When you’re evaluating a product, there will always be red flags you should heed. You sometimes have to dig deep and ask questions to reveal them. If there are quality issues, no one will be forthcoming about them. Local media companies trying to grow revenue need an easy, integrated and comprehensive third-party digital solution.

You can evaluate these platforms in many ways — features, ad types, the ability to manage digital and airtime spots, price, etc. Those are the basics, but you should get into the granularity of inventory and impressions. Often, systems inflate impression reporting with low-quality inventory. It may not seem like a dealbreaker, but the reality is that it’s the kind of thing that sinks campaign performance and disappoints advertisers.

Let’s look at this pervasive problem and how you can avoid it.

Some Platforms Prioritize Impressions Over Quality

Every solution wants its impression numbers to be solid. What’s behind those is more important than the numbers. In an effort to boast about impressions, they leave out the quality aspect. So, what makes inventory low quality?

Every third-party digital solution links to a DSP (demand-side platform). The DSP is where real-time bidding for ad space on websites from publishers occurs. The inventory varies on the quality scale. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of “junk” inventory that appears legit because of impression metrics. In reality, they are vanity metrics that don’t really demonstrate performance.

What Makes Inventory Low Quality?

There are several kinds of low-quality inventory, including:

  • Websites with aggressive popups and display ads covering so much space that it’s hard to know what the content is
  • Clickbait headline sites
  • Inventory that may not be brand-safe, which would be websites that most advertisers would not want to be associated with because the sites are unsuitable or have questionable content
  • Lack of diversity in inventory

You should absolutely ask for details on DSP quality from software providers. If they can’t provide this, it’s certainly a red flag. It also means they’re unlikely to be transparent.

Transparency on Impressions and Inventory: Demand It

What does it mean to be transparent? A third-party digital platform should be able to report on 100% deliverability for campaigns. It should be an easy feature to access. After a programmatic campaign concludes, you should be able to pull a report on all impressions. You’d do this to check for impression inflation and to view all websites where ads ran.

Transparency isn’t just nice to have. You should demand it from the solution you select. Without it, you can’t be clear with your customers. It puts you in a bad spot and will impact campaign performance.

Choose a Third-Party Digital Solution You Can Trust

The accuracy of impressions and quality of inventory impact the success of advertising. If you want your customers to remain loyal, you have to traffic their ads in a quality environment. It’s one part of the decision process, but it’s an important one.

Get more insights on comparing options to find the best one for your station.

Close Bitnami banner