We’ve been talking quite a lot about SSPs (supply-side platforms or sell side platforms as they are sometimes being called) in this blog. And this is, of course, not incidental as supply side platform companies have evolved into a fundamentally important part of the programmatic solutions ecosystem for many online publishers across industries and market niches.
So we can probably say that when it comes to learning new information about SSPs, it’s never enough. For those of you who are not very familiar with the concept of SSPs, we have an article covering the basics of this ad technology and reasons why sell-side platforms are so important. We also have a piece focusing on tips and recommendations on how to choose the best sell-side platform as a publisher.
5 features of supply side platforms that publishers tend to neglect
As you must’ve guessed by now, today we are talking about SSPs again. This time, focusing on several powerful features and capabilities of supply side platforms that are often overlooked by publishers or considered as secondary and not so important in the context of boosting ad revenues and eCPMs.
Data for advanced ad sales and revenue analytics
It may seem like data collection, analytics and reporting are generally well-known benefits of utilizing SSPs. In reality, however, a surprisingly large percentage of publishers seem to underestimate the benefits of advanced analytics that SSPs are able to provide them with. Reporting and data analysis are definitely among the most important and valuable features of modern-day programmatic solutions in general and sell-side platforms specifically. As a publisher, you can gain a wealth of knowledge about your ad sales practices and approaches from SSPs. Good platforms are able to provide deep reporting and powerful analytics, and this is one of the things you should look for when evaluating and testing supply side platform companies to work with as a publisher.
High-quality ads selection and blacklisting dubious advertisers
Another fundamental capability of supply side solutions is the capability for publishers to perform advanced selection of ads that will be placed on their websites, as well as the selection of advertisers in general. The ability to blacklist and whitelist advertisers and choose ads enables publishers to provide a much better user experience. Mainly, by showing their audiences ads that are more relevant to their interests. And by protecting them from irrelevant and annoying ads, which is something that can damage a website’s user experience in a significant manner.
Setting ‘price floors’ as a way to control ad inventory sales
When it comes to the selection of ads and advertisers on supply-side platforms, one not uncommonly overlooked feature of SSPs is the ability to set ‘price floors’. It means that many supply side platform companies allow publishers to set minimum prices for their ad inventory. What’s particularly interesting about this feature is that publishers can set price floors for specific media buyers, as well as specific demand sources. Thanks to this, you can make sure your ad inventory will never be sold for the price that is too low even in cases when there are no higher bidders participating in the RTB auction. It is also a way to restrict certain advertisers from buying your ads cheaply, which can be used as an alternative method instead of simply blacklisting them.
Expansion to new markets
Looking at SSPs from a more general perspective, one area of application for supply side platforms that many publishers fail to recognize and put to use is the huge potential of SSPs to power the process of rapid expansion to new markets. Supply side platforms were designed as a way to allow publishers to fill their ad slots with targeted ads for all their audiences across geographical locations. As well as across various other types of criteria used by programmatic solutions for ad targeting.
SSPs can find the right ads for all kinds of publisher website’s users, which is a great capability for broadening your audience. Without SSPs, such a market base expansion would be much more difficult and problematic, forcing a publisher to look for sources of local ads for each market separately. With supply side platforms, you can instead focus on broadening your user base and have no need to worry about monetizing new users to achieve rapid growth of ad revenue from your websites.
Audience activity research
We already highlighted the importance of data collection and its utilization by SSP-using publishers. But the capabilities of supply side platforms in audience activity research and gathering behavioral data deserve a separate paragraph or two. Good SSP solutions provide publishers with a wide selection of behavioral data that can be leveraged to create advanced audience portraits. In particular, many SSPs are able to collect information such as user activity on different webpages, patterns of interaction with various sections of the website, favorite content categories, etc. As well as sophisticated demographic information and its correlation with preferences in relation to content topics, website features and whatnot.
Building a comprehensive audience profile can be another expectations-exceeding instrument to increase ad revenues and drive up some of the most crucial in the programmatic advertising industry metrics such as CPM and RPM.
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