We just released a slew of new improvements to the AdPlugg Ad Manager. Here’s what’s new:
Ad archiving (All Plans)
Column visibility controls (All Plans)
Geotargeting column and filter (Business Plan)
Ad Groups filter (Business Plan)
Struggling with a long list of Ads – where many of them are old but you want to keep them for historical purposes? AdPlugg’s new Archive feature is here to help!
From the Ads list, there is a new “Archive” option under the Actions menu on the right. Choose Archive and you will be prompted to confirm moving the Ad to your archive. Once in your archive, the Ad will be removed from the Ads list as well as the list of ads in Charts and Reports. Note that the any stats from the ad will still be included in any totals.
To access your Ad archive, click the filter bar at the top of the Ads list and change the “Current” dropdown to Archive.
When viewing your archive, there is a new option under the Actions menu on the right titled “Restore”. Choose the “Restore” option and you will be prompted to confirm restoring the Ad from your archive. After you confirm the restore, the ad will be re-included in your Ads list, etc.
Note that any enabled Ads will be automatically disabled when moved to your archive.
The new Archive feature is available for all plans.
Column Visibility Controls
You can now control which columns you see from the various lists in the system. Want to see the Description field on your ads, turn on the column! Don’t use the Ad Order field? Turn the column off!
You can access the new Column visibility controls by clicking the Filter/Search/Options bar at the top of any lists (including Ads, Placements, Zones, etc).
The new Column Visibility Controls feature is available for all plans.
Geotargeting Column and Filter
Users of the AdPlugg Business Plan can now show a column for the locations that their Ads and Placements geotarget. We’ve also added a Geotargeting filter allowing you to filter the list based on the Geotargeting settings of the entries.
The Geotargeting column is turned off by default. Access the Filter/Search/Settings menu at the top of the Ads or Placements list and check the Geotargeting checkbox (under Columns). You will now be able to see the location that each entry targets.
Also in the Filter/Search/Settings menu is the new Geotargeting filter. Choose a location and the list will be filtered to show only entries that match the filter.
Ad Groups Filter
Want to view just the Ads that are a part of a particular Ad Group? You can do it with the new Ad Group filter for the Ads list!
In the Filter/Search/Settings menu at the top of the Ads list, there is a new Ad Groups dropdown. Just choose which Ad Group you want and the list of Ads will be filtered to only show ads that target that particular Ad Group.
The AdPlugg Business Plan is now available! We’ve been working tirelessly to add the features that businesses need to maximize their ad efforts and today’s the day that it is all finally available for use.
The new package has all of the features of the Free and Pro plans plus:
Automated Report Emails
Ad Groups and A/B Testing
Here’s what each of these features do:
Automated Report Emails
The Automated Report Emails feature allows you to send emails with attached reports directly from your AdPlugg dashboard. You can send a one off email/report or you can schedule a report to be emailed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The new Geotargeting feature allows you to target ads to specific geographic regions. So, for example you could target an ad for a New York City restaurant to only readers in New York, while serving network ads or ads for a national brand to everywhere else. The feature allows you to create multiple rules per ad and to create and combine inclusion and exclusion rules. You can geotarget individual ads or you can create a geotargeted placement to target multiple ads to the same geolocation.
Delivery controls allow you to serve a fixed number of impressions to a particular ad. For instance, you could set an ad to receive 10,000 ads per month. Once the 10,000 impressions have been served, the ad will switch off until the following month – at which point it will be allotted 10,000 more impressions.
When the impression cap is reached, the AdPlugg account administrator will receive an email notifying them. Likewise, they will receive an email when the ad is reenabled – either due to more impressions being added manually or impressions being added due to the start of a new month.
The Delivery Controls feature also includes a switch to enable/disable “pacing”. With pacing disabled, ad impressions will be served as fast as possible. On a busy site this could mean that an ad’s allotted impressions for the month are used up within a couple of days. If you enable the Pacing feature, the ad impressions will be programmatically spaced out so that some are served on each day of the month.
The Frequency Controls feature allows you to control how often an ad is shown to a particular reader. This feature is especially useful for ad formats such as slide-ins and popups.
AdPlugg’s dialog, slide-in, bar and interstitial formats receive some of the highest conversion rates and publishers can charge a premium to an advertiser to have their ads appear in one of these formats.
These formats however are also often perceived as intrusive or even annoying. Having them on every page can be a bit much so this feature allows you to optionally set your ads to appear just once per day for each individual user.
Ad Groups allows you to group a bunch of similar ads together. For example you could create an ad with a red creative and another ad with a blue creative. You could then group the two ads together so that they receive equal time (combined) with the other ads in your header. You could then run a report to compare the CTR (Click Through Rate) of the two ads.
If an advertiser has a special running or a couple of products that they’d like to feature, you can facilitate by putting the ads into an Ad Group. If you have other advertisers who only have a single ad/creative, they will receive the same amount of time in the spot as the ads in the Ad Group collectively receive so that everything is fair and even.
In-Stream Ads are ads that appear within video content. For example, say you have a cooking blog and you write a post about how to create the perfect Eggs Benedict. Using the regular display ads feature of AdPlugg, you could place an ad for your sponsors in the sidebar of your blog or within your text content.
