CM Ad Changer (CMAC) - Use Case - How to Manage Multiple WordPress Websites Campaigns With One Ad Manager


Use Case – How to manage multiple WordPress websites campaigns with one ad manager.

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Note: This guide requires:

Introduction

CM Ad Changer is a WordPress ads plugin, designed to simplify the use and management of advertising campaigns on multiple WordPress websites. 

It’s especially useful for companies that have several advertisement platforms on WordPress and therefore requires a banner server that manages and rotates banners from numerous advertising campaigns.

Use Case Front-End

Rotated banners with the 1200x100px size:

Rotated banners with the 600x100px size:

Rotated banners with the 300x100px size:

Use Case Assumptions

In this example we will consider how to manage multiple WordPress websites campaigns with one Ad Manager as server.

The Ad Changer Pro edition is a WordPress ad plugin that consists of two separate kinds of plugins: The Ad Changer Server and The Ad Changer Client - never install both of them together on the same site.

We assume that you've already bought the plugins, but not installed them yet.

It follows:


Installing The plugin

The process is the same for all CM plugins and add-ons.

  • Download the plugin from your customer dashboard
  • Log in to WordPress and navigate to the WordPress Admin → Plugins settings
  • Click on Add New
  • Activate it and add the license

Learn more: Getting Started - Plugin Overview


Setting up

When the Ad Changer Server is installed, first we need to configure it. Navigate to Admin Dashboard → Ad Changer → Settings.

There you can find a few tabs with settings. Let's consider them step-by-step.

General Settings

The first tab is General Settings. The options are:

  • Server Active - Defines whether the Ad Changer Server is active to accept banner requests.
  • Disable history functionality - Turn off data collection on clicks, impressions, etc. This may help improve speed and performance.
  • Notification Email Template - Customize the text of email notification that will be sent ifthe ad campaign stoppes working on some reason. 
  • Inject JS libraries on ALL pages / in footer - Use in cases where the shortcodes are inserted within customized themes or other plugins. This is needed when banners are not showing up as expected on your pages, or when you are adding custom CSS styles to override settings and to better accommodate placement of the banner.
  • Auto-deactivate old campaigns - Campaigns with selected activity dates, will be automatically deactivated when the last date passes.

Geolocation

The second tab is Geolocation

Server Geolocation Settings are implemented with an API developed by http://ipinfodb.com/, which can be used to show the geographical location of users accessing your ads in reports and statistics. Note: it doesn't let you define campaigns by geolocation. 

Rotated Banners

The third tab is Rotated Banners. The options are:

  • Rotated Banner switch effect - Select switch effect between Fade or Slide.
  • Rotated Banner switch interval - Set the time when one banner changes another one (in milliseconds).
  • Rotated Banner Transition time - Set the time that transition takes (in milliseconds).

This setting is client-based, therefore it can be changed on the client side while running the same campaign.

Custom CSS

The fourth tab is Custom CSS

Server Custom CSS settings relate to the layout of banners on your website. This setting overrides the style.css parameters in your WordPress theme.

Responsive Settings

The fifth tab is Responsive Settings. The options are:

Responsive banners resize according to the screen size of the device being used. With responsive banners, your ads are always appropriately resized according to device requirements.

  • Use Banner Variations - When this option is active, the banner variation which means that only banners with appropriate dimensions will be displayed. This allows client sites to ask the server for the correct banner size, and display it according to current browser settings. Browser settings are detected before the server shows the banner, this sometimes means that there is a slight delay in loading the banner before it is served to the client.
  • Choose variation based on width of - Whether or not specific banners are chosen is primarily determined by the device screen width, or by the width of the page or div element which contains the banner shortcode or widget.
  • If no variations are available resize banner - Allow the plugin to Resize Banners in cases when the appropriate variation for a particular device is not available. This option allows responsive banners to accommodate for a foreseen circumstance when all the banner variations are larger than expected, or for when no other defined banner variation exists.

Trash

The last tab is Trash. Here the admin can remove statistics between two set dates.

When everything is configured, don't forget to click the button Store Settings.

Creating a Campaign

Now it's time to create our first ad campaign. Navigate to  Admin Dashboard → Ad Changer → Campaigns.

Click the button Create new Campaign at the top right of the page.

There you can see the form with three tabs that will help you to create a campaign. Let's consider them all one by one.

Campaign Settings

The first tab is Campaign Settings

The options are:

  • Campaign Name - Write here a name for the ad campaign. It will not be displayed on the front-end, this is for internal use only.
  • Once the campaign is created, a new option Campaign ID will appear under the Campaign name. Here you can find the number - this is ID you need to use in the shortcode for placing the campaign in posts/pages.
  • Campaign Group - You can add the campaign to the group. Learn more about creating Campaign Groups.
  • Campaign Weight - Determine the campaign importance and priority in relation to all other campaigns to determine how often it should appear. This is important when used within a group of campaigns. 
    Learn more about weight: CM Ad-Changer (CMAC) - Campaigns - How Weight Works (Chance of Display)
  • Campaign Notes - You can write here a note. It will not be displayed on the Front-end, it's for internal use only.
  • Target URL - Target URL for all banners in the campaign. Target URL specified in banner will override this. Note: clicks are counted only if it is set.
  • Open target URL in new window - If enabled, the target URL will open in a new window after clicking on it.
  • Campaign Status - Disable this option if you want to stop the campaign.
  • Campaign Manager Email - Write here the manager's email of the campaign. The notifications will be sent on that address.
  • Send Notifications - Enable it to send email notifications to campaign manager when the campaign stops. 
  • Max Impressions - Set the number how many times the campaign should be shown before it stops. Set to 0 to make it unlimited.
  • Max Clicks - Set the number how many times the campaign can be clicked before it stops. Set to 0 to make it unlimited.
  • Approved Domains - Add a list of domains from which banners can be requested and served. Leaving this list empty will allow all Ad Changer clients to request the banners randomly without defined preferences.
  • Advertisers - Name of the advertiser. You can choose it from the dropdown list of advertisers that you already added, or create the new one.
  • Custom JS - This field is designed to add custom JS codes into the page where the campaign ads are being displayed. The JavaScript code executes immediately, so it hooks into the banner click, shows modal, show alert, call AJAX, etc.

