How To Ensure Brand Safety In a Programmatic Environment

Ideas & Tips
January 12, 2021
How To Ensure Brand Safety In a Programmatic Environment

Do your customers trust your brand? In the current programmatic landscape, digital advertisers face the challenge of preserving brand safety. If your ads are shown on inappropriate websites, they may damage the reputation of your brand. Moreover, you may end up spending your budget ineffectively (such as on bots and invaluable websites).

Therefore, even with the advantages of programmatic buying, advertisers must also be careful about where they show their ads to make sure that the audience has a better online experience.

Ad fraud, unsafe content, and unfamiliar processes often come into play when you’re booking programmatically. In particular, advertisers must demand more transparency and choose reliable suppliers to keep their brand reputation undamaged.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what brand safety is and why it is important for your company. Moreover, we’ll explore some tested ways you can ensure brand safety when advertising programmatically.

How To Ensure Brand Safety In a Programmatic Environment | Eskimi
Source: Freepik

What is Brand Safety?

Brand safety involves a set of measures aimed to safeguard the image and status of brands from the undesirable or harmful impact of dubious or inapt content when advertising on the internet.

While responding to ads being placed next to objectionable content, several businesses have decreased advertising budgets and removed ads from digital marketing and social media platforms.

Why is Brand Safety Important?

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), there’s a need for a “proper procedure” in digital advertising to provide a secure environment for ad exchange. This is to avoid possible risks like ad fraud, for instance.

Without the right guidelines, ads targeted to the right person on the wrong content may give the viewer a poor first impression. And we all know how an instant first impression makes or breaks a user’s connection to a brand.

77% of brands say brand safety is a key priority | Eskimi
Source: Marketing Week

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should ensure brand safety when advertising programmatically.

1. Ads give your users the first impression of your brand

In the customer-centric world today, the influential power lies in the hands of our users. Your advertisements are perhaps the first touchpoint your users have with your business. When deciding which advertising formats to use, step in your user’s shoes and consider how you would prefer to first see an advertisement.

Coalition for Better Ads, a Google initiative, and GDPR have greatly impacted the world of online advertising. Google, in particular, is striving hard to promote transparency while avoiding nasty online user experience. That’s why it is now filtering out undesirable ad format attempts to prevent ad blocking while regulating responsible advertising.

At the same time, GDPR safeguards customers’ privacy and exposure to unsuitable content. Customers can block, report, or negatively promote your business via word of mouth for any poor experience they had with your advertisement.

Think about the kind of formats to use when publishing your advertisements. Formats that aren’t in compliance with Google’s Coalition for Better Ads, like pop-up advertisements, are considered as “bothersome” to viewers. Plus, your brand has the risk of being misjudged. It’s best to opt for less disruptive ads, like native formats, as they can help enhance your brand’s first impression to customers.

2. Ads shown on relevant websites can improve your brand reputation

It only takes a few seconds for advertisements to tempt the target users. However, this greatly depends on where you put your ad. There are plenty of unsafe websites out there such as extremist websites, sites promoting drugs, fake news outlets, and malgorithms, which are misalignment between an ad and a webpage.

It’s no longer sufficient to have quality campaign content. Customers are quick to determine whether or not they trust a business based on its editorial placement. At times, customers frame an opinion way before acknowledging the advertisement creative itself. So, try concentrating on a solid brand presence by avoiding irrelevant ad placement.

Avoiding risky ad placement shows that your brand cares | Eskimi
Source: Freepik

3. Avoiding risky ad placement shows that your brand cares

When placing your ad on any digital platform, think about the tone and context of it. According to a brand safety research report, ads placed on adverse content caused a 2.8 times decrease in customer’s intent to associate with those brands. Moreover, customers are 4.5 times more probable to feel that a company isn’t concerned about them. This significantly declines the quality perception of brands by almost 7 times.

Let’s take an example to better understand. Suppose there’s a fast-food restaurant showing its ad on a website that supports a vegan lifestyle. This arrangement already puts the company at risk. While the advertisement can be effective in targeting the intended non-vegan users, the actual vegans who follow the website are more probable to view the unrelated ad. This alone can cause the business to give a negative impression for simply linking with an unsuitable editorial environment. Consider avoiding this issue and show that your company truly cares for the user experience.

Preventing unsuitable content supports responsible brand advertising | Eskimi
Source: Freepik

4. Preventing unsuitable content supports responsible brand advertising

IAB has defined brand safety as an approach to prevent ad placement on unsuitable or illegal content. It has clearly defined several categories of what content is reflected as unsafe. Websites or content associated with any of these categories put businesses at risk. This eventually gives customers an undesirable online experience.

The way you convey your message and the tone you adopt impact your users and eventually any buyer prospects. By carefully placing advertisements on sites relevant to your target users, advertisers can epitomise a customer-oriented service from their business.

5. Delivering a great online user experience rewards your company

As mentioned, your ads are perhaps your first point of contact with a customer. Therefore, it is significant to get that good first impression of your users. At the end of the day, any one of them could be a potential buyer of your product or service.

Customers want appropriate and relevant content when they browse online through several platforms. So, your company must maintain an apt reputation not only to gather “brownie points” but most essentially, for responsible advertising by providing customers a good online experience.

Ensure Brand Safety With Eskimi

To ensure brand safety, it is best to buy ad space directly from reliable publishers. This will allow you to directly address brand safety apprehensions. Moreover, advertisers and publishers may also use 3rd party brand safety services that can be incorporated into the advertising system.

At Eskimi, we use 5 layers to protect your brand, including:

1. Traffic source content information

Eskimi DSP uses information provided by exchange/publisher about the content of the website.

2. Crawler

Our crawling process includes sorting traffic sources (URLs) from most to least popular. Next, we download textual data and then analyse it against a keyword list. If the site isn’t crawled or the crawler finds a keyword from the ‘Do Not Show If’ list, we don’t buy an impression and do not even show on the URL. You can also use the Eskimi DSP crawler on localised content.

3. URL keyword checking

If the URL contains keywords from the block list, we won’t purchase the impression or show it on the URL.

4. Blacklist/whitelist

Our human-curated backlists and whitelists can help identify sensitive graphical content and URLs without keywords. We can even identify apps with limited automated checking.

5. External tools and services

Along with Eskimi’s in-house brand safety solutions, we’ve partnered with several other industry players including DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science (IAS), The Media Trust, and MOAT.

To start your journey towards maintaining brand safety with Eskimi, all you need is a list of keywords and websites that you want to block. Learn more about our brand safety solution set here.

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