Now, let’s say that you decide to create a video to go along with the post showing how to perfectly poach the egg. With the new In-Stream feature, you can have a video ad play before the video of how to poach the egg begins.
The in-steam ad can be any ad that you like. It could be an ad for one of your sponsors, an ad for your cookbook, your cooking classes, etc.
You can also optionally choose to make the ad “skippable”. With this feature, you control whether the ad requires completion or you can set it to allow the user to skip the ad after a predefined number of seconds.
You can choose to run specific ads for specific videos or you can rotate a set of ads within all of the video content on your site. This works the same as our existing display formats.
AdPlugg’s In-Stream ads feature will work with any video player. So whether you are using JW Player, BrightCove, etc. serve your video content; you can use AdPlugg to serve the ads.
Video ads fetch a premium and are a great way to make additional money on your site. So whether you already have video content or are thinking about adding it, you should consider monetizing it with in-stream ads.
AdPlugg’s new Email Ads feature allows you to include ads within your newsletters and other emails. As with all AdPlugg ads, the impression and any resultant click is recorded and can be reported on. AdPlugg’s email ads feature works with all email marketing system such as MailChimp and ConstantContact. To use, you simply copy the Email Ad Tag from your AdPlugg dashboard and paste it into your email marketing system.
Email ads are yet another way for you to realize additional revenue from the content that you generate. You can offer ad placement within your newsletter as part of an advertising package or charge for it a-la-carte. It’s up to you.
I also have to mention that email ads aren’t just for publishers. They are a great feature for advertisers or anyone with a newsletter (all businesses?). All businesses can use them to promote their products and services via their emails all while tracking conversions, click through rate, etc.
The AdPlugg Business Plan has a base fee of $79 per month and our standard usage fees (which are the same for all plans).
As with all AdPlugg plans, the AdPlugg Business Plan comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. So feel to try it out at new risk for 30 days.
Introducing: Custom Plans
During the development of the Business Plan we realized that we weren’t going to be able to make a feature set that was perfect for all businesses. So in addition to the Business Plan we’ve now also made Custom Plans available.
Custom Plans allow you to choose one or a couple of these features and to receive a special rate.
If you only need, for example the In-stream Ads feature for your video site or the Automated Report Emails feature to better communicate with your advertisers, please contact us to get a quote for a Custom Plan.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that you are as excited to use all of the new features of the Business Plan as we are to offer them to you. You can learn more about the AdPlugg Business Plan on the new AdPlugg Business Plan page.
We are also happy to get together with you for a screenshare session. During the online meeting, we can discuss how to best use the features of the Business Plan for your particular business or organization. If you are interested, just contact us and we’ll get something set up!
If you have any questions about any of these features or the Business Plan in general, please contact us or post them to the comments section below.
One of the big stories as of late is the rise of fake news. Facebook, Google and other tech giants are working hard in an attempt to combat the onslaught of news that is misleading, disputed or just downright inaccurate. An interesting byproduct of the fake news phenomenon has been an increased interest in real, factual, journalism.
The fake news epidemic was at a fever pitch during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The New York Times reported that at least in one case, the news was being created and spread purely for profit. Opportunistic individuals had discovered that fake news that confirmed ones own political beliefs were extremely likely to generate traffic through social media. The fake news site could then prey on unsuspecting ad networks (such as Google AdWords/AdSense) to turn the traffic into profit.
Now Facebook and other social media sites are working to stop the spread of fake news. Just last week, Facebook announced that it will be fact checking news stories and shame posts with a ‘Disputed’ tag.
Conscientious readers have now become fully aware of the issue and have learned that much of the “news” being shown in their various social feeds may be of a dubious nature and from dubious sources.
The backlash from this is likely to be two fold. On one hand, the ability for new news sites to gain traction and grow may be hindered by an increase in reader scrutiny. On the other hand, it sets a high bar that news organizations must achieve to be viewed as reputable on the web.
Advertising plays a vital role in this and its role will increase over time. While many of the promotors of fake news profited at the expense of unknowing advertisers and ad networks, the problem is now known and being actively addressed. Solutions are being devised to keep advertising dollars from making it into the hands of fake news publishers. Advertisers don’t want their ads shown next to fake news stories and readers don’t want to read fake news. Social media and the ad-tech industry can make this happen.
As part of the fake news fallout, we expect to also see an increase in direct-buy advertising (the kind that we at AdPlugg specialize in). With network, blind and remnant ad buys going to unknown sites of unknown or questionable reputations, more advertisers are going to want to place ads directly with reputable sites.
It has been reported that traditional media outlets such as Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and others have all seen increases in subscriptions and traffic since the onslaught of fake news. We expect to soon here reports of increased ad revenue as well.
For publishers, the only path forward now becomes one toward legitimate factual reporting that gains the respect of both readers and advertisers.
Around a year ago I posted How to Make Money Blogging – In Six Easy Steps. In that post, I gave five easy steps toward making money blogging. In this post, I’m going to look at it from the other side. So you are already blogging for money, what are the most common reasons why your blog isn’t making any of that green stuff?
