Real-time bidding (RTB) is becoming the hot new thing in online marketing. With RTB, instead of purchasing display advertising in bulk from a single publisher, you bid in real time to show your ads to individuals who meet your target audience criteria.
You can reach hundreds of sites this way. However, the focus is not on which site the ad appears, but to whom it appears. The process takes place in milliseconds as the page is loading. Individual visitors are evaluated, and if they match your criteria, you place a bid. If yours is the highest bid, your ad will be shown. Of course, since this process happens so quickly, it is all done through software, not through individual evaluation.
There are a number of reasons why you may want to consider real-time bidding for your marketing strategy:
The Ads are More Targeted
When you buy standard display advertising, you are evaluating the website that is selling it. You may have an understanding of the site’s audience demographics, but there are no guarantees that every customer you reach will be one you want for your site.
However, when you use real-time bidding, you do get that guarantee. You can determine characteristics such as location and online activity, providing you insights into their psychology and behavior. This information can help you to better evaluate each individual visitor to determine if it’s a person you want to try to attract to your site.
The Process is More Streamlined
Buying traditional advertising requires a great deal of time and relationship building. You have to make calls and send e-mails negotiating the prices, setting the terms of the campaign, submitting and approving the ads, and so on. It can be a time-consuming and tedious process.
With real-time bidding, you can streamline that whole process by automating it. Instead of going back and forth with ad reps, you can set the parameters of your campaign in the program and let it go.
It Can Save You Money
By streamlining the ad-buying process, you are already saving your company money on man power and overhead. However, you can also save money in the amount you spend on advertising, especially when considered relative to the return on your investment. Since real-time bidding typically results in better conversion rates because of the more targeted traffic, it will give you a greater return on your advertising money, effectively allowing you to spend less money on ads.
In addition, the more niche your site is, the more targeted you will need to be with your ad strategy, which can help you to eliminate competition. The less competition there is, the less you will need to pay for each bid.
Of course, even with its many advantages, there are a few drawbacks to real-time bidding. One of the primary disadvantages is that you are unable to control the context in which your ads will appear. Because you are bidding on individual visitors and not the sites they are visiting, you aren’t able to control on which sites your ads will appear – or where on those sites they will appear. If you are very concerned about the reputation of your brand in relation to where its ads appear online, this could give you pause.
Overall, real-time bidding is a highly effective strategy for online advertising, and it can help you get the targeted traffic you need to take your business to the next level. If you haven’t already tried real-time bidding, it may be time to run a test campaign to see what kind of an impact you can make and whether you need to tweak your marketing strategy.