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Publishers playbook for year-end revenue

As the second half of the year starts, publishers need to prepare to take advantage of Q3 and Q4 increasing ad spend. The trend of more and more dollars moving to programmatic continues, with eMarketer forecasting 90% of 2022 display dollars will be programmatic, about double what it was in 2019. While this seems like great news for sites that rely on programmatic, there are headwinds that need to be managed in order to grab your full-share to close out the year strong.

At AdGrid we are at the nexus of a wide range of publishers, brands and agencies, giving us a unique perspective on ad op trends. There are four trends we are currently helping our clients navigate:

1) Brand Safety
This comes up in every client meeting as a top issue. Forget about programmatic, clients will have direct campaigns with significant spend – only to have a large portion of their content excluded in the name of brand safety leaving revenue on the table. Programmatic is even worse with third-party auditing sites using vague methods to put content into very generic categories excluding inventory with no real feedback.

To help with brand safety, AdGrid has partnered with Safetag to provide all customers with a free account. This WordPress plugin scans all of a site’s content generating a report of excluded content unique by campaign to target away from. These reports are also a wake-up call for publishers. If a large percentage of content has swear words for instance, editors might want to rethink their editorial strategy. Sure it might get clicks, but if no one will pay for those articles, what’s the point?

2) Custom Creative
Brands always want to stand out (and the sales team love new things to sell) so we created a set of custom creative ad units that command higher CPMs. Instead of using a third-party service simply choose a style, upload your creative and you’re ready to go.

For our customers that manage both own and operated (O&O) and non-O&O sites they can also use these to manage campaigns across domains. We even tweaked the code to facilitate a deal between two of our customers to cross-pollinate video ads for a joint ad sale.

3) Talent
We wrote about this before – finding good people is only getting harder. At AdGrid we have been jumping in with more day-to-day support and have hired expert ad ops talent to keep up with the demand.

4) Dynamic ad footprint
Multiple customers wanted a simple way to increase their ad footprint for short periods of time, specific URLs or just content length automatically. Our upgraded injection tool allows ad ops to manage multiple rules-based scenarios to dynamically increase impressions (when appropriate) with no change to existing workflow.

These are just a few of the ongoing issues we see and help to address in our never-ending goal to make ad ops more efficient.

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