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MGID Review: Native Advertising Marketplace (2017 Update)

MGID Review: Introduction

This MGID Review is another installment of our ad network reviews series!

MGID is one of the oldest and most well-known Native Ad networks around.

We Eastern gals truly believe that this review is gonna be useful for any affiliate who’s thinking about diving into a trendy Native Ads space that everyone in the industry is talking about.

Is there someone out there who hasn’t yet heard of Native Ads?

There are only two reasons for that:

Either you’ve been living on the moon or you’ve been through a nasty lobotomy and have forgotten everything you knew before.

Don’t worry, though.

Start from the top and read about Native Ads Fundamentals and then dive into Native Advertising like a true pro!

MGID: A Short History Lesson

The MGID Network is a global pioneer in native advertising.

It provides tailored solutions for advertisers, affiliate marketers and webmasters in one integrated platform.

MGID was founded in 2008 with the creation of one of the first modern native advertising technologies.

Today, it’s one of the most innovative Native Advertising Platforms.

It was even shortlisted for the Native Advertising Awards in 2016.

Do you feel more excited now?

Well, you should!

Why?

Because we’re gonna tell you how MGID was able to reach such a high tech level, what are its key features that help to get loyalty points from their affiliates and, of course, how to effectively work and earn money on MGID.

MGID: Overview

According to ComScore’s analysis of MGID’s performance in 2016, the platform is one of the leaders in native performance advertising.

In fact, the platform now reaches 850+ million unique visitors every single month!

It’s got a worldwide presence!

The largest share of available traffic is present in the European region (31.2%).

It’s then followed by Asia Pacific (27.2%), and LATAM (19.7%).

mgid available traffic

MGID’s traffic is suitable for mobile advertising.

Why?

Because approximately 70% of its traffic is coming from smartphones.

mgid percentage of traffic

Data from comScore, 2016

MGID supports a CPC-based payment model, which means that advertisers only pay per click on the offer link.

The number of verticals which are available is impressive.

The main ones?

Arts and Entertainment, Family and Parenting, Food and Drink, Gaming, Health and Fitness, Hobbies and Interests, Home and Garden, Multicultural, News, Personal Finance, Pets, Shopping, Society, Sports, Style and Fashion, Technology and Computing, and Travel.

At the time of writing this article, the hottest verticals recommended by our Account Manager were:

  • Health and Beauty in Asia and Latin America
  • Weight loss in Asia
  • Online games in Germany and the U.S
  • Business and Finance in Arab Countries, Germany and the UK
  • Dating in Europe and the US

However, if you’d like to be an adventurer and get all the sweet cash, feel free to test new verticals and regions.

These can really become your gold mine!

Related: Trail the Unexplored Path – Explore Gold Mines

Another useful tip?

Make sure you build a close relationship with your Account Manager!

Important note: in order for you to get a dedicated Account Manager, you’ve gotta deposit at least $500 in your MGID balance.

Moving on!

Here are the advertising formats you can find on MGID:

First, Native; second, Native and, third, Native Ad!

Brilliant positioning!

That’s all we have to say!

The minimum deposit required to launch a campaign is $100.

It can be a deposit done via WebMoney WMZ or WMR, PayPal or Credit Card.

We recommend you make sure your account has at least $500 at the beginning.

This will surely guarantee you get yourself a totally dedicated Account Manager.

Why should you be really keen on getting an Account Manager?

Because it’s gonna be easier for you to work with someone who’s experienced in the native advertising realm.

Moreover, you’ll get help with your affiliate banners (yes, for free!) and your Account Manager can help you go for campaign optimization based on your actual performance.

MGID’s Account Managers can adjust bids to ensure optimal budget usage and give you some awesome advice.

As soon as you deposit this amount, you’ll receive an email, so don’t forget to check it out!

What are the Main Features offered by MGID?

You get Selective Bidding, described in the Optimization section.

You can play with Retargeting, described in the Campaign Creation section.

You can use Smart Engine Optimization, with stats integrated into Google Analytics.

MGID Review: Campaign Creation

What you’ve read above is a great overall explanation of MGID’s general features.

Now it’s time to move on and get to make sure you grasp the more practical part – the campaign creation.

How to Create a Campaign on MGID?

Go to the Advertiser part of your MGID account.

It’s located on the top of the dashboard so there’s no way you can miss it.

Once you’re there, click the only green button you’ll see – Add Campaign.

The campaign creation process is comprised of 7 blocks.

Each block is shown to you only when you’ve correctly filled out the previous one.

Block 1: General Info

This block starts by asking you to create a campaign name – check!

Then, in Campaign type, you’ll be asked to choose one of two options:

Product promotion or content promotion.

Go for the product option in case your offer is related to any actual products or services you wish to advertise.

On the other hand, in case you want to get the attention of users and lure them into your website, select content promotion.

Next, it’s time to select among Campaign Categories.

Trust us:

There are a lot of them on the list.

Try to think carefully about which one of the categories best suits your offer.

We believe that – among 25 categories – you’ll surely be able to find something which is gonna be the perfect match for you.

Don’t forget to click on sub-categories or sub-sub to make sure you get even more detailed.

Note that there are two campaign types.

This means that – if you change from one campaign type to the other – you’ll see different categories.

For example, on MGID, we tested a multi-GEO offer promoting a Workout Video and selected the “Product Promotion” type for the category Healthy Living, and for the sub-category Fitness and Exercise.

Are you thinking about which are the available categories on MGID?

Check the Creative Guidelines and click on “MGID CATEGORIES.”

mgid categories

The last field in “Block 1: General Info” is Language.

You can choose only one Language per one campaign.

What does that mean?

In case you wanna promote a multi-GEO offer, you should obviously create separate campaigns for each GEO and design your creatives based on the specific language of that GEO.

Block 2: Targeting

The second block is where you set the targets of your campaign.

MGID has pretty much the classic options:

  • GEO: country + more specific regions
  • Browser: for now, there are 11 options available
  • Browser language
  • Devices and OS: you can choose from Desktop, Mobile and/or Tablet traffic and the respective OS + OS version.

mgid targeting options

Important note: there’s no option to select a mobile carrier.

This sort of targeting is not available on your Dashboard.

However, if you have IP ranges for a carrier you want to target, don’t hesitate to ask your manager to create a whitelist for those IPs.

By doing this, you can be sure that your campaign will be shown only to the users whose IPs you’ve selected.

targeting options

This isn’t the best way to create a single carrier campaign.

Even so, you know you’ll have a dedicated Account Manager to help you go through this step!

Block 3: Dynamic Retargeting

The third block is all about taking care of Dynamic Retargeting configuration.

Ever noticed that – whenever you’re navigating a website – you tend to check ads that are related to products you were searching for before?

That’s it!

That’s called dynamic retargeting.

It tracks users who’ve performed certain actions on a page which is advertised (imagine the Levis jeans website), and then go to another that’s unrelated to jeans or fashion websites.

MGID’s sensors detect that user and – the next time the user visits any of their publisher’s websites – ads with Levis jeans will be shown to them again.

According to MGID, here’s how the retargeting feature works:

“Ads themselves “pursue” a user who has already visited your resource.”

The idea of retargeting is to create two campaigns:

The first campaign will be the main one and will be shown to everyone, according to your targeting.

Once you’ve got enough users, you can launch the second campaign specifically for them.

This means the ads of the second campaign will be shown only to the relevant users.

In MGID, you can’t set the retargeting option yourself.

How to set the retargeting option on MGID?

Get in touch with your Account Manager and they’ll help you!

Block 4: Schedule

This block is used to set a time for your campaign to start running.

According to your needs, you can choose the date in which your campaign will go LIVE and the date in which it should be stopped.

Additionally, you can set a dayparting for your campaign, selecting only certain hours and days of the week in which you want your campaign to be active.

You’re even advised to choose among four default time intervals:

Pause campaign for weekends

Pause campaign for workdays

Pause campaign for business time

Start campaign for business time

campaign default intervals

Block 5: Limits

The fifth block opens settings for Campaign and Daily Limits.

You can limit your campaign not just by budget – as allowed by many ad networks – but also by number of conversions or even clicks.

Since MGID offers the CPC model (you’re charged only if users click on ads) it’s intelligent to actually limit your campaign by number of clicks.

In fact, this move can help you to not go over your expected budget.

You can also specify the number of days during which ads won’t be shown to the users who’ve already converted for an offer.

This feature will probably remind you of frequency capping.

The idea behind it is similar:

To limit the number of times that ads will be shown to a particular user.

However, on MGID, you can only limit a time with a minimum of 1 day for users who’ve already performed an action – made a conversion – and not for those to whom your ad was shown before.

mgid time limits

Block 6: Tracking Tags

This block is not your Postback tracking yet.

Use it in case you need to set up UTM tags or add a click id token from your Network in the custom tracking tag, if you want to set a Postback in the next block.

mgid tracking tags

Block 7: Conversion Sensor

On MGID, you can track conversions by either placing a code on your pages (you’ll need this if you have a content promotion campaign) or by using a Postback URL and setting goals for your campaign.

