5 Must Know Advertising Networks and How to Stay Compliant
Advertising is not what it used to be in the Mad Men days.
Part of me wants to go back to those golden days of advertising, but in the end I’ve come to realize that the digital advertising world is not so bad after all.
In fact, you don’t even have to rely solely on “professionals” to handle your advertising.
Smaller businesses and entrepreneurs can most certainly handle their advertising needs through the various advertising platforms, also known as networks in most cases, without the help of a costly agency or freelancer.
In this five network post I’ll introduce you to some of the players you need to know, and their basic compliance policies.
Please do note that I do not consider it useful for me to rewrite all of the ad compliance policies out there into this single article, as it would probably take me forever, as well as taking out the enjoyment of discovering something new yourself.
Now, let’s dive in and see the big players of the digital advertising world.
Network #1: Google AdSense & AdWords
Google’s primary income source is the advertising network it operates which consists of AdSense and AdWords.
AdSense is aimed at publishers who wish to display ads to earn income from their websites and AdWords is made for businesses and brands who wish to have their advertisements seen by their target demographic and ideal customer.
So if you’ve ever been wondering how the search engine giant is truly earning all its billions each year, wonder no more, the answer is advertising.
For those of us looking for reliable and consistent advertising networks that deliver exactly what they promise: Either you get paid like you were told you would, or your advertisements are seen by all the people you wanted to see them.
When it comes to choosing which networks are the best fit for your business, many people don’t even look past the traditional and trusted AdSense and AdWords combination, but maybe you should, since the policies that come with these two are amongst the strictest in the business.
To stay compliant with the Google network you don’t have to be a magician, but explicit obedience of the policies and guidelines is a must.
Luckily for you, the policies are well documented, and multiple guides can be found that even summarize all of them for you.
The first place to start from is the Google AdSense support centre that has an article which collects the most important policies and rules for you in one convenient page.
The basics found within the full policy and rule book are rather simple, such as providing your customers with an enjoyable experience whilst visiting your site, and not practicing any forcing of clicks on the advertisements shown.
When going further into the rulebook, we start discovering things such as never modify the AdSense advertisement code, and what constitutes a false click.
And by the way, Google won’t freeze your account if you accidentally click your own ad once, they can easily count that one out of your earnings, but don’t mess with the false clicks and AdSense ads.
There is a reason these guys are regarded as the largest and most efficient advertising network, and ruthlessness is a regular feature of their advertising employees in the case of rule violations.
Network #2: Adcash
Adcash is not a name famous to nearly everyone like the Google alternatives, but this advertising network powers advertising for publishers like EA, Ubisoft and Alibaba.com, so they are in no regard a minor player in the industry.
Serving both advertisers and publishers with their needs, Adcash has a wide range of tools and ad forms to allow the user to reach for maximum profitability.
Ad forms such as footer ads, mobile ads, in-app interstitials and site under advertisements are a part of their extensive arsenal, which demonstrates the width of their arsenal for advertisers and publishers.
When it comes to using advertising networks or mediums other than Google’s AdSense and AdWords, the main benefit is the lack of strict policies, and this is what many of the advertisers wish to see these days.
The more creativity the advertisers are allowed, the better the results tend to be.
The targeting features that Adcash highlights are comparable to those of Google, however the amount of data Google has on every single one of its users is vast, and a bit scary to be honest, which means that if you want highly targeted and widely shown advertisements, you might be better off with Google.
But, one must not forget, that Adcash has access to a wide range of sites that use its services as a way of monetizing their sites, so you could also consider combining the two for a best of both worlds experience.
Network #3: Facebook Advertising
As I mentioned in the beginning, I will include Facebook advertising here as part of advertising networks you should know.
Regardless of Facebook being the favourite medium of many lonely housewives to send each other funny cat pictures and stalk on their kids, Facebook is also an advertising network, and you seriously should already know that.
Why else would there be things on your timeline that say “sponsored” at the top?
Facebook advertising has pushed itself closer to the top of the advertising game over the recent years with a wealth of increases in their advert numbers and new features rolling out, such as the recent introduction of video ads, and it’s more important than ever to start advertising on social media.
Facebook has some rather strict guidelines and policies when it comes to their adverts, and for example an image you boost or an image based advert you run cannot include more than 20% of text.
That means you have to be quite careful when working with your ad campaign, and give your graphics designer (or yourself) a note about the ratio of text to no text in the image (although there are tools to help you along so you don’t violate the code by mistake).
