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5 Advantages of Direct-Sold Advertising

With endless emerging trends in the dynamic field of digital advertising, it can be difficult to decide which advertising method is the best option for your business. Programmatic buying is relatively new in the field and does have positive qualities that direct advertising cannot provide, including algorithm-based decision making, lower CPMs, and automated workflow methods. However, although direct advertising requires more manual labor, it still remains one of the best options for a variety of reasons.

1. Guaranteed Impressions

Impressions rule the world of digital advertising, and one of the ways to guarantee them is through direct buying. According to the Integral Ad Study Q1 2016 Media Quality Report, direct-sold display ads see nearly 10 percent higher viewability rates compared to programmatic display ads. Advertisers want guaranteed placement:

  • Next to premium content
  • Above the fold
  • In front of a guaranteed set of eyeballs
  • For a specific period of time
  • At a set rate

Direct advertising ensures control and specification of placing your ad in front of your preferred audience. Programmatic buying simply can’t provide this kind of certainty since it is auction based and ad space is given to the highest bidder. There is no guarantee on price, contextual placement, or impression volume.

2. Custom Ad Units and Site Takeovers

Site takeovers or “skins” are very visible to readers, generate high CTRs, and create brand awareness. Because of this, takeovers have very high CPM rates. They cannot easily be bought or sold on an exchange due to the infinite ways to design and architect sites. Likewise, non-standard ad units should be integrated into the unique design and architecture of a site and sold for premium prices. The unique nature of these ad placements create higher consumer engagement rates, another benefit to direct advertising.

3. Higher Engagement

Publishers have their own brand. And in the age of social media, brands need to be a part of the conversation. Blog posts, comments, and tweets are where this conversation lives in a public forum. The influence of a publisher’s brand within the conversation should not be underestimated—placing an ad within the context of a brand that highlights your ad can lead to engagement and loyalty from both new and existing audiences.

4. Targeted Placement

Direct buying provides unique guaranteed-audience curation capabilities. Advertisers can specifically choose which sites are the best for their ad to be on, and exactly what kind of audience they will be placed in front of. This audience is reserved specifically for the client, which provides much more stability than the unpredictable nature of programmatic buying.

5. Less Risk

Since direct buying is managed by a sales team and not an algorithm, there is less risk for unpredictable difficulties, such as ad fraud.

Although direct buying and programmatic buying seem like mutually exclusive options, maybe we are asking the wrong question. Instead, let’s ask how a strategy can be developed that supports both direct buying and programmatic buying efforts.


Guest article by Shoshana Luria: A digital and content marketing enthusiast, Shoshana enjoys writing about emerging trends in the tech marketing industry. Most of her time is spent at Mindgruve Digital Marketing Firm, working as an SEO specialist and Earned Media Analyst for a variety of clients.