Digital advertising is worth over $100 billion in the US alone. Globally, more businesses have been putting more into their digital marketing plans. There’s a lot of interest around RTB meaning and what it really is. We break it down in this article!
The result? Advertisers now spend more on digital than they do on traditional ads. These trends have only increased as businesses have shifted their operations online.
If you’ve seen your competition increase, you might wonder how you can keep buying ads without going over budget. That’s where real-time bidding comes into play.
This guide looks at RTB meaning, and how you can leverage this technology to create ad campaigns that hit their targets.
RTB Meaning Explained
“RTB” stands for real time bidding. It refers to technology that allows advertisers like you to compete more effectively. It’s a type of programmatic advertising, which is becoming more popular with advertisers.
RTB uses artificial intelligence to speed up the traditional processes of buying ads. You determine the parameters of your ad campaigns. Then you plug this information into the AI.
Your parameters will include information like:
- Target demographics, such as an age bracket, geographic locations, or occupation
- The type of ad you’re buying
- The ad you want to run
- Keywords to match the ads to
- Time slots
- Minimum and maximum bids
It might also include information about related keywords, related products, or referring websites. RTB also works hand-in-hand with behavioral targeting.
With this information, the AI is able to analyze ad spaces as they become available. The AI compares the available space to your parameters to decide if it’s a worthy ad buy. If yes, the AI will submit a bid.
The AI will bid more or less on a space, depending on how well it matches your parameters. The better the match, the more the AI will bid.
AI can also take other factors into account, such as competition. It will bid more for certain time slots or particular demographics. It also bids less for others because competition for these spots is less.
How Does Bidding Happen?
The bidding process begins when someone visits a website. The website notes a new session, which the publisher wants to load ads for.
This available ad space is pushed through to an exchange, where advertisers can bid on it. At your end, the AI is notified of available ad space matching your campaign parameters.
The AI analyzes this and decides whether to place a bid. If the AI decides the ad space isn’t a good match, it won’t bid. If the match is good, the AI will bid.
Bids are typically won by the highest bidder. Some platforms, like Google Ads, have other requirements. This might include something like ad quality or user experience.
The Benefits of RTB
Now that you understand what RTB does and the RTB meaning, you want to know why you should care. What can RTB marketing do for your business?
It turns out that RTB has quite a few benefits.
Keep Budgets in Check
The most obvious benefit of RTB is better budget control. An AI can make much faster analyses and adjust its bid automatically. The end result is you end up paying less because the AI targets ad spaces that are most cost-effective.
In some cases, this may mean winning bids on low-competition ad spaces. In other cases, it will mean bidding more on spaces that are most likely to generate clicks and leads.
It’s rare that RTB, when configured properly, will overspend on an ad. Human ad managers make that mistake all the time, which can drive up your budget without the return you want.
Of course, RTB can save you money in another way. It reduces the amount of time your team spends placing bids. It used to be that ad space sales were brokered through people, with a buyer at one end and a salesperson at the other.
Instead of paying your ad team members to sit at their desks placing bids, the RTB platform can free them up. With RTB advertising in use, they can spend more time drafting campaigns or analyzing data. This lowers the labor costs associated with your advertising strategy.
Keep Pace with the Digital World
The other drawback of the old ad-buying process is that it takes time. It doesn’t work in the fast-paced digital environment. Users expect websites to load in mere seconds, so a publisher has just fractions of that time to make a sale.
There are still websites that bulk sell ad space through human-brokered deals. More and more are switching to RTB platforms. These platforms help them sell more ad space and get a fairer price for their spaces.
For advertisers, the time-savings can translate into better ad campaigns. Your team members have more time and energy to put toward crafting the creative.
They also have more time to crunch the numbers and understand why your ads are performing the way they are. From there, they can make small adjustments to the campaign.
Campaigns That Perform
What’s the end result of better creative, smarter ad placement, and continuous tweaks? Campaigns that meet or exceed their benchmarks.
In short, RTB leads to better campaigns. You’ll generate more brand visibility, more clicks, and leads, and close more deals when you use RTB.
Why is that? The AI plays a key role in making sure you’re getting the right placements at the right price. You’re more likely to get your ad in front of someone who is primed and ready to click.
The analysis of data means you’re generating better insights into who is clicking. From there, it’s only a short step to understanding why someone is clicking your ad. Once you understand that, you can adjust the campaign to make it even more appealing to similar users.
If you want to see campaigns that really perform, then making the switch to RTB is a smart move.