Campaign Banners

The second tab is Campaign Banners.

The options are:

  • Campaign Type - Pick the type of advertisements in the current campaign from the list of currently supported types. Learn more about these campaign types:

  • Cloud Storage URL - Select if you wish to use cloud hosting for storing all your banner images. Insert the URL received from your cloud storage provider. Once this option is chosen, you can manually upload and link the files to your website from the cloud. This can improve your server performance and reduce the load.

    Note that, if cloud storage is enabled, banners count on the campaign list will show "N/A". This happens because the plugin cannot access and count banners from outside the storage server. Check the documentation on the campaign list.
  • Display Method - Choose the method of displaying the banners:
    • Selected Banner - Will only serve selected banner 
    • Random Banner - Will serve random banner based on banner weight
    • Rotated Banner - All banners from this campaign will be rotating. The style of rotating and time of displaying each banner and transition are defined in the Settings → Rotated Banners. By default they rotate in order one by one as they were added, but you can randomize the order by checking the option Randomize Rotated Banners.

  • Campaign Images - Upload images and define their name, title, alt, target url, and weight attributes. Click on Add variations to insert different sizes for the displaying the banner on mobile devices, or have them resized automatically by selecting the option in the general server settings. Let's add here 3 different with sizes 1200x100 px and two additional banners for each of them with sizes 600x100 and 300x100 to be more adaptive for different devices.
  • When you save the campaign, a few new options for images will be available while editing the campaign.

    • Banner Link Behavior - Choose custom link behavior. Available options are:
      • Campaign Default - It follows the global configuration of the campaign.
      • Target Blank - The link will open in a new window. It overrides global configuration of the campaign.
      • Target Seft - The link will be loaded in the same window. It overrides global configuration of the campaign.
    • Banner Expiration Date - Set the expiration date for the banner.
    • See full size - Hover on the eye-icon to see the full-size of the banner.

Campaign Activity Settings

The third tab is Campaign Activity Settings

The options are:

  • Activity Dates - Define here the activity dates and time for the campaign. You can add one, two or more periods - depends on how many of them you need. To add a new period just click on the blue "+" icon.
  • Activity Days - Choose the activity days of the week for the campaign by checking the boxes.

At the end, when everything is configured click the Add button to save the campaign.

Setting Up a Campaign for Client

When the creating of campaign is done, we need to place it in the post or page. 

First install the CM Ad Changer Client plugin to another website (remember: don't install the CM Ad Changer Server Pro and CM Ad Changer Client on the same website. We need to configure it for the beginning. Navigate to Admin Dashboard → Ad Changer → Settings.

The settings here look very similar to the server side plugin's settings. The tabs Custom CSS, Rotated Banners and Responsive Settings work the same and override the settings defined by the server side. The little difference is in General Settings tab.

  • Client Active - Defines whether the Ad Changer Client is active. If it's disabled, no banners will be displayed by CM Ad Changer Client.
  • Disable sending history data - Turn off data sending on clicks, impressions, etc. This may help improve speed and performance.
  • Ad Server domain - This specifies the URL address of the WordPress server plugin installation (i.e. where the CM Ad Changer Server Pro is installed).
  • Server cache update timeout - Time in minutes between another call to Ad Changer server for fresh data. Default value is 30.
    • Flush cache now - Check it to get fresh date from the server now.
  • Inject JavaScript libraries on ALL pages/ on footer – Use in cases where the shortcodes are inserted within customized themes or other plugins. This is needed when banners are not showing up as expected on your pages or also when adding custom CSS styles to override settings and to better accommodate placement of the banner.

After configuring click the butting Store Settings to save the changes.

Now we can place the ad campaign to the post or page, or anywhere else on the website. The following steps are the same for the site, where the Ad Changer server is installed, and for the site where Ad Changer Client is installed.

Every created campaign has it's ID. To place the campaign anywhere we need to use the shortcode [cm_ad_changer] with the parameter campaign_id="X", where X is campaign's ID.
In our case the shortcode will look like this [cm_ad_changer campaign_id="3"]

You can insert it using the tools of usual post/page editor or using the tools of your theme. 

End Result

Let's see the result and check how the banners adapting for different screen sizes.

Use Case Front-End

Rotated banners with the 1200x100px size:

Rotated banners with the 600x100px size:

Rotated banners with the 300x100px size:

Extra - Creating Campaign Groups

You can unite different ad campaigns to the campaign groups. This way you can display banners from single ad campaigns - in a random way or rotated.

To create the campaign group navigate to  Admin Dashboard → Ad Changer → Campaign Groups.

Then click the button Create new Group at the top right.

There you will see the form that you need to fill.

  • Group Name - Write here name of the group.
  • Group Order - Choose how the campaigns of the group should be shown.
  • Campaigns In The Group - Choose needed campaign from the dropdown list and click the Add button.

At the end - click the Save button. When the group is created, you can find Group ID in the information about the group.

You can display campaign group almost the same, as usual campaign. You need to use the shortcode [cm_ad_changer] with the parameter group_id. 
So, in our example, Group ID equals "3", so the shortcode will look like this [cm_ad_changer group_id="3"]


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