In 2019, nearly 60 million US dollars were spent on programmatic display advertising and by 2022, it is anticipated to rise up to nearly 95 million US dollars. (1) This means that around 88% of US dollars will be transacted programmatically. And considering the features and benefits associated with the programmatic ecosystem, these numbers surely do justice.
So whether you’re new to the programmatic universe or have been a part of it for a while, this guide will help you uncover how you can make the best out of programmatic advertising for your client.
Suggested Read: Why Should Digital Agencies Adopt Programmatic Advertising?
Part 1: Defining Goals Clearly – Lead Generation, Brand Recognition, Product Promotion, Brand Awareness, etc
Be it a google advertising campaign, Facebook, or any other ad campaign, it all begins with setting a clear goal in your mind. Similarly, in programmatic advertising, it is crucial to clearly define your business objectives. We can’t emphasize this enough. It unfolds the direction and flow of the rest of the campaign. For example, the strategy that you may define for a brand awareness campaign will not be the same as that for the lead generation campaign.
Besides this, the ads that you will create will be based on the objective of your campaign.
Part 2: Determining Your Target Audience – Why & How
Programmatic advertising is known to help you reach the right audience at the right time, but that is only possible if you identify your target audience well. Determining the right target audience is important to set the tone and messaging that should be followed throughout the campaign. To put it simply, the target audience is your ideal audience to whom you are selling your product or service.
You may want to define the demographics, location, their interest or behavior, their preferences, browsing history, etc. For eg – Women in the age range of 22 to 30 years located in Mumbai, interested in fashion & lifestyle. You can go even further and determine their income, way of living, problems they face and so much more. The more specific you’re in determining your ideal target audience, the better and easier it will be for your campaign to reach them.
Can I have multiple target audiences?
Sometimes you may find yourself baffled in the process of choosing the right target audience. A business can cater to multiple target audiences. However, while launching a campaign, it’s crucial to set a clear idea as to whom it is targeted. Ideating a campaign that is targeted at a much broader group of audiences may become good for none. You may end up losing money in the due course since you’ve been communicating something that may not go well with the mainstream masses. Hence, it is always the best practice to get as specific as you can with defining your target audience.
Steps to determine your target audience:
Although, you might already have your target audience figured out, here we’re sharing a few of the steps, in case you’re confused. As we already discussed the significance of having your target audience figured out, we’re simply going to delve into the steps to determine your target audience.
1. Understand your product
No matter how easy this may seem, it’s one of the notable factors to consider. Ideally, a product must be brought to life before identifying your target audience. However, it works both ways. Understanding the core problems your product solves is the quickest way to determine the audience who might be facing a similar problem.
2. Research the market & competitors
Knowing your competitors well is crucial, regardless of marketing. Analyze how they are marketing their platforms, which platforms are they using the most, the USP of their product, etc. All this and more will only contribute to better your product as well as determining your target audience.
3. Conduct surveys
Surveys are the best and simplest methods to know anything about your prospects. Make sure you ask the right questions and ask the right people. Although it may get somewhat difficult to get your survey answered, if you’ve developed good bonding with your customers, it is the best and quickest method out there to determine your target audience.
Part 3: Strategizing Ad Placements & Why
When it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, more often than not, we are suggested to pay attention to the location. Isn’t it so? While online business is not restricted to physical locations, this principle shouldn’t be ignored totally. In the digital world, when it comes to ads, the location serves as the prominent medium to make your ads either successful or unsuccessful.
In a nutshell, ad placement implies determining the placement of your ads. When we say meeting the right customers at the right place and at the right time, ad placement is responsible for the ‘right place.’ No matter how attractive your ad is, if it’s not placed aptly (both contextually as well as placement-wise), it’ll have very little to do with conversions.
Let’s understand this with the help of an example.
For instance, I’m trying to read something about arthritis on the internet, and I click one of the articles from the search results. As soon as I read the article, an ad about a smartwatch appeared. Now, when I’m researching reversing arthritis, will I be inclined towards buying something? I won’t. Even if I get attracted by the product or service and end up clicking the ad, I’ll be persuaded to return to what I was up to.
On the other hand, if I’m being shown something that is of importance and relevance to me, I might end up giving my time to that ad. Be it clicking to check what it is or even buying it. It could be an ad for an electric warm bag, massage oil, or anything relevant to my current journey. Even if I don’t click the ad immediately, chances are, I’ll remember the brand’s name and will look up it when I need the product they sell.
This is what is meant by meeting your prospects at the right place and at the right time. And this can be achieved by a thoughtful ad placement strategy.
Part 4: Making Appropriate Creatives
In today’s time and age where the audience is overwhelmed with loads of ads throughout their online journey, it’s getting more complicated than ever to capture and then retain their attention. Hence, in programmatic advertising, you get an upper edge in terms of reacting to the right audience at the right place and time. However, what’s next? Now that you’re where your prospects are, it’s time to entice them to at least see your ad. Then, those willing to buy or know more about it will click through it and probably even convert. But this whole journey will begin once the user will see your ad. This is where creatives come into the picture.
