Uncover Performing Ad Placements and Banner Creatives

By Ian Fernando

Doing media buys can be time consuming. I know one issue I have is finding the right site to advertise on. You have to literally do the demo research on the site and find out if they will fit your affiliate offer. Then you have to either come up with a good landing page and then banner creatives. It does take time to create a proper media buy campaign.

I was introduced to a new platform back at Affiliate Summit West 2011 this year by a good friend I met back at Affiliate Summit Boston in 2008, (this is why you should attend affiliate summit). Anyways my buddy, we shall call him Slightly Shady Seo introduce me to his new banner spy tool at a club. I was pretty amazed at the platform and I was even thinking of doing a spy tool for the direct/media buy space . The reason is because there are so many spy tools for PPC and PPC, but nothing for direct banner buys.

Besides being a bit tipsy and pretty intrigue about his new platform, I wanted to see how it would work and run. Later on in the year they launched and i caught up with another friend I met at past Affiliate Summit, Max. At this past affiliate summit, he introduce me to a newer interface of their platform. Their banner spy tool is called, What Runs Where - great domain by the way.

As you can see from the screenshot above I am looking for some sort of ringtone creatives and offers being promoted, even sites. This tool is very simple you either already have an idea of what you are promoting and want to see where others are placing their banners or you want to find new ideas on how others are creating their creatives. This tool is like any other spy tool, it is how you take in the data and use it.

For example, I would want to see the top ad placements that has been stable for a specific creative because it tells me that LP and that banner creative are performing better than the others. You can learn a lot from what these guys are gathering, the amount of data that is being gathered is amazing. Again it is all about deciphering the data and how you look at it.

Also, you can see from the screenshot below, you can take a look at multiple aspects from finding new traffic sources. You can literally spy and see where the banners have been advertising on. Specifically the top performing banner because a performing banner means it gets the attention of the user and it gets the clicks. You can check out how long a banner has been advertising on a specific site. Giving you the opportunity to advertise on that site or even contacting the webmaster to do a direct banner buy.

You can break everything down to the LPs being used. Now you can see what the advertiser has been testing! You will also notice some offers have international versions as well, so they have their set of URLs as well. Breaking each link, campaign down to its minuscule details. You can find out about everything about the advertiser or a Flog, Fnews or landing page. Having this information will help you with your next media buy or direct banner buy.

Some Negatives:

  • Slow load time on some information I wanted to gather, for example their search is pretty slow.
  • Labels not properly named or named at all, some graphs I see I don't understand because there isn't any proper labels

Those are the only 2 negatives, I also know they are working on some fixes and working to fix and optimize their backend. I have seen this site when they first launched to where it is now and it is definitely improving.

What Runs Where is definitely a spy tool that leverages other peoples work and providing that work to you in forms of numbers and graphs. Since this is a tool, don't expect to bank tomorrow. It is a tool, if you hit your thumb with a hammer instead of the nail - whose fault is it really?

Like any other spy tool, it is what you do with the data which can help you advance your campaign. The days of Google Adword spy such as PPC Bully and Keyword spy is now moving towards other traffic sources, such as a PPV Spy Tool and now banner buy tools. It is how you interpret and analyze the data and everyone looks at one aspect more than another. Numbers and data is a very important part of affiliate marketing. The more you can do without really doing is a huge benefit to you as a marketer.

If you are doing Google Content Network or any type of banner buys, definitely check out this banner spy tool. It has a lot of information you can utilize right away. Just finding new traffic sources is an essential part of your marketing campaign!

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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