How are rich media ads different from other ad formats? A guide for publishers

  • 30 / 08 / 2022
  • Agata Cnatalska
How are rich media ads different from other ad formats? A guide for publishers

When monetizing your content with ads, you’ll encounter various ad formats displayed within your ad inventory. They might have different sizes and be placed in other areas of your website. But the chances are that if you’re reading this article, you probably use basic advertising formats and want to know more about other available options. If that’s the case – buckle up and let me briefly guide you through the concept of rich media ads!

Rich media ads are ad formats that are engaging and intriguing in their form. It can be an animated, a video or an audio ad. A rich media ad seems to be interacting with the user since it can change its size or hover above the site content. It doesn’t need separate ad placements – it can be displayed in the ones normally occupied by standard ad formats.


Differences between rich media and standard ad formats

It’s not difficult to tell apart a rich media ad and a standard display one when you see them. But let’s think about what are the main differences between these ad formats from the publisher’s point of view:

  • Rich media ads are undoubtedly more eye-catching than ordinary ad formats. They spice up the use of the website as they introduce movement or sound effects (here you can see some rich media ads examples);
  • Rich media ads are also more engaging and can present the product in a much more intriguing way. It makes advertisers willingly go for such creations, which means that they have higher CTRs and are better paid in programmatic;
  • The file formats of rich media ads are more diversified than in the case of basic ads. It’ll not only be .png, .jpg, .gif or .html, but also for example .mp4, .mov or HTML5. And such file formats require proper implementation, the use of the right ad server, and its adequate configuration;
  • Due to the fact mentioned above, a rich media ad’s file size will be bigger than in the case of a standard display ad (usually, it will exceed the size of 200 KB), meaning they will likely take more time to load;
  • Rich media ads may also enable access to more detailed tracking data when it comes to users’ behavior (their interactions with ads) and the overall effectiveness of ad campaigns;
  • Lastly, this kind of ad format is more expensive and time-consuming for advertisers to create than the standard ones, so in some thematic groups and certain world regions, there might not be many advertisers able or willing to provide them.

To sum it up

To make things clear: using rich media ad formats does not rely on the publisher’s will, since it’s the advertisers who create them. What a publisher can do, though, is prepare the website for the eventual appearance of such formats. The situation is pretty easy when using programmatic monetization because most systems support rich media formats. However, if you’d like to handle such ads by yourself, for example, through direct deals, you would have to put more work into it. But if you find a good monetization partner, you’ll also get technical and backend support (like access to various SSPs).

Remember that no matter what kind of formats you display and how well-paid each of them is, it’s rarely enough to generate high ad revenue, since it’s a way more complex matter. Even the most spectacular ad formats and the highest achieved CPMs will not make you earn more. What you need are the right approach and a tailored strategy!

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