If you’ve been looking into online advertising, you’ve heard about programmatic adverts. So what does programmatic advertising do? Does your organisation need it? In this article, we’ll outline some of the advantages of programmatic advertising and how to use it.
So, what is programmatic advertising?
What does programmatic advertising mean? First, it refers to using software to buy digital advertising. Traditionally, you’d have requests for proposals, quotes, tenders, etc. But with programmatic buying, you use algorithmic software to buy and sell your online display space.
How does programmatic advertising work?
Programmatic advertising is a sophisticated way to advertise. Programmatic ads use traffic data in combination with online display targeting to drive impressions at scale. Naturally, this means a superior ROI for marketers. However, programmatic advertising can also produce great results for global brands and SMEs. So, don’t disregard programmatic advertising if your organisation is small.
That said, programmatic advertising is not quite total automation. There are still some aspects of the ad buying process you must carry out yourself. But comparing programmatic advertising with traditional labour-intensive advertising frees up loads more time for you to optimise and improve your ads.
Are programmatic advertising platforms and tools powerful?
Yes! Programmatic advertising is so powerful and popular that it’s global spending in 2020 exceeded $129 billion.
Who should use programmatic advertising?
Programmatic advertising is not only an excellent way to save money – like Pay Per Click – it’s also one of the best ways to get your ads in front of the right people.
There’s nothing more frustrating than coming across an ad for something you’re interested in and putting in all your details before pressing that checkout button to find that this product or service isn’t available in your area. Even more frustrating is that organisation’s owner discovering how much money they’ve wasted on ineffective ads and maybe even getting negative reviews from these shoppers!
But with programmatic advertising, you can ensure you only show your ads to the proper prospective users. You can guarantee your ads only end up being seen by people in the correct locations and choose which ad to show. In combination with local SEO tools, programmatic advertising can work excellently.
How can you use programmatic advertising?
Since we’ve now covered the basics of programmatic advertising, let’s take a look at some of our top tips for using it:
1. Set your goals with programmatic advertising
As with everything in digital marketing, you must know your goals. To figure out your short and long-term goals, use your existing data to decide which type of advertising awareness you need.
2. Research your marketplace
A key in any industry; do your research before you do anything else. As you venture into this new advertising area, you’ll see various new ideas and terms, so be sure to get to grips with them first.
3. Shield your brand from fake news
If you aren’t careful with programmatic advertising, its use of algorithms can mean that ads start to pop up in the wrong place – maybe even fake news and conspiracy theory sites!
Implementing a constantly monitored and stringently updated blacklist is the best way to avoid this. In addition, if your platform is excellent, you may even be able to exclude complete categories from your ad spends.
Or, if you have a sensitive product, it may make more sense to use a whitelist. This safelist is a list of sites you allow instead. Sure, this will decrease your ability to reach your audience and may make your spending more pricey. However, a whitelist is the only way to ensure no offensive, explicit or inaccurate material gets associated with your ad.
Alternatively, if you use an agency, ask them to do all they can to exclude dubious sites.
Retain that human touch
Sure, programmatic advertising is a tool that uses algorithms. But this doesn’t mean it has to lack all humanity! For example, some advertising platforms offer half-managed or fully managed advertising services, while others provide technical platforms that let you run your own programmatic buying activities.
You must find the perfect mix between automation and human intervention to succeed with programmatic advertising. So, don’t leave things to the algorithm.
Look out for programmatic ad fraud
What’s the point of showing an ad to the wrong person or in the wrong place? Sometimes, ads flash up for too short a period for the viewer to make sense of it, or an ad appears out of frame on a website. These are both forms of programmatic ad fraud.
How do you deal with programmatic ad fraud? Well, the first thing you should do is think about budget vs reach. People sometimes fixate on a programmatic ad’s reach. However, this can leave ad campaigns open to abuse by bots. So, try not to focus on promises of reach alone. Instead, pair good reach with great traffic quality. This strategy will help you not to generate fake traffic.
Another thing you can do is work to comply with privacy regulations. If ads aren’t compliant with privacy regulations, they may not get shown on particular sites.