Many developers struggle with ad mediation. It is a tricky, yet essential part of successful app monetization. So how do you get started? And how do you use ad mediation to generate more ad revenue?
To help you out, I have put together some basic ad mediation tips that will make this process easier.
You’ll learn why using an ad mediation platform is very beneficial and how to choose the right ad networks. I’m also going to talk about how to set up your waterfall and eCPM floors. Finally, I’m going to go through important metrics you need to follow. As well as the importance of testing in ad mediation.
Use an Ad Mediation Platform
The first step to successful ad mediation is partnering up with a mediation platform.
You might think that you can handle multiple ad networks by yourself, but trust me, it’s near impossible. It’s hard keeping track of all those ad networks and their performance. Plus, you would need to integrate SDKs for each network, which takes a lot of time and effort.
An ad mediation platform solves all those problems. It allows you to get higher eCPMs, better fill rate, and ultimately, higher revenue. Plus, you have better control and overview of all the ad networks you’re working with, all in one place.
How to Choose the Right Ad Mediation Platform
Here are a couple of things you should consider when choosing an ad mediation platform. To start, you might want to check out some general features the platform has. Then you should assess how many, and which, ad networks it supports. You should also check out which platforms it supports. Some ad mediation platforms support only Android and iOS, while others support multiple platforms.
Choose the Right Ad Networks
As you might know, connecting multiple ad networks to your ad mediation platform improves your fill rate and gets your higher eCPMs. However, it’s up to you to choose which ad networks you want to work with. Just make sure you do your research and consider the ad formats and placements of each ad network.
If you need help with choosing the right ad networks, click here.
Disable Mediation Platform’s Ad Network
Many ad mediation platforms also have their own ad networks. For example, ironSource is both an ad network and an ad mediation platform. You can pretty much guess what happens in those situations. The ad mediation platform gives priority to its own ad network.
That, of course, is biased and not fully transparent. It is not something you want as a publisher. Ad mediation is supposed to be unbiased and neutral. Otherwise, it defeats its own purpose.
To get around that, you can simply disable or remove ad mediation platform’s network. That way you make sure that the ad network is not given priority by the ad mediation platform.
However, if you do that, you need to have other ad networks to fall back on. Otherwise, you’ll end up with low fill rate.
Set Up Your Waterfall Optimally
My next ad mediation tip is about setting up your waterfall. In general, ad mediation platforms have three different ways to set it up. Automatic, manual, and mixed.
If you choose the automatic mode, the ad mediation platform will automatically rank ad networks in the waterfall.
Here’s how it works.
Every day, the ad mediation platform will check which ad networks had the highest eCPM. Then the ad networks will be prioritized based on that. However, since it is done based on the data from the previous day, it might not be optimal.
You can also choose to set up your waterfall manually. This gives you full control over which ad networks get priority. However, it does require a lot of experience and knowledge from your side. You need to know what you’re doing.
How to Set Up Your Waterfall Manually
A piece of general advice is to set up your ad networks in three tiers. The first tier should contain three ad networks with the highest performance for a specific GEO. Those should always be at the top of your waterfall.
The second (middle) tier should include multiple ad networks that perform great in certain geos but lack the overall performance. On average, those ad networks can generate anywhere from ten to thirty percent of your ad revenue.
The third tier or the bottom layer should contain ad networks that will take care of ad requests that were not filled by any of the top-tiered networks. In other words, the leftovers. They will have lower eCPMs, but that’s ok because their purpose is to get a 100% fill rate.
Finally, you can choose something in between automatic and manual waterfall mode. That way, a part of the process is on auto-pilot, while you have control of the rest of it.
Set eCPM Floors
A more advanced mobile ad mediation tip is to set eCPM floors for each ad network. When you do that, the ad mediation platform will only serve ads if an ad network meets that floor value.
If it doesn’t, the mediation platform goes to other networks to fill an ad request. That way, you get more high paying ads and ultimately maximize your ad revenue.
However, keep in mind that setting a high eCPM floor will most likely decrease your fill rate. On the other hand, if the eCPM floor is too low, you’ll get a high fill rate, but lower-paying ads. So the trick is to find an eCPM floor value that creates a good balance.
Test and Track
Ad mediation is not something you do once and then let go. It’s something you constantly need to track, test, and optimize to get the best results.
However, it’s important to note that tests should be organized and done systematically. If you tweak everything at once and do it often, you’ll have no idea what affected the results you’re getting. So stick with simple A/B testing.
2 Important Metrics You Need to Track
You’re probably wondering, “How will I know that I’m on the right track?” Out of all the metrics and data, eCPM is the most reliable and it will lead you to successful ad mediation.
Another important metric you should pay attention to is ARPDAU. Increasing it is the end goal of ad mediation. You should analyze both eCPM and ARPDAU it on a daily basis. If you see big changes in those metrics, whether it’s an increase or a decrease, you need to figure out what’s going immediately.
A Summary of Ad Mediation Tips for App Developers
Ad mediation is not something you can master in a day. It takes a lot of time and effort to get it right. Remember, there is no perfect formula that will work for everyone. There are no quick fixes or cheat sheets.
However, through some trial and error, you’ll be able to set up an ad mediation process that will bring you more ad revenue.
To summarize, using an ad mediation platform is imperative. Not only does it make the whole process easier, but it also allows you to monetize your app more effectively.
Choosing the right ad networks is another important part of a successful ad mediation strategy. Also, make sure there is no bias when it comes to prioritizing ad networks.
Setting up the waterfall and eCPM floor manually might be challenging at first. However, once you get the hang of it, it will be much easier to manage. If you’re a complete beginner, you might want to start with the automatic mode when it comes to the waterfall setup.
Lastly, keep track of important metrics, especially eCPMs and fill rate. Make sure to test everything in order to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s the only way to successfully optimize the ad mediation process.
What’s your biggest pain point when it comes to ad mediation? Have these ad mediation tips been helpful? Comment below with any questions you might have.