Advertising, Digital, Marketing & Strategy, Media Buying

Programmatic Advertising & Display Ads: A Perfect Match to Increase Reach and Awareness

By: Digital Department, MassMedia Marketing, Advertising, PR

You may not be familiar with the term programmatic display advertising, but chances are you’re familiar with what it looks like. If you’ve ever perused a website and noticed a display banner ad that is relevant to your demographic or interests or is promoting a company whose website you’ve previously visited, then you’ve been on the receiving end of programmatic buying, a form of display advertising.

The Evolution of Display Advertising

Display advertising has come a long way. In the past when advertisers wanted to reach their target audience through display ads, they would need to go directly to a publisher of an individual website that skewed high towards their target audience and purchase ad space. Advertisers would pay a fixed cost, and the scheduled ad would be served to anyone who visited the website. So, while the website may have skewed towards the target audience, there was no guarantee the exact target would see the ad. Furthermore, people who did not fit the target profile at all may have visited the website and been served the ad — resulting in less efficiency and wasted impressions. Developers knew there had to be a better way.

Enter programmatic buying — the real-time buying and selling of ad inventory on countless websites through a sophisticated automated bidding system. This is how it works: if a user who fits the criteria of your target audience lands on a website that is selling ad inventory, you can bid on the space and, if you’re the highest bidder, serve your ad to the user on the site. The whole process takes place within milliseconds, using a sophisticated system that involves Artificial Intelligence, real-time bidding, platforms used to buy and sell the ad space, ad exchanges, and more. And speaking of inventory, it is worth noting that currently ad inventory is up and ad costs are down. So, if you’re considering a digital campaign, now’s the time to capture market share for half the cost.

Advantages of Programmatic Advertising

A couple of the primary advantages to running a campaign through programmatic is precise targeting and increased reach – you can be assured your ad will be seen by as much of the intended audience as possible, resulting in more efficient use of media dollars.

The system allows you to define your target audience using first-, second- and third-party data, and with its massive inventory, provides a broader reach. Now, instead of scheduling ads to run on a few websites, your target audience may be inclined to visit, you are more certain to reach these individuals by instantly serving ads on websites they are currently visiting. In short, you’re sending your ads to where you know the target audience is in that exact moment, rather than taking a chance your target audience will go to where your ads are.

Additionally, programmatic buying can also be used to reach users who have visited your website by retargeting them and serving them ads as they browse other sites. Retargeting is a tactic that our digital team at MassMedia consistently recommends to clients if they are running display campaigns.

Other benefits include:

– Robust reporting: Programmatic ad buys provide comprehensive reporting on the performance of the ads including indicators such as impressions, clicks, click-through rates, ad viewability, ad frequency, video completion rate for video ads, etc. In the past, reporting for display advertising was not nearly as detailed.
– Option to optimize: Programmatic advertising campaigns can run various creative for A/B testing and can also be more easily adjusted based on performance metrics, allowing for the campaign to run more effectively.

You can run various types of ads through programmatic advertising, but the most common type is display ads.

The Value of Display Ads

Display ads are a type of digital ad that in its most basic form consists of an image and copy. They can be found on a great number of different desktop and mobile websites as well as mobile apps. Display ads can be formatted and served in different engaging ways so to stand out and catch users’ attention when they are browsing websites. These formats range from simple banner ads to expansive pushdown ads to ubiquitous takeover ads. Additionally, the ads can feature video, animation, interactivity, dynamic effects, etc.

When delivered programmatically, display ads are served to thousands of people, garnering high impressions at a relatively low cost. Display is calculated by a “cost per 1,000 impressions,” or CPM. Depending on who the target audience is and where you choose to serve ads, you could be spending as little as $1 CPM. Meaning for $1, your ad could be shown 1,000 times to targeted prospects.

Most display ads have a relatively low click-through rate, but are still a critical component to a brand or marketer’s strategy, as they are most effective to provide widespread branding awareness for a company and its products/services or retarget a prospect who has visited the company’s website to ultimately improve conversions.

We’ve got programmatic buying and display ads down to a science. Engage the digital experts at MassMedia to maximize your marketing spend, gain market share and drive brand awareness and conversions. Contact us today!

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