For media planners and buyers, one of the biggest headaches is how to deal with the issue of small, niche ad targeting and buying. While it’s easy to target and buy for large clients on Google Adwords, Facebook and now Twitter, smaller clients and publishers often don’t get a seat at the big table; either they don’t get access to the best content, or their ad buying budgets are too small, meaning that their distribution and placement frequently are not as good.
For years, the dream for digital advertisers has been that even small, local advertisers and publishers would not suffer because of their size since specialist sites and tools along with the right keyword combinations would offer optimal targeting and give even small advertisers optimal exposure.
In practice, this is easier said than done. The reasons are:
- Small site publishers usually don’t offer complete site stats; many are part-time side endeavours for their owners;
- Many small sites don’t offer standard ad sizes or metrics;
- Ad payouts through Google Adsense are frequently so low that many publishers don’t bother with advertising, preferring direct ad sales instead;
- Direct sales usually take too much time, so many publishers won’t bother;
- Ad buyers need stats in a certain format to justify their purchases; this gap between what is wanted by buyers and what small publishers are able to give is frequently hard to bridge;
- Accepting payment is often an issue.
The end result is that many small sites’ ad inventory gets filled with low-performing filler ads which offer little or no revenue for the publisher/owner.
One startup which has decided to tackle this challenge of monetizing long tail ads is Shiny Ads. This startup has focused on digital ad orders under $5,000. It offers a publisher’s network where publishers are free to define their ad formats and set their rates. They can set performance measurements by actions, clicks or impressions.
Shiny Ads’ approach is the opposite of many ad exchanges and platforms. Instead of drowning advertisers and publishers in too much data and forms to fill, they have chosen to simplify the process as much as possible. For advertisers, it focuses on only three metrics: size, campaign type and pricing with a “Buy” button, all on one page. For buyers, this gives quick information, since giving too much information for small sites is frequently more of a liability than an asset. Registration is easy, and can be done in a few minutes and takes only four steps.
The Toronto-based company was founded by Roy Pereira, and is headed by a team with rich experience in digital ad sales. The company has made it as a finalist to Silicon Alley Insider’s Startup 2011 competition, which has a panel with judges from Gilt Group, Living Social and Reddit, just to name a few.
The winner of this competition, which will be announced on Tuesday May 10, will receive $100,000, a $25K investment from General Catalyst Partners, a leading VC firm, and $75K in goods and services, not to mention premium buzz for its new approach to an old problem.