A quick study of ad targeting strategies in a CMS

I get asked a lot by my clients and colleagues about integrating online ads in a CMS.  It's one of those "it depends" type of questions that generally ends up taking a full cup of coffee to explain.  Full disclosure, online marketing and advertising specifically as it relates to business revenue goals, isn't exactly my trade. What I can offer, though, are real implementation strategies for building popular online ad serving techniques into a working content managed website.

 

Mike Morris, EVP, Business Development and Marketing
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I get asked a lot by my clients and colleagues about integrating online ads in a CMS.  It's one of those "it depends" type of questions that generally ends up taking a full cup of coffee to explain.  Full disclosure, online marketing and advertising specifically as it relates to business revenue goals, isn't exactly my trade. What I can offer, though, are real implementation strategies for building popular online ad serving techniques into a working content managed website.

 

No Specific Targeting

No specific targeting

One of the most common (and simple) ad serving strategies is to create site-based campaigns that serve the same set of ads for all readers of a site.  This is a good starting point and generally only takes minutes to implement. All it takes is the insertion of some Javascript in your site templates and you're ready to go.  In advertising terminology, this solution may be referred to as "run of site" advertising.

 

 

 

 

 

Context Specific Targeting

Context specific targeting

Another common ad serving strategy is to serve ads based on what the reader is viewing.  A CMS generally makes this easy by giving context to the page or article being viewed at any given time.  For example, the section that an article is in, or other specific taxonomies that are applied to a given article can be used to feed target keywords to your ad server.    Programmers generally need to write some code to pull the keywords from the CMS and place them as parameters in the Javascript that is pulling the ads.  This strategy also takes some planning and coordination between the team building the CMS and the team that is creating the ad campaigns (in cases where it isn't the same team).  Expect to spend some time mapping up your ad campaigns on the ad server with the keywords being passed from the CMS.  Hint: Try using campaign keywords that are exact replicas of your site's natural taxonomy.

Referrer-Based Targeting

Referrer-based targeting

Targeting ads based on a referring location could be useful in cases your content is included in several different contexts within your site.  For example, if you may have several different keywords associated with a given article, your CMS will have to make a decision about which one to use for the ad targeting.  You could supply all keywords and let the ad server sort it out, or you could use the keyword that relates to how the user actually navigated to that article, in an effort to more closely match the user's reading interests.  This strategy could also be used when targeting based on referring links from partner sites.

Account Preferences-Based Targeting

Account preferences-based targeting

Perhaps the most effective way to target ads is to let your readers tell you what they are interested in.  If you support user accounts, try asking readers what their interests are during registration.  Use those interests to drive keywords into your ad tags.

 

 

 

 

Some or all of these solutions may be right for you and your CMS solution.  Here's to greater online ad revenues!

 

Mike Morris

Mike Morris

EVP, Business Development and Marketing