If your objective is to reach a large number of users through a wide variety of sites, Internet ad networks could be right for you. Ad networks manage the advertising real estate on a wide range of different Web sites that people look at everyday. If you are going to join an ad network, you are known as an advertiser. You supply your ads to the ad network and determine how you want it to promote you.
ValueClick Media (http://www.valueclickmedia.com) is an example of a popular ad network (Figure 15.2). ValueClick Media manages the advertising for over 13,000 sites in its network and is an ad network leader. It can target any specific industry of your choice, or run your ad to a mass audience. For a more-targeted audience, your CPM would be higher. Even though you have to pay a little more initially, it saves you in the long run.
“Run of network” (RON) or “run of network buy” means that you, as the advertiser, purchase inventory across an ad network’s entire range of sites or a cluster of specified sites in the network designed to reach a specific audience.
The benefit of joining an ad network is that the network not only targets your audience, it also provides you with real-time reports that indicate the
success of your ads. This allows you to evaluate the success of your current campaign and offers you the chance to change your marketing strategy if you are not happy with your results. Maybe you want to take a different approach, or maybe a different ad might work better for you. Whatever it might be, the data that the ad network can provide to you is beneficial in determining the strength of your advertising campaign.
You can also join an ad network as a publisher. Publishers are the Web sites that ads are placed on. If you would like to make some additional online revenue from your site without the administrative and technical headaches, you can join an ad network, which will place ads on your site and pay you for the usage of this space. Very similar to an affiliate program, when you join an ad network you can dramatically increase your online revenue.