Programmatic Advertising Effectively Identifies Your Audience — Here's How


More than 80 percent of all digital display ads in the U.S. will be purchased this year through automated channels, according to eMarketer. One area that’s exploding with ad spending in this direction is on programmatic advertising.

Programmatic ads are automated using audience data and technology to achieve the right marketing to the right person, at the right time, in a relevant context. Marketers are expected to spend over $46 billion in 2018 on digital display ads and video display ads on the web, mobile phones, and tablets, across hundreds of sites.

When conceived and programmed correctly, programmatic advertising ensures that key target audiences are being properly identified, and are being shown helpful, informative, relevant and timely content. This can have a meaningful impact on a brand that’s doing programmatic right. Done poorly, and it can have the reverse effect.

Benefits of Programmatic

Programmatic ads are powerful in helping SMB advertisers with their branding efforts. Having a focused ad targeting strategy can help small and medium-sized businesses in keeping their budgets in line and can be very effective in engagement and conversions down the line with target audiences.

Another benefit to programmatic ads is the opportunity for marketers to develop real-time audience insights that can be immediately impactful. Having these insights can help bolster future campaigns, increase optimizations and the develop future strategies.

Customize your Message

Programmatic makes it easier for advertisers to find desired target audiences across the internet, wherever those audiences are located. For example, a consumer may have visited a local car dealership online, and location data may show a pattern of other dealership visits. Programmatic will assume the consumer is in the market for a new or used car and may set up ad opportunities for that purpose. This targeting is managed anonymously, without marketers learning any identity information about the potential car buyer.

Identifying Audiences

Programmatic advertising technology works best for identifying niche audiences. For example, a surfing equipment and supplies website found that programmatic advertising showed that its top visitors were young adult males (aged 20-35) who live in the North Pacific region, read the site during worktime lunch, and have been regular visitors. Armed with this data, an advertiser using programmatic technology would have definite ideas on who and where are these persons, what time of day they might be most receptive to relevant ads, and what type of content to show in the ads.

Mix up the approaches

Programmatic is best known for targeting audiences and driving conversions. But advertisers who are developing their branding can get experimental by trying different approaches. 

Advertisers could beta test a top-down approach by developing programmatic ads for the most engaged online users, perhaps those at the very top of online sites. They could also try to target their efforts to the most popular competitor sites that most people click to.

Conversely, advertisers might want to try a bottom-up approach, developing campaigns for small but dedicated audiences at certain sites, and building a sizeable budget to them. With this approach, niche clients might achieve higher CTRs than competitors in a similar industry.

To learn more about how to make programmatic advertising work for your local market or industry, look to the Interactive Advertising Bureau for a deep dive into programmatic advertising, discussing what's ahead, what challenges marketers face in making this type of ad work for them, and how the industry has to change in order to survive.

The Top 10 Ways to Creatively Build and Develop Your Online Audience


Building a successful online audience of loyal brand advocates takes time and insight into demographics. For brands and marketers to attract and maintain loyal followings online, leverage networks, platforms, and marketing strategies effectively.

Here are the 10 best approaches to identify and engage a qualified audience.


1. Leveraging Partnerships With Influencers Who Have Desirable Audiences


Looking to add another powerful layer of engagement? Want to be as relevant and credible as possible? Benefits abound when brands and marketers collaborate with established trendsetters with rock star quality and unique storytelling mastery. The key is knowing how to cash in on them.


Start with the right questions. It's important to have a deep understanding of the scope and future impact of an influencer's offering to ensure a favorable outcome of your brand's goals. From execution, data, and analytical tools to cost, disclosure questions help you identify and connect with the appropriate influencer talent. In the end, it's beneficial to you, consumers and the influencers, too.


2. A/B Split Testing Every Email Communication


Retaining customers is easier than prospecting for new ones. It's why A/B tests are critical to new email campaign experiments. To improve conversions, it's a cinch to run effective A/B tests when you:

●      Settle on what you'll test: For the best results, test one thing at a time. Some considerations might include subject lines, personalization, message layout, text, or images.

●      Test whole or partial lists:  To get an accurate account of email opt-in responses, start with your entire list. Go for partial list testing if your A/B test service charges per email address, you're trying something new, or offering time-limited promotions.

●      Know what to test for: Decide on what you'll test for before launching your emails. Review previous results from consistent campaigns or open rates for future improvements.

●      Use proper testing tools: If your email campaign software is devoid of support or built-in A/B testing, consider splitting your lists into two separate lists and send different campaigns to each.

●      Analyze your results: After running a campaign with two different email versions, examine the results of open rates, click-throughs, and conversion rates. This helps to lower the risk of losing sales.


3. Including Exclusive Information in High-quality Content for Expert Brand Positioning


To perfectly position your brand to stand out from competitors, you'll need to leave an enduring impact on your target audience. This is easily doable through a genuine mix of targeted content through different formats, mediums, and touch points.


Bottom line: Give the people what they want. Take the reader's perspective into account and ask yourself: Is it informative? Is it relevant? Does it offer value? High-level content is what attracts a large following, especially when it's entertaining, engaging, and useful.


4. Expanding Client Lists with Look-Alike Modeling


For marketers, the challenge to reach more of the right customers is real. The struggle oftentimes extends into tailoring new strategies to increase the reach to a larger audience — particularly with relevant advertising. Here's where look-alike modeling works to streamline the process.


This secret weapon defines customers most likely to engage with your marketing messages. Also, it extends your reach by analyzing the common behaviors or traits of current customers to capture new ones exhibiting similar characteristics. The strategy behind this ingenious method is to find new targets that look like your best customers.


