etc.

2. What are the features of Digital Ad Operations?

  • Trafficking
  • Scheduling
  • Optimization
  • Demand Management
  • Yield Management
  • Maintaining Reports

3. What are the steps to create a good ad campaign?

  • Before starting your campaign, it is necessary to define your goals and objective clearly.
  • Depending on your ad message, you must choose the platform that is the most suitable.
  • Your entire campaign should be centered around one message, which should be strong yet clear and easy to understand.
  • Post the release of your ad campaign, you need to carefully analyze the results. 

4. Between In-house and Outsourced Digital Ad Operations, which is the better option?

Most of the medium-to-large publishers go for in-house as well as outsourced Ad Operations, to get the best of both worlds. In-house Ad Ops provides them with a sense of security as well as trust. On the other hand, the outsourced Ad Operations increase their profits by getting them more reliable available demand.

Washija is a content specialist at VDO.AI. She has an MBA in Tourism and a passion for creating web content. She is an avid reader, a traveler, and a versatile writer.