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Programmatic Advertising: A 4-Step Guide to Creating a Successful Campaign

More and more businesses in Asia are starting to adopt programmatic advertising. Over-the-top media services or OTT is predicted to be one of the top programmatic ad formats that will experience high growth, with streaming services like YouTube and Netflix drawing more viewers each day. According to a report by Rubicon Project, clients are allocating higher portions of their ad budget to this automated strategy. Media buyers have grown more aware of the benefits of programmatic ad buying and are ready to leverage it to execute better-targeted, media-rich marketing campaigns. If you’re planning to invest in programmatic advertising services, below is a guide on how to build a successful strategy. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to any strategy, the core considerations remain the same for any kind of campaign.

Steps for an Effective Programmatic Campaign

  1. Define your goals
  2. Segment your audience
  3. Create engaging ads
  4. Make decisions

How to Build a Programmatic Strategy

1. Define your goals

As with any campaign, start by defining specific goals for your programmatic advertising. Your campaign objectives will determine your overall strategy and techniques as well as your performance metrics. You must decide how best to measure these goals so you can determine your success rate. Let’s say your objective is to increase mobile app adoption. The best indicators of your campaign performance may be the number of downloads, sessions, daily active users and churn rate. Remember to make your initial measurements so you can establish baseline figures and metrics. Consider your current website traffic, customer acquisition cost, current audiences and communities on different channels. The difference with programmatic advertising is the budget. Although you need to put a cap on your spending, it’s best to keep your budget flexible. The algorithm constantly searches for new opportunities to help reach your goals faster. A flexible budget gives you the agility to adopt new techniques and make your campaign smarter.

2. Segment your audience

Some studies show that a multi-platform approach is the best way to maximise your ad budget. Being on multiple select platforms ensures that you have a presence in your target audiences’ favourite digital hangout spots. It also gives you the freedom to come up with more creative and more memorable ads. Additionally, the key to a successful cross-platform programmatic ad strategy is audience segmentation. Segmentation is easier with programmatic advertising since itletsmarketers use first-, second- or third-party data to better understand and target their audiences. This allows you to segment your audience into more specific subgroups, to which you’ll deliver hyper-targeted messages and ads. Your audience segments should go beyond the usual demographics. You want to know what devices and apps they use, what websites they frequent, their interests, buying habits and other details that influence their purchasing behaviours.

3. Create engaging ads

ad campaign Programmatic advertising relies on visualchannels and rich media ads, which means your ads should be highly engaging and eye-catching. You need to make sure that your ads cancapture viewers’ attention, especially since you’ll be reaching them through content-saturated channels, like social media or streaming sites. Other than the visuals, your ads must also have precise and relevant messaging to coax an action out of the viewer – whether it’s to visit your website, download your mobile app or whatever your campaign goal is. Here are some of the most common types of programmatic ads:
  • Video Ads – Video advertising remains strong in the Asia Pacific region, especially with the expected rise of 5G wireless technology. These ads can either be in-stream, out stream or in-display. More data-intensive video ads, such as virtual reality ads and 360° panoramas, are also on the rise.
  • DOOH Ads Digital out-of-home ads are digital ads delivered through traditional outdoor platforms, including posters, billboards and even on public transportation. The best thing about DOOH ads is it connects offline interactions to online engagements and vice versa. You can also create interactive ads to drive more interest. A good example of this is Skoda’s 2020 DOOH campaign, which involves screens in malls that allow people to explore vehicles and book a test drive then and there.
  • Audio Ads – Programmatic audio ads are worth considering because podcasts are fast becoming popular in Asia. Podcasts are a great, fresh way to reach your audiences and deliver smart ads to raise brand awareness. Some of the current major players in programmatic audio are Google, Spotify and SoundCloud.
Display, social and native ads are also common channels for programmatic advertising.

4. Make decisions

The last step is to make some decisions. Commit to the channels you decide to prioritise and allocate a higher budget to and plan for how you’ll gather customer data. You also have to choose a demand side platform (DSP), which is the real-time bidding software that automates your media buying. Some DSPs are dedicated to specific channels and ad formats, while others are more flexible. Make sure to verify if the DSP works only with authorised publishers. Otherwise, your ads might pop up on websites that post mature, sensitive or tragic content, which could be damaging to your brand. Most of these decisions rely on your campaign goals and audience segments. However, since ad buying trends change all the time, you should be ready to pivot your programmatic strategy if necessary. Keep your metrics and KPIs in mind to keep your campaign performance on track. These are the figures you’ll use to readjust your techniques, making sure that you’re maximising every dollar of your ad spend. Ultimately, programmatic ad buying is an aggressive, data-intensive approach to marketing. As with any campaign, it requires careful planning, projection and monitoring. Familiarise yourself with the technologies involved, stay abreast of industry trends and keep your audiences in mind to launch a successful programmatic campaign.
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