How to monetize your inventory without setting up a Sales Team.

Date: January 19, 2019

When you have millions of a impressions, the next logical question that comes to your mind is how to monetize them. Monetization is a priced skill as it takes a lot of other skills and and a vision. Chances are, you’ve already monetized your inventory before. A couple of ad networks and some agencies. Somewhere in the past you might have used Adsense to see if an easy to use self serve solution can bring in dollars for you. But given how low the revenue is from Adsense is, the only thing that comes to your mind is to create a sales team who can bring in direct campaigns at CPM pricing. Now, what if we told you that you can boost your inventory selling without setting up your sales team!

Although having a sales team has it’s advantage, finding the right person(s) is the craziest task. Even if you find the perfect person, they may not be able to find deals for your business immediately. It takes time for them to break deals and get you money. If you put them under pressure, you risk losing them as good sales people are in huge demand. With that, below are a few ways you can monetize your inventory and establish a steady income stream before you think of hiring a sales person

1: Sign up with Exchanges & SSPs.

If your website/app receives 40-50M impressions every month, you could sign up with ad exchanges and supply side platform to receive CPM based indirect demand. An ad exchange & SSP is a platform that connect advertisers and publishers. Unlike Adsense, the advertiser bidding on your inventory will be able to see the website/app of the publisher where they are buying the inventory. This usually gives you better rates and high income. These platforms work on the principle of real time bidding and every impression get an optimized price and hence offers better revenue. Some of the important exchanges are

Google AdX, Rubicon Project, Appnexus, Pubmatic

Note: All these platforms are premium and they only sign up publishers who have large amount of inventory. For Google AdX, you’ll have to reach out to your Google Ad Manager account manager or publisher support.

2: Onboard a few ad networks.

Ad networks are just like Adsense but with a twist. Some may be video, some may be display or some native. They just fill your ad inventory at CPM rates and provide extra revenue when the fill rates are low from other ad exchanges and SSPs. Ad networks solve a very huge pain point for a publisher as they are easy to approach and easy to implement. Above all, the cost to benefit factor is great when you are just filling your unsold inventory. Before approaching an ad network, you have to think about their role. Are you thinking of them:

  1. as your only source of income?
  2. as a last mile partner to fill your empty inventory?

If you are thinking about point 1, this is a no frills no strings attached solution. You can negotiate with an ad network sales representatives to buy all your inventory against a fixed revenue each month (Called a Minimum Guaranteed deal or M.G). That means, you expose all your inventory to the network and irrespective of whether they are able to buy it or not, they provide a fixed revenue to you. This is a win win for both you and the network as both will make revenue in any case. Although, the position of ad units and audience affinity to click ads matter a lot, a short test before making the network live will help. Finding these type of deals are not hard. If you have a little bit of sales person inside you, you’ll find a network that will create a deal for you.

If you are thinking about point 2, this can offer your better results and more freedom. You can choose to run the network when your ad exchanges give out low fill rates. Thereby increase effective yield. Since there is not commitment to inventory here, you have no tension of meeting targets.

There is also a third option – a mix of both 1 & 2. You can sell 50% of your inventory to an network while keeping the rest for your ad exchanges and other types of demand. This will give you a stable steady incomes and the freedom to run brand or house campaigns. Below are a few popular ad networks

affinity, smaato,, Aerserv

3: Setup header bidding.

Header bidding is a workaround for the traditional waterfall. It increases revenue and if used judiciously can also reduce ad load time. You can use the SSPs you signed up in step two here and make them compete against each other to get better revenue. For this, you’ll need a specialist ad tech guy and some testing to arrive at the desired result. The most common used technology to achieve header bidding on web is prebid.js.

4: Hire a contract Ad Ops+ Tech specialist.

You’ll have to hire an ad ops/tech expert for atleast a month to setup your waterfalls, header bidding, ad networks & SSPs. When it comes to setting up the operations, you can only get it done when you are familiar with ad operations. If you are not, getting someone to do it is highly recommended. Same is applicable with header bidding. You can hire someone from freelancing websites like fiverr or upwork 

You can also use our outsourced adops to solve for this.

After you are doing with all the above ways, you’ll start seeing the revenue come in. As soon as that happens, track the results for a month and if the numbers are upto your expectation, you can now think of hiring a sales person to sell your ad inventory. The important thing that you’ve achieved after implementing the above setups if that you’ve established a steady revenue stream to cover the cost of employing a full time sales person. From this point onwards, you can move to any direction. You can choose to either stick to the current setup and make the most of out of steady revenue or expand with more sales person to better the revenue stream.

5: Let adOmega do all the above for you.

All the ways above are effective when executed in the right way. Dealing with ad networks and striking a right deal is something that comes with experience. Implementing header bidding, exchanges and new strategic units require someone who has the knowledge and the experience to establish a longtime ad tech stack. With adOmega’s premium publisher services, you’ll be able to achieve both on a rapid scale. Our expert adtech & programmatic experts will do everything that will bring in more revenue.

Know more here.

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