SiteScout RTB – A Walk Through

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Update 23/08/12 – If you are interested in working with Sitescout make sure you check out their superb knowedge base.

Sitescout is a great traffic source for display advertising. They basically act as a reseller for remnant traffic from some of the biggest ad exchanges in the world. There is needless to say massive volume if you can get something working. The system operates on a real time bidding structure so everything is updated really quick, if you need to stop a campaign or pause a banner it is pretty close to instant which takes some of the risk out of media buying.

I’m going to go through setting up a campaign and see if I can give some pointers along the way.

The first step is setting up the campaign basic details:-
The first thing I would say is watch that spend cap. Make sure you set the drop down menu on the left to “Daily” or just entering a number wont do anything. Easy but costly mistake you only make once… hopefully.

The frequency cap is pretty interesting, above we have it set to its maximum of 1 impression every 72 hours. This is ok for testing traffic sources but 3/24 is probably more suitable once you get your campaign running well and crave more volume.

The next step is to add the sites you want to advertise on.

There is a massive list and what I like to do is select the country I am advertising in and then organise the list by number of impressions served yesterday. This will give you a fair idea of where the volume is and makes the list a bit more manageable.

Uploading creatives is pretty straight forward. The majority of volume I believe is in the 300×250, 728×90 and 160×600 as standard. They do have a pretty cool ad builder which has worked well for me in the past.

Sitescout is great for retargeting campaigns. You setup a pixel on a site, facebook page, email, iframe, pretty much anywhere you can place it and anyone who views that pixel can then be targeted specifically. I heard of an affiliate that was hacking big sites and placing his own pixels there so he could retarget that audience.

Day Parting is pretty straight forward to setup. The only issue for me is working out the timezones. The following link is useful: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html

Device and browser targeting is OK but could be expanded on. They currently have the following options:
There is an auto-optimisation tool which will put your best ads and placements forward but I can’t comment on its effectiveness because I do everything manually still.

The final option when setting up a campaign is contextual targeting. This allows you to target your ads better to specific content within a site and hopefully a more defined audience.

And that’s it getting campaigns approved can take a while and once they go through the sitescouts team approval they need to be approved by the various sites and exchanges you are advertising on. It’s not unusual to have a campaign approved but not receiving traffic for 2-3 days because it’s not been given the go ahead on the backend.

Another thing that can really help getting campaigns approved is having the domain of the site you are promoting in the ad. Just in Arial 10pt font at the bottom of the banner type Cupid.com or whatever you are running.

Once you have that setup consider placing a targeting pixel. This can be found under tools > offers and once placed on the merchants site you can track which creative, which placement, and which position got the conversion from within Sitescout. This goes a long way when optimising campaigns.

Once you get some data to work with you can really route out what is working and what isn’t. Here is an example of a campaign that didn’t go so well 🙂

So on this campaign you can see I not only setup a conversion pixel but I added a snippet to my outgoing links on my landing page so I could see how many of the visitors are actually clicking through to the offer page. This will give you an early indication to the quality of a placement.

You can set this up as either a standard redirect:-
<a href=”http://clickserv2.sitescout.com/oc/123yourid123?r=http://www.sample.com/MyRegularLinkHere.html” >link</a>

or what I assume is a quicker method loading a pixel using javascript onclick

<a href=”MyRegularLinkHere.html” onclick=”new Image().src=’http://clickserv2.sitescout.com/oc/123yourid123′”>link</a>

You can place the conversion pixel using the latest prosper202 traffic source pixel or directly with your merchant or affiliate network.

The minimum deposit to get setup with Sitescout is $500 but I would suggest you are going to need closer to $5000 to find something that is profitable and scalable. It’s a tough traffic source to get right but the huge volume means its worth persevering with. It is also a great way to get into direct site media buys. No one is stopping you from contacting the sites that are working to see if you can secure more volume. In fact sitescout even offer an ad serving platform to help you out with your own direct site buys.

I’ll leave you with a little bit of inspiration. Yesterdays volume served 15/3/2012

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