What is PPV Advertising? Pay Per View Marketing (PPV) is an online advertising method where a user takes certain features via a download and in exchange, they accept having to view advertisements on their device. Often times the user will download a toolbar that contains a feature/s they want- such as assess to games, Internet search, news or weather information and any number of other services. Every time an advertisement comes up and is (presumably) viewed by the user- the advertiser pays a fee to the owner of the software that the user has downloaded.
One of the most common forms of this is mobile games and apps that intermittently show the user an advertisement. Say, for example, you download a PacMan game. Each time you complete a level, you might be shown an ad for a similar game. When this happens, the party who wishes to sell the game advertised will pay the party from which you downloaded your PacMan game. So, when you sell PPV ad space, you offer advertisers an opportunity for them to have their ad viewed by potential customers.
PPV vs Spyware
Many users confuse PPV with spyware. While it is generally common knowledge that content and functionality are often offered in exchange for allowing advertisers access to the user- many times people are not aware that they are going to be shown ads. When a user is shown ads he or she doesn’t expect to see, they sometimes believe they have downloaded an item of spyware.
PPV is not spyware, and it is very important for both advertisers and PPV sellers to make sure users do not mistake their ads for an intrusive program that is sneakily or forcibly tracking their online navigation and buying behavior and showing them targeted ads.
One way PPV providers can avoid giving off the impression that their products are spyware is to alert the user before download that the software they are about to download contains advertisements. If you are a PPV provider, it is your responsibility to advertisers that you let users know up front that they will be shown ads. Most users are familiar with the advertisements for content exchange model, and will not be deterred as long as they are not surprised by the ads that are presented to them.
It is common- but increasingly less so- that PPV ads will come in the form of pop-ups. This can feel intrusive to the user- especially if the pop-ups appear when they are not using the downloaded content. It is best when the ads that come with PPV laden content appear in a way that looks and feels as if it is part of the downloaded software. Any perceived separation between the desired material and the ads runs the risk that the user will uninstall the PPV hosting content- which would mean no revenue for the host- and no brand exposure for advertisers.
What Kind of Products and Services Can PPV Promote?
You can use PPV to promote your own brand and service or sell these advertising spots to other advertisers. Practically any product, service or brand can be promoted using PPV. The only real limitation is the best practice standard with this advertising model that the host software should match the products or services advertised in some way. In our PacMan game example, for instance, the best ads to show would be other similar games that the user might buy. If the user was using a weather widget or application, then the ads shown could be gardening tools, winter apparel, snow tires, and so on.
What Kind of Startup Investment is Needed?
Advertising on a PPV platform is generally fairly affordable compared to other forms of advertising- but if you’re running a small or startup business, it can still feel like a significant investment. Every PPV network comes with their own initial cost requirements. One of the most expensive is Propel Media (formerly TrafficVance), which has an initial deposit requirement of $1000. Others, such as Adon Network, ask for initial deposits as low as $25.
At this point, you’re probably wondering how much more exposure you’ll get using a network like Propel Media compared to Adon. There’s no doubt that not every PPV service is created equal- and you will get an amount of exposure commensurate with your level of investment. But which network offers the best value? It depends on what you’re advertising, where, and how much. You’ll need to do some research (by talking to each company) to see which network is best for your brand or business- and what level of investment will get you over the threshold you need to cross before you start seeing the desired level of return on your investment.
The Benefits of Pay-Per-View Advertising
The most important benefit of PPV is the low initial cost. The amount of money you pay the host each time a user views one of your ads can be as low as $0.01. That means if your ads are seen 10,000 times, you will pay $100 to the host. So, it’s important that your ads are effective.
Other advantages include:
- No risk of account bans, (unless you’re doing something clearly unacceptable)
- No quality score issues to deal with
- PPV networks tend to offer plenty of support to their affiliates
- Direct linking from an ad to your site or landing page is allowed
- Unlimited traffic potential
- Unlimited potential ROI
Making Your PPV Ads Count
The art of advertising is too vast a subject to cover here, but there are a few guidelines you should keep in mind when you create an ad for PPV.
Get the User’s Attention- Without being Jarring
PPV ads run the risk of feeling interruptive, even intrusive. So you have to present it in a way that’s consistent with the host material- if possible. It should feel like the ad is a part of the content they chose to download- indeed an extension of it.
Keep Text to a Minimum
Most PPV hosing content is entertainment- so your audience probably isn’t in the mood for a lecture or infomercial. Limit text to that which is absolutely necessary.
Have a Consistent Landing Page
Your landing page should be thematically consistent with the ad, otherwise the user is likely to believe they have been taken somewhere they did not intend to go.
Remember your Funnel
Provide an easy and sensible path from the ad to the point of purchase, or other desired behavior to which you want users to commit. Use compelling calls to action, and plenty of attractive content to guide them from playing a game on the PPV host network- to buying your product or service.
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