Top 10 dos and don’ts of ad trafficking

Ad tracking

In the world of advertising efficient ad trafficking is a necessity you can’t do without. However, you need a well planned out campaign to achieve it.

Here are some of the top 10 dos and don’ts of ad trafficking to help you out. We have also compiled some more general yet very important advice to think about.

Ad Trafficking

Before we launch into the tips, it is best to make sure we’re all on the same page. Ad trafficking refers to the end of the process of creating an online ad campaign. Once all the creative aspects have been signed off, an advertiser has to engage in ad trafficking. It is the technical finalization to ensure the ads are running with the proper settings and in the right place.

There is little point putting in all the effort of creating ads if they don’t function as intended. There are a number of tips to manage and improve digital ad trafficking. The following top 10 dos and don’ts offer the key pointers to remember when ad trafficking.

The 10 Dos of Ad Trafficking

  1. Unless you’ve been informed to do otherwise, program your campaigns to deliver ads evenly during the duration of the campaign.
  2. Directly after the launch, make sure to send screenshots or screengrabs to the agency or advertiser. This is a good way to evidence your work. You can prove it has happened and puts them at ease.
  3. You can really support your client by identifying highlights or lowlights of the campaign performance. In other words, be honest. Similarly, helpful performance optimizations will also be very welcomed.
  4. Be precise and check the IO are matched by the line item data and orders when they are entered into an ad server. This includes line item values, naming conventions, creative, agency, advertiser, SPMs, and geo/demo.
  5. Make sure to check available inventory before booking any campaigns. Added to this make sure to reserve ad server inventory as soon as the campaign is sold.
  6. Always check priorities, frequency capping, passback schemes, network settings, CPMs, etc. when running multiple indirect partners.
  7. After the launch, ideally 24-48 hours after, check 3rd party system against deliverable data with 1st party ad server.
  8. Arrange 1st and 3rd party reports on a weekly basis. This can be automated to save you time.
  9. Ensure you check the spec of the creative. It might be likely that there are issues from the agency or advertiser that you need to raise.
  10. Before opening up a campaign for full delivery get consent for all optimizations.

The 10 Don’ts of Ad Trafficking

  1. Avoid shortcuts. When setting up campaigns you don’t want to group orders, creative, impressions, line items, etc. within the ad server.
  2. Don’t rely on auto-pilot. Don’t just activate a campaign and leave it on auto-pilot as you can encounter problems.
  3. Never assume that an agency or advertiser is aware that there is under delivery. It is always best to speak to them. It is even better to proactively try and fix the problem.
  4. Stay away from setting up 3rd party tags by testing them prior to serving them.
  5. Don’t forget to check the ad server within 1 hour of the campaign launch to ensure things are functioning. If your impressions are failing to serve and track clicks, there may be an issue.
  6. Never forget the essentials of placement of creative, campaign report access, campaign dates, segmentation, targeting option, and impression volumes.
  7. Don’t make adjustments to the ad server before making sure you have approval for all performance optimizations from the agency or advertiser. You don’t want them to turn around and say no after making the adjustments.
  8. Never arrange indirect advertising as a guaranteed inventory.
  9. The creative should never be allowed to operate if it is having a negative impact on the user experience. The user experience is more important.
  10. Never put in place a pop-up or interstitial without a frequency cap.

Last Bit of Advice

All the creativity in the world is useless without this being converted into a campaign to create maximum conversions. For the process, there are a few last bits of general advice to leave you with:

  • Get to know what the advertiser wants. This might sound obvious, but getting clear instructions early on can save a whole lot of headaches later.
  • Keep a record of the outcomes. This will help you show what you have achieved and prove successes.
  • If other aspects of the ad aren’t good tell the client. If it is bad copy or design you need to let the client know. If the ad isn’t successful, you don’t want to be blamed.
  • Keep on top of technological changes. This isn’t just in ad trafficking. You’ll have to communicate with copywriters and designers. Some understanding of the software they are using will go a long way.