How to Monetize Social Viral Sites

Category: Publishers Posted at: 2016-08-21

Social Viral Sites are one of the most common publisher models that sprout here and there because of their natural tendency to go viral. One thing common among social viral sites is their very high mobile traffic. Majority of these publishers also buy their traffic from different traffic acquisition partners. With social, being the dominant source of traffic, social viral sites should protect themselves from invalid activity coming from bot and other non human traffic.

Here are some tips on how to monetize social viral sites:

1) Fraud Suppression

We strongly recommend to add a layer of protection to safeguard your ad network partners from possible threats. There are a lot of fraud suppression technology in the market and some are offered for a 30-day trial. It is best to invest in this and make it a must.

For our publisher-partners, we always recommend Forensiq.

2) More Ads does not necessarily mean more revenue

Plan placements smartly. Having 5 ads on a page on mobile does not necessarily give you more revenue. Sometimes, even if you only have 3 but can be found on the most effective placements, it can outperform your 5 ads per page revenue.

3) Always think viewability when planning your ad placements

Which placements are most likely seen when your user visits the page? A billboard will not be a good option if it’s pushing the content down the fold. When the placements down the page are pushed down, performance also drops.

Bottom Line: you just have to find that sweet spot and balance between user experience and monetization.


4) Explore new revenue streams

Anchor or Footer Ads

Anchors, also known as footer ads are becoming a popular revenue stream on mobile because of its high viewability rate. Users are used to seeing it on mobile, thus it doesn’t seem to bother them anymore. Here are a few ad networks that offer anchor ads:

- Google AdSense

- Tribal Fusion

- GumGum

- Netseer

- Imonomy

Native Widgets

Native ads blend in really well as part of the content and are not intrusive in any way. It’s a perfect option to place native widgets below actual content where you can fill that empty space.

Ad networks offering this type of format are:

   - Outbrain

   - RevContent

   - TripleLift

   - NativeAds


   - Native Addiction

   - Taboola

   - Adblade

Native Widgets

Custom Leave Behind Ads

Also known as Before You Go Ads. This ad format shows up depending on a trigger that a publisher sets for the users. There are 2 options:

(1) Time-based – where a publisher can set a specific time when the ad can pop up; and

(2) Close Attempt – when a user hovers their mouse away from the actual content area.

These settings can be arranged with the ad rep before you can run it.

Ad networks offering this are:

   - Spoutable

   - Division D

   - AdSupply


Another revenue stream that can work on Social Viral sites are interstitials. The only cons here is it immediately covers the content, including the ads on the page. This means that you may encounter CPMs on display dropping, or users complaining/exiting.

Best to put a cap on how often the unit will show up for every user if you want it to be less obstructive.

A lot of ad networks are offering this, such as:

   - Millennial Media

   - Undertone

   - Trion

Outstream and Instream Ads


Out-stream and Instream ads are less obstructive but can push your content below the fold. When that happens, your display CPMs can get affected. Fills vary per site and content, but the rates are usually higher. So if your earnings compensates for the slight drop in display, then might as well take advantage of it.

You can get this type of unit for desktop, tablet and mobile from the following ad networks:

   - Teads

   - Positive Media

   - MediaBong

   - Gumgum


In-Image Ads

One of the most discreet ad types that you can run on a listicle site especially if your pages are image-heavy are In-image ads. These can help you make the most out of every impressions.

In-Image implementation still needs to be monitored as partners have the tendency to fill all images. So a regular ad quality check would be necessary.

   - GumGum

   - Netseer

   - Imonomy

(Source: monetizemore)