1. You Need More/Better Content
Engaging, high-quality content is key for any blog. Write from the heart and pick topics that will be of interest to your intended readers. Don’t just write about what you want to say, also think about the reader and about what they might want to learn or hear about. It has also been found that sites with more content do best. If you are only blogging once a week, try stepping up the number of posts that you publish. It’s unfortunate, but two medium quality posts tends to outperform one high quality post.
2. Your Site Isn’t Search Engine Optimized
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a requirement at this point. The days of SEO being a science are over and now it’s more of an art. If you use WordPress, the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast is a good place to start. The Yoast Plugin will get your site optimized but getting quality backlinks from other sites is just as crucial.
3. You haven’t Done Enough Promoting
It’s pretty common to think that you can put up a website and instantly get tons of traffic. Even after having been through it before, everytime I launch a new website, I can’t help but think that this site is what everyone is looking for. The reality of it is that there are close to a BILLION websites out there. To get web users to take notice of your site takes some serious effort. Don’t know how to promote your blog? Check out our recent post, How to Promote Your Blog – 5 Simple Steps.
4. You Need a Better Monetization Strategy
To be a monetarily succussful blogger, you need to know online advertising. The AdPlugg service makes it all a lot easier. Also check out these posts:
Recently we were asked “which is the best affiliate network?”. We’ve used all of them and in this blog post I’m going to make both an affiliate network comparison and give some opinions as to which ones are best and which ones you should use.
Affiliate networks are advertising networks that connect advertisers with publishers. The publishers promote the advertiser’s sites and products and in exchange get a commission on any traffic that they refer to the advertiser. Different programs earn the publisher different commission rates. Commission rates vary but are typically around 5-8%. You can use AdPlugg to manage and serve all of your affiliate network ads.
Here are our top affiliate networks:
1. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is a great affiliate network to get started with. Amazon Associates allows you to promote specific products or Amazon in general. If one of your readers clicks a link to Amazon on your site and then buys something from Amazon, you receive a commission. It doesn’t matter what they buy, it could be the product that you were recommending, a competing product or something else entirely. Amazon’s commission rates work on a sliding scale – the more business you bring them (per month) the better the percentage is. The commission rate starts at 4%.
2. Rakuten LinkShare
LinkShare is different from Amazon as it is an affiliate network made up of a number of affiliate programs. Each affiliate program is from a different advertiser and works similarly to Amazon. Any publisher can sign up with LinkShare. Once you’ve signed up, you can apply start to apply to the different programs. Whether or not you get approved will depend on whether the advertiser likes your site and on how picky they are. LinkShare has a really nice interface and programs from some major retailers such as Macy’s and Nordstrom.
ShareASale works almost identically to LinkShare but offers a different selection of advertisers. Many of the advertisers cater to smaller niche markets. Some examples include Gymboree (childrens clothing) and One Kings Lane (furniture). I find the LinkShare interface nicer and easier to use but ShareASale includes some good programs that are worth the extra effort.
4. Commission Junction
CommissionJunction has had a major presence in the Affiliate network space for a while now. They have some of the best technology (most features) but it can be more difficult to use than the ones mentioned above. Commission junction has a lot of middle sized retailers such as the Gap and Toys R Us.
Each of the above affiliate networks is free to join and each have different pros/cons. Which is the best affiliate network for you will depend on the Advertisers that you are looking for. The best way to see which advertisers are part of an affiliate network is is to go ahead and sign up. Once you have an account you can see which advertiser programs they have and apply to them. If you don’t like the programs or don’t get accepted, you can close (or just abstain from using) your account.
As previously mentioned, all of your affiliate ads can be managed using AdPlugg, so sign up for a bunch of them and rotate them. Then remove the ones that aren’t making money.
Have any comments or know of other affiliate networks, add them to the comment section below.
If you haven’t noticed, AdPlugg has been growing, rapidly. Every month we are adding hundreds of new users. A large number of these new users have reached out to us with suggestions about what features they would like to see added to AdPlugg.
We definitely have goals and a mission for our software but we don’t want it to be our software, we want it to be your software. Bum ba da bah!!! We bring you…AdPlugg’s Democratic Design!
The AdPlugg system is your advertising system and we want you to have a say about what we add, what we change, what we take out, etc. That’s why we’ve just added a new Feedback and Ideas Forum. Using our Feedback and Ideas forum any user can post ideas, give feedback, make suggestions, etc. Each post can then be voted up or down and commented on by other AdPlugg users. We are going to work to get the ideas that get the most up votes into the software.
We’ve kicked the system off by adding a bunch of the ideas that you’ve already submitted to us. Check out the forum and vote on the ideas that are already posted there. You’ll need to be logged into AdPlugg (get a free AdPlugg account) in order to vote on the ideas. Once you’ve read and voted on the ideas that have already been posted, post any other ideas that you can think of. This is what democratic design is all about. Get heard, give your ideas the opportunity to gain traction and support from the AdPlugg community and see them added to the system.
We are very excited to bring your democratic design. Don’t want democratic design or don’t like how we did it? Post your suggestion or ideas to the Feedback and Ideas forum. Use democracy to change democracy.