At DanAds, we build some of the most advanced automated self-serve advertising platforms for a range of innovating publishers. So it’s no wonder that we have created some really useful features in partnership with our clients, that we are then able to share.
In this new series of blogs, we ask some of our amazing technical colleagues behind the creation of these platforms, to talk us through a product feature they love.
Today, it is the turn of Axel Ernstsson, our Head of Project Management.
Axel has selected our ‘Creative Builder’ feature.
“This is not just a favourite of mine, but also of our publishers. It sums up the essence of self-serve advertising. The Creative Builder automates the process of creating an online advert, helping advertisers of any size to build a creative from scratch and get their campaigns live in minutes.”
Why I love this feature
In my job, I often come across situations where I find myself waiting for deliverables which are out of my control. When you really want to just get a project live, this can be frustrating. So I share an advertisers’ pain when they want to book an advertising campaign but are delayed or frustrated by not having the right ad creative to hand. This feature puts the advertiser in full control of the creative process so they can get the job done there and then…no delay.
What it does
The owner of a DanAds self-service advertising platform, for example a publisher, decides on what type of creatives they want to make available to advertisers. For each creative size they offer, the publisher decides what type of native templates they want to make available to the advertiser.
The advertisers log in to the DanAds self-service advertising platform belonging to the publishers and start building a campaign. The advertiser will decide what type of audience to target throughout the booking flow. The advertiser might want to target apps rather than sites, or a specific brand under the publisher, or an audience within a certain age span. The Platform uses that information to provide a recommendation on which creative sizes and templates to use.
An advertiser who lacks existing creatives, or simply wants to make a new one, proceeds to the Creative Builder. The options available to the advertiser in the Creative Builder are defined by the publisher. Where some publishers choose to give the advertiser a lot of freedom, others have strict creative guidelines that give less freedom to the advertiser.
On most of our custom-bulit platforms, the minimum amount of choices to the advertiser are uploading an image, a logo, adding a headline, body, and a call to action button. Some platforms allow the advertiser to change the design of the creative (for example colors or font), or upload multiple images to create an interactive carousel creative. Further options include building a creative with video and/or sound, or fetching data from social media platforms and use for example social media posts as a creative. In all cases, as the advertiser inputs their custom data, the end-result is previewed to them in real-time as it is being built by the advertiser.
When the advertiser has completed the process, the end-result is a creative that fits in the inventory that the publisher makes available to advertisers. The theme of the creative can be marketing a discount code on a service, a new restaurant being opened or a new product being launched. The format may be an old fashioned image, or a video commercial that is played before an episode on an OTT (Over-the-top) device, a social post that leads to a social media account, or previewing a newly launched app that can be installed from an app store.
Why our publishers love it
More inclusive. For publisher’s, the Creative Builder opens up opportunities to offer their inventory to smaller less experienced advertisers who would previously have struggled to supply an ad creative. Utilising their own templates within the DanAds platform, publishers are able to control what type of designs are used by advertisers, minimising problems and ensuring higher ad creative quality standards.
Guarantees design consistency. On a technical level, the publisher can decide to use existing templates or get help from DanAds to create new ones. Many publishers love to use their existing templates maintained in their ad server already, across all their ad sales – both direct sales and self-service. This helps the publisher to have consistent design on their sites.
All Devices. The Creative Builder is not limited to regular desktop and mobile sites, apps on phones and tablets. It can be adapted to more custom setups – for example OTT (Over-the-top) devices – essentially delivering creatives on devices that are using custom browsers and apps that are only available on the publisher’s custom devices. For other publishers, it also allows more complex setups within their apps, for example allowing the end-viewer of the creative to save and store data, such as promo codes, from the creative into the publisher’s app.
Why advertisers love it
Great tool for smaller advertisers. Advertisers using DanAds self-service advertising platforms range from experienced agencies to SMB companies buying their first digital advertising campaign. As the latter, inexperienced to mid-experienced advertisers, normally don’t have powerful creative tools of their own, they really appreciate our powerful Builder.
Simplicity. Advertisers see how simple the Creative Builder is to use and how beautiful the end result can be in our real-time preview. We have built it with simplicity in mind while also being versatile – if for example an advertiser does not have an image to upload that follows the publisher’s guidelines, the platform’s easy-to-use crop tool will help them easily and fast.
Great templates. The positives are not only restricted to the concept of Building the creative itself. Dependent on the choices made by the publisher, and the nature of native creatives, the templates offered are normally based on the design of the publisher’s web sites. This will make the advertiser’s creative fit better with the overall look and feel of the publisher’s sites. It will look great and fit in great together with the rest of the publisher’s content!
All Devices. When a creative is delivered over many different devices, it is important that the creative works effectively on each. Creative Builder templates are designed and built to support all devices. Meaning, the creative will be as readable on a small smartphone screen as it is on a desktop. This will help the click-through-rate compared to a classic single-image upload that cannot change design dynamically, in the end allowing the advertiser to get a high conversion rate on their campaign.
Any additional benefits of the feature?
Help for Sales Teams. It is worth mentioning that the Creative Builder is also a popular tool within departments of the publishers. It allows employees, such as the sales teams, to easily build creatives for or together with their advertisers – without the involvement of the publisher’s creative review team – getting advertisers campaigns underway fast and saving time and costs.
Brand Safety. One of the big hassles of publishers is managing the concept of brand safety and reviewing creatives. There is a large effort needed to review incoming and running creatives, and communicating guidelines to the advertiser often results in a lot of back-and-forths. The Creative Builder solves this by controlling how the creative is built – using the publisher’s creative guidelines as a base. The platform performs real-time validation as data is entered by the advertiser, to ensure the ad fits with the guidelines. Text is checked for length and characters, image is validated on for example file format, resolution and size, while videos are validated on resolution, size, ratio, bit rate, codec and much more. And after the advertiser submits it, the creative can be easily reviewed by the publisher in the DanAds self-service advertising platform, allowing the publisher to send feedback directly to the advertiser from the platform. Should the publisher wish to reject the creative, the advertiser will get a notification with a clear explanation of what needs to be changed.
Do you have any tips on how to get the best from this feature?
The Creative Builder is a powerful tool for advertisers. It is only limited by the quality of the templates on offer to the advertiser. We always recommend our publishers to work closely with us to make sure we get the balance between flexibility and consistency for the advertiser in the templates that are made available.
We know that lack of creatives is one of the biggest issues stopping a Small to Medium sized advertiser from booking their ad campaign. The Creative Builder automates this process and has a big impact on the volume and flow of bookings made through the publisher’s self-service advertising platform. It is one of the most important features that DanAds have created for our publishers and one we are continually looking to develop. We love talking about it and if this got you inspired don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team to learn more!