Linkstorm has worked with many Publishers to insure its ads deploy seamlessly. This process tests several types of compatibility and enables both the Publisher and Linkstorm to confirm that live campaigns will proceed properly. Linkstorm has now certified over 450 of the largest sites including all three portals and over 20 of the largest ad networks.
The certification process can be relatively fast and is straightforward for Publishers who serve ads through straight HTML inclusion. For Publishers who serve ads through IFrames the process is a bit more involved and can take a few extra days. We'll work with your ad ops department to insure a smooth and easy deployment.
Linkstorm can be trafficked with most major ad serving systems, for example DoubleClick and Atlas. (You can view the DoubleClick certification document online.) Linkstorm-enabled banner ad tags are generated by Linkstorm and sent to the serving party. The Linkstorm tag includes the banner call, which is then trafficked to the websites through the selected 3rd party ad server.
Ads that deploy Linkstorm's Banner Xpander product are required to have the menu systems served by Linkstorm. While Linkstorm prefers to serve all the physical assets, it is possible for the base media (i.e. that portion of the ad that occupies the initial ad position such as a 728x90 or 300x250) to be served by another party.
Linkstorm is a 3rd Party to the Advertiser and the Publisher. A 4th party exists when the third party calls another party other than the Publisher or Advertiser to retrieve assets or information such as graphics, RSS feeds, XML feeds, etc. Linkstorm does not use these parties to serve its menus.
The Linkstorm menus are generally only 10-30k and only begin their load once the Publisher's content has arrived in the customer's browser. Thus, Linkstorm never interferes or slows down the arrival of the Publisher's page.
While Linkstorm generally takes on the responsibility to create and traffic tags to Publishers, it is possible for the agencies to do the trafficking.
No, not the "rich media" serving fee sometimes imposed by the Ad Serving company. Naturally an Advertiser pays Linkstorm to benefit from Linkstorm's functionality. In most cases, this fee is on top of the media fee the Advertiser pays to the Publisher. Linkstorm is CPM-based and uses a rate-card with volume discounts.
Linkstorm collects several data items that offer unprecedented insight into customers' true interests: impressions, ad requests, successful loads, menu unfurls (mouse rollovers that cause the menu to display), hover time (time spent interacting with the menu), and most importantly, menu clicks for each specific menu item. Linkstorm reports all this information at the following levels: advertiser, campaign, flight, publisher, and individual insertion.
Linkstorm tags can include redirects for Atlas or DFA in order for Advertisers to track performance in their own system. Publishers can also amend the tags to track clicks as well as defeat caching. Publishers would code as follows:
Click Tracking — Linkstorm ads support the ability for third parties to count clicks via the industry standard method of redirect URLs. A redirect URL is a URL that may be pre-pended to an actual destination URL in the ad, so that it may receive the browser HTTP request and then issue a redirect to the actual destination URL. To support this, Linkstorm provides a feature called "clickPrefix" that indicates a redirect URL.
Conversion Tracking — Linkstorm also support third party tracking pixels, referral codes, etc. so as to enable third parties to track and credit any kind of post-click activity such as purchases, lead generations, time-spent-on-site, pages consumed, etc.
Linkstorm's banner expander product can be overlaid onto any content item including text, graphics, videos, or ads, including other rich media ads. In this case, a 4th party would exist and Publisher approval would be required.
Linkstorm can overlay any ad size including tiles, buttons, logos and text. We encourage partners to develop the units according to IAB standards. We also recommend that ads from which Linkstorm menus unfurl, be developed in units that will be accepted by most Publishers. As such, the following units are most likely to be accepted for "expandable" creative: Banners, Skyscrapers, and Rectangles.
It is extremely rare that a Publisher will not work with Linkstorm due to this issue. Only a handful of Publishers do not accept expandable ads. The vast majority of Publishers accept expandables and most of them have agreed to accept Linkstorm ads. Publishers seem especially comfortable with the fact that Linkstorm ads are entirely user-initiated, that they disappear immediately upon mouse-off, and that they only expand partially in a cascading menu format (rather than having the entire ad footprint expand) — which all means that the menu only displays to the extent that the customer is deliberately engaged in exploring the specific pathways on the menu.
Since the Linkstorm cascading menu is the centerpiece of this product, Publishers should be aware of how it works and how advertisers develop for it.
Levels — We recommend ads be developed with no more than 3 menu levels and no more than 5 cells in each level.
Cascading — Generally, users unfurl the 1st level Linkstorm menus on a footprint approximately 40% the size of the anchor banner. Each successive unfurl results in roughly a 50% increase in footprint. For Publishers who strictly enforce the maximum expandable area, Linkstorm can limit expansion to a predetermined boundary.
Retraction — menu unfurls are entirely user-initiated and retract when the mouse is moved off the creative or menu.
Direction — the preferred direction of menu unfurls is determined by the position of the ad on the page. If placed at the top of the page, leaderboard ads generally fall down, Skyscraper ads on the right rail unfurl to the left, etc.
Location — the unfurl location is determined by the location of the user's mouse at the time it hovers over the Linkstorm-enabled ad unit. Thus, for example, if the user hovers over the right side of a top banner ad, the menu will generally unfurl to the right of the ad and below.
Process — advertisers obtain far better results when Linkstorm ads are user-initiated with a rollover. As such, this is the preferred deployment method. While the actual banner loads very quickly, the Linkstorm-enabled portion load last on the page and does not slow down the arrival of Publisher content or advertiser creative. While not ideal for best performance, Linkstorm can provide an assignable hotspot area for Publishers who require the expansion to be invoked only from a pre-determined area inside the banner.
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