How to Effectively Employ RTB Media Marketing Strategies
You can streamline the process of managing digital campaigns and maximize your advertising ROI with an effective rtb media marketing strategy.
You’ve probably heard about programmatic and real time bidding advertising. If you’re not sure about what these terms mean, however, you’re in the right place.
These relatively new marketing tools aren’t that hard to understand once you break them down. Continue on to find out how you can use an effective RTB media strategy to compete in an increasingly complex digital media advertising space.
What’s So Great About RTB Media?
Real time bidding (RTB) involves the buying and selling of online ad impressions in, well, real time. RTB auctions happen in the amount of time that it takes for a webpage to open. You can use RTB auctions to place ads on well-known assets like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
To get in on an auction, you’ll need to partner with a programmatic advertising agency. Top agencies will provide you with the dashboard to facilitate the process.
Don’t get caught up in terminology. What you’re buying are ad impressions.
An ad impression takes place when, for instance, a space for a banner ad displays in a user’s web browser. As the user opens their webpage, the browser sends a message to an rtb media ad exchange.
An ad exchange auctions off that banner space to bidders. Whoever wins the auction gets to display their brand – if only for a moment. However, a moment is all it takes for a potential buyer to click on your ad and buy what you’re selling.
Congratulations You Won! Now What?
When you win a bid, your ad gets displayed instantly. The entire process takes place in milliseconds.
Typically, you’d use a demand-side platform to choose impressions to buy. You’ll also use the platform to figure out how much to bid based on various factors. For instance, you’d use the platform to evaluate what sites your ads will appear on and the behavior of internet browsers.
Say, for instance, you’ve tagged an internet browser with the cookie, and now that individual is looking at another site that sells the same goods as your brand. In an ad exchange, there are other brands in the same position. They will compete in an auction format to win ad space to reinforce their offering to that consumer.
In the past, you’d contact a website owner directly to buy ad space. The rtb media process is much more effective.
For instance, if you wanted to reach car enthusiasts, you’d buy banner space on an automotive website. With RTB, however, you can target users, rather than hoping that they will visit a particular site and see your ad.
Let’s Take a Step Back
You must understand that real time bidding is a type of programmatic advertising. Not all programmatic advertising uses RTB. Here, however, we’ll focus on the kind of programmatic advertising that does use RTB.
RTB is great for advertisers because it’s efficient. Real time bidding eliminates the need to meet with publishers and ad networks to negotiate prices for traffic. Ad exchanges and technology enable you to access a vast range of inventory across an even more extensive range of websites.
You can also use rtb media to pick the impressions that you think are the most valuable for your brand. This capability eliminates the possibility of buying advertising impressions for the wrong audience.
It also gets rid of the need for costly human intervention. Also, RTB eliminates human errors.
It’s worth noting that you can lose a lot of money on fraudulent RTB platforms – more on that shortly.
In the beginning, some publishers didn’t care for RTB technology. They believed that it enabled brands to pay too little for advertising space.
Now, however, a growing number of digital properties are embracing RTB. This change is taking place because supply-side platforms enable them to set a minimum price at which to sell their inventory. This minimum price is called a price floor.
A price floor enables publishers to put their spaces up for auction without worrying about losing too much revenue. You must meet a reserve price in order to win the bid with a price floor. If you don’t, the transaction won’t take place.
Don’t Let Privacy Bite You in the Backside
Consumer privacy is another vital issue to consider when developing your RTB strategy. Online privacy regulations are tightening. Which makes rtb media buying even more desirable.
In the UK, officials are focusing their attention on real time bidding – and not the good kind. There, lawmakers are concerned that RTB practices do not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
When an RTB auction takes place, there are many entrants in the process. UK officials want to make sure that RTB advertising platforms regulate this process appropriately.
Lawmakers are unsatisfied with the way that interests in the RTB process pass consumer data around freely. When this issue arises, tech companies frequently bring up the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR) from 2003.
The tech companies argue that they must comply with PECR in this early stage before concerning themselves with the GDPR. After doing this, the firms claim that consumers must give consent to share their information, so the companies are still in compliance.
Why does this matter? Because it’s a good idea to get in front of this issue before it influences the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States.
Envisioning a Better Way Forward
If all RTB stakeholders work together, self-governance can serve as a long-term strategy for avoiding government intervention that can stifle the industry. This strategy includes doing your part in working with your advertising agency to make sure that you protect consumer privacy in the United States.
An excellent place to start is to have the details of how your platform shares consumer information in your contract. Knowing this information is your responsibility.
