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Digital advertising is one of the most dynamic fields to follow. A steady stream of new technological developments is constantly transforming the way companies create and deploy online ads, offering cutting-edge ways to ensure your advertising reaches your audience. One such tool is programmatic advertising: a method that automates and optimizes the purchase of ad space, using machine learning to deliver the most effective ads to potential customers.
In the past, marketers had to juggle proposal requests, quotes and tenders by negotiating with multiple people along the line. The term “programmatic” refers to workflow automation made possible by technology that employs algorithmic artificial intelligence technology to optimize the delivery of ads based on a visitor’s behavior. Brands and agencies use a demand-side platform (DSP) to determine which impressions to buy and at what price, and publishers use a supply-side platform (SSP) to sell their ad space to brands. With this form of marketing, advertisers stop wasting money on delivering ads to poor quality leads.
Programmatic advertising takes place in the blink of an eye, in the time it takes for a web page to load, making it one of the least understood forms of marketing. We’ll cover everything you need to know, including the benefits of programmatic advertising, the options available and how it works.
What Ad Formats Are Possible with Programmatic Advertising?
Programmatic covers the full range of possible advertising formats. If an ad can be placed on a web page, it can be done with a programmatic approach. The bulk of programmatic advertising is targeted to the following formats.
- Display: The majority of programmatic ads are in the good old-fashioned display style. These banner ads come in standard sizes and are often static, but HTML5 has allowed display ads to incorporate animation and other eye-catching features to improve click-through rates (CTR).
- Mobile: There’s no escaping the popularity of mobile. Mobile traffic increased by 222% between 2013 and 2018, making mobile advertising a key area for programmatic ad placement. These are the ads that appear while you’re scrolling mobile-formatted sites, and even on a number of free apps.
- Native: Native ads rely on relevancy and audience targeting to blend in with a site’s normal content and structure. Programmatic buying helps advertisers maximize relevancy through analytics and AI. With this technology, advertisers get better performance by presenting the content to the right lead at the right time.
- Video: In-stream video ads play before you start the video you clicked on, out-stream video ads play in the middle of online articles, and in-display video ads are those that top the “up next” column on your YouTube feed. Programmatic buying helps advertisers better capture elusive attention spans with segmentation and targeting.
- OTT: Over the top (OTT) content is streamed through the internet directly to a smartphone, laptop, connected TV (CTV) or another device. It is similar to traditional TV advertising, but marketers have a greater ability to target audiences with programmatic OTT ads.
- Interactive: An up-and-coming form of ad is interactive. These typically appear in apps and contain an element in which a user is invited to perform actions on the ad like clicking and/or dragging. It shows how an app or game may work, and programmatic buying helps make it more likely that the ad is served up to someone who will actually interact with it.
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AdTech is confusing. Not only are there a seemingly endless number of acronyms and jargon — DMP, DSP, SSP, CDP, RTB – but understanding the way each of these systems works together is even more complicated. Today we’re going to walk through what a trade desk is and how it fits into the programmatic advertising landscape, along with many of these other acronyms.