In case you decide to use a tracking code, there’s no need for any additional assistance from your Account Manager.

Simply click on the “Get Tracking Code” button to generate your sensor code, and then copy-paste it in the source-code of every page you wanna track conversions from.

Imagine you don’t have access to the offer’s page source code.

This means you’re not a direct owner of an offer and that you usually promote offers from affiliate networks such as Mobidea.

In this case, you won’t be able to correctly paste a tracking tag.

What’s the solution to your problem?

Use a Postback.

How to set a Postback on MGID?

Turn the Conversion Sensors ON and select “Postback” from the dropdown “Goal Type” menu.

Then, set a specific event and pass on the required data depending on the actions performed by the visitor.

In case the event is a “lead” the following data will be passed on to the URL http://a.mgid.com/postback:

c=click id + e=lead (event name) + r=amount of revenue (if you’ve inserted it in the CPA goal)

For our test campaign, the Postback URL looks like this:

http://a.mgid.com/postback?e=leadxxxxx&c={{EXTERNAL_ID}}

And here’s the Tracking URL:

http://domain.name/campaign/XXXX%7CXXXX?tag={click_id}&cost={click_price}&website={widget_id}&token1={teaser_id}&token2={category_id}&token3={campaign_id}

mgid postback configuration

Planning to use the Mobidea Tracker to pass on conversions?

We’ve already saved all the tokens/tags from MGID!

You’ll only need to select MGID from the available Traffic Sources and configure rotations.

That’s it!

On the screenshot below, you can see the Mobidea Tokens that correspond to the MGID tokens.

mgid tokens

The main token is {click_id} which will pass on the information about Click ID, once a conversion occurs.

Among others, we’d like to mention {teaser_id} that’s responsible for the Ad ID of the click and {widget_id} which passes on the Publisher ID that sent a click.

Wanna be able to read a description for all the available tokens of MGID?

Check MGID Macros Made Simple!

As you can see, the Tracking on MGID is pretty straightforward.

In case you’ve got any doubts, you know you can always contact your Account Manager.

You can also run a test conversion to check the setup of your Postback.

Here’s the last detail you need to know about the Conversional Sensor:

You can link your Google Analytics account to MGID and you’ll see your conversions on Google Analytics.

Adding New Ads

After you’ve successfully filled out all 7 blocks and have saved your campaign, you’ll be asked to add a new ad for your campaign.

If you’re not ready to add all your creatives at once, don’t worry!

You can access the “Adding New Ads” page from your Dashboard later on.

Just click on the green + icon next to your campaign’s name.

The process of ad editing is really intuitive and it takes less than 2 minutes to add a new ad to your campaign.

Bear in mind that MGID recommends you add at least 11 different ads so as to be able to analyze the performance of each one.

Therefore, you should definitely experiment with ads, add 10+ ads, check stats, and optimize your campaign according to the results.

Our test campaign had 12 ads.

On the image below, you can see how they were displayed on MGID.

mgid ad display

Next to each one, you can see its current status.

Once you start running the campaign, you’ll be able to see the statistics next to each ad.

How to add an ad?

Insert the URL of your offer.

Simply copy-paste a Tracking link there.

Then, add a Title you want your users to see next to the Image of the Ad.

Insert a short and catchy text which is related to your offer.

Be creative!

You want users to click your link!

Remember:

In Native Ads, the rules are strict, especially when it comes to the Banner + Prelander + Offer so don’t mess up and don’t mislead the users!

Related: The Difference Between Misleading and Non-Misleading Banners

Submit a clear (not blurry) image with a good resolution.

After you’ve uploaded an image, you’ll be asked to manually crop your image for 2-3 different sizes so as to make sure your image can be adapted to the ad size required by websites where it will be placed.

This is what is called Custom Advertising Format – you only submit your content once and it automatically fits all sizes and devices.

Finally, specify the category for this ad and set the cost you’re ready to pay for it.

Good!

This is all that was needed from you!

Now it’s time to wait for the approval of MGID.

When it comes to creatives in English, they’ll normally take up to 24 hours to be approved.

As for other languages, it can take up to 72 hours.

Wanna be approved?

Then check MGID’s recommendations regarding creatives and forbidden practices right here!

Reports & Optimization

After launching your campaign, it’s time to see the statistics you got.

You can see the full list of your campaigns immediately after you enter the platform.

Check it on your dashboard for Advertisers.

You can see the stats for all your campaigns or filter by active campaigns in order to check the period of your choice.

mgid stats

The platform’s interface allows you to see the status of your campaign as active, paused and rejected.

