How to Create a Powerful Real Time Bidding Strategy

real time bidding

The RTB market or better known as real time bidding is expected to reach $27.2 billion by 2024, growing at a rapid rate of 32.9 percent.

RTB stands for real time bidding. It’s a growing method for quickly buying digital ad space.

Like any form of marketing, a RTB ad can fail without proper planning and attention to your audience’s needs. You need to consider every step, from which agency to use to what kind of ad to create.

Read our real-time bidding strategy guide to find out more about this emerging method and how to use it in your own campaigns.

What Is Real Time Bidding?

Before you can hope to develop a strategy to use RTB marketing in your business, you need to know what it is and how it works. It’s a relatively new technology, so not everyone may be familiar with it.

The name of the process gives you a hint as to how it works. Real-time bidding is the buying and selling of online ads. It’s a fast process that can be completed in the amount of time it takes for a webpage to load.

Ad exchanges and supply-side platforms typically handle the buying and selling in online auctions. They allow companies to go back and forth saying how much they would pay to place their ad on a specific website, app, or another digital platform. The highest bid wins.

The amount that a customer bids for each ad spot depend on a variety of factors. These include size, placement, and potential audience.

Benefits of Real Time Bidding

Real-time bidding automates the marketing process but still requires work, planning, and effort on your part. Businesses that haven’t implemented it yet may not understand how much it can help their bottom line.

It’s important to know all the benefits of real-time bidding to understand why it’s worth taking the time to create a strategy for using it in your business.


Real-time bidding automates the process of buying ad space. The exchanges provide access to several potential options at the same time.

Real-time bidding also makes it easier to choose the best possible ad space. Buyers can compare several options at once, find the best one, and avoid those that won’t give them valuable leads.

Anything that can speed up the efficiency of a business process is worth the investment.

Lower Costs

Advertising is a major investment, and it’s best to find the most affordable method you can.

Real-time bidding agencies charge less than traditional ad networks. You can get the same amount of impressions for less money.

Increased Returns

Running a successful business is always a matter of weighing how much you’ll get in return for the amount you invest. Whether it’s time, money, or other essential resources, it’s best to choose something that provides high returns.

Real-time bidding isn’t a costly process, and it can provide several benefits in return. These include increased CTR or click-through rates and increased overall reach.

How RTB Marketing Differs from Other Methods

There are several types of marketing a business can use, from traditional print ads to numerous digital options. Real-time bidding shares some characteristics in common with its older counterparts, but it also has several differences that set it apart.

Real Time Bidding vs. Programmatic Advertising

Real-time bidding is an essential part of programmatic advertising, but the two processes are different in several ways.

Programmatic advertising simply means that the ads are technology-based. This is one thing it has in common with real-time bidding.

The difference is that not all programmatic advertising platforms use real-time bidding. Some, known as direct or guaranteed, allow for selling ad space at a fixed price instead of putting it up for auction.

Both methods are an effective way to get digital ad space, but real-time bidding has the advantage of being faster and sometimes fairer. Even if you can’t afford the high prices a programmatic advertising house charges, you still may be able to win the ad space you need through real-time bidding.

RTB vs. YouTube Marketing

YouTube is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, and it’s now accessible on almost all devices. Real-time bidding is also a useful method for getting an ad onto a variety of platforms.

The difference is that the type of ad plays a bigger role on YouTube. 70 percent of watch time on the platform comes from mobile devices, and its mobile ads engage audiences 83 percent of the time.

YouTube marketing is concerned with cost per million or CPM. This determines how much an uploader gets paid for every 1,000 people that view an ad on their video.

YouTube also measures how long a viewer engages with an ad. Anything less than 30 seconds won’t count towards CPM.

Real-time bidding measures how much users engage with an ad, but the terms aren’t quite as strict. The amount of money you make from a campaign still depends on user engagement, but there’s no minimum amount of time required.

Despite their differences, YouTube and real-time bidding can work well together. Video is an effective marketing tool, and an ad on YouTube can encourage a purchase even if the customer skips it. Consider bidding for space on the platform if your ad agency allows it.

To further understand the differences between RTB and YouTube, learn more about YouTube CPM here.

RTB vs. Other Digital Marketing Methods

As technology expands, new methods of digital marketing come into style every day. From video to augmented reality, there are several choices for the modern marketer.

Social media, affiliate marketing, and other digital marketing methods can help you reach customers around the world. The problem is that they’re not as fast, efficient, or effective as RTB ads.

Relying solely on real-time bidding isn’t the way to get the best results for your business. Check out our range of digital marketing services to see how they can all help you reach customers.

