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A Plain English Guide to Real Time Bidding

Media Planning
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A Plain English Guide to Real Time Bidding Since its inception in 2009, real-time bidding (RTB) has become one of the most popular ways to purchase ad inventory online. But even for experienced marketers, this type of programmatic advertising can be a very confusing concept. I, for one, get intimidated just by reading the word "programmatic." So let's break down what RTB is, how it works, and the pros and cons of using it – all while keeping it jargon-free. Before we dive into RTB, let's cover a few basics. An impression, which is when an ad is displayed on a user's screen, is the currency used in RTB. Publishers – i.e., the owners of the webpages and mobile apps on which ads are displayed – typically charge for every 1,000 impressions the ad gets. Advertisers know this as the cost per mille (CPM) and place their bids based on the value of each impression. How do you determine that value? By evaluating the user against your targeting parameters (more on that later). Are there real-time bidding platforms? There are no RTB platforms because real-time bidding is a method of purchasing impressions, not a channel. Still confused? Let's picture a real auction. Imagine you want to bid on a car. You hire someone to go to the auction for you – that's your demand-side platform (DSP). The person putting the car up for auction is the publisher and the venue is the marketplace. Raising your hand to indicate...

Media Buying 101: What It Is and How It Works [+15 Platforms to Use]

Media Planning
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Media Buying 101: What It Is and How It Works Ever wonder who is behind those banner ads on the sites you visit the most? Or the Super Bowl ads we talk about for weeks after they've aired? The answer is media buyers. When a brand gets a marketing budget, a portion of that typically goes to paid advertising. That's where media buying comes in. It doesn't get much buzz in the marketing industry, but this process is responsible for the targeted ads we see today. Let's dive into this process of which so many of us are on the receiving end. Whether they're watching a TV show or scrolling through a website, media buyers get brands in front of their target market. It's not like social media where users come and find you. It's an outbound strategy that is only effective if you have a well thought-out strategy. Rex Gelb, director of advertising and analytics at HubSpot, says one of the biggest mistakes brands make is not thinking through their marketing goals. "Some ad placements might be good for one set of goals, but bad for another. Let's say you're an airline and your focus is impressions and awareness, rather than an immediate sale, you can buy a placement that is known to get cheap impressions," he said. Gelb continued,"Now, let's say you're a CEO who wants to promote a 'letter to our customers.' In this instance, what you'll care about is cheap clicks. Buying cheap...

The Plain English Guide to Demand-Side Platforms (DSP)

Media Planning
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The Plain English Guide to Demand-Side Platforms (DSP) As a marketer, you might be focused on creating organic content most of the time. But you should keep in mind that paid advertising is just as important. When you manage the paid ads for your business, you can go through individual ad managers such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. However, that's not the only option. You can also use demand-side platforms (DSP), which are automated, as a way to purchase and manage your online ads. In fact, did you know that in 2020 $46.86 billion, or 88.7% of all US mobile display ad dollars, were transacted via automated means? This means that a majority of marketers paid ads used DSPs as a way of purchasing, managing, and tracking online advertising. Below, let's review all the basics about DSP advertising. With a DSP, you can purchase mobile ads on apps, banner ads on search engines, and video ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and even more platforms. Instead of using both Google Ads and Facebook Ads, for instance, you can purchase those ads in one place on a DSP. The purpose of this is to make ad buying faster, cheaper, and more efficient. Now, let's dive into how DSP platforms work and why you should use one. DSP Advertising So, you might be thinking, "How do DSPs work?" DSP's work by using programmatic advertising, which is the buying and selling of ads in real-time through an automated system. With real-time...

