The Programmatic Campaign Checklist You’ve Been Missing

When it comes to programmatic advertising, there are a lot of moving parts. Every single aspect of your campaign plays a role in its overall success. We generated this comprehensive checklist so nothing falls through the cracks. 

1. Assets

Your creative assets have a major impact on campaign performance. It’s essential that your image and headline speak to your target audience while also directly relating to the landing page you are driving the user to. We’ve written in more detail about this here.

Be sure you have:

  • Images & copy
  • Tracking URLs or third-party trackers (optional)

Top Tips:

  • Optimize your creative towards your #1 KPI.
  • Refresh your creative regularly.
  • Use a minimum of 6 creatives: 2 images x 3 copy variations or 3 images x 2 copy variation.
  • A/B test: Run multiple images and copy to see which resonates best with the audience, pausing what isn’t working.

2. KPIs

Your key performance indicator is your yardstick of success. You should have no more than 2 KPIs per campaign, aligned to a singular goal. That being said, there are many levers to pull in order to ensure you reach this KPI.

Possible KPIs:

  • Impression delivery
  • Click delivery
  • Efficient Metrics (effective CPC, effective CPM, effective CPE, effective CPA)
  • Time on site
  • Engagements
  • Video completions

Top Tips:

  • Your tactic should align with your main goal. For example, if the goal is clicks to a website, you should not be running a video campaign where the KPI would be total views and cost per view rather than click through rate,
  • Ensure all pixels and tracking are properly in place. Quality assurance is key,
  • Bidding and targeting play a role in ensuring the KPI can be hit,
  • Always set up your campaign as broad as possible and optimize to “trim the fat,”
  • Changing KPIs midway through the campaign is not recommended. But if this is necessary, ensure all parties are aware of this change,

3. Targeting

Targeting has a major impact on campaign scale and performance. Start with all contextual categories to ensure scale and as the campaign runs, optimize categories, removing those not hitting KPIs.

Targeting options:

  • Geo
  • Audience
  • Behavioural
  • Device

Top Tips:

  • Break your campaign out by device to discern performance on each.
  • Costs differ by device so you can adjust bids accordingly: Higher on desktop and lower on mobile.

4. Bidding/Budget

It’s important to make sure your budget is significant enough to ensure sufficient data is coming in to optimize and hit your KPIs. You also want to make sure your bids are high enough to ensure scale.

  • Defined budget
  • Specific bid to reach KPI

Top Tips:

  • Bids can be adjusted.
  • Choose a bid type that suits your goal.
  • It is always better to start higher and then reduce.

5. Pixel Placement (if necessary)

Pixels allow you to track your results and pool users into groups for retargeting.

  • Retargeting pixel
  • Conversion pixel
  • Engagement pixel

Top Tips:

  • If using a tag manager, make sure the pixel is published.
  • If using a tag manager, double check to make sure you have the pixel set up to fire on the correct URL.
  • For QAing, check the page source to see if the pixel is firing correctly OR test pixels using browser extensions such as httpfox for Firefox.

6. Reporting Cadence

Reporting provides the data you need to execute changes to the campaign based on performance. Reporting results are your map to success.

  • Daily
  • Weekly (Typically the previous Monday – Sunday)
  • Mid Month (Typically includes data up until the 15th of the month)
  • Monthly

Top Tips:

  • Depending on the flight range, it is recommended to filter the data through certain time periods rather than looking at the campaign to date. This ensures you’re optimizing based on what is working now.
  • It is recommended to filter data by media cost to ensure you’re making changes to the campaign based on where the majority of your budget is going.

You may also like: