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Managing self-service (direct) ad campaigns
Managing self-service (direct) ad campaigns
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Written by Matt
Updated over a week ago

How much does the Mantis ad server cost to use?

The Mantis ad server is 100% free to use for digital publications accepted into the Mantis ad network. 

In other words, Mantis takes absolutely NO cut from any self-service / direct ad campaigns you set up via your Mantis dashboard.

Serving in-house (self-service) ads and Mantis ads simultaneously 

With Mantis, you can easily manage existing ad campaigns that you have already sold direct (as well as display ad campaigns you sell in the future). Further, you have the ability to serve both in-house campaigns AND Mantis ads simultaneously, for maximum earning potential.

For example, let's say your publication has a handful of existing advertisers that you already have contracts with, but you also want to demo Mantis to see if you can make more money by tapping into the exclusive demand Mantis has to offer. This strategy makes a lot of sense for publications and it the logical next step for many website owners. Because of this, we have built our ad server to accommodate property owners who want to make money from Mantis and their own in-house sales team.

To set up your own in-house (i.e., self-service) ad campaigns through the Mantis platform, follow these three steps:

Step 1: Navigate to Display > Self-Service

  • Log in to your Mantis sell-side account (or sign up for a new account)

  • Navigate to the Display tab in the left navigation, then click the Self-Service tab on the left navigation (as shown below)

Step 2: Create a new campaign

  • When the page loads, you'll notice a green button in the top right hand side of your screen labeled Create a Campaign. Click this green button to add a new self-service campaign that you wish to manage using Mantis.

Step 3: Control how each direct campaign should display

Setting a total click or impression count

With Mantis, you can control how each direct campaign is displayed on an individual basis. For example, if your internal sales team has sold an advertiser on a total amount of clicks or impressions a campaign must generate before it is to be shut off, you can easily enter these maximums into the Mantis system and the campaign will automatically pause once the maximums have been hit.

Setting a campaign start/end date

From our experience, it seems that most publishers choose to sell direct campaigns on a fixed time slot (i.e. monthly schedule) as opposed to setting a total maximum click or impression total. To facilitate these types of ad sales with strict timelines, we've baked in the ability to control each direct campaign's start and end dates, making it easy to manage campaigns no matter when they were sold during the year. 

An example of the options available to publishers via the Self-service tab (nested under the Display link in the left navigation).

Target direct campaigns to specific geographic regions, devices, and more

Selling an advertiser on a local campaign can be difficult to do on your own as a publisher, but it doesn't have to be. With Mantis, we've built in geo-targeting capabilities for free, and provide our publishing partners with the ability to target direct campaigns by country, state/region, and/or ZIP codes with a radius.

Campaign rotation priority

By default, any self-service campaign you create will rotate evenly among other campaigns on our network. If the agreement you have with the advertiser prevents such a rotation, or you feel that as the publisher you can earn more by showing more MANTIS ads, you should look into the options available under the Rotation Priority drop-down under each direct campaign.

You can alter the above behavior by changing the priority setting to show your campaign ahead of ones provided by our network, after all network campaigns, and more.

  • Rotate normally with network campaigns - This is a legacy option and currently behaves the same as "Rotate with network campaigns at low priority".

  • Show ahead of all network campaigns - Normally, our network will rotate through each campaign at least once to ensure the user has seen all available ads. By choosing this option, you force your self-service campaign to ALWAYS show, even if it has been viewed once before (at the expense of serving paid ads from our network).

  • Rotate with network campaigns at high priority - Your self-service campaign will always show on the first page view of the user and not appear again until they have seen all other paid campaigns available on our network.

  • Rotate with network campaigns at low priority - Your self-service campaign will show only after the user has seen all paid campaigns available on our network.

  • Backfill as a last resort - Commonly used to serve "backfill ads" or "waterfall" tags from another network, these will only show if there are zero campaigns to display from either your self-service pool or our network. Even if a user has seen all other campaigns before, we will repeat them before ever showing a campaign marked as backfill.

Zone reservation

When creating your zones, we provide an option called “Direct Targeting” which will require ads to explicitly target that location in order to be served (meaning campaigns provided by our network will never show). When creating self-service campaigns you must call out those zones for this functionality to work properly. 

The zone reservation feature is ideal for direct advertisers that sponsor a specific zone on a specific article or content category; it is not to be used for run-of-network (RON) or run-of-site (ROS) campaigns. 

Note: For maximum revenue potential, regardless of the number of ad zones you create for in-house (direct) inventory, we strongly recommend publishers dedicate at least 2-3 ad zones per page for serving 100% Mantis fill.

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