What is the accepted RSS feed formatting?

    If you choose to manage your campaign using an RSS feed, you’ll need to follow the guidelines below to ensure that your RSS feed can be read and processed correctly.

    Example RSS Feed

    <rss version="2.0" xmlns:content="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:slash="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/slash/" xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/">
    <channel>
        <title>My Content Site</title>
        <link>http://example.com</link>
        <atom:link href="http://example.com/rss/" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"/>
        <description></description>
        <lastBuildDate>Mon, 17 Dec 2012 19:17:46 +0000</lastBuildDate>
        <language>en-US</language>
        <item>
            <title>9 Questions to Ask When Booking a Hotel</title>
            <link>http://example.com/9-questions-to-ask-when-booking-a-hotel/</link>
            <pubDate>Tue, 30 Oct 2012 07:00:50 -0800</pubDate>
            <media:content url="http://example.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Couple-Checking-In-With-Receptionist558X279.jpg"/>
            <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
        </item>
        ...

    Required

    • Title — title of the article (60 character maximum)
    • Link — article url (must be unique) How to make a feed with unique urls
    • Media:content — main article image (300×250 recommended minimum dimension)

    Optional

    • slash:comments — number of comments
    • pubDate — date the article was published

    How do I create successful campaigns?

    Campaign performance can be affected by a number of factors, but following some simple guidelines can significantly impact your ability to reach your audience and increase your clickthrough rate.

    • Headlines
      • Be brief. Content belongs on your page, not in your headline. Headlines that only contain a few words often perform better than more elaborate ones. We accept headlines that are 60 characters or less.
      • Be informative. Phrase your headlines as questions or as “how to” statements. Let the reader know that your content is informative and/or helpful.
      • Be honest. Misleading your readers about your content just to increase clicks not only wastes your money, it also damages your brand’s integrity. Honestly promoting your content ensures that you reach your intended audience and encourages return visits.
    • Images
      • Use photos. Photos of people or products are more engaging and straightforward than graphics or diagrams.
      • Customize them. An image that looks great splashed across the top of your article might not be very clear as a small square in a widget. Pick simple, sharp images that look great as small as 80 pixels wide.
      • Make them big! To reach the widest possible audience, use the largest images and best resolution allowed. This ensures that your content is compatible with every available ad placement, including the ones that draw the most attention to your content.

    How can I pass variables through my campaign links for better reporting?

    You can receive certain data through your campaign content links using preset macros.  Just put one of these macros in square brackets and place it into the tracking links section of a campaign or on the campaign content URL (ex. utm_source=[did]).

    Name Description
    did Domain ID. Identifies site from which this visitor originated.
    cid Campaign ID. Identifies the campaign from which this content is served.
    adid Ad ID. Identifies the specific content in a campaign that was clicked.
    click_key Click Key. Identifies an individual click.

    How can I create high performing content?

    Campaign performance can be affected by a number of factors, but following some simple guidelines can significantly impact your ability to reach your audience and increase your click-through-rate.

    • Headlines
        • Be brief. Content belongs on your page, not in your headline. Headlines that only contain a few words often perform better than more elaborate ones. Headlines must be 60 characters or less.
        • Be informative. Try to phrase your headlines in a way that indicates to readers that your content is informative and interesting. You can phrase your headline as a question or as “how to” statements. Let the reader know that your content is informative and/or helpful.
        • Be honest. Honestly promoting your content ensures you reach your intended audience and increases conversion rates on your site.
    • Images
      • Use Crisp, Clean photos. Photos of people or products are more engaging and perform better than graphics or diagrams.
      • Customize them. An image that looks great splashed across the top of your article might not be very clear as a smaller square image in a widget. Pick simple, sharp images that look great as small as 80 pixels wide.
      • Make them big! To reach the widest possible audience, use the largest images allowed (300×250 pixels). This ensures that your content is compatible with every available ad placement, including ones that draw the most attention to your content.

     

    What are the best practices to scale my campaign?

    Below are a several approaches to scale your campaigns

    • Increase your CPC – this is the single most important factor in boosting your campaign.
    • Increase your click-through-rate by testing new images & headlines to increase performance
    • Target more countries if you are able to accept visitors from these countries.
    • Target more devices – i.e. desktop, tablet, mobile
    • Breakout your campaigns separately based on the below settings based on ROI and increase your CPC’s for each separate CPC if you can:
      • Set up by URL
      • Set up by Device Type
      • Set up by Country

    How do I create a campaign?