Also, it’s appropriate considering that malicious actors can piece together seemingly anonymous data to identify consumers. Without proper governance, RTB can become a hacker free-for-all and eliminate what could become an advertising cash cow for brands.
It helps to add controls as part of the RTB consent process. You want to partner with a programmatic advertising platform that has measures in place that will protect your brand from liability now and in the future.
Make Sure Not to Give Fly-By-Night Operators Your Hard-Earned Cash
There’s a saying that states, “You get what you pay for.” However, you need to make sure that’s the case in programmatic marketing.
Since the beginnings of online advertising, fraud has taken place. However, instances of fraud are increasing in the fast-moving RTB arena.
The fragmented and instantaneous nature of RTB makes it easier to commit and hide fraudulent activity. A report published by Clear Code – an advertising programming company – reveals that RTB hackers made off with nearly $6 billion in advertising spending in 2019.
You think that advanced technology would prevent malicious actors from making these kinds of gains. However, they trick technology by creating fake audiences, users, traffic, clicks and installs. They’ll do anything that they can dream up to separate businesses from their money.
There are so many different ways to steal from advertisers that it’s difficult to catch them all. Fortunately, there are cybersecurity companies that have developed algorithms to help you detect fraudulent advertising activity. A few vendors are:
• Integral Ad Science
• White Ops
Programmatic advertising stakeholders on both the supply and demand sides use these technologies to prevent advertising fraud.
No matter how hard companies work to prevent fraud, however, hackers work harder to defeat these systems. The bots developed by malicious actors are growing more and more sophisticated. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to detect fraudulent advertising activity.
Mobile advertising also faces concerns regarding advertising fraud. It seems that wherever advertisers spend money, hackers will try to claim their share of it.
Ultimately, you should consider the human equation. In other words, work with a programmatic advertising platform that you can trust.
Let’s Get Strategizing
No matter what programmatic advertising platform you use, you’ll when ad space that’s served from an ad server. The ad server determines the winner in milliseconds.
Once it calculates the winner, it serves your ad on a website or mobile app. Then, you get charged for the impression.
It’s essential to understand how an ad server calculates rates. Ad servers calculate the estimated cost per thousand impressions (eCPM).
Imagine that you make a real time bid of $0.10 per click. Assume that your ads receive a click-through rate of 1%.
All things considered, you should win the auction if you bid $1.00. Right? Not necessarily.
If your click-through rate drops to .05%, you’ll lose the auction. The ad server calculates your bid as 1,000 x .005 x .10.
In other words, you just bid $0.50 per impression, when you thought you were offering a dollar. This scenario highlights the intricate variables that ad servers calculate in mere fractions of a second during an auction.
After losing an auction, most marketers would simply raise their bid. Others would hire new creative. Still, others would take their losses and move on.
Once your click-through rate drops, it can wreck your entire RTB marketing budget. This point goes to show you that you can’t just buy advertising space. You also have to create great advertising.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
You should also understand your role in the digital advertising sphere. For instance, if an ad rep quotes a high price, remember that it’s their job to get the most money for each impression.
Accordingly, don’t base your bidding strategy on advice from ad reps.
Also, avoid basing your bidding strategy on merely beating the top bid. That bid may represent one placement, placement on one kind of device or an advertiser who has deep pockets and doesn’t care about poor performance.
An unoptimized advertisement with a reduced click-through rate can’t compete with the top bid. Poor ads will drain your auction account – but fast.
The solution? Test, test, test, until you find a good performer. As a matter of fact, you should find a few winners.
For instance, break up your marketing campaign across different sized banners. You can also test the results of ads created by different creatives.
Another great tactic is to start your campaigns with the minimum bid – rather than what you think is the maximum. This tactic will help you to see how much traffic you can win at a given rate.
It will also allow you to evaluate the quality of the platform’s traffic. If you don’t win your bid, you can always raise your rate. However, it’s a horrible idea to start at the highest cost per click then try to work your way down.
The Best Strategy of All: Partnering With an Expert
Believe it or not, these methods represent a small segment of effective strategies for rtb media advertising. It takes effort, expertise and time to develop an effective programmatic marketing strategy.
At the same time, you have a business to lead. Still, you have to outdo the competition to survive.
This conflict may lead you to wonder, “How are my competitors securing top advertising and still doing a great job running their business?” The answer is that they’re leveraging the skills of experts.
Media Shark has the talent and expertise to help you develop an effective rtb media strategy for less than what it will cost for you to do it in-house. Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate the fierce waters of increasingly sophisticated digital advertising sea.