Why Is My Campaign Not Running Or Why Are My Ads Not Running?

Jelena Jeknic
Dec 1, 2022

You set up your Campaign in Zemanta and allocated the budget but the Campaign is not running. You ask yourself: Why?

Account-level reasons for a Campaign not running

Some of the reasons why a Campaign might not be running are on the Account level. The most common one is too low or missing Credit. You can check your available credit in your Campaign settings – under the Budget section, Unallocated Credit. If you see that there is no credit or that your Unallocated Credit is running short, please, reach out to your Customer Success representative.

On the Account level, you can allow Media Sources which can then be allowed or blocked on the Ad Group level. In case you do not allow any Media Source on the Account level this could cause a Campaign not to run.

You can include or exclude your custom lists of publishers and/or placements, on the Account level. The unsupported Allow list could be a reason for a Campaign not to run (e.g. you apply an Allow list that contains Publishers that don’t belong to your selected Media Sources).

And lastly, on rare occasions, there can be an overdue billing red flag. In that case, just reach out to your Zemanta representative.

Of course, if your other Campaigns or Ad Groups in your Account are running, then something else is going on, and you don’t need to check the status of your Account.

Campaign-level reasons for a Campaign not running

So we turned to Marija Vandot, our Customer Support Team Lead, to find out what else could cause a Campaign not to run. “When the usual suspects, like missing Media Source or insufficient credit, are off the table, we need to check if the Campaign is inactive because there are no Ad Groups (one of the entities in your Zemanta Account – Campaigns are built out of Ad Groups). Or all Ad Groups are paused or archived, or all Ads inside of the Ad Group are paused or archived.” 

“Furthermore, the Campaign might not be running because it has been paused.” Marija explains further: “A Campaign can be paused automatically due to these reasons – either the budget item reached its limit or the budget item expired (passed the campaign end date) or the budget item is in the future (the campaign start date is in the future).”

Our campaign management expert also highlights that unfinished reviewing processes or creatives not getting approved are possible reasons that could be causing the inactivity. ”Have in mind the review process takes up to 48 hours or two working days, so make sure to upload the Ads prior to the actual campaign start – the sooner the better. 

What are the common reasons why your Ads are not running or are getting low traffic?

Marija untangles other scenarios, as well: “When we figure out that it is not Campaign level nor Review issue, but we see that one or more Ad Groups are not spending their allocated budget, then this is probably a setup issue.” Marija continues: ”So, we have narrowed it down to the Ad Group potential issue. Sometimes, clients forget to enable the Media Sources/SSPs within their Ad Groups, in the Media Sources section. It’s important that at least one Media Source is set to active mode.”

We put another question to Marija: “Any other reasons you can think of, that could cause Ads not to run?” 

Here’s what she replied: “After SSP comes the Publishers level. Some of the potential issues here might be that the Publisher Allow list is too small, or that Allow and Block lists are overlapping (publishers are in both lists).

Marija continues: “Another reason would be unsupported impression trackers. Zemanta does not support impression trackers that are not GDPR or TCF-compliant. Please note that only vendors registered on the IAB Global Vendor List (GVL) and complying with the IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) are approved for any activity in the EU and in the UK across the Zemanta/Outbrain network. Also, having multiple layers of targeting within one Ad Group can be the reason for the Ad Group not to spend. The ground rule is that the Ad Groups should be split per the targeting option.”

Zemanta developed a special product feature to help you troubleshoot your Ad Groups

“Is there a way to avoid going through all the levels and checking all the possible reasons we have mentioned above?”, we asked. “Yes, we have the right tool for you! It’s called `Bidding Insights,’“ Marija tells us with a smile.

“Bidding Insights helps you figure out why the Ad Group is not spending your allocated budget and increases your self-sufficiency by providing insights on key bidding variables in the Zemanta dashboard.”

“This tool is a great help when you want to troubleshoot a specific Ad Group. For example, you should use Bidding Insights when your Ad Group is not maxing out the daily budget. You can also use this feature when you want to adjust your Ad Group precisely to bring the highest level of performance.”

What is Zemanta’s product feature called Bidding Insights?

Bidding Insights are several pieces of information about the available inventory, combined in such a way to best serve as a troubleshooter for your Ad Group.  

This feature helps you understand what volume is available on the supply side that you may be missing out on due to narrow targeting settings, less effective ads, or low bids. You can monitor your Ad Group’s inventory eligibility and win and budget fill rates for the last 24 hours. Historical data is available as a graph, showing data for the previous 30 days. You can use all this data to further fine-tune your Ad Group and get the maximum results. 

We advise you to use Bidding Insights to further tune your Ad Groups and get the maximum results. For more information on how to use Bidding Insights, please read this Help page.

Written by

Jelena Jeknic
Director of Marketing at Zemanta ∙ "My mission is to inspire growth. I’m always making sure customers receive exceptional, consistent, and relevant digital experience by successfully applying marketing, sales, and service through technology."

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