    Go to https://www.content.ad/Login.aspx to login in to your account.

    1. Once logged in, click on Campaigns located in the menu on the left.
    2. Click the New Campaign button at the top right and follow the instructions to name your campaign.
    3. Select the type of content you will adding (Non-commercial, Advertorial or Advertisement)
    4. Add start and end dates for the campaign
    5. Enter the CPCs (cost-per-click) for Desktop, Tablet and/or Mobile
    6. Add a daily and total budget
    7. Select countries or states to geo-target
    8. Target specific mobile/tablet operating system
    9. Select Block List or White List
    10. Add tracking parameters to pass variables
    11. Add CPA Target range. This is for reporting purposes only.

    Be sure to scroll down and click the Save button before exiting.

    Can I target my campaign to specific geographic markets?

    You can target your campaigns to the following countries:  United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, India, Turkey.  All other geographic markets are included in All others.

    When setting up a new campaign, you will find this feature in the Campaigns section under Optional Settings.

    To edit an existing campaign, go to the Campaigns section, locate the campaign to edit and click on the Setting icon settings pic to edit the campaign.  Next, click on Optional Settings, then select the markets to target.  Be sure to scroll down and click the Save button before exiting.

    Can I target my campaigns to specific device types, or operating systems?

    Yes, you can target your campaigns to desktop, tablet and mobile devices and as well as set device-specific CPC bid amounts.  Content.ad does not support the ability to target to specific operating systems

    When setting up a new campaign, you will find this feature in the Campaigns section under Optional Settings.

    To edit an existing campaign, go to the Campaigns section, locate the campaign to edit and click on the Setting icon settings pic to edit the campaign.  Next, click on Optional Settings, then select Target by Device, and select the device types to target and enter the device specific CPC’s.  Be sure to scroll down and click the Save button before exiting.

    How do I edit a campaign?

    Click on Campaigns on the left menu. Status, CPCs and Budgets can be updated on this screen. To update other campaign information, click on the down arrow to the left of the campaign name and choose Settings. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save button before exiting. You can also reach the Bid by Domain page or access the ads in the campaign from the down arrow.

    How do I pause or unpause a campaign?

    In the Campaigns section, select the campaign to pause and click the green active button to pause the campaign.  The button will turn gray and show the campaign as paused.  If you pause a campaign, all content in the campaign will automatically be paused.
    To unpause or set a campaign back live, select the campaign to set active and click the gray paused button to set the campaign active.  The button will turn green and show the campaign as active.

    How do I archive a campaign?

    In the Campaigns section, click on the down arrow to the left of the campaign and choose Archive. The campaign and all the ads in the campaign will be archived. Once a campaign is archived, you will be able to see it and view its statistics from the time it ran, but it will not run and you will not be able to re-activate it.

    To see archived campaigns, click the Filter dropdown and select Archived. Choose Yes to see archived campaigns.

    To view reports click on the down arrow to the left of the campaign and select View Report.

    Best Practices to Scale Non-commercial Campaigns

    If you are a publisher driving traffic for audience development/engagement you should think about the following best practices to drive scale for your non-commercial campaigns.  Non-commercial content is typically of general interest and does not contain links to products, links to an advertiser landing page, or paid promotion of any kind. While the content itself can’t be commercial, other sources of revenue may appear outside the main content, ie. advertising in header, footer or right/left rails.

    How our Algorithms Work

    Content.ad is a performance-based network.  Our algorithms favor content based on eCPM, which is a combination of the CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click through rate) of your ad.  The more competitive your CPC and CTR, the more volume your campaigns will receive.

    CPC Adjustments

    Increasing your CPC is the single most important factor to boost traffic volume for your campaign. To increase your traffic volume, adjust your CPC with a significant increase, (ie: 25%+).  Due to network competition, significant CPC increases produce quicker results and more data, which allows faster optimization of your campaigns.

    We suggest increasing your CPC by a few cents or more to give your campaigns the best opportunity to increase traffic volume. Consider increasing the CPC until you see a change in traffic volume and continue making adjustments as needed to deliver volume based on your daily or total budget.

    When adjusting CPCs, allow up to 24 hours for the algorithms to test the change throughout the network for best results.  Reducing or setting the CPC back to the previous rate within 24 hours after an increase will reduce the ability to increase traffic volume.

