If you are dreaming about your own ad network, brace yourself: there are plenty of entrepreneur-level decisions you’ll have to make before you even get to the outlined plan. If you decided to build your own proprietary technology, then it’s probably for a good reason: odds are high you want to achieve transparency and cut the costs that ad network service providers extract from advertising revenue. Well, that’s a noble mission, and as it turns out, 100% possible.
I want to drop a little spoiler; there are 2 ways to do it right: the long one and the quick one. In order to find out which one is the best, let’s review these two options in detail.
[Detailed Guide] How to Create An Ad Network From Scratch 2021
Option 1: Building a platform from scratch
For starters, let’s define the main principles of technology operation. From this, we’ll be moving towards the first step of your roadmap – defining the niche and pricing.
An ad network is designed to aggregate available ad placements from publishers and transfer them to advertisers who are interested in purchasing them. As soon as an advertiser obtains placement details, bids on the impression and wins in the auction, the ad gets transmitted from the ad server to the publisher’s website or application. In order to perform all these operations, ad networks need to be connected to demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms.
Ad networks can purchase inventory from ad exchanges and vice versa. While the core functions of ad networks and ad exchanges are pretty much the same, the digital advertising market is currently moving towards ad exchanges because of competition and inventory management differences.
In fact, these days, many ad networks prefer to purchase inventory from ad exchanges. While the strategy of an ad network is to accumulate available inventory and sell it for a certain commission, ad exchanges function as automated open marketplaces where publishers and advertisers trade directly. Thus, they can be more transparent considering impression price and inventory details.
Defining niche and pricing
As an ad network or ad exchange owner, you will be responsible for connecting supply partners. This gives you freedom to choose whether to focus on a certain type of traffic, a particular vertical and inventory type or operate as a universal solution. Normally, ad networks and exchanges apply so-called ‘package deals’ – impressions sold on a CPM basis (cost per thousand impressions).
This helps brands that strive for recognition and brand awareness rather than clicks on the ads and sales (cost per action model). CPV (cost per view) charges advertisers per each view served on a publisher’s website and goes well with video ad campaigns. Your platform can support several pricing models at once and offers self-served and managed campaigns supported by in-staff professionals.
Building a network
If you create your own ad network or exchange from scratch, it’s worth remembering that 20 – 100 daily impressions is a minimum threshold for the platform to start successfully functioning. Thus, before the platform is launched, you need to have a pool of SSP and DSP partners willing to integrate.
For this, you have to carefully select partners who meet your quality criteria. For instance, you’ll have to make sure supply partners, and their inventory, are authorized by ads.txt and ads.cert. During the selection process, aim for no less than 25% of the USA or EU traffic and English language websites.
Starting the tech stack
Ad server is a core of your future advertising stack. Exactly ad server organizes ad delivery to the publisher’s website or application and arranges performance measurement via tracking pixel. That’s why it needs to be stable and reliable, support various targeting options and be able to generate reports in real-time. Secondary, but no less important, elements are: powerful RTB bidder, CPM bidding algorithm, targeting and retargeting algorithms (in case it’s not supported by your ad server) and one-point management system.
On the stage of building ad tech stack, you’ll have to outsource or hire professionals who will be responsible for integrations and connections of the above-mentioned elements. This may include software engineers, designers, QA testers and project managers who assemble the work into a single plan with ‘to-dos’ and deadlines for each point. Worth mentioning is that a newly made platform will also demand licensing unless it is a white-label solution, which is a complete solution that’s already built and plugged in the infrastructure.
Option 2: Building a platform with white label
If you are so far not familiar with White Label software platforms, it is a good chance to find out about them now. White Label is a cooperation model where the company buys a ready-made technological solution (without label or brand name) from the service provider and capitalizes it under its own brand.
Since such a model saves additional investment in technology and infrastructure, White Label is actively used for mass production of software solutions in various business niches. A good example is a YouTube platform acquired by Google in 2006. Indeed, YouTube was a pretty front end to the core, Flash technology built by Adobe. Mint.com, which was sold to Intuit in 200th, plus a number of other financial services are actually powered by Yodlee.
If you don’t have plenty of time and resources, but implementation is still a time-sensitive matter, you can create white label ad exchange or a network using SmartyAds White Label Solutions. In comparison with building a platform from scratch, the owner won’t have to go through the tiresome stages of implementation: hiring people, assembling the stack and outlining an implementation roadmap. With White Label SmartHub solution, you can commission technology implementation to our experienced team and grow your business straight away.
Why entrepreneurs choose White Label
White Label enables startups to grow much faster and helps to quickly introduce new technologies to the market and scale proprietary solutions without investing too much in resources in development, design and workflow planning. White Label is a convenient decision for entrepreneurs who want to quickly ‘test drive’ their business hypotheses about a new product or service.
For them, starting the project from scratch is not a good option because there’s no guarantee that the newly-build product will stand in line with the rest in terms of quality and user experience.
How to install White Label platform
SmartHub by SmartyAds represents a ready-made solution with a connection to an ad server, RTB bidder and all necessary programmatic technologies. SmartHub core features are known for their flexibility, so if you need some kind of additional or unique functionality, adding it to the package won’t be an issue. Thus, the solution will typically be deployed in 1-2 months, depending on the level of customization the owner requires.
However, it is purely up to the owner which demand and supply partners to invite in the network, since it will determine future network specialization. After deployment, it will be enough to set up the endpoints for demand and supply partners and configure basic settings, such as traffic targeting, billing, filters, and other parameters according to the manual.
The takeaway : [Detailed Guide] How to Create An Ad Network From Scratch
Building a proprietary ad network is a perfect solution for a business that strives to achieve a new level of independence in decision-making. To the owner, such a system becomes transparent and well-controlled regarding transactions, commissions, margins and traffic safety. Besides, with White Label, the platform can be easily scaled or customized when the network grows and matures.
Building your own ad network based on SmartHub technologies, you receive a chance to raise an individual ad tech solution that introduces new technical capabilities and explores new business areas.