Avoid a Programmatic Catastrophe with These 13 Optimization Tactics


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, December 14, 2020

Programmatic ads can provide good ROI, but only when optimization techniques are fully implemented, so be sure to get your campaigns right.

Article 4 Minutes
Avoid a Programmatic Catastrophe with These 13 Optimization Tactics

With more digital inventory for sale than ever before, programmatic advertising represents an efficient way of securing that inventory easily and effectively. When done properly, AdTech can reach more targeted audiences, drive down costs and increase revenue, but without a clear strategy it can have the opposite effect.

Programmatic is the fastest growing area of AdTech and one your brand can’t afford to miss out on. It’s the method used by paid adverts to predict a user’s needs with startling levels of accuracy, allowing your company to target an audience’s pain point.

To ensure your brand doesn’t invest more money in inventory that isn’t pulling its weight, you need to employ a selection of optimization tactics. With these principles in place, you can expect to see good ROI on your programmatic AdTech.

1. Utilize responsive ad creation

Programmatic ad placement should be seamless, with campaigns following your target audience from screen to screen. Use responsive ad units to make one creative that automatically resizes to fit the screen size of each device on multiple operating systems. This will not only improve performance but save you time and energy too.

2. Tweak your campaigns in real-time

Being reactive is the key to success, as you’re not confined by long-term contracts. Evaluate your campaigns regularly and make adjustments to fine tune them as you go. With real-time reporting readily available on mobile, you have AdTech performance metrics at your fingertips.

3. Mix up your ad creative

It’s easy for audiences to ignore ads on channels they frequent regularly if they aren’t renewed from time to time. Mix things up with a creative refresh, new copy and additional creative flair to ensure maintained ROI.

4. Use multiple data sources for audience targeting

Data is invaluable when it comes to targeting the right audience, but don’t just stick to a single data source. As well as the first-party data from your mobile app users, there’s second-party data from media buying activities and third-party data that can help inform your bidding decisions.

5. Group campaigns by over-arching targeting type

Structuring your campaign has a number of layers, with over-arching targeting types representing a natural way to group them together. Once you’ve done this, separate the audience by device before finally matching them back up with a targeting theme to create a level of sophistication that reflects the nuances of your audience.

6. Remarket at dormant users

Categorizing dormant customers based on the amount of time they’ve been away from a brand will provide the perfect foundation for remarketing products to them. Look at your cookie window duration and set a benchmark for the frequency when you’d expect a customer to return to the site.

7. Use data on your current customers to prospect for new ones

Making assumptions about prospective customers based on the behaviors of those you already service can help you target them successfully. The best programmatic campaigns take everything from personality profiling and location to contextual targeting and demographics into consideration.

8. Be realistic about expected levels of return

The value of display activity lies in its contribution to the user conversion journey and its role alongside other digital channels. Brands should look at their results in a wider context and not expect to see huge stand-alone gains.

9. Identify top and poor performing domains

Creating allowed and blocked lists of top performing and poor rated domains will help you concentrate your budget in the right places. These can be reviewed and updated to reflect any changes regularly, while also used to keep the campaign on track.

10. Don’t dismiss below the fold ad placement

Traditional wisdom suggests above the fold ad placement will perform better, but this isn’t always the case. Test a number of different approaches to positioning your ads and adjust them based on the data to achieve the best results.

11. Track your changes

It’s vital that you keep track of all the tweaks you make throughout your campaign, no matter how small. This means if the cost-per-click suddenly goes up, you’ll be able to trace it back to a potential source.

12. Grab your users' attention and keep it

Web users have become so desensitized to ad content that they’ll simply scroll past anything that doesn’t hook their attention. This means you need to deploy eye-catching visuals, crisp copy and clear value propositions to create successful programmatic campaigns.

13. Use visuals to reinforce your brand identity

Visual media is a vital element of programmatic ads and it’s important all such assets are consistent. If your brand is relatively new, then you need to be putting in the groundwork with visuals that will cement your reputation. Meanwhile, established companies should ensure the tone chimes with the identity already set out previously.

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