There are many reasons why advertisers are still using 3rd party ad server (also known as advertiser-side server) to run ad campaigns.
An ad server is where advertisers upload and track ads as it goes live. There is a small fee for using it, but the benefits it brings, easily outweighs the cost.
To understand it’s value, first, you need to understand how it works
How does 3rd Party Ad Serving work?
Third-party ad serving happens all the time on websites and apps that have ads.
For example, when you visit a website, you’ll see content that is on the site. In many cases, the ads you see comes from another server. The website has ad inventory slots, which calls up the ad creative from an ad server when a user visits the site.
As the ads are displayed on the website or app for users to see, the ad server tracks every click, tap or engagement the ad receives and displays it in an easy-to-read reporting dashboard.
It is also able to track dwell time and ad viewability – both are important metrics to track.
What are the advantages of using a 3rd Party Ad Server?
When you run a campaign, you should normally spread your inventory buys across multiple ad networks, DSPs and direct publishers.
It is possible to run display ad campaigns without a third-party ad server. However, when you start buying large volumes of ad inventories from multiple traffic sources, the need for an ad server becomes clear – mainly for effective ad operations and campaign optimization.
Here are some ad server features that make them useful for advertisers:
1 – Ad Viewability Audit & Transparency
Tracking the performance of your ads is one of the most important things to do for your ad campaigns. You must first be able to track the quality of the ad inventories, before being able to do any optimization.
Without a 3rd party ad server, there is no way for you to audit the inventory supplied by the traffic sources. With an ad server transparently reporting the metrics of your ads, from full breakdowns of inventory and ad viewability reports, you can then make necessary adjustments by blacklisting non-viewable inventories and whitelisting performing inventories.
At the same time, with the reports from the ad server, you can ensure the publishers or traffic sources you work with are accountable.
Watch this video to learn how to track ad viewability
2 – A/B & Multivariate Testing
A 3rd party ad server gives you more control over your ad creatives, even beyond choosing the types of ad formats you want to run.
Most publishers do not have the technology and expertise to do creative A/B testing. You would, however, be able to do effective A/B testing with an ad server.
Ad servers are also usually tied up with dynamic creative optimization technologies, where you can create dynamic ads which content changes according to the data fed to it. For example, you can create dynamic ads that change according to the weather.
Watch this video to learn how to do A/B testing for display ads
3 – Single Dashboard for Management
In a usual media buy campaign, you would have direct buys into several publishers. You would then depend on the publisher’s ad operation team to manage your campaign – optimizing and providing you with reports. The problem in working with this practice is that ad operations will become messy as you work with more publishers.
With an ad server, you can track ad performance from every publisher, under a single dashboard – making it easy to compare the results from different traffic sources, then making necessary optimization.
The ad server also serves as a check & balance tool, ensuring your partnering publishers or traffic sources are reporting the rightful amount of impressions and clicks.
Learn how to manage your ad creatives under one dashboard in this video
4 – Quick Reporting for Optimization
Reporting practices vary to different publishers, with a few of them providing you with reports as late as a week or even a month.
With this practice, it becomes impossible for you to make any campaign optimization to hit your KPIs, eventually causing you to lose ad budgets.
Ad servers usually tracks ad performance on the ad tag itself, so you can track your campaign performance in near real-time. This enables you to make necessary traffic or creative optimization, early on in the campaign.
5 – Cost effective
While opting for an inhouse ad server is always attractive, the overheads in terms of cost are not really easy to grasp. These come from the operating and storage costs, inhouse management and development team, etc. And all this may sum up to be huge as compared to outsourcing the job to third party ad servers.
Additionally, budget management is much easier when you have a fixed figure that you shell out on a monthly basis for third party ad servers. Further, you always have the options of upgrading and downgrading depending on the cash flow that you have.
6 – High reliability
When choosing a third party ad server, you can compare the credibility of different companies, their history and years in business before moving forward. This will bring you the assurance that your third party ad server is completely dependable in terms of reliability, privacy, data secrecy, etc.
Additionally, most 3rd party ad serving companies offer customer and tech support services within the price that you pay which brings the assurance that any issues are quickly resolved.
7 – Large capacity
Inhouse ad servers are likely to have limited capacities. This means that you end up investing in another one as your business grows in future. A third party ad server, on the other hand, caters to a big number of clients and has a large capacity. So business scaling is never a worry when opting for 3rd party ad servers.
8 – Reduced page load latency
With inhouse servers loading the ads, there may often be serious issues with ad loading speeds. And that is especially true if you are running ad campaigns with large impressions..
3rd party ad servers optimized their server to cater for large scale campaigns which means your ad will load without speed issue.
This article is a part of our comprehensive guide on “What Is An Ad Server And Why You Should Use It?”
A third party ad server gives you better control and transparency. Request a demo with MobileAds now!