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IAB Compliancy: Why it’s A Must for Your Digital Ad Sales!

Today’s association websites have gone from just being information hubs to vital non-dues revenue drivers for the organization.  For associations, this site revenue comes from one of two sources: e-commerce or digital ad sales.

Associations will consult with an advertising sales company, like AdBooom Advertising, regarding their digital and print ad sales but increasingly we are asked to consult with associations and advise them on how to become IAB compliant.  The Interactive Advertising Bureau, or IAB, is a global nonprofit organization of tech and media companies that created an infrastructure for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising.

Why Become IAB Compliant

IAB compliancy is not a requirement.  However, IAB compliancy offers at least three benefits for your association and your advertisers.

  • Tried and tested: If these ad unit measurement and guidelines have worked for 650 of the biggest media and tech companies in the world, then it it’s very likely been vetted enough to ensure a quality ad experience for your advertiser.
  • Consistency with other advertising platforms: IAB has increasingly become an industry standard with more than 80% of display ads meeting IAB requirements. Most advertisers will likely design for standard ad unit sizes and formats. Varying from industry standards may discourage advertisers from placing ads on your site.
  • Quality Assurance. Certification programs and compliance seals offered by the IAB offers a way to authenticate and lend credibility to your ad products.

How to Become IAB Compliant

It varies by your site.  In some cases, being IAB compliant can be as simple as including one of the four Universal Ad Package unit sizes and as complex as requiring a certification.

If you are redesigning a site for IAB compliance, start by reviewing the site’s Universal Ad Package units. They offer a guideline of standard ad specifications to incorporate into your redesigned or new site.  If you plan to include mobile, video or rich media formats, there are special sections that detail those ad unit specifications.

When to Consider IAB Compliancy

A discussion of IAB compliancy should typically occur when an association publisher wants to:

  • Relaunch a current association site: Use this time to inventory your current advertising offerings. Do they meet the current standard IAB ad unit size standards? If not, that should factor into the redesign to maximize the monetary opportunities on your site.  Are there opportunities for including some of the new Rising Star ad units?
  • Build a completely new association site: Consider what content you intend to include on your new association website. Do you want to include digital video?  Will the site be used in conjunction with other marketing efforts?  Utilize the resources on the IAB site for tips
  • Create a mobile app: This is becoming a more popular request with our clients. Even if your association currently has an IAB compliant site, understand that the recommended ad units and guidelines are not going to be the same on a mobile device.

How an Ad Sales Firm Can and Can’t Help

The IAB unfortunately does not offer consulting services on becoming IAB compliant, but your advertising sales manager can be a great resource.  As experienced ad sellers they can provide you with great insight on how to price your new, updated ad units. They can also be a great source for measuring impressions and adhering to the nuances of maintaining standards.  For example, your advertiser may be able to change the content of their ad but not the size.  Most ad sales firms don’t get involved with the design or layout of your association website other than to provide insight into ad unit formats.

Taking the plunge with your association website from information page to revenue driver can certainly pay off with the right resources.  Utilize the many IAB resources on their site and bring in the assistance of an ad sales firm to further simplify the process.  Increasing non-dues revenue does not have to increase your stress.

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