Does your audience trust your brand? In today’s programmatic landscape, online marketers face the challenge of maintaining brand safety. Being an open market, brand-risk content may appear when programmatic players bid on supply. With programmatic, advertisers can target their ads to the right user regardless of what content they’re on, whether it be harmful or inappropriate. Thus, despite the benefits of programmatic buying, marketers must also maintain the mindful measure of where they place their ads to ensure users a better online experience. When booking programmatically, ad fraud, risky content, and unknown processes come into play. More than ever, marketers need to demand more transparency and select trustworthy suppliers to keep their brand reputation intact.

The IAB advocates for a “proper process” in online advertising, providing a safe environment for ad trading. This is to prevent potential risks such as ad fraud, for example. Without regulation, ads targeted to the right user on the wrong content may give the user a poor first impression. We all know the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” however, we all cannot deny that an immediate first impression makes or breaks a user’s connection to a brand. Since first impression is so important, we want share five important reasons why you should continue to practice brand safety when advertising programmatically.

1. Ads are the gateway to giving your audience a first impression of your brand

We live in a user-centric world, where the influential power lies in the hands of our audiences. Your ads are the first user touchpoint of your brand. When considering which ad formats to use, put yourself in your audience’s shoes, and think about how you’d prefer to first receive an ad. In 2018, GDPR and Google’s initiative, Coalition for Better Ads rocked our digital advertising world. To promote transparency while preventing unpleasant online user experience, Google’s initiative to filter out unwanted ad formats attempts to avoid ad blocking while regulating responsible advertising. Meanwhile, GDPR protects users’ privacy as well as exposure to inappropriate content. Users can block, report, or poorly promote your brand via word of mouth for any bad experience they encountered with your ad.

Consider what type of formats to use when pushing your ads. Formats that don’t comply with Google’s Coalition for Better Ads, such as Pop up ads, are not only deemed as “annoying” to users, you already face the brand risk of misjudgement. If you opt in for less disruptive ads, such as native formats, this tool could help improve your brand’s first impression to users.

2. Placing your ads on relevant editorial content feed into your brand reputation 

It only takes a few seconds for ads to appeal to the target audience. Which web pages do we stumble across ads? On virtually anything, leaving marketers to imperatively consider the right inventory to bid their ad placement on. There is an abundance of risky sites out there such as extremist sites, fake news, and “malgorithms.” Malgorithms are ads where the contextual meaning between a page and display ad are misaligned.

Quality campaign content itself is not enough anymore. Users are quick to decide whether or not they trust a brand based on its editorial placement. Sometimes, users formulate an opinion even before acknowledging the ad creative itself. Therefore, try focusing on a strong brand presence by preventing poor ad placement. 

3. Preventing brand-risk ad placement shows your audience that your brand cares

Think about the tone and context of where you’ll place your ad. In a Magna study, “The Brand Safety Effect,” among the 2,000 consumers surveyed, ads placed on negative content resulted in a “2.8x reduction in consumers’ intent to associate with these brands.” Also, consumers are 4.5x more likely to feel that a brand does not care about them. This effectively drops brands’ quality perception down by 7x more. For instance, take a burger joint placing an ad within content advocating a vegan lifestyle. This setup already brings the brand at risk. The ad could find success in targeting the intended non-vegan audiences, however, actual vegans who follow the content are more likely to see the irrelevant ad. This alone risks the brand receiving a negative impression for simply associating with an inappropriate editorial environment. Avoid this and show that you as a brand care for the user experience.

4. Avoiding inappropriate content promotes responsible advertising of your brand

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines brand safety as a strategy to avoid ad placement upon inappropriate or illegal content. IAB defined the “Dirty Dozen,” categories of what content is considered as risky, including: 

What is brand safety, and why is it important in digital advertising? Brand safety is the awareness concerning a brand's reputation.

Fake News was later included due to current global events that provide unsafe digital environments. Web pages or content related to any these categories put brands at risk, which give users a poor online experience. How you execute your message and tone affects your audience and ultimately any customer opportunities.  By mindfully pushing ads on relevant content to their target audience, marketers would exemplify a user-focused service from their brand.

5. Providing a good user online experience rewards your brand

Delivered ads are often a brand’s first point of contact to a user. Thus, it is important to get that good first impression of your audience. Virtually, any one of them could be a prospective customer of your product. Users want relevant and fitting content when they browse online through various platforms. Therefore, brands must maintain an appropriate reputation not only to garner “cool points,” but most importantly, to advertise responsibly by providing users a great online experience.

Native advertising- a tool to consider for brand safety

In addition to considering ad placement, Native Ads are a great tool for brand safety. Its natural placement seamlessly fits within its editorial environment, where it does not disrupt a user’s reading flow. Another important and helpful alternative is working with a supplier that you can trust. We at plista support a safe, transparent, and trustworthy space for both advertisers and users. With our high-quality native advertising products and service, we help brands sustain their desired image by empowering well-thought campaign placements through programmatic buying with high-quality inventory, and more.

Are you looking for the best brand safety solutions for your online ads? Then consider Native Ads and booking your programmatic campaigns with plista, and reach out to our industry experts for consultation here