If you or your company uses online advertising, you have probably heard about how programmatic advertising and the Internet of Things (IoT) are disrupting digital marketing.
Your ad could be fantastic, but if it isn’t in the right place and targeted at the right people, your campaign will never reach its full potential. So, if you have ever nodded in agreement when someone says programmatic advertising is a game changer but haven’t quite grasped why, you are in luck.
In this article, we define programmatic advertising, explain best practices for targeting, and look at four brands that are doing it right.
What is programmatic advertising?
The use of software to purchase digital advertising is known as programmatic ad buying. While the traditional method includes requests for proposals, tenders, quotes, and negotiation, programmatic buying, buys and sells online display space using algorithmic software.
It is a sophisticated method of advertising placement that uses traffic data and online display targeting to drive impressions at scale, resulting in a higher ROI for marketers. It can also produce excellent results for both SMEs and global brands, so don’t dismiss it because your company is small.
What Exactly are programmatic ad platforms and tools?
Programmatic advertising is a powerful tool, with global spend exceeding $129 billion in 2020 and expected to exceed $150 billion in 2021. The United States is the largest spender on programmatic ads, but the United Kingdom and China are quickly catching up.
What is the secret to programmatic advertising’s success?
Simple, it is successful because it is effective, targeted, and scalable.
Only two years ago, US marketers spent more than $61 billion on programmatic ads. That figure is expected to rise to $133 billion in 2023, accounting for 91 percent of total digital ad spend according to report by e-marketer.
According to eMarketer, this growth has blown previous projections out of the water, and is largely due to a rapid recovery in the area following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as advancements in Artificial Intelligence and how it is changing marketing.
The system works and is used because it makes efficient use of both time and resources.
As John Lincoln, CEO and founder of SEO firm Ignite Visibility explained why programmatic advertising is the hottest new digital marketing trend:
Programmatic advertising is intended to replace old-fashioned, hit-or-miss campaign design. That system was notorious for costing marketers far too much money.”
With programmatic advertising, you can now rely on an algorithm to determine where your ad dollars are best spent. All you have to do is provide information about your campaign, audience, and key performance indicators to your programmatic solution, and the algorithm will do the rest!
“Not only will the system launch your campaign, but it will also monitor your ad spend to look for areas for improvement,” Lincoln explained.
Programmatic advertising has the potential to help you thrive if you want to optimize ad spend, increase your organization’s ROI, and connect with your target audience.
How can you succeed with programmatic advertising?
Now that we have established the advantages of programmatic advertising, let’s look at how you can use it in digital marketing campaigns.
1. Remember to keep the human touch in mind
Because programmatic advertising is based on algorithms and machines, it does not eliminate the need for a human touch. There are various platform types, some of which offer fully or partially managed services, such as War Room. Others, such as Digilant, provide technical platforms that enable you to manage your programmatic buying activities.
Following that, you will need to allocate skilled marketers to plan, control, and optimize your purchasing. To achieve maximum success, you must find the ideal balance of automation and intelligent human intervention. So don’t rely solely on the algorithm to produce the best results for your campaign.
2. Know your marketplace
This first point is fairly straightforward: do some research to determine what is involved. As a marketer venturing into a new area of advertising, you will come across many new ideas and terms, so take the time to familiarize yourself with them.
3. Set your programmatic advertising goals
As with any aspect of digital marketing, it’s critical to have goals in place from the start. To accomplish this, you should use existing data to determine the type of advertising awareness you require and develop an effective strategy that will assist you in determining short- and long-term goals.
4. Protect your brand from fake news
As previously stated, one disadvantage of programmatic is that its reliance on algorithms can result in ads appearing in inappropriate places, such as sites that promote fake news such as coronavirus conspiracy theories.
To avoid this, make sure your demand-side blacklist is always up to date and being monitored for inappropriate sites. Some platforms allow you to exclude entire categories from ad spends, which can be very useful.
A whitelist is another option, which is important if your product is sensitive. This will return a list of sites that have been approved (rather than denied). It will limit your ability to reach your target audience and possibly increase the cost of your ad, but it will ensure that no explicit or offensive content is associated with your ad.
If you use an agency, make certain that they do everything possible to prevent your ads from being served on low-quality or sensitive sites.
5. Keep an eye out for programmatic ad fraud
Programmatic ads are typically viewable between 44 and 55 percent of the time, but eMarketer estimates that fraud costs digital advertisers between $6.5 billion and $19 billion each year. Advertisers are also concerned about consumer privacy, particularly on mobile and connected TV platforms (CTV).
So, how can your company deal with fraud? The first step is to consider budget vs. reach. When it comes to programmatic advertising, marketers have been fixated on reach, which can leave campaigns vulnerable to bot abuse. When bidding for ad space, if a deal appears to be too good to be true, it most likely is! To avoid generating fake traffic, try not to focus solely on reach. Instead, pair it with traffic quality.