How to Optimize Mobile RTB Campaigns

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  • July 13, 2016
mobile RTB

One of the main advantages of media buying in real time is the virtually unlimited access to a pool of supply. But at the same time, this poses a challenge since it requires continuous monitoring of the efficiency of the process – this often means identifying the best performing campaign set-ups. The following are tips to have in mind when optimizing the performance of mobile RTB campaigns.

1. Inventory

When optimizing RTB campaigns, the first thing that marketers can act upon is selecting the inventory to bid on. The following subsets should be taken into consideration when considering optimization:

  • Mobile web vs apps

Apps in general perform better, since they’re usually more engaging for users. Carefully select publishers and formats to make sure that all ad sizes are adequate.

  • Whitelisting and blacklisting

At the beginning of every media buying campaign, it’s crucial to quickly discover the best-performing placements and focus the efforts towards those publishers. However, make sure to allocate a certain amount of the budget to explore new options that could help improve your campaign performance in the future. In terms of blacklisting, remove the worst performing placements from your targeted inventory as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Private marketplaces

When certain placements perform far above the average, consider shifting to a private marketplace with the exchange in order to get access to the inventory on a private auction. This usually dictates higher floor price, but you’re getting a priority access to the inventory, so it will be worth the investment.

2. Audience targeting

To make the most out of your mobile RTB campaigns, you need to spend time targeting your audience. Finding the right audience will save you time and budget, which otherwise you risk wasting on undesired impressions. You can make use of first, second, and third-party data: first party data is data that you own about your users, second-party data is data from the media buying activities (such as device type, operating system, etc.), while third-party data is data that comes from third-party providers, generally from DMPs. This type boosts the information you already have from the bid requests and will help you make better decisions.

3. Dayparting

Selecting the part of the day in which your campaign will be more or most active is one way to make the most out of it, especially on mobile. With dayparting you can optimize your mobile RTB campaign and serve impressions at a particular time of the day when users are most likely to engage with your ad. Dayparting can give you insights on user behaviour patterns, and you can use this for further optimization.

4. Geo Targeting & Geo-Fencing

Your mobile RTB campaigns can be optimized even more by making use of mobile capacities such as geo-targeting and geo-fencing (for instance, targeting specific creatives to a specific geographic area). For a

Another way to optimize RTB campaigns is by leveraging mobile capacities such as geo-targeting and geo-fencing; for instance targeting a specific ad creative to a specific geographic area.

5. Frequency Capping

To avoid user fatigue, set frequency capping for your campaigns. In short, frequency capping is the number of times an ad can be shown to the same user in a certain time period. The level of frequency capping usually depends on how advanced in time your campaign is. For a new ad campaign with broader targeting, frequency capping can be set as low as the total of users seeing it for the first time. As the campaign gradually matures, the frequency cap can be increased. For retargeting campaigns, advertisers should consider user fatigue right from the start of the campaign, as users are already familiar with the thing being advertised.

Things to consider with mobile RTB campaigns

  1. Don’t set your campaign without required specifications. A surprisingly high percentage of RTB campaigns is being rejected because advertisers don’t follow the specifications required by the ad exchanges, including banner size, the maximum allowed weight, type of file, etc.
  1. CTR is not the only option. Clicks, impressions, and click-through-rate (CTR) have always been important performance indicators for display campaign analysis, regardless whether the campaigns are performance or branding focused. However, campaign evaluation should not be based merely on clicks and CTRs. Conversion is the element crucial in analysing the performance of display campaigns. If conversions cannot be measured, it’s impossible to analyse the ROI generated by the campaign. Therefore, it is crucial for advertisers to implement a full tracking setup. Analyzing clicks, conversion, and revenue all together can help identify campaign challenges, and in turn boost the entire strategy for better performance results. Regarding branding campaigns, you’d want to evaluate them based on metrics such as engagement rate, engagement time and visibility time.
  1. Specify your bidding strategy. Even though RTB as a concept is not new, there are still campaigns that fail because they lack well-developed bidding strategies. Before engaging in any RTB activity, you should carefully consider your campaign objectives and where your target audience is placed in the sales funnel. The CPM model is designed to reach an appointed CPM for a given activity. This is useful when running retargeting campaigns since the right audience is identified and what is needed is the right price per impression. The CPC model uses an advanced algorithm to detect users who are likely to click on the ad. When choosing bidding strategy, keep in mind that nothing is static, including the placement of your audience in the sales funnel. To increase campaign efficiency you might need to combine the two bidding models or shift from one to the other as the campaign gradually matures.

Final thoughts

No matter the strategy, one thing is important to keep in mind – humans still play a major part in every step of the campaign creation process. They are essential in the optimization process, and core to the creative design phase. With this in mind, set your efforts to creating a team of experts in both media buying and composing ad creatives. The close cooperation between these two will likely get you to your end goal. To date, there’s no bidding algorithm that can make up for the poor performance of the team and the campaign itself, so make sure you have everything and everyone on board before you head to your digital advertising success.


Mimoza Naumovska

Mimoza Naumovska

Social media manager and content creator at Bonadza. I run the social profiles of the company and craft content for Bonadza's blog. I'm exploring the programmatic landscape and I'm eager to expand my blogging horizons. I love books, beer and gigs.

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