Get started with programmatic advertising

Updated: Aug 29

Facebook ads have revolutionized the way people advertise online, with arguably billions of users accessing the platform on a monthly basis alone.

That’s how most start-ups & e-com businesses were introduced to paid advertising – to target their peers and friends as users.

How can you expand your reach to those who don’t use Facebook or other social media ?

You may have heard of programmatic advertising. And if not, don’t worry, we’ll take you step by step.

Programmatic advertising is a relatively new way to advertise that uses automation, real-time bidding and data optimization to ensure your ads are shown to the right people.

More importantly, with programmatic advertising you can advertise on the open internet and on those websites where many users go to and spend time on for information and entertainment.

Many people assume that programmatic advertising is only for large companies with big budgets, but that isn’t necessarily true.

This guide will help you understand what you need to know to get started with programmatic advertising and how it can work for small businesses and start-ups just as easily as it does for large corporations.

  • DSP (demand-side platform): When you choose to advertise on the open internet and use programmatic advertisements, this is when you need a DSP. A DSP is a software solution that allows you to buy different advertising formats across different channels based on real-time targeting criteria.You have DSPs from big platforms such as Google (DV360, Google Marketing Platform), Xandr or The Trade Desk.

There are several self-serve DSP platforms available today, with varying degrees of sophistication, usability and requirements. Either powered by large DSPs or smaller indie platforms.

  • Supply: You want to work with a demand side platform (DSP) that can help you get access to all the major exchanges and supply sources.

All of them generally offer:

  • global reach and

  • access to inventory from major exchanges

However, the differences between DSPs should be evaluated based on their quality of traffic. Inventory quality is often overlooked, which can lead to poor performance and missed opportunities.

  • Costs: If you work directly with a DSP or outsource your campaign management to an agency, in most cases you will have to pay a fee that often comes out of the overall spend that goes through the system.

In many cases, it will also require a minimum monthly or annual spend in order to either sign an agreement or maintain the original platform fee rates.

Now, If you aren’t willing or able to commit a large amount of money per month, you may want to consider a self-serve platform that can provide the same services for you, but at a much lower price point.

Self-serve DSPs are platforms that enable you to create and automate campaigns yourself, without the need for a dedicated media buyer. If you can do all of your bidding, targeting, and optimization yourself, then a self-serve platform is a great option.

For example, ad:personam is a complete self-serve DSP powered by Xandr that offers you a chance to develop and grow your own programmatic campaigns in real-time with only a monthly subscription fee and without any commitment or minimum spend. With ad:personam, you can manage, monitor and optimize your campaigns and get them working as planned without a hitch. You have the same tools as the big guys, along with the flexibility to set your own campaign goals and spend ─all for one flat rate!

Sophisticated marketers understand the nuances of social channels and how they can work together to achieve a solid ROI. Self-serve ad platforms are going to help ambitious brands at scale get their message out there to the masses. They are also a great way for small businesses or agencies to start experimenting with digital advertising and know exactly where their investment is going; in turn, you can ultimately get some good results – cheaply and quickly.

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