What is a Media Kit — and How to Make One [+ Examples]

Media Planning
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What is a Media Kit — and How to Make One Your competitor releases a new product or service. You offer something similar — but, of course, much better. Then, suddenly, your competitor's product is everywhere. News articles, online reviews, best-of lists, buyers' guides, even TV segments. How is this happening? And your real question: why isn't it happening to you? To compete against your competitors, there's one thing you'll need in your wheelhouse: a media kit. Here, we'll explore what a media kit is, and how it can help you increase brand awareness and, ultimately, sales. Plus, how to make one for your own brand. Media kits may live fully-online as responsive online press pages. Or, businesses may choose to make their press kits available as static, downloadable resources, like a presentation deck. Whatever format you choose, this much is clear: businesses of all sizes benefit from having a professional, readily-accessible media kit. This vital resource is a key to the earned media coverage all businesses covet — from massive Fortune 500 corporations all the way down to individual influencers and solopreneurs. A comprehensive media kit should include a description of the company or individual, contact information, social media statistics, case studies, information on partnerships and collaborations, and testimonials from past customers. Basically, it's all the information a journalist would need to feature your brand in a breaking news story — without the headache of a last-minute information request. How to Make a Media Kit: What to...

A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram

Media Planning
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram With 500 million active monthly users, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for marketers to reach their target audiences through ad campaigns. The other perk of advertising on Instagram? The ads can look almost no different than regular posts, making them much less invasive than other ad types. But setting up ads on any platform requires a lot of thought: What should your target audience look like? What should your copy say? What image should you use? There are a number of ads tools available that can help you create your ads and targeted audiences, but there's still the more technical aspects to consider like what size your image needs to be or how long your ad should run for. To simplify the process, we’ve put together a checklist to help you set up a campaign, one step at a time. How to Create Instagram Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Instagram If you’ve ever set up a Facebook ad, you’re about 75% of the way there. After Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012, the platforms conveniently merged, making setting up Instagram and Facebook ads merely the difference of a couple clicks. So even though your intent is to run ads on Instagram, all of the ad setup, budgeting, scheduling, and creation is done through Facebook's platform. To start, log into your company’s Facebook portal and select the account you wish to use. (Note: To run ads on Instagram you'll need to...

Integrated Media Planning: What It Is and How to Adopt it In Your Marketing Strategy

Media Planning
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Integrated Media Planning: What It Is and How to Adopt it In Your Marketing Strategy A few months ago, while I was driving to the airport, I saw a billboard for Kim Kardashian’s company, SKIMS. Then, a week or so later, I was watching Instagram stories, and I saw some influencers posting reviews for the new shapewear. The next week, while I was watching E!, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" came on, and Kim was shown modeling for a SKIMS photoshoot. I had one of those moments where I thought "SKIMS is showing up everywhere!" That’s because the company has an integrated media planning strategy. A few months after these events, when I was shopping for shapewear for my wedding, guess what brand I thought of? (Spoiler alert: it was SKIMS.) That’s why, as a marketer, having an integrated media plan is important for your marketing strategy. In fact, 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels and 87% of retailers agree that an omnichannel marketing strategy is critical to their success. Below, let’s dive into what an integrated media plan looks like and how to adopt it in your marketing strategy. Integrated Media Planning If you’re creating a marketing campaign, you know that success relies on knowing your audience so you can reach them on the right platforms and deliver the most effective messaging. That’s where integrated media planning comes in. Essentially, integrated media planning is the process you’ll go through when you’re considering various media platforms...

Media Planning: The Ultimate Guide

Media Planning
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Media Planning: The Ultimate Guide For any business to be successful today — no matter the type, size, or industry — it must create and share media content (images, videos, infographics, social media posts, podcasts, etc.) with its target audience members. This is a large part of how you boost brand awareness, engagements, conversions, and revenue (among other things) for your business. Not to mention, media content helps you stand out from competitors and other businesses. Here's the issue: The sheer amount of media content most businesses produce and share on a regular basis to stay relevant among audience members can become confusing to keep track of, plan, organize, distribute, and analyze for them. The best way to combat these issues is through media planning. Based on this definition, it’s clear media planning has many moving parts — this is why the process can be difficult to get right. By working through the media planning steps (which we’ll cover below) as well as implementing templates (we’ll discuss those shortly, too), you’ll keep any media planning challenges at bay. But first, in case you need further convincing media planning is a worthwhile investment, let’s cover some of the specific benefits of the process. Benefits of Media Planning Media planning helps you with different parts of content creation and distribution including (but not limited to): Getting to know your target audience on a deeper level so you can effectively reach them through your media content Deciding which...