Serving ads to your most valuable segments is a challenging part of online marketing. Reaching your audience where they spend time online without breaking the bank can often feel like an impossible task. Thankfully, the adoption of programmatic advertising can make this balancing act a bit easier.
In this post, we’ll discuss how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help automate your marketing efforts. Then we’ll share three things you should know when considering programmatic ads. Let’s go!
How AI Can Automate Marketing
Let’s start our discussion with a couple of definitions. AI marketing typically uses machine learning in order to create effective marketing strategies based on data. Programmatic advertising is a form of AI marketing that uses software to buy ad space rather than relying on humans to handle the task.
By removing humans from time-consuming tasks such as negotiation and optimization, the entire process becomes more efficient. Marketing teams can free up their time to work on problems that require natural intelligence to solve.
The use of AI also allows for hyper-segmentation. This entails niching down and targeting precise personas based on a multitude of demographics and psychographics. This level of segmentation helps to ensure that your ads reach those populations that are most likely to convert.
Programmatic Ads: 3 Things to Know About the Newest Marketing Trend
Now that you know a bit about AI and programmatic advertising, here are some interesting facts about this marketing trend.
1. Programmatic Ads Are Cost-Effective
Spending on programmatic advertising has more than doubled since 2017, and for good reason. No matter how effective a marketing campaign is, it isn’t worth much if the Return on Investment (ROI) is lacking. Determining how to allocate an advertising budget can be tricky, and there are many factors that could affect pricing.
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is typically priced on a Cost Per Mille (CPM) structure, so you pay for every one thousand clicks your ad receives. While this sounds straightforward, the attention your ad may recieve can vary a great deal based on industry, platform, and target audience:
While programmatic ads are also priced on a CPM basis, there are some key differences. First, because there are no negotiations beforehand, you only pay for impressions you actually receive, rather than having to pay for a minimum that may or may not be met. You’re also less likely to overpay for placements, since programmatic advertising typically uses Real-Time Bidding (RTB).
In addition, CPM rates for programmatic ads tend to be significantly cheaper than those for traditional advertising. Paying for human effort is expensive, so prices are lower when you have less human capital in the equation.
2. AI Won’t Make Humans Obsolete
Despite the advantages of programmatic ads, humans are still an integral part of the process. Machines simply can’t handle all areas of marketing.
For example, you’d be hard-pressed to replace your creative team with machine intelligence. Even if your programmatic advertising is consistently served to an ideal audience, without engaging and compelling creative ads optimized targeting won’t do you much good. An algorithm can likely make superior data-based decisions, but it’s incapable of the emotional intelligence that goes into creating impactful marketing campaigns.
While programmatic ads are highly effective, at their core they’re still PPC, which is only a small part of an overall marketing strategy. Once you’ve prompted a potential customer to click on an ad, you still need a landing page that converts and a stellar website to help round out the experience:
Also, you’ll want to be mindful of where your ads are appearing to protect your brand. Since programmatic advertising is usually based on a bidding system, you won’t be able to directly choose what sort of content your ads will appear alongside.
While a machine can follow instructions to whitelist or blacklist content, it takes a human to make the initial determination. It’s also important to monitor campaigns to ensure that parameters are being followed.
3. There Are Multiple Options for Targeting Programmatic Ads
Being able to target very specific segments is a key advantage of programmatic advertising. There are a few targeting strategies you may want to check out before delving into AI-based marketing.
First, there is contextual targeting. One type of contextual targeting you’re likely familiar with is keyword targeting. With this strategy, you’ll create a list of keywords, and the AI will attempt to place your ads within content containing those terms.
Website-based targeting is another type of contextual targeting. In this case, ads are placed based on the subject matter of an entire website. For instance, if you’re attempting to reach small business owners, your ads might appear on Entrepreneur:
There is also geo-targeting, which is based on location. This is especially important for those companies that have brick-and-mortar locations. By focusing on an audience in a specific geographic area, you avoid wasting your marketing budget on people who are unlikely to visit your premises.
Finally, consider retargeting. It’s rare to convert a first-time visitor to your site, so it’s crucial to stay on their radar. Retargeting serves advertising to people who have previously visited your site. Users should continue to see your ads for the duration of your campaign or until they clear their cookies.
Programmatic advertising can be a powerful tool to include in your digital marketing arsenal. Not only can this tactic help you to boost the efficiency of your campaigns, but it may also save you a bit of time and money.
How do you intend to use programmatic advertising? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Image by Tammy Duggan-Herd from Pixabay
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