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4 Ways to Maximize Your Ad Inventory, presented by the IAB at #BlogHer17


The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has been publishing advertising standards for the digital advertising industry for more than two decades, but advertising technology is constantly evolving. We were fortunate to have IAB Faculty member Kara Dempsey join us at #BlogHer17 to discuss how to boost your ad revenue through the right placement types, ad formats and page design for your unique content.

Here are the highlights from her session:


  • Find a way to add video advertising to your site. Why? Because video ads command higher CPMs and advertisers and hungry for legitimate video impressions.
  • If you don’t have a video player, try outstream video ads (also known as in-read or native video), which autoplays in a large format player whenever a user navigates to it, typically within an article. The best part? A publisher doesn’t even have to have their own video content to run this type of unit.



  • Create custom sponsored content or native ad experiences for brands you work with to promote their products.
  • This can be done through in-feed units, recommendation widgets, IAB standard in-ad native units, paid search units, promoted listings, and more.
  • The benefits for publishers are additional revenue, more content, and deeper relationships with brands Disclosure is key here, even though the ad is “native” consumers should still be able to tell the difference between editorial content and paid placements.
  • The benefits for advertisers are deeper engagement with consumers, positive brand image, and potential for data collection.
  • The benefits for consumers is that native is less intrusive than display advertising, and it’s generally entertaining, informative and relevant. It’s important to note that consumers like native advertising as long as it’s authentic.



  • Use ad tags that allow you to pass data, regarding audience, geography and other user parameters.
  • This can be done through cookies (a small text file that lives on a browser and is used to track users), first or third party cookies, or a pixel/tracking tag (a transparent gif placed on a site or an ad that uses cookies to track events)
  • Get to know key advertising targets:
    • Demographic Targeting: Based on age, gender, income or other characteristics
    • Geo-Targeting: Based on geographic location, including geo-fencing on mobile
    • Device Targeting: Based on a user’s mobile, tablet, or desktop device
    • Contextual Targeting: Based on keywords
    • Behavioral Targeting: Based on web browsing history
    • Retargeting: Based on a user’s prior exposure to a site, product or campaign
    • Purchase-Based Targeting: Based on a user’s purchase history
    • Day Parting: Based on time of day
    • Look-a-Like Modeling: Based on finding similar audiences that share attributes with a target.



  • For more than a decade, the IAB has been publishing Digital Advertising Standards and Guidelines. These are updated every year.
  • Placing ad space above the fold (the viewable part of web page before a user scrolls) makes an ad more likely to be counted as viewable.
  • In order for an ad to count as viewable, IAB viewability standards state that display ads must have at least 50% of ad pixels in view for at least 1 second. For video, it’s at least 50% of pixels in view for at least 2 continuous seconds.
  • Using responsive design, providing a good user experience, removing ad clutter, and minimizing ad blocking can also help.



Ask your partners these 5 questions:

  1. What ad formats do you support?
  2. What compensation models do you offer?
  3. What ad management systems or reporting features can I use?
  4. How many buyers (agencies/advertisers/demand sources) do you work with?
  5. What controls are in place to prevent poor quality ad experiences from showing on my site?


This session was presented by IAB Education Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. It was formed to tackle to two prominent issues in the industry; a growing talent and skills gap, and lack of gender, racial, cultural, and economic diversity. In response, the IAB Education Foundation and its iDiverse initiative launched a Digital Advertising Program to provide job-seekers with insight into the industry ecosystem and to arm them with the necessary skills to excel in entry-level positions. They are committed to building a diverse digital talent pipeline and changing how diversity is perceived and rewarded within organizations.


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