Programmatic Advertising and Houston SEO 

Programmatic Advertising has taken the digital marketing world by storm. In fact, it constituted over 80% of digital display marketing in the United States back in 2018. If you aren’t familiar with the term, that’s entirely understandable. 

For the sake of brevity, programmatic advertising allows digital marketing agencies to automatically purchase and optimize digital advertising campaigns. In the past, this would require working directly with publishers who allow media buying on their website. This process replaces the negotiations that ad-buying used to require with AI-optimization and machine learning. 

People turned to this form of advertising to increase both efficiency and transparency. This benefits everyone involved. It is run through real-time auctions that buy ads right as visitors load up a website. This allows online advertising to take place in an efficient matter with a pool of digital media set up as an ad inventory. 

Who Uses Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising exists across an array of channels on the digital landscape.  

  • Display Advertising 
  • Mobile Advertising 
  • Video Advertising
  • Social Media Advertising 

Traditional channels are also becoming digitized. We can see this in out-of-home channels that advertise programmatically through digital screens. You’ve seen them in shopping malls, at gas stations, in bus terminals, and even on billboards. 

In the past, programmatic advertising was reserved for big-budget agencies. However, the rise of smaller-scale tools allows a more level playing field. Services give access to the technology, offering more businesses the ability to compete with big brands while dropping the expensive middlemen. 

Real-Time Bidding 

Real-time bidding (RTB) is a means of buying and selling these digital ads through real-time auctions. As we said earlier, the transactions are made in milliseconds, right when people are visiting a webpage. 

Here’s how programmatic advertising works in real-time. 

When a visitor goes to a website, a request is sent to an exchange with information about the site and the visitor. The exchange matches this data with available advertisers, and an extremely rapid bidding process takes place. 

To bring life to this concept, here’s an example of RTB in action. You visit a website that sells organic dog food because you want the best for your dog. However, you don’t make your purchase immediately. You’re doing your research and shopping around. 

Later that day, you visit your favorite news website because you like to stay informed. Suddenly, you see a ton of ads about dog food. RTB and programmatic ads put these ads in front of you. 

The companies selling dog food told the exchange, “I want to show my ads on these websites but only to people who recently visited my site without a conversion.” 

In the brief time it takes you to load your preferred news source, the auction takes place. The winning bidder gets to display their ad to you. 

In the past, this process would have advertisers guessing which websites their target audience would visit. For example, a company that sells kickboxing gear would target combat sports websites and buy ad placements manually. Then, ANYONE would see their banner ads, regardless of whether it was relevant to them. 

Why Does Programmatic Advertising Matter?

Simply put, it’s vastly more efficient. Before programmatic ad buying was possible, we bought digital ads through human negotiations. This meant dealing with salespeople, which makes the process more expensive and less reliable. 

Programmatic technology makes the process more efficient. In turn, it makes ad buying far more affordable. By digitizing the process, there’s little chance of human error causing an issue with your ads reaching your target audience. 

Demand-Side Platforms (DSP) 

A demand-side platform, or DSP, is a software or tool that allows advertisers to automatically purchase ad placements. As more and more publishers began to offer online ad space, advertisers had to find a way to manage their placements and purchases instead of dealing with salespeople constantly. 

Dealing with desks and sales staff was difficult and inefficient. However, the rise of DSPs solved that problem. An advertiser can register with a DSP that is connected to an ad exchange already. The exchange is where the actual buying, selling, and inventory of ads happen. 

When a visitor enters a website connected to the ad exchange, a signal goes out. The exchange then pings the DSP to see whether an advertiser has any ads that fit the placement. When it does, they enter the RTB phase and compete with other advertisers. The winner of the auction has the chance to show off their ad to the visitor. On the digital marketing agency side, this is the foundation of programmatic advertising.