The role of creatives is to attract the attention of the prospects and then retain it enough to convey the message you’re trying to deliver. In the process of making creatives, make sure you’re considering the channel and the format, and then comes the message. The creative must complement all these factors to be able to successfully attract the prospects. You can try different creatives and perform A/B testing to understand what is going well with your prospects and what isn’t. Changes can be made accordingly.
Creatives made for display will be different than those of native, similarly, social ads will require a different approach altogether. The point is, you should examine the format, function, and channel thoroughly. Besides all this, data plays an integral role in amplifying the creative strategy. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) can be used by marketers to personalize the ads and boost their effectiveness. It optimizes the content as well as the creativity of the ad as per the preferences of the users like geography, gender, age, etc which boosts the performance of the campaign.
Part 5: Monitoring Performance & Important Metrics
Now that you’ve successfully launched your campaign, is it the end? Certainly not. It’s in fact the beginning. The crucial part of running any campaign is monitoring it. Let’s take a simple example of cooking. You’ve chopped vegetables, put them in the pot, and covered them with a lid. Does it end there? No, right? You’ve to keep an eye on it, probably stir it occasionally, check if the seasoning is accurate, fix if it isn’t, turn off the flame, and serve it.
Monitoring the campaign is quite similar. Once you’ve filled in all the details, attached proper creatives, and launched the campaign, it’s time to check its progress. And by monitoring, we mean timely optimization as well. There are a few important areas that may require an extra bit of your attention. For example, you need to ensure that you’ve set an end date for your campaign. Failing this, the campaign will continue to run and incur extra undesirable costs.
Besides this, you’d need to ensure your budget biddings are set appropriately. You need to keep a timely check on your CPM. For example, if your goal was to spend not more than 150 CPM and the campaign is burning 200 CPM, you might want to optimize it at the earliest. The same goes with CTR – if the click-through rate is exceeding the planned number, you’ll need to optimize it as soon as possible.
We cannot emphasize this more. You need to ensure your ad is reaching the right target audience, this can only be determined in the process of monitoring the campaign. Next, A/B testing is one of the effective techniques. However, it does not need daily monitoring. Apart from this, determine how your ad is interacting with your target audience. If the engagement rate is low, chances are either your TG needs optimization or your messaging.
Part 6: Important Tips & Tricks To Launch A Successful Programmatic Ad Campaign
Now that we’ve discussed the major aspects of the programmatic advertising universe, in this section, we’ll quickly cover some of the important tips and tricks behind a successful programmatic ad campaign.
1. Have a clear goal
As we already discussed above, having a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve via your campaign is a crucial step. It decided the tone and direction for the whole campaign. For example, some marketing objectives require direct action from the users as compared to others. Hence, having a set goal in mind will help you move in the right direction towards achieving the same.
2. Choose the right DSP
It’s important to work with people who understand your business goals and provide a transparent environment. Lack of transparency will make it difficult to analyze the campaign and make decisions. Make sure to include factors like cost, brand safety mechanism, technology, inventory, transparency, support while choosing a DSP to run a programmatic campaign for your client.
In case you’re looking for a DSP that excels in all the above-mentioned factors, you might want to check IngeniousPlex which offers a brand-safe and transparent environment for you to run campaigns for your clients. On top of that our platform can be owned by you as we offer white-labeled solutions with various customizable options. For more information, you can check this video or visit our website.
3. Collect sufficient data
To make any optimizations, it’s imperative to collect enough data, at least 2000 to 2500 impressions should be served before planning to optimize the campaign for anything. Remember that the amount of data you will have access to depends on the budget and duration of the campaign. It is recommended to not optimize too quickly as you may not have gained the appropriate understanding to set a new path for the campaign.
4. Consider metrics
There are myriads of metrics available for you to analyze the performance of your campaign, however, there are a few important ones that you must take into consideration. CTR, CPC, CPA, frequency, viewability, and conversion rate are a few to name. You can learn more about these in our blog here. With the help of these metrics, you will be able to remove underperforming sites or creatives and direct your budget towards better-performing ones.
5. Placement strategy
One more important trick behind a successful ad campaign is the placement strategy. It’s important to analyze which sites are driving more traffic at a low cost. This should be examined based on user data and performance rather than which website it shows upon. As long as the site is not on your blacklist or the content is not as desired, placement strategy should only be analyzed based on the overall performance.
Suggested Read: 6 Tips To Ace Your Programmatic Campaigns
To sum it up
As we’ve come to the end of this guide, our journey certainly doesn’t terminate here. Here, we covered everything right from defining goals to important tips and tricks. The programmatic ecosystem is filled with tremendous opportunities if you look through it. Be it automating the process, connecting with the right prospects at the right place and at the right time, or upping revenue for your agency, if executed wisely, programmatic advertising can yield greater benefits.
If you’re looking to take full charge of the programmatic campaigns and provide this service to your clients in-house, Vertoz offers Ingenious Plex which is a full-stack robust demand-side platform. You can check more about it via this video or website. You may connect with us for business collaborations or any additional queries by writing to us at email@example.com.
Further Read: Step-by-step Guide To Creating A Programmatic Campaign