How to Use RTB Marketing

Proper marketing involves careful planning, no matter which method you use, and rushing into things can lead to severe consequences. A poorly managed online campaign of any kind can cost up to 30% more than print campaigns.

Developing an RTB ad strategy allows you to use the process in the most effective way possible. It involves choosing the best provider and platform and developing an effective ad.

Choosing an Ad Exchange

One of the first and most important choices to make when creating a real-time bidding strategy is to pick an ad exchange. This choice determines how well you’ll be able to utilize the benefits of real-time bidding.

Find an agency that’s affordable, efficient, and allows you to buy ad space on a variety of platforms.

Choosing a Platform

Real-time bidding only allows you to purchase a single ad space at a time but offers several different platforms to choose from. This includes websites, apps, and games.

It’s important not to count out the use of real-time bidding for creating mobile ads.

There are six million mobile subscribers throughout the world who spend 23 percent of their time on the phone. Despite this, only one percent of annual ad spending is focused on mobile ads.

This leaves an untapped space for mobile RTB ads. The best agencies provide options for mobile ad space to let bidders quickly reach a wide audience.

Whatever platform you choose, make sure that it’s something your audience is actually using. If you don’t have a mobile app or users that find your website through the browser on their phone, RTB mobile strategies may not be the best option. Go where your audience is and consistently collect data to see how your ads can best reach them.

Choosing Ad Space

Once you’ve chosen the right platform, it’s time to carefully choose the right ad space. This depends on who your audience is and what they’re looking for.

Make sure to choose a website, app, or other option that your customers will actually click on and be encouraged to make a purchase. If no one ever sees your ad, it won’t achieve its desired purpose.

You must also ensure that the ad space you choose matches up with your brand’s image. Try to find a non-competitor with a similar mission that customers would find when searching for the products and/or services you provide.

Not all ad space is created equal, which is why they differ in price. A proper real-time bidding strategy involves getting the best options you can afford as often as possible.

Using Behavioral Data

Customer hate when a brand sees them as nothing more than a dollar sign. You can keep your business from developing this reputation by making customized content that relates to their wants and needs.

One of the best ways to get the information you need is to gather behavioral data.

Despite the benefits, 76 percen of marketers don’t use behavioral data to create their online ads. They refuse to gather it and/or to utilize it when creating a campaign.

Collecting accurate behavioral data is a critical component of a proper real-time bidding strategy. It lets you know what your customers are searching for and how to best reach them. This helps you decide which ad spaces to bid on and what kinds of campaigns to create.

Placing Bids

As the name suggests, placing a bid is one of the most important parts of the real-time bidding system. 

Speed is the name of the game in real-time bidding, as it’s a first-come, first-served arena. It’s important to place as many offers as you can for the ad space you want so it doesn’t go to anyone else. 

Despite the necessity of speed, there’s still something to be said for taking the time to do some slow and careful planning. Decide ahead of time what sort of ad space you want to bid on and how much to spend so you don’t waste time looking for the best options.

Creating a budget for your bids as well as your overall RTB marketing campaign keeps you from overspending or wasting money on ad space that won’t lead to high returns. 

Creating Effective Content

One effective method you may want to consider when creating an RTB ad is known as affective conditioning. This involves placing your product and/or brand identifiers next to positive images.

You’ve seen this strategy multiple times, from medication ads that show happy people running through the forest to a pet food ad that shows adorable pets. Use it in your RTB ad to give people a positive image of your brand that’ll encourage them to make a purchase.

Don’t ignore the power of video, either. Videos get an almost unfathomable 1,200 percent more shares than all text and link ads combined. They also increase audience engagement and brand recognition. 

Use as many different platforms as you can. Real-time bidding makes the process of buying ad space simple and fast, and there’s no reason not to utilize it to the fullest extent.

In addition to ads, 84 percent of customers expect brands to create custom content for them. Make sure to create blog posts, informative videos, and other valuable additions to supplement the gains from your RTB ads.

Where to Get Help Creating an RTB Strategy

Real time bidding or RTB is a relatively new but powerful method of increasing audience engagement. It involves ad agencies automating the process of buying ad space so that businesses can purchase multiple spots from various platforms quickly.

RTB marketing is more efficient and effective than other marketing methods. The best marketers use a careful real-time bidding strategy to get the most benefits.

RTB marketing is a multi-step process, and each part is essential to the overall success of the business. It’s important to choose your ad agency, platforms, and ad space carefully. You must also be careful when placing bids and use behavioral data to create effective content your customers will love. 

Developing a team to help you is one of the most important steps you can take. They can guide you through every step of the RTB marketing process, making it even more efficient and effective.

We can provide user data and create ads that’ll improve your audience engagement. Learn what we do and contact us today to see how we can help.

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