The Benefits of Publisher-Direct Buys

December 14, 2022 • Kerri-ann McGinty, EVP, Media

At Allied, we consider publisher direct advertising buys a key part of the performance media mix.

Programmatic buying does have advantages, including algorithm-based placements, efficient CPMs, and automated workflows. But working directly with publishers, we have more control over spend, target audience, and creative elements. This can result in better value for money and more effective campaigns. Additionally, direct advertising buys let us establish relationships directly with the publisher, which can yield opportunities and added value which generally aren’t available with programmatic buys.

What are the benefits of working directly with publishers?

  1. Guaranteed delivery
    Programmatic buying is auction based, with ad space given to the highest bidder. There’s no guarantee on price, contextual placement, or impression volume. When we work directly with a publisher, we’re able to ensure our ads are:

    • Adjacent to preferred content
    • In front of a specific target audience
    • Running at our preferred times and dates
    • Charged at a set rate
  2. Custom Creative
    Site takeovers have high visibility, drive desirable CTRs, and generate brand awareness. While some takeovers can be purchased programmatically, as an advertiser you often have less control over how much impression share you may receive and how the creative will appear on the site.

    One recent example of a site takeover we deployed is a full roadblock with custom skin, and video units for two highly anticipated shows - one a series premiere, the other a premiere of the final season. By working directly with the publisher, we were able to specify impression share per title, ensuring the site’s audience would see creative for both shows.

  1. Custom Content and Targeted Placement
    When we buy direct, we know we’re getting an audience specifically interested in the site’s content, and it lets us affiliate our clients' brands with the authenticity and credibility of that content. This is true whether it’s a website, or a podcast where the message is read by the host.

    For example, by establishing a partnership with our building materials client and HGTV, we have collaborated on custom videos which run across HGTV’s social media pages. These videos are created in the voice of HGTV, giving our client that credibility with the audience.

  1. Less Risk
    When we buy direct, we’re dealing directly with the publisher or its representatives. That means we have a specific contact in the event of any issues, and it mitigates the risk of ad fraud. It also means we have the opportunity to craft custom placements, learn about upcoming content, and sometimes sponsor entire sections.

In summary

While direct buying and programmatic buying seem like mutually exclusive options, the reality is our strategic performance approach embraces each of them. In a future post, we’ll examine the benefits of programmatic buying, and how we use it to benefit Allied clients.

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