Online advertising can be highly effective if the right audience is targeted. Yet it can also pose certain safety risks, especially if you become a victim of ad fraud. Avoiding programmatic ad buying altogether isn’t an option in a world where there are more a billion digital consumers and more than 70 percent of them are actively searching online when making a purchase decision. The solution to increased brand safety that still allows for strategic ad placement online is programmatic media buying. And here’s why you’ll soon be loving it.
1. Creating a Brand Safe Environment
According to a series of statements by IAB, brand safety ranks among the top concerns for digital advertisers and marketers. A more specific concern for both marketers and agencies is brand environment, or the content that surrounds ads. Because of deceptive methods, direct buying can sometimes place your ads within content that’s not appropriate for your brand. While ad placement improves brand visibility, the wrong type of placement can do more harm than good.
With real-time ad buying, you can see where your ad is being place and quickly determine if the content around it fits. The accuracy of ad placement can be further increased by selecting appropriate negative keywords as you make your automatic buying preferences. Negative keywords (exclusion of terms not related to your brand) create a brand safe environment by keeping your ads away from the irrelevant content fraudsters sometimes place ads in for the sake of getting your ad buying dollars with no intention of offering any real value.
2. Transparency and Better Decision-Making
For every reputable publisher, there are nearly as many who resort to questionable tactics that could harm your brand. Media or ad buying that’s programmatic is incredibly transparent in a way that traditional methods aren’t. With a few clicks, you’ll be able to see related to all of your active campaigns instead of waiting until each one is over to gather your info and determine if your efforts paid off.
This ability to see precisely what sites your ads will be on and the types of consumers who will be viewing your content provides added peace of mind. You can also see if there’s anything that may suggest fraud before you’ve fully invested in your campaigns. Further increase your brand’s safety as you make your buying choices by:
- Avoiding third-party data as much as possible since there’s greater fraud risk associated with it
- Check to see where ads are being viewed on the page so you don’t get stick with bottom of the page placement that tends to be ignored
- Reviewing reports you get detailing your the performance of your various campaigns to look for any unusual patterns
- Communicating with your media sellers and establishing solid relationships
- Confirming that your sellers are following through on any promises that were made before you started your campaign
3. Inventory Filtering
Online inventory that’s sold programmatically gives you more control over where your ads are placed and where it’s being watched. It also helps build more mutually beneficial relationships between publishers and advertisers. It’s an automatic de-stresser regardless of your preferred method of inventory exchange.
Whether you’re using a private marketplace auction, unreserved fix rate transactions, or an open exchange, how your inventory is presented to the masses is directly linked to your revenue. The same concept applies to your automated guaranty exchanges since the campaign trafficking processes are automated. While automation does minimize fraud risks by giving you more control over your campaigns, it’s just as important to watch for signs of ad fraud that may include:
- Incorrect geo-targeting
- URLs on the wrong page (e.g., you bought inventory on a homepage and your ad is on a sub-channel)
- Suspicious Internet service providers (ISPs), especially ones from business ISPs when you’re not doing any B2B ad buying
Note: It’s still important to be vigilant no matter how you make your ad and media buys. Although real-time automated ad buying stats can alert you to any of these potential fraud signs much sooner than with traditional buying.
4. Blocking Questionable Sources
It’s hard not to love the ability to put up roadblocks to protect your ads from fraudulent sites. Making your media buys programmatically means you’ll have the ability to block questionable content distribution sources by creating a blacklist of sites you want to avoid. With your display network settings, you’ll be able to filter out sites that may either be risky or not a match for audience you’re trying to reach.Google gives you the option to block sites with sensitive content, such as site that are adult in nature or ones that deal with topics not right for your brand. Also be cautious with sites categorized as “Not Labeled Yet.” While not necessarily fraudulent, such sites are too new to categorize, so you won’t have an idea of whether or not the content is relevant to your brand. Blacklisting also makes optimization easier as the algorithms used for real-time buying adjust to your habits by:
- Determining what times of day are best to run campaigns
- Directing campaigns towards devices generating the most traffic
- Suspending or pulling campaigns that aren’t performing, even at times when you’re busy tending to your business or sleeping
5. Reliable KPIs
None of your campaigns will make a difference to your bottom line if your key performance indicators aren’t lining up with your goals. Doing things programmatically will give you access to a lot of useful, real-time data you can use to track your KPIs. And because of things like an expanded reach into your desired markets and targeting, you’ll be able to fine-tune your KPIs and increase your odds of reaching your goals. With real-time media buying, you can target your audience by:
- IP addresses
- Geographic areas right down to specific towns and neighborhoods
- Targeting sites with content relevant to your brand
Programmatic ad buying is just one way you can boost your ROI and maintain your brand safety as the same time. There are still potential security issues with tactics like URL masking, but real-time ad buying does offer an increased level of control beyond what you normally get with direct buying that can minimize some of those risks. If you need some guidance with your media buying strategies, the team at Enbrite.ly is here to help make your digital campaigns as transparent and safe as possible.