Online advertising in the US alone is now a $60 billion industry. With greater flexibility and a broader pool of options at a lower cost for advertisers than traditional media ads, online advertising offers businesses across all industries and sizes greater opportunity to get in front of their target audiences in the spaces they interact with most.
However, one of the biggest challenges with the rapidly growing online advertising market is figuring out which platforms to include in your ads efforts. From paid social media ads to cost-per-click (CPC), to search and display ads to influencer marketing, there are more options than ever before, and it can be overwhelming for marketers to assess which are worth their time and budget to use.
This is where programmatic advertising comes in, in a superhero cape ready to completely automate this once highly stressful concern.
Programmatic advertising has transformed the media buying process and has made online advertising an accessible method for even brands with minimal budget for ad spend. In this blog, we’ll break down why this is the case, how programmatic advertising works, and how ad experts like our team at Speak can help you tap into this advertising must in 2023.
What is Programmatic Advertising?
Where traditional media buying is a very manual and involved process that typically includes searching and reaching out to publishers, creating proposals, negotiations, and manually inserting orders (not to mention ads are purchased in bulk giving advertisers little control over inventory and placement), programmatic advertising allows brands to place their ads with a vast network of publishers without the need for individual outreach.
The process uses artificial intelligence (AI) and Real-Time Bidding (RTB) to help automate and streamline the ad buying process. Programmatic campaigns allow you, the advertiser, to specify the target market, set a budget that works for you, and goals for a campaign. With these factors in position, you can place ads across dozens of networks at one time in order to best reach your highly targeted audience.
Let’s break it down further with an example:
If you’re a visitor attraction with the goal of advertising your summer camps, you can opt to only target parents of children within your target age range who live in or near your area. Then, you can set a campaign goal. In this instance, we might set our campaign goal as increasing camp session registrations (conversions).
A programmatic campaign will take all of these parameters and analyze them against hundreds of data points in order to select the best ad platforms and bids to drive maximum conversions.
The recommended strategy based on all of this information might be to dedicate 15% of the budget to Instagram ads, but only on weeknights after 5pm because this is the time they’re expected to perform the best.
Benefits of Programmatic Advertising
By putting AI to work for a campaign like this one, marketers can have greater confidence that they’re not spending valuable ad dollars advertising to an audience that isn’t the one they need to see their ads, or advertising to parents of summer-camp-aged children, to follow our example, but only at 8am when they’re getting their kids to school and not likely to be online.
There are other benefits of running a digital advertising campaign with programmatic advertising as well:
1. Access to dozens of ad networks
Unless you have the help of an agency like Speak to set up ad campaigns for you, it can be exceptionally tedious to set up ad campaigns across various platforms. Programmatic advertising simplifies this process and gives your team back valuable time and bandwidth by connecting automatically to platforms like Google Ads, Instagram, Meta, Pinterest, Hulu, Simpli.fi, Pandora, Spotify, and more.
This way, your team can spend more time focused on developing one expertly crafted campaign that can be used across multiple platforms and get you maximum visibility.
2. Your Campaigns Can Be More Targeted
Programmatic advertising taps AI to help ensure your ads are only shown to people who fit your specific target market. Rather than playing the guessing game of identifying which sites and keywords your target audience is utilizing, programmatic advertising is able to pull from collected data and built-in research to specify even the most highly targeted audiences. Here are the factors AI is able to take into account to personify your audience:
Demographics (gender, sex, age range, race, socioeconomic class, and more)
Device (laptops, desktops, phones, tablets, televisions)
Interests (like the way Meta is able to pull specific interests based on the content you interact with)
Behaviors (example: reads articles about international travel and spends time on airline websites frequently)
3. Your Campaigns Can Be Delivered Across Devices
Programmatic campaigns reach users where they are most likely to be, whether that’s a mobile device, tablet, or desktop. Knowing that your ads will be shown on multiple channels on the most optimized devices means you can run a more holistic and aggressive campaign that sees greater results.
What Should You Be Aware Of Before Tapping Programmatic Advertising?
With as much as we’ve raved about it in this blog so far, programmatic advertising seems like a dream come true, doesn’t it? It’s certainly a game-changer for digital marketers, but there are a few factors to be aware of before you dive straight into trying programmatic advertising out for yourself.
1. Don’t Skimp On Creative
Though programmatic advertising takes hours of work and research off your hands by automating the ad-buying process, don’t make the mistake of thinking that all this automation and the visibility it can unlock means you’ll see incredible results from boring or ineffective ads. The performance of your ads at the end of the day will always rely not only on how well you’re able to reach your target audience, but also on how well you can get them to listen and click.
Keep creative strategy and content a priority, and where needed, get help from content specialists like the team at Speak Creative to develop strategy-backed graphic and written content for your campaigns.
2. You May Face Technical Difficulties
Adopting new technology of any kind can come with a learning curve and lead to technical difficulties. It’s no reason to shy away from trying new things completely (a lesson for digital marketing strategy and life alike), but it’s highly recommended that you get expert help for setting up your campaigns with programmatic advertising. If an ad campaign is set up incorrectly, it could result in a campaign that doesn’t perform well or doesn’t run properly at all.
At Speak, we have dedicated ad experts who can help you set up your campaigns and communicate with publishers, buyers, and other parties involved in the process so you don’t have to.
Ready to Run Programmatic Ads and See ROI This Year?
If your organization has a clearly defined audience you want to reach with ads in 2023, programmatic advertising is a great option. Ad experts like our team at Speak can help you configure your campaign to ensure it’s successful and gets you the results you want to see.