Programmatic Video Ad Buying: The Breakdown

According to an April 2014 poll from STRATA, a mere 12% of U.S. senior ad agency executives said they trusted programmatic buying to properly or accurately execute their ad orders. All in all, there is still a cloud of confusion surrounding this industry buzzword, mainly because it lacks a standard definition. STRATA found that 61% of respondents did not feel that the ad industry had an accurate and unified definition of programmatic buying and an additional 31% were unsure.

Programmatic Buying STRATA

March 2014 research by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Forrester Consulting found that 41% of respondents use programmatic buying for online video. Because the ViralGains Viral Marketing Platform utilizes programmatic video ad buying, it’s imperative that we combat this confusion with our own explanation of the tactic.

ViralGains’ Ad Operations Manager Vitor Petrone summarized programmatic in three simple words: smart placement buying. Though we all know there is so much more that goes into programmatic buying, this definition is a great starting point. The word itself lends some clarity to its definition:

“Program” – a schedule of procedures or a plan of action to accomplish a specific end.

Programmatic – an automatic program, or an automated program, with the end goal of delivering the right ad to the right consumer at the right time. 

We’ll give you an idea of what this would look like. Let’s say you’re running a video marketing campaign through ViralGains. Your target market is males, ages 18 to 24, interested in motorcycles, living in Texas, with a household income of $60K+. When a consumer who meets all of these criteria visits a site within our network of premium publishers, your video will be automatically served through our ad unit.* Obviously, your video ad would be incredibly relevant to this site visitor, increasing the potential for viewership and engagement.

Not only is our programmatic video ad buying cost effective, but it also optimizes for social sharing. It analyzes the traits of people (within your specified target market) who share video content and finds the common denominators. For example, let’s say that out of the 1,000 people who shared your video, 80% have a dog and love Apple products. Our technology will create a lookalike audience based on these common denominators in order to reach your most socially active viewers.

Programmatic video ad buying offers a greater level of transparency when it comes to inventory bought—you’re able to see exactly where each ad appeared. In addition, programmatic advertising cuts out waste completely. Traditionally, ads for the target market described above would be placed on motorcycle websites and sites with a predominantly male audience. However, not every site visitor would meet the criteria of your target market—but hey, an impression is an impression and you’d still pay for it.

With programmatic video ad buying, you may see that your ad for this motorcycle-loving target market appeared on a women’s beauty products site. This may be a little unnerving, as the site appears to be unrelated to your target market. But rest assured, programmatic buying will only serve your video ads to consumers that meet each and every one of your criteria—so your ad would appear to that 22-year-old, motorcycle-loving male who visited that beauty site looking for a Valentine’s Day gift.

Programmatic video ad buying is the best way for advertisers to reach and engage hyper-targeted online video viewers. It’s cost effective, efficient and drives better results for branded content. Stay tuned for the launch of ViralGains’ video ad unit that will deliver programmatic, native video ads to your most socially active consumers.

*ViralGains ad unit to be launched in the near future

Enjoy what you’ve read? Learn about another hot video marketing topic in Earned Media: The Breakdown

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