Programmatic Ads: The Plain-English Guide to Programmatic Advertising

Advertising has significantly changed from what it used to be. As technology advances, advertising is now more intelligent than ever and can deliver personalised messages directly to the right people. This short guide is going to introduce you to programmatic advertising and give you an insight into some of the key components involved in programmatic ads, without using confusing, over-complicated, technical jargon.

What is programmatic advertising?

Put simply, programmatic advertising uses algorithms and targeting tactics to show ads to a relevant audience at the right time. AI technologies segment audience data such as demographics and location and then place the ads onto the relevant TV screens.

Before programmatic advertising, the same ads were shown to everyone without any way of measuring the effectiveness of it. With such limited opportunities of targeting audience members, advertisers were suffering from a lack of ROI (return on investment) and generating leads in general.

What types of programmatic advertising formats are there?

Display ads

These are the visual ads you’re probably used to seeing on websites. They often pop up on the sidebar or header of a website and are one of the most common ways that companies attempt to reach leads on third-party sites.

Video ads

These ads usually appear ‘instream’ which basically means before a video is played. These are common on YouTube, for example.

Outstream: Pop-up or drop-down videos during articles, usually.

In-display: These are the least covert type and appear in search results for videos or something in the recommended video panels whilst you’re watching another video.

Native ads

These types of ads can appear on any part of a third-party website and advertisers can choose which impression they want to buy and the price they pay for them – otherwise known as DSP advertising.

Voice ads

Voice ads are often a feature during podcasts, digital radio or music streaming services like Spotify and BBC sounds. 

The benefits of programmatic advertising

  • It allows brands to send relevant messages to audiences at the same time, increasing their scale and reach. Because people often watch TV shows with their friends or family, more than one person is viewing the ad at any one time, too.
  • Brands are only paying for impressions that are being delivered to the right people at the right time. This results in more efficient ad spending, and helps them to measure the effectiveness of their ads using real-time reporting.
  • Brands are becoming empowered to create more niche adverts based on a variety of factors and to realise that as times are changing brands can no longer afford to have a simple one size fits all advertising strategy.

The main takeaway?

The benefits of online ads far outweigh more traditional methods of advertising. With the rise of OTT media and connected TV, the way that audiences connect with advertising is changing. Because of this, media companies are constantly exploring new and effective ways to deliver ads. As more and more marketers adopt programmatic advertising, the ways in which consumers are treated is expected to improve, and so are the ways that data is collected from these consumers.

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