If you’ve not begun experimenting with programmatic advertising, the time to start is now.
What Exactly is Programmatic Advertising?
Programmatic advertising is a way to buy ads that's automated by machines, which makes it more efficient, faster, cheaper, and more targeted. Hits all the high notes, right? It’s different from traditional digital advertising in that you set certain parameters and then similar to how an auction works, you bid in real-time to purchase impressions to display your ad on various websites. A traditional digital advertising approach would mean you’d have to request quotes manually and buy the digital impressions in advance, making the whole process annoyingly time-consuming and unnecessarily frustrating.
Why Do Independent Retailers Need to Consider Programmatic Advertising?
Programmatic advertising should be a part of your marketing mix for a few reasons:
A. It’s targeted - Right now, many independent retailers are spending ad dollars on platforms that may or may not be reaching their audience. With programmatic advertising, you’re able to layer advanced data targeted to focus on those customers who have searched for or interacted with content related to your offerings. For example, you can add behavioral targeting to show your ad only to people who have searched for, or interacted with, content related to fair trade gifts or tarot cards (or whatever you want to focus on). Also, since these ads show up in mobile apps, you could create a “geo-fence” and target those who drive by your physical retail store.
B. It expands your reach - If you’re advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google, you’re likely reaching some of your customers but programmatic allows you to expand your reach through other mobile apps.
How Can You Get Started?
Before you flip the page and I lose you because this sounds complicated, stay with me. It’s a lot easier than you think. And by spending a few minutes understanding it now, you’ll not only save yourself a lot of time and money, but you’ll be at the cusp of using some of the latest technology available to bring in new business.
Consider these six things from the onset:
1. Think through your strategy. What are you hoping to achieve through programmatic advertising? Instead of jumping on a new bandwagon, think through what a successful campaign will look like. This will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.
2. Sign up with an agency that allows you to buy programmatic ads.
3. Consider who you are trying to reach. Advanced targeting is probably one of the best things about programmatic advertising because you can be really detailed about who you want to reach. The only caveat here is that the more targeting data you add, the higher your ad buy will be. Also, if you start getting too detailed, your audience might be smaller than you want. Just take some time thinking through your audience and play around to find what might work best for you.
4. Consider your ad format. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, might a standard display ad work? Could a native ad work to get customers to stop in the shop? You could even test video ads. That’s the beauty of programmatic advertising — you can buy several different types of ads.
5. The fact that you have access to real-time data is a game-changer because it allows you to make changes to your campaign and give you the best chance at running an effective campaign.
6. Don’t forget to measure. There are different ways you can measure the success of your campaign and it’s smart to think about this in advance. If you want to track how many people come through your doors through programmatic advertising, you can measure that pretty easily. But if you want more advanced tracking features and analytics, you’ll want to make sure you have things in place to track that so you can see how your campaign fared.
We live in a time when technology can really help us become stronger and smarter business owners. It’s imperative that we adopt new tools like programmatic advertising which are specifically designed to make our advertising campaigns more powerful and successful.