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Digital Brand Building: Getting the Most Out of Programmatic Buying

Digital advertising, particularly programmatic buying and real-time bidding, has gotten a reputation for being solely a direct marketer’s endeavor. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Programmatic media need not serve only direct sales goals—it can be an incredibly effective branding tool.

Here are some suggestions for building your brand with programmatic media buying:

Why Targeted, Programmatic Buying Can Help Build Your Brand

“Bottom line, programmatic buying is more efficient, more effective and more transparent than the traditional digital media buying model.” – Bob Arnold, Associate Director, Global Digital Strategy at Kellogg Company

Programmatic buying can help you keep your message in front of the right people. Unlike the spray and pray approach of serving your ads to anyone and everyone in hopes that you’ll reach the right people, programmatic media buying helps you focus exclusively on those for whom your messaging is relevant.

In terms of getting the most for your budget, limiting your ads to a focused group is the most effective solution. Leveraging programmatic tools like retargeting and audience targeting is the absolute best way to maximize your return on ad spend.

Many brands hesitate to test out programmatic buying for fear of appearing on sub-par or non-premium inventory. Though the most valuable and coveted online ad space is unlikely to be available on programmatic exchanges, it’s not all garbage inventory (contrary to many brands’ fears). Secondly, data about your audience makes middle-of-the-road inventory infinitely more valuable. Knowing you’re reaching the right people makes any inventory premium.

Programmatic buying can also help you to learn more about your audience. By following the right people around the web, you can learn about valuable, relevant sites that your audience frequents that you may not have heard of. This can open doors to additional opportunities for engagement.

Getting Strategy Right 

“Can [programmatic buying] build a brand by itself?  Of course not. And certainly not the way many folks see programmatic buying: as a race to remnant. Or a replacement for ‘strategy.’ You don’t build a brand by finding a better CPM.” – Ben Winkler, Chief Digital Officer, OMD 

Successful branding campaigns involve strategy and cross-channel outreach.  Programmatic media buying is an effective component of a branding strategy, but you can’t expect to simply launch a retargeting campaign, build your brand, and call it a day.

This brings us to our next point: one of the most crucial of any programmatic branding campaign is your creative.

Creative, Creative, Creative

If your goal is branding, one of (if not the) most important part of your campaign is memorability. Your ads need to stand out, get seen, and leave a lasting impression in the mind of the viewer. That means you absolutely can not skimp on the creative design.

To get even more out of programmatic buying for branding, you should turn to more engaging ad units like rich media and video. Video RTB is a rapidly growing segment of the online advertising space, and for good reason. Video ads, which can be targeted based on behavioral and audience data just like display ads, offer more opportunities to make a lasting impression.

A set of new display ad units, the IAB Rising Stars, is currently under in-market evaluation. These new ad formats are bigger and more engaging with increased potential for serious branding power.

Interactive ads can also be an incredibly effective tool for branding. One primary benefit of interactive ads is the fact that users don’t have to leave the site they’re on to interact with the ad unit, which means they’re more likely to engage.

 

Programmatic combines the frequency available with display and powerful reach. Adding the right elements of programmatic buying to your branding strategy can help you improve brand awareness all over the web.

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