What is Ad Trafficking?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Ad trafficking is a sales and marketing strategy that involves selling advertising services to businesses and other types of clients. In return, the trafficking agent strategically places the advertising so that the chances for interested consumers to see the ads and choose to contact the business are greatly enhanced. While the term today is often associated with online advertising solutions, ad trafficking may also include the placement of ads in print publications, on billboards, and any other outlet that provides space for advertisements.

Billboard advertising is an example of ad trafficking.
Billboard advertising is an example of ad trafficking.

With Internet ad trafficking, the process normally involves the creation and strategic placement of banner ads and similar tools on specific web sites. Typically, the electronic ads are clickable, meaning that consumers who are interested can click on the banner or text ad, and be redirected to a website where it is possible to make a purchase or obtain more information. This method can also involve the use of pop-up ads that appear when consumers visit specific websites in search of related information.

Ad trafficking may include the placement of ads in print publications.
Ad trafficking may include the placement of ads in print publications.

An ad trafficking specialist will work closely with a client to develop an effective advertising campaign that often is based on identifying the type of ad formats that are most likely to attention from the consumer demographics the business is targeting. The decision of what type of ads, where to place them, and how many clicks or impressions the client wishes to purchase for each ad is worked out in advance. Depending on the success of a particular ad or a series of ads that appear on certain websites, the client can usually request additional impressions when the process seems to be generating a sufficient amount of traffic and sales. Typically, the client will have the opportunity to review the look and content of all the ads created for the campaign and have some idea of where they will be displayed before the campaign actually launches.

Many different types of businesses will use ad trafficking as part of their overall marketing and sales promotions. Companies that function mainly online will often use this approach to gain attention from potential customers. Even companies that conduct business primarily at brick and mortar locations but do maintain a website will find that using Internet-based ad trafficking attracts a great deal of attention from consumers who may never see ads in local magazines or newspapers. Given that an ad trafficking approach is relatively inexpensive in comparison to older marketing methods, even a small business working with a limited advertising budget can benefit from this approach.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@orangey03 – I think that online ads are less expensive because you don't have to pay for the ink and paper that print publications use to produce ads. However, if you are going the ad trafficking route, you have to pay an ad manager for his services, instead of just buying an ad outright.

I've never used an agency that offers this, but I am assuming that a large part of the fee would be for determining the best placement of your ad and serving as a medium. I have no idea what this costs, but it is probably a good bit more than the cost of the ad itself.

However, if you are not a graphic designer, you probably will need help creating and placing your ads. The service might be worth it.


I'm glad to hear that I could get an affordable ad from an online ad agency. I've been considering promoting my art and handmade jewelry shop with advertising, and I feel like the internet would be the best tool to use.

I could never afford an ad in a big print publication, so I never even researched ad prices online. I just assumed that they would be even higher, since they had the potential to reach more people.

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