Programmatic and remnant advertising can be a confusing space. Whether you are new to the process or you've been delivering these ads for years, there is always room for improvement. The industry is constantly offering new solutions and optimizing existing products. Keep reading for tips and new opportunities to boost your programmatic revenue.

Standardizing ad sizes

The very first step is ensuring you are offering the industry standard ad sizes to the networks and exchanges. The programmatic offerings for anything outside of the standard sizes are limited in impressions available and potential revenue. The following standard ad sizes will provide nearly 100 percent fill and much higher CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) and revenue.

  • 300x250: A long-time standard that is still critical, has the best fill rates and the highest eCPMs (effective cost per thousand impressions).
  • 728x90: Also an old standard that is highly important with similar fill rates to the 300x250 ad size.
  • 300x600: A new size for desktop that is making waves.
  • 320x50 or 300x50: The new standard sizes for mobile that are gaining popularity.

New mobile standards

Monetizing your mobile inventory is becoming more critical each day, with nearly 50 percent of site traffic coming from mobile devices. Along with this rapid increase in mobile traffic comes new ad positions for the existing 320x50 and 300x250 ad sizes.

  • Leaderboard: Placing a 320x50 or 300x50 ad as a typical mobile leaderboard is a great option.

  • Fixed footer: The 320x50 or 300x50 ad size can also be placed as a fixed footer that "sticks" to the bottom of the page as the user scrolls.

  • In-story: The 300x250 ad size fits well as an in-story ad position, with the ability to have more than one in a single story, depending on the article length.

  • Photo galleries: Placing a 300x250 ad as an intermittent load in a photo gallery increases available impressions for mobile. With this option, you can display an ad between photos (but it is recommended that no more than every fourth image be an ad).

Photo gallery ad

The above example illustrates an ad delivering in a photo gallery.

Premium sizes for local

Reserving your billboards, pencil expanders, interstitials and other premium ad placements for local advertisers while keeping the industry standard sizes available to programmatic is a great way to monetize all sizes. This ensures your local advertisers have the highest impact ads, while your other sizes are still bringing in revenue.

Position targeting

One industry trick to increasing revenue on existing ad positions is to contact your networks and exchanges to see if they can provide position or audience targeting. The ability to target by position is a quick way to increase your eCPM.

The most common position targeting is Above The Fold (ATF), visible on pageload, and Below The Fold (BTF), visible only after scrolling down the page. For example, if you are getting a $1.00 eCPM for all inventory, try setting up an ATF ad tag at $1.25 floor and a BTF ad tag at $1.00 floor. You know the inventory can bring $1.00, but you may be surprised that the ATF inventory is worth much more than the BTF inventory.

Pricing floors & waterfall setup

With much of the buying and selling going on behind the scenes, pricing your programmatic inventory can be a challenge. Setting up a strategic waterfall of programmatic and network partners at different pricing levels can lead to much higher fill rates and eCPMs overall. Having the top performing partner at the top, with the highest eCPMs and flowing the traffic through the other partners in performance order will allow your inventory to be monetized at every level. Taking time every quarter to evaluate the performance of each partner is also very important, as it may change drastically depending on the time of year and other factors.

Setting aside time with your team to set up a waterfall of high performing partners, with optimal ad sizes and position targeting can certainly increase the revenue and eCPMs for your programmatic inventory. If your team makes this a priority, it will pay off!

Stevie Longwith is the Ad Ops program manager at TownNews.