Self-service online ad buying solutions have existed for more than a decade, dominated primarily by Google. Self-serve campaigns make it easy for a media planner to allocate small dollars to test the waters or big dollars if the platform performs well.
Search engines not withstanding, you can choose from many other self-serve online ad-buying options, with more being added all the time. I’ve compiled a master list here. If I’ve missed any, please let me know in the comments below.
First, a few caveats:
- Self-serve campaigns, though often costing less money, can take up to 25 percent more time to set up and manage.
- With self-serve, you really can’t negotiate for bonus impressions.
- Some self-serve solutions won’t work with your ad server.
- Campaign controls, like frequency capping, dayparting, and pacing, often aren’t available.
- Obtaining screen shots or proof of delivery could be more difficult or impossible.
- Receiving makegoods for click or impression discrepancies will probably be tough.
And now, the list!
Self-Serve Display Ads
- AdReady. AdReady builds custom ads by target audience and buy your campaign within the AdReady solution.
- Adroll.com. AdRoll offers niche publishers and uses a proprietary visitor rating system to match advertisers with publishers.
- Blogads. Blogads’ ad units combine an image with linked text.
- Entrecard.com (beta). Entrecard distributes 125 x 125 display ads across its blog network.
- Federated Media Publishing. Ads are placed on blogs within its network.
- Mochi Media. Mochi Media offers in-game (pre-load) 300 x 250 display ads.
- Pennyweb. AdDynamix and the Pennyweb Network comprise a wide range of specialty-content Web sites and premium publishers.
Self-Serve Text and Contextually Targeted Ads
- AdBrite. AdBrite offers banner, text ads, and its own format offerings.
- Clicksor. The “Standard” account option is self-serve.
- ContextWeb. Text and display ads are purchased in an auction exchange.
- Marchex Adhere. Adhere offers contextual and display ads.
- Text Link Ads. The ads offered are primarily for SEO (define).
Self-Serve Multiple Ad Types
- Ad Onion. Ad Onion offers text and display ads.
- AdEngage. AdEngage offers text and display ads.
- AdOn Network. AdOn offers display, search, mobile, and “background” ads.
- AOL Advertising (formerly Platform-A). AOL Advertising offers Quigo (contextual ads), Bid Place (banners), and LeadBack.com (retargeting).
- Pheedo. Pheedo offers display, text, and proprietary formats, all delivered via RSS readers, start pages, and widgets.
- Technorati Engage (beta). Ads are delivered to blogs and specialized niche content sites.
Self-Serve Lead Generation
- Pontiflex. A transparent cost-per-lead market
Self-Serve Local Ads
- MSNBC. MSNBC sells its ad space to small and local businesses through a partnership with AdReady.
- NYTimes.com. Like MSNBC, NYTimes.com has partnered with AdReady to offer $5 CPMs (define) to local small businesses.
- Trulia Pro. Trulia Pro is a real estate advertising solution.
- Yahoo. My Display Ads program wins over local advertisers and converts search advertisers to display.
Self-Serve Social Media Ads
- Facebook. Facebook allows you to quickly create image and text-based ads. You can advertise your own Web page or something on Facebook, like a Page or an Event, and you can choose CPC (define) or CPM.
- MySpace. MyAds serves banners based on user hobbies, interests, age, gender, and location.
Self-Serve Mobile Ads
- AdMob. Text and image ads are available.
- Adfonic. Adfonic is a self-service mobile advertising marketplace.
- Jumptap. TapMatch provides a variety of targeting through mobile for text or banner ads.
- Millennial Media. The DeckTrade solution is for CPC mobile advertising.
- Mojiva. Mojiva is a bid auction environment for mobile advertising.
- Velti. All aspects of mobile advertising are offered.
- Zeep Media. Zeep Media offers SMS advertising.
Self-Serve Video Ads
- FourSpots. FourSpots allows advertisers to quickly and easily create, customize, and place video and banner ads from ad templates.
- Jivox. Jivox is specifically geared toward local businesses.
I hope you’ve found this list helpful. I welcome your feedback, and again, if I’ve forgotten any important mentions, please let me know in the comments section below.