For those working in marketing, the word “platform” probably sounds like a positive term–and for a good reason. Platforms are where you can find your target audience and engage with them.
But, there’s more to platforms than meets the eye. They’re powerful and efficient tools that marketers should be using to their advantage — but they also have some major risks attached to them.
Luckily, real time bidding platforms (RTB) came into play to solve these growing issues by offering marketers an efficient way of deploying digital ads across different channels such as social media and publisher websites (and apps).
According to eMarketer, companies will spend $7 billion on RTB this year alone. Marketers are seriously considering RTB, but what exactly is it?
Real-Time Bidding Platforms – Definition
In the simplest terms, RTB platforms let marketers place ads dynamically in front of consumers based on their online behavior. In other words, marketers can automatically select and serve up ads that align with a user’s interests — therefore increasing the chance that they’ll click or engage with it.
For example, if a user just searched for hotels in San Francisco on Expedia, they may see an ad for a hotel in San Francisco from Airbnb directly after. This means you can potentially appear in front of your target audience at any moment when they’ve performed an action related to your niche. That doesn’t sound so scary now!
Top Benefits of RTB Platforms
Faster Ad Delivery
RTB platforms can automatically determine which websites to show an ad, resulting in faster speeds for displaying ads and delivering content — especially on mobile devices. This means that users are less likely to abandon a page if it takes too long to load, increasing your chances of getting them to click through your product or service.
Also, you won’t need to spend as much time targeting certain sites because the platform will make those decisions for you.
Better Performance Tracking Metrics
You can measure conversions (i.e., clicks) and performance for every single dollar spent with real-time reporting tools provided by the platform (or other tracking software).
Thus, marketers receive feedback instantaneously instead of waiting until the end of the month to receive reports. This allows them to make quick changes when necessary, which is invaluable for optimizing your performance in real-time.
Less Waste and Increased Efficiency
According to Google, RTB platforms can help marketers control how many ads they show and to whom, saving you time and money in the process. With so much competition out there, this ability alone may be game-changing.
The platforms offer exceptional flexibility. You can place an ad anywhere, anytime, regardless if someone performed an action related to your niche or not. That means you could be advertising your product on websites related to “design” if someone just searched for “transportation design.” The possibilities are essentially endless, allowing marketers to have far greater reach than they may have had otherwise.
Better Testing and Implementation
RTB platforms allow marketers to test messaging and creativity across different users at any time — which leads to the next reason why every marketer should care about RTB platforms: the ability to improve conversions over time.
It’s well known that trying new things can lead to mistakes along the way. But, with real-time bidding platforms, you won’t need to worry about those errors because you can learn from them in real-time.
For example, maybe you ran an ad campaign featuring specific messaging that bombed. With real-time reporting, you’ll immediately know what went wrong, allowing you to fix your mistakes quickly so they don’t happen again in the future.
The ability to learn from each of your experiments is invaluable — especially when it comes to improving conversions over time. You can use these insights to adjust bids and even stay afloat with changing conversion rates instead of sinking under the weight of poor performance metrics.
By testing various messaging options across different users with RTB platforms without wasting money on ads that won’t convert, you have a good chance at converting them into sales or leads. This ability ultimately allows marketers to make more informed decisions when launching new product lines, messaging their existing ones, or running new ad campaigns.
Finally, real-time bidding is the future of advertising. This means if you’re not integrating RTB into your strategy today, you’ll be left behind tomorrow. Big players like Google and Facebook are already investing in this space — with many others sure to follow suit. That’s why it’s critical to stay ahead of the curve now, so your business doesn’t get left behind later on down the road.