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What is IVT and Why Should You Care?

Imagine going to McDonalds and ordering a quarter pounder and fries. But, when they hand you your order, there is only half of a burger and a few fries in the bag.

Invalid traffic (IVT) is the same concept. When advertisers have IVT in a campaign it skews the data and, most importantly, isn’t what they are paying for.

So, what is IVT?

For any advertiser, IVT is a frustrating notion. It encompasses any clicks, impressions, or views generated by bots, automated scripts, or other fraudulent means rather than genuine human interest.

These activities can originate from various sources like click farms and malware-infected devices. These types of clicks create a deceptive facade of engagement that holds no actual value for advertisers.

For media buyers, avoiding and reducing IVT involves a mix of vigilance, data analysis, and smart decisions about where to allocate advertising budgets. One key strategy involves meticulous selection when it comes to partner networks. At Left Hand Agency we are careful about where and when we allow partner networks to be involved in a campaign.

Many social platforms default to including a partner network and even tout how it can lower costs. Don’t fall for it! Case in point, a recent report by Lunio ranked IVT by platform and found an egregious amount of IVT coming from LinkedIn campaigns, which, frankly, are already overpriced.

Do your homework and, if you can, avoid including a partner network in your buy. In addition to IVT, partner networks often come without the brand safety mechanisms you can include if you buy the same type of media programmatically.

Only in recent years have platforms like Meta and Google allowed for some brand-safety control. Still, for savvy media buyers, the cons of including a partner network far outweigh the pros.

When Left Hand Agency purchases digital media programmatically we are able to include fraud and IVT filters that avoid and reduce the likelihood of IVT. This saves our advertisers money and, most importantly, improves results.

When platforms like Google, Bing, Meta, LinkedIn, etc. are included in a campaign, we are careful to opt out of partner networks unless there’s a really strong reason to participate. We can’t reduce IVT 100%, but we can do our best to fight it every step of the way.

If you are interested digital advertising and want meticulous buyers who treat your ad dollars with care - let’s talk!

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