After a decade in the advertising game, during which it has become the fourth largest ad network in the world, Barcelona-based ad company ExoClick‘s biggest advertiser vertical is dating.
With offices across Spain and one in Dublin, the ad network, founded by CEO Benjamin Fonzé in 2006, serves over 165bn geo-targeted ads every month to a global network of 65,000 publisher platforms.
And at the start of March, ExoClick announced some exciting news – it was launching a native advertising format to its platform, which enables publishers to fully-customise ads so they fit with the style of their sites.
With the launch of this new native advertising widget, we spoke to ExoClick’s Head of Advertising, Oliwia Kaluzynska, about its potential for both advertisers and publishers – check out the interview below.
Can you give us some background about ExoClick as a company?
ExoClick began in 2006, and has grown to be the fourth largest ad network in the world, according to W3Techs. We have been in business for a decade, and have achieved substantial year-on-year growth because we always put tech first. By continually reinvesting our profits into new products and our proprietary ad serving platform, we ensure that our clients have the best tools available in order to maximise their revenues.
Our team consists of over 115 talented experts made up of 24 different nationalities, each experienced in their own local markets, which gives us the edge over our competitors. We have three offices in Spain: Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, and an office in Dublin, Ireland.
Can you give us an overview of the business and what you offer?
We serve over 165bn geo-targeted ads each month, to a global network of 65,000 desktop/mobile publisher platforms. Our proprietary ad serving platform offers 20+ different ad formats, optimised targeting and behavioural retargeting, day parting, access to real-time statistics, server-to-server tracking and strategic big data analysis tools to further improve ROI. There are two ways to work with ExoClick – self-service and programmatically via RTB and our platform API.
ExoClick is a transparent network, our clients have access to their real-time statistics to help them find more ways to segment and analyse their big data. Our traffic is of high quality, we don’t work with blind traffic, we know where all of our traffic comes from and we have exclusive traffic deals with many large publishers. Additionally, we don’t segment our traffic for premium and performance-based campaigns, everyone has access to the same traffic ensuring everyone benefits from the same opportunities. Our team of advertising account managers help our clients manage their campaigns strategically, in order to help them achieve the results they want.
What sort of verticals do you work in? Which are your biggest?
It depends on the GEO, but our main verticals are dating, VoD, webcams, male enhancement and gaming.
How much of ExoClick’s business is focused on dating?
It is our biggest advertiser vertical. At present, it is the most popular credit card billing product in all countries and we cover a range of niches including MILF, teens, grannies, BDSM and gay. Regarding gay, we feature specific labels so that gay ads go on gay sites and not straight sites, which some networks don’t provide.
Which companies do you work with in the online dating industry?
We work directly with product owners as well as affiliates and affiliate networks.
What sort of publishers do you work with?
We work with the biggest international tube sites as well as country and niche-specific publishers. Giving advertisers access to GEO-centred publishers is very important in the dating vertical, especially for localised dating products.
What kind of challenges does the online dating vertical present compared to others?
Dating is now a very saturated market. In order to stand out, advertisers need to work on the quality of their product, ensure that they have an active user base in order to drive new sign ups and extend user lifetime. Niche dating has seen significant growth, and specialising in particular niches can differentiate your product from other dating offers.
Why do dating brands work with ExoClick – what sets you apart from your competitors?
Clients choose to work with us because of our worldwide traffic, our volumes and our targeting features which allow advertisers to reach specific niches, along with GEO, language, keywords, browser, OS, device, mobile carrier and site targeting. Big dating companies are present in most countries, which is why they benefit from using ExoClick’s global publisher network.
We also offer day-parting, allowing advertisers to release campaigns at specific times, which is especially useful for dating offers. Our behavioural retargeting and frequency capping allows advertisers to reach specific users who have already shown some interest in an advertiser’s offer, improving their lead to sales ratios.
Our range of ad formats are highly effective with video, display banners, instant message and native advertising being the most popular for dating offers, and our popunders are an extremely powerful tool for retargeting consumers.
Can you tell us about your new native advertising format? What does it do, and why are you excited about it?
Native ads appear just like the editorial of a publisher’s site, so they don’t get ignored or bypassed and they don’t interrupt the user experience like an animated banner would. The format is a mix of a title, image (300x300px) and a short description, and is fully responsive for desktop, mobile and tablet.
User engagement is significantly higher with native ads, leading to a much higher CTR and driving more traffic to an offer’s landing page. There, the advertiser can create even deeper consumer engagement with a compelling landing page. The key here is not to create a totally sales-driven page, use the page to educate and entertain the user about your dating offer. Make the page appear like a blog post and you could include content such as a video sign up tutorial, successful dating case studies, client testimonials, first date tips, romantic local places to meet for a date, how to use the dating platform to find the perfect partner, etc. You can then place your call to action at the bottom of the landing page. Another way we have seen that also drives dating conversions and engagement is to use a pre-lander survey, by teasing the user with a range of multiple choice questions – once the survey is completed, the user is taken to an appropriate landing page.
Using ExoClick’s native ad format comes with a great set of optimisation tools including deep targeting, analytical features to measure real-time statistics, server-to-server tracking, and we also allow third party tracking integration with companies such as Voluum, Has Offers, etc. Our native format will also automatically optimise the images you upload based on the best CTR, so try to upload up to 10 images for an offer to maximise your conversion opportunities. We also have a very useful “Offers” feature which automates the traffic distribution sent to an offer’s variant landing pages, the algorithm can be set to send more traffic to the best-performing landing page.
We are really excited about the potential native advertising offers and we are running a special month-long promotion throughout April for advertisers to test out the format. For every USD/EUR each advertiser spends on ExoClick’s native advertising format during the month of April 2017, they will receive 50% back of the total amount they have invested, which can then be spent on ExoClick’s traffic during May 2017.
Minimum investment is 1,000 USD/EUR to qualify for the cash back. As with any ad format, it is a case of optimising and testing before seeing results. By lessening the financial burden of the initial testing with our 50% cash back promotion, it is an excellent, risk-free way to really experiment and learn how to use native advertising, so that advertisers can see the benefits this ad format brings to consumer engagement and to driving conversions.
Find out more about ExoClick here.