In the Actions of your campaign, you can see your Ads, Statistics, Settings and Selective Bidding.

In order to access the detailed statistics of your campaign, you need to click on Statistics, where you’ll see information about impressions, clicks, money spent, average CPC, and average CTR.

By accessing the campaign stats for a specific day, you can get information about your results by domain, region, country, OS and ads.

statistics

The tricky thing about it?

You won’t be able to access data for specific parameters – Operating Systems, for example – for all the campaigns without selecting the date for which you want to see it.

Remember when we mentioned the dayparting option?

In your campaign stats on MGID, you won’t be able to get details per hour.

That’s why we strongly advise you to use a tracking solution, such as the one provided by Mobidea.

You can also check stats on your affiliate network, in case they provide sufficient information.

By doing this, you’ll be able to get hyper detailed and super valuable information.

Which parameters would you like to optimize?

When we talk about native advertising, ads are king!

A catchy image and an awesome title is a must.

That’s why MGID has a special tab where you can see stats per all your ads inside the campaign – impressions, clicks, money spent, conversions, conversion cost, and CTR.

What’s so awesome about it?

You can pause your ads after checking the stats – there’s no need to go to other places.

Moreover, you can optimize your publishers.

All you need to do is access Selective Bidding, which will show you all the info per widgets:

The max bid you’ve set, clicks, money spent, average CPC, and the number of conversions.

Based on this, you can make an important decision:

Which publishers to turn off.

The Selective Bidding is a very interesting feature.

It allows you to raise your bid on the most successful placements, ads, GEOs, Operating Systems, Browsers and lower the bid on the ones with poor results.

Each website has a coefficient assigned to it which, by default, is equal to 1.

Imagine you wanna increase the volume of traffic for a specific website.

All you need to do is increase the value of the coefficient (set the bidding multiplier.)

How high to set the value?

Our advice:

Ask your account manager on MGID, so as to be sure you’re not gonna spend too much money at once.

Wondering about the changes regarding the targeting, such as GEO, browser, language, devices, and Operating Systems?

You’ll be able to make them on the campaign settings.

If you’ve made some changes in the targeting of your campaign, they’ll be automatically updated and the campaign will run with the new targeting.

In case you change the URL, the campaign will have to be processed for approval all over again.

MGID Verdict

MGID is one of the most popular traffic sources for native advertising.

It offers detailed targeting options in the campaign creation process.

Moreover, one thing that impressed us is that the platform is newbie-friendly.

Having a personal Account Manager is the thing that really encourages people to start working!

Your Account Manager will basically “do your work” for you!

They’ll provide advice on the best GEOs, create a campaign for you, and even make the creatives.

That’s right!

Creatives for free!

Be sure to use the Selective Bidding feature, which will help you get traffic only from the best publishers, receive less, or even cut all the ones that have poor quality.

There are things that can be improved, though.

In fact, MGID could add a traffic estimator so as to make sure users know what to expect for each specific GEO.

The same can be said about the average price per click for the targeting you set.

For now, our suggestion is just trying.

Super Important Info: in order for a campaign to go live, the ad network will try to access the offer through VPN, as it needs to be approved by the legal department.

You should remember to check the Terms & Conditions, since not all offers will be able to pass this stage.

In case the offer you’re promoting is impossible to access through VPN, get its screenshot and talk to your Account Manager.

Last, but not least, be sure to have initial capital to get the needed golden info on what will be working.

This world is a whole new ball game.

This is Native Ads!

That means it’s not cheap.

Don’t get disappointed if you spend your $100 faster than usual.

Our precious and highly-valuable advice?

Talk to your Account Manager, and get to know the budget they advise you to set for a certain GEO and testing period.

MGID: Offers & Verticals

  • Ad Types: Native Ads
  • Cost Model: CPC
  • Verticals: Mainstream

MGID: Payment & Investment

  • Minimum Deposit: 100$
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, Bank transfer, WebMoney

MGID: Support

  • Personal Account Manager: yes (with a minimum deposit of $500)
  • Support Response Speed: average
  • Support Rating: good
  • Contact Methods: email, contact form inside the account, Skype (in case you have an Account Manager)
  • Contact: support@mgid.com
Review
Summary
  • Review
  • Summary

8

Interface

8

Campaign Setup

7

Traffic Quality

7

Traffic Volume

7

Stats & Reports

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • A dedicated Account Manager who provides a lot of useful insights
  • Free creative services
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Real-time stats
  • Selective Bidding

Cons

  • No traffic estimator
  • No information on average bid
  • Low volumes on some GEOs
  • Missing stats for some of the targeting options
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