The key to media buying success, that is the question, isnt it? Well, as our previous article said, every media buyer has her/his way of tackling this situation. However, there are some undeniable variables to keep in mind when deciding what strategy to use, and one is to use a network or go to a direct advertisers.
Let us start by stating the most obvious advice, for those who do not wish to read on! Do both, in the best way you can, do both. If you have contacts and can connect with a direct “trustworthy” advertiser, do so, and for the rest of your segments test out different networks. Split testing is a must in media buying. Now we don´t mean 5-10 networks, a simple 2-3 will do and that’s the average that most media buyers say they work with.
Now, if you are curious to know why we suggest this strategy, here´s a summary of why it´s best to work with a network like Kimia.
A premium network should provide:
- Tested Offers. A marketplace of every offer available provides variety but not necessarily value. Kimia’s market showcases our top performing offers so Affiliates don’t waste time with costly and time consuming testing.
- Security through best filtering and compliance technology. In Kimia’s case we not only have an internal compliance team, we also have years of IP filtering and optimization available to offer the best segmentation and targeting in the market.
- The amount of offers available per segment. Having several offers per segment means there will always be an option/fallback offer should the current product stop performing well or if an advertiser has issues and pauses, which is frequent. With a network of offers your traffic will never stop generating revenue.
- Worldwide coverage and presence. Kimia has years of experience creating a network of offers worldwide, even in non-saturated markets. So that means you don’t need to keep searching and testing new networks and can feel confident you are getting the best offers no matter where you are running.
- Faster payments. Networks, in the end, take the risk of paying affiliates before they are paid by the advertiser, which can be anywhere from 30 to many more days.Networks payout much faster, typically net 15 to net 7 , taking the risk away from the media buyer.
- Premium account managers. You have one AM dedicated to your account for worldwide coverage and they have a global vision of the markets, inside knowledge of the LPs, users, the operators, regulations etc. Always available.
- Real time stats. Direct advertisers have not always provided tracking, due to their limited resources. Many may use a third party platform that does not provide the details you need to maximize ROI. A premium network should provide in-detail filtering in real-time.
- Networks should also offer compliance teams and technology to ensure your traffic is protected from malware, JS or other unwanted landing pages/offers.
- Bonus referrals. With some networks, like Kimia, you not only make money from your own traffic, you can also get a bonus for referring contacts. Extra revenue a click away.
Then, why do affiliates work with direct advertisers?
By cutting out the middleman you do achieve slightly higher payouts, and you can always pressure them directly for better deals, however due to their resources they may not always be readily available, and they will most definitely prioritize those clients by volume of revenue. So you need to know what your account means to them, to know how much they are willing to bet on you.
One thing we always recommend, from our experience in Kimia and from talking with affiliates, It´s necessary to review the legal aspect per advertiser to keep safe from any fraud or non- payment situation. Be very careful with “fraud” accusations, and ask for real proof. We also recommend you personally review lead numbers on a regular bases, as normally you will find discrepancies towards the end of the month which may lead to non-payments and intense discussions on the overall revenue, from both sides.
When looking for the right network, there are a few steps you can take to make your shortlist. If you see that a network active on forums, giving advice in threads, present in industry events, being recommended by affiliates and influencers etc it´s more likely that they are trustworthy than networks that make direct contact via email or simply post banners on every site they can. It’s also easier to do this research on networks, then direct advertisers, where there is considerably less information out there.
As we have already mentioned at the start of this analysis, a good rule of thumb, and what most affiliates do, is to work with 2-3 different networks, avoid compliance and non-payment issues, but also test direct advertisers if they have good references.