Video Game Paid Ads: Do You Understand Programmatic Advertising?

by Game Marketing Genie, on 17-Mar-2020 16:08:25

There are various ways to advertise online. You can look into social media ads, search ads, email marketing and more. But many of the ads that you and your players will see on a daily basis come in the form of banner ads, videos, static images and more in specific locations on web pages. 

This advertising space across the internet is a valuable asset. On a daily basis there are hundreds of thousands of businesses bidding for ad space on pages all over the web. And it’s all attributed to one thing - programmatic advertising. 

Programmatic advertising is projected to reach 98 billion USD in 2020 as stated by Zenith Media, and it may become the future of digital marketing. More technical than the average marketing campaign, programmatic advertising uses bidding algorithms to secure ad space on sites across the web.

What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising can be difficult to wrap your head around. But don’t worry! You don’t need to understand code like the header shows! 

The process is unlike regular ad buying methods, and revolves around automated auctions implemented by algorithms that last less than a millisecond, which occur while pages are loading. To put it simply, programmatic advertising is real-time automated bidding on advertising space for the chance to show a specific ad to a specific audience in the right context.

It can be further divided into two sections depending on whether it uses real-time bidding or not. The difference between the two types of actions can be explained by six key factors. These are whether or not it:

  1. Runs on advanced technology that automates the traditional media buying method.
  2. Is strengthened by consumer data.
  3. Favors discrete impressions over packages of impressions.
  4. Targets specific demographics while being free of external bias.
  5. Can be priced in real-time and allows for a feedback loop and optimization opportunities.
  6. Uses bidding mechanisms to match supply and demand from multiple buyers and vendors.

Real-time bidding uses all of these factors, whereas other transactions use only the first three. Not everything that is programmatic uses real-time bidding, but it is recommended to help you make more informed decisions throughout your advertising process. We’ll dive deeper into the benefits of real-time programmatic ads a little later on.

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How does programmatic advertising work?

Many web pages have dedicated space that is allocated to programmatic advertising. When someone visits one of these pages, the publisher of the page puts up that ad space for auction in an ad marketplace. From here, the marketplace runs an auction to advertisers who have expressed interest in showing their ad to the types of people that are likely to click on that web page. The person that bids the most wins the auction, and their ad will be displayed to visitors of that web page.

This process is automated, which means that you can allocate the highest bid you are willing to pay, and the highest bid in total will be the one that gets the place on the page. This all happens within the time it takes to load the page, and the ad marketplace can have hundreds of competitors all bidding for the same ad space.

This process can be broken down into a few easy steps:

  1. A user clicks onto a web page.
  2. There is a space between the time of the initial click and the time it takes the page to load.
  3. In this space, the page owner puts up an ad impression for auction.
  4. The ad marketplace holds an auction where advertisers compete to secure the position.
  5. The advertiser who bids the most wins the ad space.
  6. The page loads, and the ad is presented to people who visit the web page.
  7. People click on the ad and the advertiser converts them into customers.

So, what does this mean for you? It's simple! When your ideal players visit a relevant website, like a fandom page or game review site This entire procedure is done automatically and within the time it takes for that page to load on the user’s device. Even better, it doesn’t affect the page load time - which means happy publisher and happy player!

With such a complex advertising strategy comes a number of jargon terms that can be difficult to understand. Don't let programmatic get you down! Learn more on our sister company's blog here: The Key Programmatic Advertising Terms You Need to Know.

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How can programmatic advertising help my game?

Programmatic advertising opens up a world of opportunities that weren’t available to marketers in the past. 

You no longer have to negotiate prices - instead you simply allocate how much you are willing to spend to procure an ad placement, so you only pay for the impression you actually receive. You can also sign up for a minimum number of impressions or a limited ad spend, and buy ad placements across publishers’ sites, which can reduce your costs.

But one of the main benefits of programmatic advertising is the fact that it targets a more niche audience. Your ads will only go to people who would consider clicking on them, as they are relevant to their interests. Programmatic advertising can recognize users’ interests and target them on the sites they most likely to interact with and at the time that they are most likely to do so as well.

The analytics and insights that you get from your ads are all real-time, which can provide you with valuable insights and an option to review your ads while your campaign is running. This will not only help you connect with your audience better, but also give you a greater understanding of their interests, behaviors and more. This transparency ensures you have no uncertainty about how your ads are performing and why they are performing that way, and allows you to run a much more efficient campaign that can be updated and launched faster.

However, with people becoming increasingly aware of their data, how it is used online and how it is tracked, marketers have been faced with problems that weren’t prevalent in the past. Ad blocker use has been rising, with Digital Information World noting that almost half of all Internet users responding that they use them daily.

This makes it difficult to reach your audiences, and so some publishers have chosen to restrict audiences that have one of these extensions installed. Choosing to limit the number of retargeted ads will help you make your audience more comfortable with seeing your ads, and bring them to trust you as they don’t feel like your brand is following them.

Because at the end of the day, you still want to encourage brand trust and loyalty, and engage your audience in a way that is inoffensive and valuable. There are many more reasons that programmatic advertising is essential for your brand, and you can read about them in Your Guide to Programmatic Advertising on our sister blog, Growth Marketing Genie.

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This is just a broad look into the wide world of programmatic advertising. Within the concept there are many other factors that might stop you along the way. Game Marketing Genie has a specialist team that can dive into your programmatic needs: planning, creating, launching and optimizing your campaign at any stage. Let us help you craft the perfect campaign for player acquisition, awareness and loyalty and take the stress off your shoulders while you perfect the rest of your game for long-term growth.

Want to know more? Check out our programmatic advertising page to find out how we can help you!

Topics:Video Game MarketingProgrammatic AdvertisingPaid Advertising

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