3 Things Publishers Need to Know About Rich Media

The world of creative in online advertising is constantly evolving. It seems that every month we’re reading about new types of creative that can be implemented on a publisher’s web site. While many still use plain images to do their advertising (and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!), we are beginning to see that advertiser’s want to more to directly engage the user, and when they do, it leads to quantifiable results.

While Flash® is still considered ‘Rich Media’ by many, it is quickly becoming ‘standard’ creative in this day and age. Flash® ads are now so common that even as a user myself, I do not feel that it captivates my attention like many of the newer brands of creative – ads such as push-downs, interstitials, and floating ads, while sometimes annoying to the user, also present a better opportunity to capture the user’s attention.

So if you are a publisher and want to get involved in the freshest types of rich media, here are 3 things to know so that you aren’t caught off-guard by the newest creative types.

1. Rich Media Vendors are the way to go.

If you’ve yet to take a dive into the world of rich media, know that there are specialists out there whose core competency is building and serving high-end rich media. Providers such as Pointroll, Media Mind(formerly Eyeblaster) and Eyewonder specialize in this type of work, and can handle any questions you may have about rich media as well as assist you and your advertiser in the creation of your product. Operative has developed partnerships with several of these vendors as well- reach out to us if you would like an introduction!

2. Rich Media creative is served differently than standard creative.

Standard ads are served through an ad tag on your website. These ad tags contain a specific size and directly correlate to a specific position on your page. There is very little complexity here. When delving into a high-end rich media creative, the equation changes. Take a “pushdown” for instance:  This ad is meant to load as a standard ad, but when you mouse over it, it “pushes” the content of your page down as the ad expands to a greater size. To create this type of movement, the code within the ad interacts with the code on your web page, creating this action. Obviously this can be a complicated process, which leads us to…

3. There will be some frustrations!

Most publishers can attest to the struggles obtaining creative in time for an on-time campaign launch. When using rich media, the struggle may increase. As a publisher, if you know you are going to be using rich media, it is best to plan for it! Rich media creative often require extensive testing in a custom set-up test environment (make sure you have one!) before setting the creative live to your actual web page. These ads often do not work the way you expect them to on the first try, so it’s imperative to test them before launch. This, of course, means you’ll need the creative in your hands well before the launch- so make sure you plan ahead for this when scheduling campaigns and working with a creative developer!

Diving head-first into the world of rich media is an exciting step for every publisher…and can lead to increased revenue. But know that a lot of work, and often times, a lot of patience is a part of the package! All in all however, employing rich media on your site can be a tremendous benefit to both you (higher CPMs), and your advertisers (more customers)!


Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Operative Blog.