Getting Started with Real Time Bidding

Since the ability to purchase online advertising began, advertisers have seen media buying opportunities evolve from buying advertising directly from website publishers themselves, to using  ad networks that manage multiple accounts. Today,  the current innovative real time exchanges trade advertising in a similar way as stocks and commodities are sold on Wall Street. In this constantly evolving industry that is now being led by RTB, it can become a management nightmare to a business owner or manager who wishes to test these waters. In this post, I want to share some basics to help you get started with Real Time Bidding.

Automation Processes

The automation of the buying process is one of the biggest advantages in Real Time Bidding. Before the advances made possible with RTB and Programmatic Marketing, much of the management of accounts had to be done manually. This required someone dedicated to staying on top of it constantly. RTB technology has made online advertising much simpler and easier to handle for newcomers to the industry. Due to the automation processes in place, there are fewer mistakes and management is far less time intensive. This makes the process much more efficient while at the same time reducing the overall expenses on both sides, for the agencies and clients as well as website publishers.

What Are Demand Side Platforms? (DSPs)

In the RTB and programmatic marketing environment this is a term that you will hear frequently. Demand Side Platforms, in a nutshell, are Networks that online advertisers and marketers operate through to create and launch their Real Time Bidding campaigns. These networks manage online advertising in real time much the same way as the stock exchanges work. Due to direct integration into traffic sources they are also a virtually unmatched resource for real time data from website visitors.

What is Real Time Bidding? (RTB)

Real Time Bidding is the latest evolution in online advertising technology and allows website publishers the opportunity to earn additional revenue from their websites or social media accounts. This is done by selling ads as each impression or visit comes available in real time using an ad exchange company or DPS such as SiteScout.

The reason RTB is so attractive for both parties is that it allows them to dynamically adjust bids and offers in real time in reaction to changes in the market as well as from new data being collected. This eliminates many of the difficulties associated with traditional marketing and creates a very cost effective method for the testing of new products and services as well.

One of the ways that RTB differs from traditional ad buying is that due to all of the real time data available, ad buyers are buying specific audiences instead of buying ad inventory. This allows the individual advertiser to truly target their optimal prospect or client by a number of factors such as geographic location, age, device, interests, and more. All you do as an advertiser is bid on the types of impressions you want and if you are a penny higher you win!

How Much Does This Traffic Cost?

As with most goods and services in the marketplace, ad prices are set by supply and demand. Traffic or impressions that an ad network is trying to sell that are in lower demand may be very inexpensive, as low as .20 CPM or cost per thousand impressions. Conversely, if an advertiser wants to bid on impressions for chocolates or “Vermont Teddy Bears” around Valentine’s Day they could be much more expensive, especially for ads on a high traffic website in the United States. Costs for impressions like these could conceivably cost $10 CPM or more.

RTB utilizes actual live data that is collected milliseconds before the ads are served which allows for targeting of an audience like never before, all the way down to browser, exact device, time and location, gender, age, and even the exact keywords searched for!

Watch this video –  How Real Time Bidding Works in 30 Seconds