Guide: How to get the most out of your programmatic advertising campaigns
Getting started with programmatic advertising
Before making the decision and launching your programmatic advertising campaigns, there are a few factors to consider. This guide will help you ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform, creatives, and your landing page, and the audiences you’re looking to reach.
Choosing the right DSP for you
When you’re evaluating which demand-side platform (DSP) is right for you, there are a few things to consider. The main factors are cost, available inventory, transparency, analytics. Additionally, brand-safety options, integrations to third parties are some things worth considering.
Limitations in reporting and transparency will make it challenging to analyze and make decisions to improve performance accurately. Having modern technology and brand-safety features allows your business to capitalize on safe inventory with the newest bidding, targeting, and reporting technology available to you.
The platform’s openness, customizability, and availability of (robust) API’s should be considered, even if they would not be used initially. API access enables you to create custom solutions for reporting or campaign management, which may drastically improve your performance and workflows. Integrations to third-party providers such as measurement, data management, or brand safety provide further room to maneuver and create a technology stack that supports your business objectives.
It’s essential to partner with a DSP provider you work well with and one that provides meaningful recommendations and support. Working with people that understand your business goals while being transparent allows you to trust in the guidance they provide. This trust enables each party to hold the other accountable while working together to improve campaign performance.
Building your targeting strategy
After you evaluate and find the right DSP, it’s time to specify, document, and construct the audiences you intend to target. These audiences can be determined based on a variety of factors relevant to your industry and business objectives. It’s essential to balance your strategy to include prospective customers with existing customers. Targeting prospective customers aims to increase your brand awareness and consideration. They also play a significant role in growing your remarketing lists, which becomes crucial since most users don’t convert on their first site visit.
Building your brand awareness is about creating broader audiences that align with the target audiences and personas specified in your commercial strategy. You can create these audiences based on relevant content they’re viewing, custom site or app lists you wish to target, third-party data based on demographics and behaviors, or similar audiences based on site traffic.
Once the prospective customer is aware of your existence and offering, other targeting tactics become available. These tactics are deployed when the user has shown intent or consideration for you or your competitors. For example, including what your audience is actively searching for or researching allows you to bid on inventory with an ad relevant to them.
As users visit your online service or begin using your application, they’re not likely to convert on their first visit unless your offer is staggeringly good. This is precisely why remarketing audiences are an important part of programmatic advertising. These audiences allow you to reach the user as they browse other websites or use other applications. This tactic helps keep your business top-of-mind and encourages the user to return to your site to convert. However, the stricter privacy legislation (GDPR, CCPA) and tracking prevention methods in browsers will continue to diminish cookie-based audiences’ size as we move forward significantly.
Selecting KPI’s and implementing tracking
Probably the most crucial consideration is the one involving KPI’s. Depending on your industry and your marketing objectives, you must select relevant KPI’s to follow and measure your performance. Your business objectives and KPI’s should closely align with these KPI’s to ensure your marketing activities are contributing to the bottom line. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet to solve this challenge. However, there are a few general guidelines:
- Follow events and engagements on your website/app that are directly related to your business performance (leads, sales, revenue)
- Track visits to essential pages on your website or screens on your mobile application. Click-through rates and CPC can be used as useful proxy metrics. However, they’re often poor in portraying the effect on your business results.
- For more branding oriented activities, track viewability and engagement with your ads
However, cookie-based tracking will no longer be a viable option from 2022 onwards when Google Chrome will join Safari, Firefox and other browsers in removing support for 3rd party cookies. Advertisers must transition to using server-side tracking in order to continue effectively measuring performance and building audiences.
Once you’ve implemented and tested that the tracking works as intended, you must decide how to attribute conversions. Most DSPs consider both view- and click-through conversions as equal; however, you’re able to set lookback windows to determine how long after an impression or a click will still be considered a conversion.
Strong creative and landing page
Once you have the right targeting determined, you will need convincing creative and landing pages to drive users to your site and convert. Knowing what resonates with your audience and where they are in the buyer’s journey is vital to creating an appealing message for your users at the right time.
When putting together your creative scope, your content must at least include the following:
- Engaging design and copy
- Clear call-to-action
- An easily distinguishable brand logo
Your content and visuals should fit within the ad size limit without overwhelming the user. The ad should have concise messaging that lets the user know more about your brand offers and what action you want them to take.
When the user clicks on your ad, it needs to direct them to a strong landing page that leads them towards a conversion event relevant to you.
Depending on where the user is in the purchasing process, the page or screen should reflect their intent. Alignment with the creatives should be immediately apparent and should match as closely as possible.
If the users are in the awareness phase, having more informative content outlining your products or services is usually more compelling. If the user is in the consideration phase, provide offers, value propositions, and personalization based on their needs or browsing behaviors. Remarketing to users that previously visited your site but didn’t make a purchase can be presented with direct and action-inducing content. It’s recommended you show this audience the benefits of your product or services with several strategically placed call-to-actions on the page that match the messaging found in the ads.
To get the most out of your DSP, you need to partner with the right platform, target the right audience, and create engaging ads and informative landing pages for your campaigns.
Remember, programmatic advertising, like any other digital marketing activity, is an iterative process. Make sure to revisit your strategy and tactics from time to time to ensure your approach is up-to-date.
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