350 Media Reaches Green Viewers with adOS
If you want to start your own vertical ad network, you don’t have to be an ad trafficking expert– starting out as a publisher is the perfect beginning. Oliver Strube from green-minded network 350 Media explains how he’s managed his own successful vertical with adOS.
Tell us about 350 Media:
350 Media is an ad network connecting green advertisers with a green-minded audience across a network of green-focused blogs and publications.
How long have you been around?
We started the business in September 2011 and officially launched the 350 Media ad network in November of that year.
How did it get started?
I had just sold my first venture, RenewableEnergyWorld.com, to a big publisher in the energy space and knew that I wasn’t done with promoting green living or renewable energy. I had always thought about creating an ad network for renewable energy at REW, but that never worked out because we were always working on selling our own inventory. After my exit from REW in April 2011 I thought, now is the time to jump into an ad network, but I wanted it to be broader than just renewable energy and at the same time still pretty vertical. The space loosely defined as ‘green’ seemed just right to me.
Where are you located?
We are located in the tiny former mill town of Harrisville NH (population 1,250). It’s beautiful here and our office is in the totally restored wool mill that has been here since the founding of the town. With a great general store and cafe and 3 lakes to swim in at lunch time, this is the perfect spot to reach out to the world from.
What’s your biggest challenge with online advertising?
Educating the customer about online advertising in general is still a challenge and the concept of an ad network even more so. That and the sales cycle for premium advertising is still pretty long, but we are making great strides in shortening the cycle and more and more people are now refocusing their marketing budgets toward online, so it’s all going in the right direction.
How do you find advertisers? Any tips or tricks?
Having worked in and knowing many people connected to the space is definitely an advantage. On the other hand, we are finding so many new potential customers all the time who I never even heard of because my focus prior to 350 Media was so much more narrow. The biggest tip I can give anyone is to be passionate and sincere and to just be yourself. Give the customer an out. We never go for the hard sales pitch and we always tell people that it’s about finding a fit and if there is no fit they are free to hang up the phone on us. Yeah, we call people.
Most effective network or remnant inventory monetization?
Forget third party networks. For the most part, they are a waste of time. At $0.25 to $0.75 cpm with ads that are really not a good match for our audience, we prefer to just do direct sales, even if we have to give some away or do CPC and even CPA campaigns to fill remnant inventory. Ultimately it’s about building relationships with the advertisers and third party networks don’t help you with that. Direct sales is the best method for monetizing your premium and remnant ad inventory and our publishers deserve our best effort.
Why did you choose adOS?
It was recommended to me by someone who I respect. Personal referral still carries a lot of weight and we are very happy with the choice we made.