    CTR Improvements

    The best way to improve CTR is to test unique headlines and images for each ad.  Avoid only testing the same headlines with a few image variations, or vice versa.  Also, avoid testing too many creatives at one time.  Ideally, you should test no more than 3 to 5 creatives at a given time for best results.  Be sure to add new ad variations daily or weekly to improve the ability to scale.

    Top Performing CTR’s:

    1.0% CTR + High-end
    0.50% CTR + Mid-range
    0.25% CTR + Low-end
    0.15% CTR + Low, Low-end

     

    *CTR is only one factor that determines your ad’s eCPM metric.  CPC is the other component as stated earlier.  So effectively, you may be able to deliver the same eCPM by increasing both your CTR and CPC.

    Top Performing CPC’s by Device and Geo:

    To gauge your ad’s growth potential, use these benchmark CPC’s* by Device and Geo:

    US INT’L
    Desktop $0.05 – 0.11+ $0.05 – 0.075+
    Tablet $0.035 – 0.07+ $0.020 – 0.07+
    Mobile $0.025 – 0.055+ $0.0150 – 0.055+

     

    *CPC is only one factor that determines your ad’s eCPM.  CTR is the other component as stated earlier.  So effectively, you may be able to deliver the same eCPM by increasing both your CPC and CTR.

    Geo-targeting:

    Marketing outside the U.S. can be a key driver to scale your campaigns.

    • Top markets to test:
      • United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand
    • Additional markets to consider:
      • France, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, India
    • Rest of the world:
      • All other INTL markets are included in this GEO

    Devices:

    Marketing to all device types is another great way to scale your campaigns.

    • Mobile:
      • #1 Volume opportunity
      • Fastest growth rate
      • Least saturated
    • Tablet:
      • Mirrors mobile in terms of opportunity
      • Performs similar to Desktop
      • High CTR’s
    • Desktop:
      • Largest % of Impressions
      • Most Saturated

    Top Performing Ads:

    Compelling ads that delivers top performing CTR’s is the biggest factor to drive engagement and page views.  Consider the following examples of top performing ad categories when creating your campaigns.

    • Celebrity, Entertainment, Lifestyle
    • Sensational, Outrageous, Shocking
    • Disturbing, Horrifying
    • Controversial, Polarizing
    • Unexpected, Timely, Captured Moments
    • Embarrassing, Funny, Hysterical
    • Sexy or Sexual in Nature

    Ratings:

    As an advertiser, you can view the content rating for your approved ads. Your content rating can be found under Campaigns>Manage Ads.  The content rating will indicate either a G, PG, PG-13 or R rating. The aggressive imagery rating will indicate either a High, Low or None rating. Please note that our Compliance and Content teams review the image, headline and landing page to determine the overall content rating.

    NOTE:  To maximize volume, be sure to create ads that receive content ratings across all the rating categories.  Ads that receive higher ratings may get higher CTRs while ads with lower ratings are able to serve in many more placements and are eligible for more impressions.

    To learn more about our content ratings and guidlines, please review information below.

    Guidelines to Follow:

    Content Rating

    G: Absolutely no suggestive content of any kind, including images of people showing any amount of skin.

    Examples of G Content
    G Samples

    PG: No sex-related or sensual content. Tasteful imagery associated with topics such as swimwear and fitness may include skin.

    Examples of PG Content
    PG Samples

    PG-13: Content includes sexual topics or non-explicit suggestive imagery. Includes terms and images that may be considered “sexy”.

    Examples of PG-13 Content
    PG13 Samples - Copy

    R: All of our sponsored content can be shown here. Content may be sexual in nature.  Ad content does NOT contain nudity, pornography or explicit sex.  (Note: This option may not be compliant with Google AdSense or other ad network policies.)

    Examples of R Content
    R Samples

    Aggressive Imagery Rating

    None: Content does not include aggressive imagery or text.

    Examples of No Aggressive Imagery
    None Samples

    Low: Content includes imagery that may be considered mildly aggressive.

    Examples of Low Aggressive Imagery
    Low Samples

    High: Content includes imagery that may be considered highly aggressive.

    Examples of Highly Aggressive Imagery
    High Samples

    Image Dimensions

    Some publisher placements utilize higher resolution images to maximize performance.  In order to make your content available to our entire network, simply provide an image with the recommended dimensions.