Why use it? According to 30 percent of advertisers who reported using look-alike modeling, their results doubled or even tripled that of standard targeting. Given these benefits, two common approaches are sure bets to get started:

●      To build look-alike models from email or direct mail lists, work with third-party data providers to build offline model audiences.

●      When using online customer data (i.e, an active website audience) build look-alike models via data management platforms that house third-party data.


Even if you start with offline data for digital marketing, you can still reach your model audience within digital channels through mobile, video or display.


5. Determining and Choosing to Interact on Platforms Where the Targets Spend the Most Time


To grow your fan base is to know where your audience hangs out to absorb content and get social interaction. Once you begin to navigate platforms that are ideal consumer breeding grounds, you'll need three things:

●      To know where your audience engages with your chosen platform at all times, on any channel factually and in real time

●      Content management offering the ability to optimize, test, and scale content to identify critical components of the audience journey

●      Platform automation to distribute great content to build momentum, boost conversions, or page views


Take Facebook, for instance. It's the one platform known to drive an audience and site traffic. With its popularity, a brand can quickly make it a top priority, find a large audience, and define a content strategy and voice.


6. Providing Valuable Gated Content


To gain access to a name, phone number, or even an email address when looking to get contact information, you need to master the use of gated content, or information that a user must fill out a form to access. You'll find that it's not a matter of what you should gate, but more of the what and when gated content should be used. Whitepapers, ebooks, podcasts, videos, and product demos are a few optimal content sources to generate leads and build online viewership during the audience journey.


Time invested in gating helps to drive leads deep into a sales funnel, where they're primed and nurtured over time. Also, leads from gated content are much more likely to convert, which creates opportunities for high conversion rates.


7. Taking Advantage of Social Sharing


In an effort to extend your reach and gain more adoring fans, use social sharing to your advantage. If it's more tweets, likes, or pins you're after, make awesome content to compel people to share. Do this with enticing headlines, irresistible offers, humor, and visuals. Posting at the right times is an added bonus to capture more attention and drive up the ante in social shares.


8. Engaging With Your Audience


Once you've gained a solid footing in delivering interesting content, encourage comments and feedback. Engage with active followers and respond to inquiries, including positive and negative comments, in a timely fashion. When readers request more information on certain topics, publish articles or blog posts to address their questions or concerns.


9. Focusing on Organic Search


When consumers are interested in something they take to the web to connect with the information they need. Use targeted keywords in your niche and evergreen content to stay top of mind on a search engine results page when they're ready to buy. With this cost-effective approach to the "pay to play" method, you stay ahead of your competitors. Besides, consumers are more likely to click on the top organic results over paid ads.


10. Maintaining Interest With Retargeting


Sometimes customers reach your brand early in the purchase journey as a result of interacting with an ad, blog post, or some other means. In either case, they're often not ready to make a purchase on the first visit. Not to worry, they're just in the consideration phase.


Simply reconnect with them through retargeting. Target users based on specific actions taken on your site and offer value on commonly viewed products. Consider retargeting existing customers who've been unresponsive to emails. Get behind the power of lead-gen ads like the ones offered by Facebook.


Every aspect of building an online audience comes down to understanding customers and what motivates them. Armed with the proper knowledge, it's easier to use digital channels to reach well-defined targets, improve engagement, and drive sales.

What YouTube's Audience-Targeting Feature Means for Ads


Digital disrupts everything. And when it comes to advertising, the steady tidal wave of change affecting how we watch television has really shaken things up. In fact, by the year 2019, experts estimate cord cutters will number over 19 million in the United States alone. While cable television might have reigned supreme in years gone by, consumers are more in control than ever before.

Our ever-evolving technology has created a new generation of connected viewers indulging in online media consumption, which includes watching content digitally. Video giant YouTube notes that users viewing content on connected televisions represent explosive growth in its audience, with an estimated 150 million hours of YouTube content streaming on television screens around the world.

Google's YouTube unit has a solid reputation of giving advertisers new ways to hone in on their target audiences. In 2018, the company announced a plan for advertisers to reach viewers watching YouTube on their televisions, as well as cord cutters and folks who just don't watch that much traditional television. Here are the essential things you should know about this new audience-targeting campaign.

Targeting Light TV Viewers

Do you watch most of your television online? If so, you might belong to YouTube's new audience segment for Google Adwords: "light TV viewers." This savvy move comes in the wake of a steady growth in digital video viewing, and gives advertisers additional flexibility to target their audiences more effectively. With this category, advertisers can choose the devices they want to target with their marketing efforts, including desktops and mobile devices.

AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager Targeting via TV Screens

This program gives advertisers their first-ever opportunity to target online television viewers. Advertisers can reach those watching YouTube on their connected televisions using DoubleClick Bid Manager and AdWords. These options already exist for advertisers who advertise using YouTube ads on computers, tablets, and mobile phones. With this new rollout, advertisers will be able to modify their content to make sure it's optimized for television viewing.

YouTube TV Ad Inventory Availability in Google Preferred 

In 2017, Google threw its hat into the virtual pay-television market with the launch of YouTube TV. When it launched, it provided subscribers with about 50 different live channels, and didn't include ads. That will change starting in 2018's fourth quarter as Google extends its Google Preferred ad program to many of the networks on YouTube TV. This is significant largely because Google Preferred has long been a premium ad program on the top-tier, most-popular YouTube channels.

By making the jump to YouTube TV, Google can turn the volume way up on the number of opportunities for monetization available to advertisers. This is likely just the beginning of the new and innovative options advertisers will have to update their strategies in today's fast-moving digital world.