The Reality of Buying Traffic: How to Spend a Digital Budget on Real Users Without Losing it to Fraudsters
Did you know that mobile ad spending accounts for 26% of the total cost of digital advertising? In 2019, global ad spending will be over $616 billion.
This means that brands, publishers and content creators believe in the power of digital advertising. However, the truth is that the bigger the budgets, the more losses they bring in. The main reason: ad fraud.
It is forecasted that, in 2019, digital advertisers will lose up to $42 billion of ad spend to fraudulent activities via online, mobile and in-app advertising, which is a 21% increase from the $35 billion lost to ad fraud in 2018.
The even uglier truth is that fraud generates conversions, and having a higher conversion rate is, in some cases, more important to digital marketers than having a lower but real conversion rate; and while no one likes to admit they have wasted budget on fake results, in the end, this "higher conversion rate" affects ROI or what's even worse, the whole business.
Being a victim of digital ad fraud not only means that the traffic bought consists of bots or farms, but it could also mean that retargeted impressions are fraudulent, that video ad impressions are not viewed by real humans, that digital ad impressions are not being displayed or that desktop and mobile devices have been infected by malware. Most digital marketers aren't aware of how exactly or even if fraud impacts their campaigns.
At Opticks, we analyze over 1 billion clicks a day, and have found that one network could have different fraud rates, depending on their traffic sources and sub-sources. This means that digital advertisers could be running some campaigns with very little fraud rates while running others with a high percentage of fraud using the same ad network.
It is crucial for all digital advertisers to know exactly how much of their budget is lost to ad fraud and its final impact on ROI. Only then, will it be possible to prevent and optimize digital budgets accordingly?
A big amount of fake users or subscribers, even unwanted subscribers, can have a negative impact in business relationships, strategy, reputation, return on investment, and cost per user acquisition.
The only way for digital advertisers to stop wasting their digital budget to fraud and invest it in real, high qualitative conversions is to monitor their traffic and apply a machine-learning anti-fraud solution, like Opticks, able to detect any suspicious activity from bots, iFrames, proxy traffic, device tampering and much more.
Other measures digital advertisers should follow are asking for better transparency from publishers, controlling ad injection, optimizing campaigns constantly and dealing with reputable ad exchanges.
The real truth is that anyone who is buying traffic can be affected by fraud. The amount lost to fraudsters should be proof enough that everyone in the industry needs to have an anti-fraud tool and refocus their strategy for real and high-quality conversions.