    • Recommended dimensions:  300×250 pixels
    • Minimum dimensions:  150×150 pixels

    Pausing & Activating Campaigns

    The length of time a campaign remains “Paused” can limit it’s ability to scale once its set back to “Active” as network performance is dynamic and changes daily.  If you notice your campaign is not performing at or near the same rate prior to setting it “Paused”, you should increase your CPC and CTR to improve the campaign performance metrics until you see an increase in traffic volume.

     

    Things to Avoid

    • Daily and Total Budgets
      • Limiting Daily and Total Budgets when attempting to scale campaigns
      • Suggestion:  Consider using Open Budgets
    • Geo and Device Targeting
      • Testing only one Geo if your campaigns accept traffic in other Geo’s.
      • Testing only one Device if your campaigns accept traffic for other Devices.
      • Limiting Geo and Device targeting to fewer than two countries or Devices may negatively impact your traffic volume in the network due to the performance variances between Geo’s and Devices. (The exception is if the campaign is only approved to run in a single geo and on a particular Device type.)
    • CTR
      • Not adding new content based on the assumption your current ads are still working
      • Suggestion:  Be sure to add 3-5 new pieces of content every 24-48 hours to improve CTR
      • Don’t rely on just CTR changes to improve CPM performance metrics
    • CPC
      • Don’t make modest CPC changes to increase volume, be aggressive to see results
      • Don’t rely on just CPC changes to improve CPM performance metrics

     

    Network Competition

    Performance can change at any time.  The network changes dynamically as advertisers adjust campaign settings.  If your adjustments don’t drive up volume, then campaign performance metrics did not improve enough to drive increased traffic.  Consider increasing the CPC even more and creating new ad variations until you see an increase in traffic volume.

     

    How to make an RSS feed with unique urls

    If you have multiple ads with the same destination page (for example, if you’re testing headlines or images to the same article) you must make the url in each item in the RSS feed unique. Your RSS feed generator may offer a macro to add a unique parameter to each url.

    Example with Brax

    Add the following to the end of your url when you create your feed:

    ?utm_content={{AD_ID}}

    Here’s what it looks like in Brax:

    Brax Macro

    A unique parameter will be appended to each link in the feed.

    Example RSS Feed with Unique URLs

    <rss xmlns:content="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:slash="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/slash/" xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" version="2.0">
    <channel>
         <title>mygreatwebsite.com</title>
         <link>http://mygreatwebsite.com</link>
         <atom:link href="https://console.brax.io/feed/cg/9e5a0209-680b-400c-8528-af31c3c6482e/disneyland-rides/content-ad" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"/>
         <description></description>
         <lastBuildDate>Thu, 26 Nov 2015 20:12:08 +0000</lastBuildDate> 
         <language>en-US</language> 
         <item> 
              <title>A Screaming Good Time!</title> 
              <link>http://mygreatwebsite.com/disneyland-rides/?utm_content=aab0014</link> 
              <pubDate>Thu, 26 Nov 2015 20:11:45 +0000</pubDate> 
              <media:content url="https://console.brax-cdn.com/creatives/dbd8fbb4-634e-46e8-a5f7-0b784ccf15af/4f941d12-c6cf-496f-84f4-5bba3a85115c.jpg"/> 
              <slash:comments>0</slash:comments> 
         </item> 
         <item> 
              <title>Anaheim Mountain Range</title> 
              <link>http://mygreatwebsite.com/disneyland-rides/?utm_content=aab0004</link> 
              <pubDate>Thu, 26 Nov 2015 20:11:45 +0000</pubDate> 
              <media:content url="https://console.brax-cdn.com/creatives/dbd8fbb4-634e-46e8-a5f7-0b784ccf15af/4f941d12-c6cf-496f-84f4-5bba3a85115c.jpg"/> 
              <slash:comments>0</slash:comments> 
         </item> 
         <item> 
    ...

    Check with your RSS feed generator for the correct syntax.

    What are the network tiers?

    Content.ad publisher domains are grouped into two separate tiers.  Domains in both tiers are continuously reviewed and monitored for traffic quality and performance.

    Tier 1: Domains with a long-standing history of consistent, good quality traffic.

    Tier 2: Generally smaller or new domains whose traffic may not match that of Tier 1.

    CPC minimums are slightly higher for Tier 1 and lower for Tier 2.