Making Connections: What Affiliates Want From Ad Networks This Year

Becky Doles

what affiliates want from an ad network

There are always opportunities to connect advertisers with publishers and affiliates. But as competition increases and both advertisers and publishers have become savvier, ad networks need to find a way to stand out to attract these partners. Of course, this is done by developing a meaningful relationship with your affiliates so that they’ll continue working with you. But where do you start? Let’s take a look at what affiliates seek from an ad network to help you build upon your list of partners this year.

1. Honesty: Are you really what you say you are?

There are generally two kinds of advertising networks: “blind” and “premium.” Affiliates want to be confident in knowing which type of ad network they’ve chosen.

Blind ad networks are seen as the “economy” model. Low-cost, no frills, though with fewer targeting options for affiliates in exchange for a lower fee.

On the other hand, premium ad networks are the “luxury” option. These networks work with high-profile publishers that consistently receive lots of traffic. If you present yourself as a premium network, you need to make sure you’re truly offering access to a selection of prominent publishers in exchange for the premium price you charge.

TUNE has developed a Certified Partner Program to help reward advertisers who uphold unbiased, trustworthy standards in marketing. It helps marketers find the right fit, and advertisers get new business.

2. Transparency: How much information do you share?

More important to affiliates than access to notable brands is a promise that an ad network will provide transparency.

For example, does a small number of premium, high CPM impressions skew what is actually a large number of low-demand, low CPM impressions? Does your ad network obscure this data, or do you provide affiliates access to this information?

Consider how your ad network offers transparency, whether that’s outlined in the agreement itself or through regular communications. By making an effort to emphasize transparency, you’ll ensure that affiliates feel more comfortable working with you.

3. Quality: Do you offer effective targeting?

It’s a common concern: premium brands want to make sure they’re being advertised on websites aligned with their target audience. Affiliates will want to know if your network targeting actually works.

Do you match ads to relevant content and audiences? Do you provide exact contextual and behavioral targeting campaigns? Precision and quality will be high on an affiliate’s list of must-haves for ad networks, so that they can be sure that they’re reaching the right people.

Since the promise of better quality typically means higher rates, you’ll need to make sure that your ad network delivers on your promises so that affiliates believe the price they’re paying is well worth it.

4. Technology: Do you stay up-to-date?

Besides transparency, affiliates are going to check whether or not your ad network has invested in the latest technology. A basic expectation from affiliates is automation.

In the pre-programmatic era, managing ads was a time-consuming, labor-intensive process, with plenty of room for human error. In short, past online advertising was not performance-oriented. These days, affiliates care a great deal about performance, which means they want automation to be part of the deal.

According to a TUNE senior account manager, an automated ad network allows publishers and ad network managers to avoid manually choosing and running offers. Instead, their systems use preset algorithms to determine the best choices. For example, an automated system can identify the highest performing offer and divert traffic to it over under-performing ads.

By using automation and targeting technology, you’ll show that your ad network focuses on performance and can efficiently measure it.

5. Communication: How well do you respond to customers’ questions?

Strong communication is linked to transparency, and it’s another key attribute that affiliates look for in an ad network. Keep in mind the following considerations:

  • Is your ad network equipped to discuss and resolve complaints efficiently?
  • How quickly do you respond to complaints and requests for help?
  • Have you developed an internal, service-based culture that makes it easier to develop relationships with affiliates from around the world?

As with the other factors mentioned above, effective engagement is crucial to developing long-term relationships that keep affiliates coming back to your ad network.

Keep your promises, and you’ll keep your customers

Ultimately, it all comes down to building trust with your affiliates. By being honest and providing clear and meaningful communication, you’ll help affiliates feel assured in choosing your ad network as a partner.

A performance marketing solution can help you deliver quality targeted campaigns that will appeal to affiliates. Learn more about how HasOffers can help you foster relationships with your partners.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she handled content strategy and marketing communications at several tech startups in the Bay Area. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned home to Charleston, SC, where you can find her strolling through Hampton Park with her pup and enjoying the simple things between adventures with friends and family.

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