The full set of guidelines can easily be found on Facebook’s website, be sure to give them a good reading through.
Network #4: Taboola
However, even if you don’t recognize this billion dollar unicorn of a company by name, you surely will know what their business is when I say “recommended for you”.
Ever seen one of those on a news website perhaps? Those headlines which follow along the lines of “1 Weird Magic Unicorn Trick That Helps You Lose 100 Kilos Of Fat Over Night” with a picture of someone’s grandmother?
Yep, you know the ones.
The platform powers native advertising on sites such as the Weather Channel, Business Insider and the Tribune, but can also be found on a number of small calibre sites too.
Another way of using Taboola is to gain traffic by advertising in their system, meaning that you can have your content shown to the readers of Business Insider for example.
Staying compliant to the guidelines of Taboola is relatively easy, and the advertisement is rated by users when seen (if they bother rating it), so there is pretty much zero monitoring on what your advertisement is like.
Keep the illegal material out of it, and you are golden.
If you’re looking at running Taboola content, ClickFunnels is a great platform where you can build what’s called an ‘Article Lander’. To build one of these pages, check out the blog template in the templates available within ClickFunnels.
Network #5: Outbrain
Native advertising is starting to gain a lot of traction amongst the professionals in the industry, so I’ll include a second one in here.
Outbrain is the toughest competitor of Taboola, and ranked sixth in the same comScore ranking where its dear rival was third.
The two have been at it for quite some years now, and what Outbrain claims to do is that, unlike Taboola, they actually review the content that they recommend before it gets out there, to prevent the spam articles from getting into the pages of a reputable website.
Despite their effort to distinguish themselves from Taboola’s spammier side, there have been complaints about Outbrain showing some rather spam-like links as well.
However, when it comes to the advertising power of Outbrain, it far outweighs that of Taboola’s for many in my opinion.
According to Outbrain’s website, 80% of the leading brands use their native advertising platform, and you could get your “recommendation” showing in a post on CNN.com for example.
That is quite something. comScore has measured a reach of 561 million people for Outbrain in the year 2014, which does deserve some respect.
Outbrain has a lot stricter set of policies in comparison to other native advertising platforms, although that might be the result of having most of the major brands use their advertising platform.
Staying compliant with these policies is, however, pretty easy and simple, you’ll just have to follow these basic “no pornographic material” and “no tobacco or alcohol related material” guidelines and a couple of others mentioned in their guidelines.
So What’s Next…
With the list running out, it means that you’ve made it to the end of this short and sweet guide into the world of online advertising networks and rules.
If you’re new to running traffic and media buying, this all might sound a bit daunting to you and you might be pretty scared already.
Don’t worry, that’s natural.
But if you’re seriously considering running ads and traffic to your sales funnel, these are some of the key policies you’re going to want to pay attention to before you start running with your Facebook ads.
Have you run traffic using any of these ad networks before? What are some of the results you’ve achieved and which networks do you find the most profitable for your business? Let me know in the comments below!
Now, that you’ve familiarised yourself with how to stay compliant with some of the biggest advertising networks out there, it’s time to create ad copies that convert! Now, you can choose to outsource this task to copywriters if you’re not confident about your writing skills, but you can also give Funnel Scripts a try. It’s very easy to use!
ClickFunnels Action Steps
To show you how easy to use Funnel Scripts is, check out this walk-through:
How to Create a Lead Capture Script
Step 1: Log in to your Funnel Scripts account. You can pick up a copy here if you haven’t registered for an account yet.
Step 2: Head on to the dashboard and choose the script you want to create on the left-hand side.
Step 3: You can choose to watch the quick tutorial on how to use the generator or simply skip this step if you already have experience.
Step 4: Fill in the information needed in the generator.
1. Enter your name
2. Enter your website URL
3. Enter the niche group of people you want to target
4. Enter information of a big result they want
5. Enter a “how-to” information that addresses the big result they want on No. 4
6. Enter information that addresses what’s in it for them when they opt in
7. Enter information about a payoff they have a chance to receive should they decide to opt in
8. Enter information or a teaser of a big reveal pointing to the next page.
Step 5: Click “Save” or “Submit”
After clicking “Save”, a text file will be downloaded immediately.
After Clicking “Submit”, you will be given several ad copy samples based on the information you entered.
Step 6: Select from the choices, then copy and paste to your ad.