AdVault – The Native Ads Spy Tool You’ve Been Waiting For

Written by Zac Johnson
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Native advertising is taking over the internet. What first started out as something that was on just a handful of websites and blogs, is now on nearly every major new and media outlet online. Forbes, ESPN, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur — yep, it’s on them all… and plenty more are on the way!

Why is everyone jumping on the native advertising trend? Simply because it’s making all sides of the party a massive amount of money. Content sites are making a ton of money from their audience clicking on these link bait titles, advertisers are getting cheap clicks and the third party at networks are making money serving the ads for both sides.

When something like this comes around, it’s not an issue of trying to reinvent the wheel… it’s simply a matter of finding out how you can use it best to your advantage.  This is exactly what we are looking at today with all of the different native advertising networks to choose from. When someone had created something that works, don’t mess with it… just work it. The same fundamental principle can be applied to the world of online advertising and marketing. Sneak a peek into what other advertisers are doing and leverage their experience for your own benefit.

Positioning itself as the native ads spy tool, Advault gives you access to millions of hot advertisements from across multiple networks. By looking into the images, ad copy, and performance of competing ads, you can put together a far more lucrative and effective campaign of your own.

AdVault – Spying for Fun and Profit

Unless you’ve been surfing from under a rock, you’ve likely noticed that the internet is filled with advertising. Some of these ads are inherently more effective and more successful than others.

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If you’re active with internet marketing, then you likely also recognize that a good deal of these ads are a part of affiliate campaigns, rather than being run by the end vendor or provider directly. Other affiliates are competing with one another for the same traffic to convert on the same or similar offers.

This is where a solution like Advault comes in handy. Through their native advertising spy tool, users can spy on other affiliates, not only seeing the images and written copy they are using but also how many times each ad has been viewed and where.

How valuable would a look like this be for your ad campaign success?

Focusing on Content Discovery Networks

The nature of the internet has shifted dramatically in recent years toward an increase in native advertising. More specifically, content discovery networks have proliferated. You’ve likely seen these as “suggested reading” and other similar widgets on some of the biggest sites on the web. If you want an idea of just how effective these types of ads are, check out my post on the most clickable celebrities online. These are the same types of ads you will likely see when browsing through AdVault.

Advault_Dashboard

When you sign up for an account with Advault, you gain access to the main dashboard above. As of this writing, the service is monitoring over three million total ads and these come from content discovery networks. By far, the two biggest names in this space are Taboola and Outbrain.

Advault also monitors advertisements that are published through other similar networks, including ContentAd, RevContent, Gravity and MGID. These all function in a similar way and thus Advault would be most appealing to advertisers who already work through content discovery networks. That said, the data can also be useful for more traditional ad networks too.

Viewing the Competition

While the main dashboard above can give you some useful “at a glance” information about the top keywords across all ads, the current top ads, and the current top advertisers, it’s through the Spylog that you’ll get to the real meat of the matter.

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The search field on the dashboard is also linked to the same Spylog. Here, you can browse through the millions of ads in the Advault database, but it is much more sensible to search for keywords (or domains and advertisers) that are relevant to your purposes.

The advanced search unlocks the ability to filter based on date range, engine, country, device, ad run duration, minimum times seen, minimum ad strength, and whether you want to focus on redirects, non-redirects, or both. If an ad is using a redirect, it’s likely an affiliate campaign.

The results page can feel a little overwhelming at first, but it will get much more straightforward once you get used to the system and vernacular. In addition to watching the countries and devices, since geo-targeting and device targeting are increasingly important, you’ll want to pay the closest attention to the “times seen” and “ad strength” figures.

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Clicking on any of the individual listings will direct you to a detailed page about that particular ad. If the “times seen” figure is comparatively high, it indicates that this is a popular ad that is getting good reach in the associated network or marketplace. Ads that aren’t being seen also aren’t getting clicked on and thus, also aren’t converting for the advertiser.

The “ad strength” figure, particularly over time, is also noteworthy. This indicates how often the ad was seen yesterday compared to all other ads in the network. A figure closer to 100 indicates more views and a figure closer to 0 indicates fewer views.

Scrolling toward the bottom of the detail page for an individual ad, you will see a list of websites where that ad was served. This can give you a good indication of the kind of audience you might expect to attract should you duplicate a similar ad. You can also click on the destination URL to see the landing page for where the ad is directed.

The Importance of Small Split Tests

By putting all of these pieces together, you get a far better sense of which campaigns have been running for the longest period of time. While the spy tool won’t reveal click-thru or conversion rates (that data is kept private, of course), you can see what ads are likely the most successful. An advertiser is very unlikely to keep a poorly performing ad running for a long time. If the campaign has been around for a while, it’s probably successful.

And if the ad is being successful, you can learn from the associated landing pages for your (affiliate) marketing purposes. The next big step is to utilize a series of split tests on an ongoing basis. Copying a successful ad verbatim may not be the best option. Try different landing pages. Try variations on the ad copy. Attempt slightly different images.

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But by starting with the information you glean through your Advault searches, you’ll waste far less money on unsuccessful campaigns and focus on great ones right away. And if you find an advertiser that consistently puts out successful ads in your niche, you can follow him/her too.

Tracking the Top Advertisers

One other very important feature to point out is LeadFinder, which is only available on the top-tier “Network” plan.

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If you find that a particular advertiser is consistently publishing ads in your niche, especially if it is a direct advertiser, it may be in your interest to connect with this advertiser directly. Perhaps you can work out a collaborative deal for your mutual benefit. You can build your own traffic network or approach new clients. The sky’s the limit.

With LeadFinder, you are given information about the over 28,000 advertisers in the AdVault database, including the name, phone and email. This can be exported to a CSV file for ease of use.

Try AdVault for Just $1

Marketers who are already spending hundreds or thousands of dollars every month on advertising are well advised to invest in a tool like Advault. Rather than waste your time and money on ads that might not work, you can spy on the competition and focus on doing split-tests solely on formulas that are already successful.

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You can try Advault for 3 days for $1 to see if it’s for you. After that, the basic plan is $179 per month, whereas the pro plan is $249 per month. The main difference is the number of networks included (the basic plan only includes Taboola and Outbrain) and the number of countries included (USA/UK only vs. 12 countries). If you want to step it up to the network plan, that is $1499 a month and unlocks all the features.

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