As you can likely tell, there are many ins and outs of programmatic native advertising over real-time bidding (RTB)—and navigating through variables in pricing, performance, targeting, and types of campaign deliveries can be daunting.
With the recent launch of our new user interface, we wanted to take the opportunity to address some of the more common questions our clients ask us when launching a native advertising campaign.
1. What should I set my bid price to?
StackAdapt uses RTB technology in its platform—specifically, our platform is built on OpenRTB 2.3 specifications. This means that our advertisers can bid on ad placements in a real-time auction environment, and target users based on intent and behaviour.
As a quick backgrounder, when an internet page loads, a bid request is sent to all “demand partners” that have access to the site and the ability to place an ad on that page. These demand partners are typically demand side platforms (DSPs) that have access to inventory at scale.
Whether or not a bid is made on a piece of inventory is based on many factors, such as IP address, geo-location, cookie information, bid floor setting, etc. The winning bidder purchases the impressions and their ad is shown to the desired viewer. This all happens in milliseconds.
As in any real-time bidding environment, pricing is a function of targeting and volume of impressions an advertiser is looking to deliver. Other important considerations are inventory and performance.
With eCMP or eCPC, advertisers can set up the maximum bid price they’re willing to pay. In reality, they’ll win bids at much lower prices. RTB auctions operate on a second-price auction basis, so the winning bidder only pays one cent more than the second-highest bidder.
How much you bid will have an impact on the performance of your native advertising campaign. Premium inventory on sought-after publisher sites will generally sell for more because those native ad placements can result in a higher click-through-rate. For that reason, we recommend bidding $5 to ensure our clients win some premium inventory.
2. What do you recommend for targeting?
Programmatic native advertising excels because computers are able to reach levels of automation and efficiency that man-made operations can't. Programmatic advertising technology streamlines the ad buying system and takes advantage of data to tailor dynamic advertisements that adjust to individual customers.
Data, including contextual targeting, geo-location, demography, device and buying behavior are computed in an automated process that makes it possible for advertisers to engage with a very specific target group through their programmatically bought advertisements.
These data options allow advertisers to programmatically buy native ads while targeting their audience with the frequency and reach to meet their marketing goals.
Generally, we recommend that advertisers target broadly at the start of a campaign, and then cut down the poor performers as the campaign moves forward. The goal, of course, is to eliminate wasted impressions and clicks. You only want to show ads to users who have intent, and who are likely to take the desired action. Locating and removing these under-performing sites will increase the success of a campaign.
3. How does StackAdapt track what happens after a click?
Management thinker Peter Drucker famously said: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” By this, he meant that you can’t know whether or not you’re successful unless success is defined and tracked.
We at StackAdapt couldn’t agree more. Collecting and measuring data is the benchmark for evaluating progress. That’s why we’ve developed a feature that measures average time-on-site and average page views that doesn’t require any pixel installations on our clients’ end. All advertisers have to do is activate StackAdapt’s engagement tracking feature when setting up their campaign.
Indeed, by using our platform, advertisers get access to insights, real-time analytics, data visualizations, and reporting to manage their native advertising campaigns. This allows advertisers to develop relevant, targeted native ad units that are undisruptive and provide greater reach and user engagement.
Advertisers can pull reports based on specific dates for the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Conversions (if a conversion pixel is installed)
- Conversion rate
- Average time on site
- Average page views (if engagement tracking is activated)
- Video view-through rate
Tracking the success of your native advertising campaign will not only help you to drive conversions and ROI, but also provides insight for your next campaign.