How to expand your ad network with video advertising

How to expand your ad network with video advertising

November 29, 2017


If you're deep into media buying, you may have noticed that publishers are going all-in on video.

Video ad spend in the U.S. topped $10 billion in 2016, and by 2020, it is expected to exceed $18 billion, according to eMarketer. For an ad network, stepping into the video advertising battlefield requires decent preparation. We're glad to tell you more about the challenges and tips in video advertising that you'd prefer to know before expanding your ad opportunities.

Essential list of Ad Server video features

Take a closer look at the ad server you're currently using - many of them provide poor video capabilities. Proper Ad Server enables you to easily launch and manage large, complex, and deeply targeted video advertising campaigns on mobile and display within one ad serving solution. Check out the list of the necessary features the ad server should provide to make your video advertising painless.


The actual video advertisement is packaged up along with any static banners and tracking pixels (little snippets of code that measure viewer engagement: video start, halfway point, completion, clickthrough, etc.) into a larger piece of code called a tag.

The ad server which stands amid of the media buying process, gives the tag to different publisher websites and can track delivery and performance across them all. There are two types of tags commonly used: VAST and VPAID. VAST is a set of standardized code that is placed on publisher's site or in-app that communicates with the ad server and tells what type of ad to be displayed based on targeting criteria.


VPAID tags can have more complex elements, like interactive features, and more advanced measurement capabilities around viewability and engagement. Most publishers accept VAST tags, but only some accept VPAID. Here's a small video from IAB explaining these tags.


The algorithm which determines ad delivery in an optimal order that can be adjusted on both server and advertiser side. Waterfalling occurs when a publisher has been unable to sell its premium ad slots that are usually reserved for direct ad sales between the publisher's internal sales team and advertisers. During the waterfall-like process for selling inventory, the demand sources are initiated one at a time, one after another.

Lately I am being questioned about the so-called "simultaneous waterfall" which produces almost zero results while googling it. Simultaneous waterfall is Epom's tailored solution that allows to request demand tags at the same time, saving a lot of time for unit to get filled and shown to a specific user.


Ad Formats

The ongoing evolution of immersive digital video formats is transforming viewing behavior, taking it from a passive to highly interactive experience. Among a vast variety of ad formats, keep an eye on the following:

Ad Formats


Takes the form of an auto-playing or user-initiated video that is inserted into a traditional display ad space, typically between paragraphs of text or images. They designed to play only when in view, which ensure them extremely high viewability.

Video Slider

This 100% viewable format encompasses highly customizable in-content video ads with advanced features with no video player needed. The unit can be white-labeled for specific brand or campaign needs, which gives an additional value to advertisers. If you are using Epom Ad Server, you can test - drive it there right away.


Video unit is placed into the middle of editorial articles for optimal user experience. The video plays when visible on user's screen.

Push up/push down

This unit pushes the page up/down as it expands and remains open until user moves his mouse away.

Third-party verification

Tracking mediabuys protects clients from bot fraud by cutting off sources of bad traffic to make bot and malware fraud unprofitable and unsustainable. If your ad server is integrated with one of the these digital ad fraud checkers, you have an additional advantage:

  1. WhiteOps
  2. DoubleVerify
  3. MOAT
  4. Forensiq
  5. The MediaTrust

Own Video Player

The best option is to look for the ad server which enables to sell different types of inventory: display ads, mobile ads and video ads (e.g. Epom Ad Server). They can provide you with their own video player to serve ads in more sophisticated and customizable appearances.

Interpret the Key Metrics Wisely

How engagement is measured changes from software to software. The industry - and programmatic ad buying specifically - has been hounded by issues relating to viewability, engagement, and outright fraud in recent years, and the general business press regularly covers the subject. Which metrics should you keep a close look at? Here's a general overview.

Interpret the Key Metrics Wisely

What's important for Publishers and Advertisers

When you got video advertising running and established control over the important metrics, there'd be still some time left to think about your publishers and advertisers. Though their demands evolve and push forward the advertising standards, remember their basic needs.



Video CPMs generally refer to the amount paid by advertisers to have their ads shown (specifically, CPMs indicate how much it costs to show their ad 1,000 times).

Note! When video inventory is sold out with guaranteed placements, CPM is the metric that works. For other publishers, CPM can be very misleading. Many less experienced publishers don't account for the variable delivery that can occur through video demand sources that affect top-line CPM.

Fill Rate

Fill Rate, represented as a percentage, reflects conversion rate between actual requests and actual ad impressions for a given period of time. The Fill rate formula is represented by:
Impressions/requests*100% = Fill rate %

The percentage of ad page loads that are filled by companion ads is important. A high fill rate indicates that ad responses were delivered regardless of the eCPM of the ad. This gives publishers a better chance of earning greater revenues by displaying as many ads as possible in the desired integrated placements, seizing all opportunities of showing ads.

Non-intrusive ad formats

Use native ad formats: video slider, in-read etc. Deciding which ad formats are best for your website will require trade-offs. Ultimately, their efficiency will depend on your own assets, such as the form of content, your audience sensitivity and the advertising space on your website.



It is an IAB-approved text file that aims to prevent unauthorized inventory sales. This file is a plain text file that lists names and information about authorized ad networks, SSPs, and exchanges that have permission to sell the publisher's inventory. It gives almost ultimate transparency of ad-serving on every exact website.


However, video publishers that understand and leverage technology to optimize and maximize their connections with advertisers will realize success as the market evolves and matures.


The online metric or KPI that tracks and measures impressions that can only be seen by users on a website. If an advertisement shows up on the bottom of a webpage and the user never actually saw it, the impression is not counted as viewable. Since advertisers are always striving to optimize their campaigns, cutting down on wasteful impressions, specifically impressions that are not actually seen, the ad budgets can be dramatically reallocated.

Fraud-Checking Tools

According to the latest Bot Baseline Report, bots accounted for almost 23% of all video impressions observed. It concerns not just bot views, but also a great variety of other fraudulent actions such as redirected traffic view, injections, high-jacked impressions, invalid or intransparent views. One of the top priorities for the advertisers remains reviewing, understanding, and ensuring their ads are being seen by target audience: humans.

Advanced Analytics

Sometimes, ad server's statistics is just not enough. Advertisers may demand a third-party analytics to measure ads across platforms. For example, MOAT is a third party ad technology company employed by marketers and publishers to track how many of their digital ads were seen by people. Based on MOAT data and analytics, advertisers can buy and sell mobile ads-and ensure they are viewable.


Recent study shows that digital video will reach nearly $5 billion in ad revenue due to developing delivery channels, amplified engagement and the highest average CTR 1.84% of any digital format. Here are best practices to keep the advertiser's CTR high:

  • Invest in quality production.
  • Adjust video content to devices and audience interests.
  • Keep content targeting relevant.
  • Pay by view or compleation to keep impressions and conversions high.
  • Display strong calls to action at the beginning and end of videos.
  • Tell your story with and without sound

Video advertising is something that will bring you solid revenue if you spend some time to learn the rules. Hope these tips will help to make your video advertising a real success.