Get a Competitive Edge
Another reason you should consider adopting real-time bidding for your business is that it gives you a competitive edge.
Some of your competitors may have already switched to RTB. That makes it more difficult for you to win the ad spaces you want to win. Adopting RTB for yourself puts you back on a level playing field.
If your competition is still sleeping on RTB, it could give you a leg up over them. While they’re still buying bulk or submitting bids by hand, you can leave the heavy lifting up to the AI. You can then get back to the marketing tasks that actually need a human touch.
How Can You Adopt RTB?
The next question you have is likely about how to get started with RTB advertising. There are two components you’ll need to know about:
- Demand-side platform (DSP)
- Ad exchanges
DSPs have displaced ad networks, but some still do exist separately from DSPs. You’ll need to sign up for any networks or DSPs you want to take part in.
What’s the Difference Between an Exchange and DSP?
Ad exchanges are where supply and demand for ad space meet. The exchange contains both demand for ad space, as well as the available ad space listings. Think of it as a kind of online marketplace for ads.
Ad exchanges arose from the old ad network model. It used to be that both publishers and advertisers would sign up for the network itself. In some cases, this is still true.
As time has gone on though, it’s become clear that managing many individual ad networks wasn’t working for anyone. The ad exchange solves this issue by bringing together multiple networks.
It’s also become clearer that a single platform can’t serve the needs of both publishers and advertisers. It’s also clear that the process of placing and winning bids must be as fast as possible.
That’s where the demand-side platform comes in. This platform is designed to meet the needs of advertisers looking to buy ad space. Publishers use what’s called a supply-side platform, or SSP.
Both SSPs and DSPs still connect to ad exchanges. The exchange is a sort of middle ground between the two platforms.
Google Ads, for example, is a DSP. Google Ad Manager includes the exchange formerly known as the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
The DSP may actually be connected to several different exchanges. These exchanges, in turn, may connect to several ad networks.
Adopting a DSP
You may decide you want to sign up for ad networks, but the most affordable way to buy ad space is through the use of a DSP. As mentioned, you usually get access to several different exchanges via the DSP.
That means your ads can reach more websites and, as a result, reach more potential customers.
There are many different DSPs out there, but there is one big drawback. They’re often expensive. A small business might even find they’re priced out of the market.
So, does that mean you can’t adopt RTB for your business? There’s actually a better solution, no matter the size of your business.
Team up with a Programmatic Ad Company
Many digital marketing firms offer their clients advertising services. They might do SEO or provide website content. Many have also been in the business of offering management of ad campaigns and PPC for years now.
As a result, many of these companies have seen it as a wise choice to invest in new forms of digital advertising, including programmatic options. That includes adopting real-time bidding for their customers.
These companies are often working on behalf of many different advertisers, so they’re able to pool resources. Adopting a DSP or two is easier when you’re representing the advertising needs of many clients.
A small business owner who wants to take advantage of everything RTB has for their business should be thinking about teaming up. Working with the right partner can help make RTB more accessible for your business, so you can take advantage of everything it has to offer.
Getting the Experts on Your Team
Another reason you should consider teaming up with a company that offers programmatic services like RTB is their expertise.
Typically, these vendors have plenty of experience in digital marketing and advertising. They may be able to offer you a whole suite of digital advertising services, including:
- SEO services
- Content marketing services
- Web design
- PPC management
- Over the Top (OTT) advertising
- Real-time bidding
They may even be able to help with crafting campaigns. On top of that, when you team up, you can work with the experts to craft a more holistic marketing strategy for your business.
Having a stronger digital marketing strategy is going to yield even better results than adopting RTB by itself. Even if you’re unsure completely on the RTB meaning… it’s still worth diving into!
Further, they also have the experience of working with different DSPs. They know how to construct campaigns.
They also have expertise in collecting, reading, and analyzing the data collected from your campaigns. They’re going to be able to turn that data into actionable insight with more ease.
Not only is working with a partner more affordable for your business’s budget, but it also gives you better results. You can leverage the expertise of an experienced team to craft better campaigns and do RTB the right way from the start now that you understand the RTB meaning.
It’s High Time for Real Time
This guide has gone over the RTB meaning, as well as the mechanics behind real time bidding. It’s also taken an in-depth look at the benefits of RTB for any business looking to make more of its digital advertising budget. You’ve also learned how partnering with a team of experts can help you realize more of those benefits.
If you’re ready to adopt RTB for your business and understand the RTB meaning, then it’s time to get in touch with the experts. Discover a smarter way of advertising and watch digital marketing success unfold in real time.