When internet ads appeared online for the first time in the 1990s, the ad-buying process was similar to the hoops you’d have to jump through in order to buy an ad in a newspaper or magazine.
A brand might have opted to have their ad displayed in a specific location of a specific website for a specific period of time. No matter who visited the site, they’d see the same ad. Over the last several years, more brands have decided to spend their money more precisely by using programmatic advertising. Today, the majority of MikMak’s partner brands are leveraging our Where-To-Buy software across multiple media platforms, and programmatic advertising is a top source of traffic.
For brands who are considering adding programmatic advertising to their media mix, here’s an overview.
What Is Programmatic Advertising?
Like the name suggests, programmatic advertising is the process of buying and selling ad inventory using software instead of people to handle negotiations. Today, most of this happens in a real-time bidding auction. When someone visits a website, ad space is automatically auctioned off to the highest-bidding advertiser, and the ad is then served to the user—all in an instant.
In recent years, programmatic advertising has become more and more essential to many leading brands’ digital advertising strategies. This is due to the number of benefits that the new approach to digital advertising brings to the table, including more:
- Transparency – by being able to see precisely the kinds of people you’re reaching with your advertisements and the real-time cost of these efforts
- Efficient and effective campaigns – with the ability to track data across channels and platforms and to optimize each campaign over time
- Precise targeting – e.g., by IP address, geolocation targeting, and keywords
- Reach – with the ability to serve up relevant ads to people all over the world at the best times
Because of these benefits, it comes as no surprise that U.S. companies are expected to spend upwards of $129 billion on digital ads by 2021—accounting for 51.3 percent of all ad spending. What’s more, pundits predict programmatic advertising will account for 88 percent of all U.S. digital ad spend in 2021 too.
How to Get Started with Programmatic Advertising
Every brand and retailer is different. Still, if you follow these general steps, you should be able to kick off your inaugural attempt at programmatic advertising and get some exciting results.
1. Do your research
First things first: Spend some time researching programmatic advertising to develop your understanding of the concept. Because you’re reading these words, you’re on the right track! While you’re at it, check out some programmatic podcasts and programmatic webinars.
2. Partner with the right company
You can’t just decide to launch a programmatic campaign and expect spectacular outcomes. You’ll need to partner with the right companies and use the right tools that enable you to make the most of your efforts. As you begin your search for a solution, find out what ad exchanges each vendor partners with, the data sources you’ll have access to, the variables you’ll be able to adjust for ad-buying purposes, whether the vendor offers a fixed CPM or a dynamic one that passes along cost savings to you, and more.
3. Develop your strategy and consumer personas
Once you’ve found a programmatic partner, it’s time to develop your campaigns and define your customer personas. Which channels are most effective for your brand? What does your average customer look like? Where do they live? Only you know the answers to these questions. If you’re not sure, it might be because you don’t have the right eCommerce tools in place.
4. Set your KPIs
Now that you know more about who you’re targeting, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to measure your success. To do this, determine the kinds of key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re going to track. You’ll likely want to measure things such as impressions, clicks, conversions, cost-per-click, and cost-per-acquisition.
5. Launch your campaign
Once you’re developed your strategy and defined your KPIs, it’s time to launch your campaign. Good luck!
6. Optimize over time
Of course, your work isn’t done just yet. In fact, it’s just beginning. When your campaign is live, you need to start studying the data to determine which ads and creative resonate the most with your audience and which could use a little bit of polishing. With the right solutions in places, it’s possible to continuously optimize your campaigns—getting better results every time.
Build the Best Programmatic Campaigns with the Right Tools!
Creating effective ad campaigns is difficult enough as it is. But there’s no sense in making it any harder than it needs to be.
Schedule a demo of MikMak today to learn more about the easiest way to get the data you need to optimize your campaigns, drive eCommerce revenue, and otherwise delight your consumers.