6 min read

How to Optimize Your Programmatic Ads Campaign

There isn't a marketer today that isn't struggling in some way to meet their target audience and differentiate from the competition. This is because the industry is forever in need of adapting to the times and new advancements, which means continuously learning new ways to maximize your marketing efforts. More recently, that advancement — likely already circling your conversations — is programmatic advertising.

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR LARGER “ALL IN ONE GUIDE TO PROGRAMMATIC AD BUYING” CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

Not only has Statista reported that programmatically sold advertising hit as much as $129.1 billion in 2020, but that figure is expected to reach $155 billion by the end of 2021 — with North America accounting for almost 75% of the global programmatic spending.

This comes as no surprise as businesses have quickly realized that programmatic ad buying is far superior to traditional media buying methods. Its increasing popularity aside, let's dive into how you can optimize your programmatic ad campaigns, so you're not only adapting with the advancement but crushing the competition with your techniques.

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ARE YOUR PROGRAMMATIC ADS WORKING?

Like with anything in marketing, programmatic advertising has its challenges to overcome to ensure its efficiency. Making yourself and your team aware of these challenges will go a long way in ensuring your programmatic ads work to their full potential.

Here's a basic introduction to some challenges of programmatic advertising and how to combat them.

1. AD FRUAD

Like many marketers have already been dealing with in display advertising, ad fraud refers to the inability to differentiate who is seeing your impressions — robot or human? It's a widespread problem but one that's being taken into consideration by large tech companies looking to reduce its impact on the industry.

Take, for instance, Google. Committed to safeguarding advertising measures for all advertisers, agencies, and publishers — Google has been putting in more effort to battle bots. 

"With so much at stake, it's important that the system works right," they explain. "That's why we've developed powerful processes and invested in technology and an entire team of experts to protect our customers and remove invalid activity and advertising fraud from our systems."

2. CLICK-THROUGH RATES (CTR)

In a similar sense, catching fraudulent CTRs is also important to your campaign strategy since they can manipulate your analysis and dig into your already-tightened budget. 

MarketingLand suggests taking actions such as the following to reduce CTR fraud:

  • Embrace a defensive buying mindset (i.e., not trusting open or unmonitored inventory).
  • Maintain a universal blacklist (domains to avoid) and whitelist (domains you want to target).
  • Use pre-bid contextual data segments.

3. QUALITY

With research reported by Media Post revealing that programmatic media buys now accounts for 85% of all digital ad spending (and still growing rapidly), it is more important than ever to ensure the quality of your ad inventory.

This means giving more focus to the Demand Side Platform (DSP) you're using in your programmatic ad campaign and/or opting for programmatic direct, which will allow you to know exactly where your ads are going via an advertiser/publisher agreement.

Self-service vs managed service comparison chart

OPTIMIZING YOUR PROGRAMMATIC ADS CAMPAIGN 

SELECT THE RIGHT AUDIENCE

The basis of a successful campaign comes down to your ability to target the right audience at the right time. Therefore, to efficiently optimize your programmatic ad campaigns, you need to have a tailored strategy founded on a thorough understanding of your audience.

This means knowing (and always updating) their basic demographics (i.e., age, income, location), psychographics, likes/dislikes, behaviors, etc. — then putting it all together to better pinpoint what impressions will lead to more wins.

OPTIMIZE CAMPAIGN BUDGET

We all know the importance of having a plan and sticking to your campaign budget — most notably, the risks associated with not sticking to your budget. Having success in this area starts with putting measurable goals in place for CPC, CTR, and total conversions to ensure you're going to be able to adapt down the road.

Here is some great budgeting advice to keep in mind:

  • Don't optimize too quickly.
  • Don't optimize too frequently or infrequently.
  • Keep track of all your changes.

Overall, it's important to note that optimizing your budget and bidding parameters goes a long way in meeting those KPIs. Knowing what you're aiming for before you aim for it will eliminate a significant amount of guesswork and keep you on track for meeting your goals (instead of trying to meet too many goals at once).

USE DATA TO TEST AND OPTIMIZE 

Data allows you to see what is and what is not working, thus making it easier to see where you need to bid more or less and where to change your targeting strategy. It's the golden secret to any campaign and the most sure-fire way to ensure you're always improving your marketing efforts based on solid information from past launches.


Access to this data and reporting is not easy, which is where Strategus can make a big difference. We collect and incorporate only the most relevant and reliable data necessary to eliminate all the guesswork out of who/where your consumers are and what they want, taking this information provided through credible first, second, and third-party data collection to optimize your campaigns right now and in the future.

THEY'RE ONLY AS EFFICIENT AS THE PEOPLE RUNNING THEM

The process of fully optimizing your programmatic ads campaign through thorough planning and delivery (among other things) can be exhausting and quite a bit challenging, but above all else — it is fun and rewarding. There isn't a better feeling than knowing that not only is your campaign on the right track to reaching the right audience with your message, but every campaign to follow will only get better and better.

However, you don't want just any 'ole Joe Schmoe running your programmatic ad campaign. The truth is, they can be unbelievably efficient — but only if you have the right people running it. Working with a fully equipped team like the experts at Strategus is a sure way to level up your campaign quality and value.

Don't hesitate to contact us with more insight or questions concerning programmatic ads and what they have in store for your future.

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