What is Programmatic Display Advertising?

by Kedet | October 9, 2020

What is programmatic display advertising?

To fully understand the specifics of the term, you first need to realize that within the umbrella of programmatic, there are many different ways you can reach your target audience.

Programmatic display advertising directly refers to one specific type of format that is used – the display ad. You can’t speak about programmatic display without making this distinction upfront.

This post is going to orientate you on the specific meaning of the term, why it’s important and how it works. By the end, you should have a solid working knowledge of display ads traded programmatically.

Here are the main points we will cover in this article:

Programmatic Display Advertising Defined

Programmatic display advertising is the automated buying and selling of banner ads that are placed on specially designated areas of websites, on social media platforms, or in apps.

See here for a complete guide on what programmatic advertising is.

In this instance, programmatic refers to the automated process of trading and placing banner ads in open ad space online. Deals happen in real-time and the winning one banner ad is then placed in the available ad space on the website the target consumer is looking at.

The difference between programmatic ads and programmatic display ads is that the latter focuses specifically on the banner ad format.

What is Display Advertising in Digital Marketing?

In the world of digital marketing, display advertising is the most common type of ad you see on the internet. Display ads come in a huge variety of media – everything from text, video, gifs, audio, static images, HTML5 and flash content can be found in display ads.

They exist to get the attention of the target consumer, and are usually part of a brands retargeting, brand awareness or acquisition campaign.

When someone asks, ‘What is programmatic display advertising?’ – they’re making a distinction between programmatic banner ads and display ads that are traded outside of automation software.

What is Native Display Advertising?

When ad content is native to its environment, it fits in with the content on the webpage. Native ads are different from display ads in that they blend in with page content, and don’t stand out like general banner ads do.

Native display ads tend to mimic surrounding page content for a more editorial feel. These are the softer, recommended and sponsored content ads you find online.

What are Programmatic Display Ads?

So, display advertising makes up most of the general ads you see from brands online. These little banner ads are personalized and highly targeted because they’re programmatically placed.

Programmatic banner ads can be static or dynamic, and they appear in a variety of sizes and placements all over the internet. They’re found most often in the headers, footers, and sidebars of the websites you visit.

What is a Static Display Advertisement?

Static ad content refers to unchanging ads that are fixed in nature. What defines static ads is the one-way communication narrative. Some static ads do ‘move’ (you do get static video ads) but because they tend to be general, product-centric broadcasts, they aren’t considered dynamic.

What is a Dynamic Display Advertisement?

Dynamic ad content refers to ads that change according to the target consumer. What defines dynamic ads is that they’re usually rich media, two-way conversations that offer personalized messages for a more inbound approach.

What is a Display Advertising Network?

A display ad network is a platform that helps publishers and advertisers trade display ads for ad space online. Advertisers are able to buy ad space for their display ads across a huge variety of publisher websites, blogs and apps.

A display advertising network connects the buyers and sellers of banner ads, which programmatically speaking, helps them make better deals with each other while achieving their advertising goals. Google Ads is a great example of a display ad network.

How Does Programmatic Display Work?

Programmatic display advertising works the same as all programmatically traded ads, with the exception of the ads being banner ads only.

Mostly, display ads are automatically bought and sold in real-time, via an auction-based system known as Real-Time Bidding (RTB). An advertiser works with a Demand Side Platform (DSP) to buy ad space from Supply Side Platforms (SSP).

When a target consumer lands on a website, the real-time auction happens and the ad is placed on the most appropriate spot online, according to previously set budgets and parameters. The SSP gets the best price, the DSP gets the best space for their budget. Everyone wins!

For additional reading, find out how programmatic advertising works.

Why is Programmatic Display Important?

Quite simply, programmatic display is important for your brand because it gets you better results. Over the last few years, advertisers have seen a surge in sales and engagement thanks to banner ads that are personalized and are finding the right audiences.

According to eMarketer, programmatic display ad spending will take up 87.5% of the market by 2021. That means the vast majority of display ads will be traded this way.

Right now, advertisers are spending $67.87 billion on programmatic display ads. Most of these ads appear on Google and Facebook (52%). But $32.35 billion goes towards ads on other parts of the internet.

When you combine the visual authority of display advertising with the targeted might of programmatic technology, you go a long way to amplifying your advertising results.

Finding and working with the right Demand Side Platform is becoming increasingly important as competition for audience attention grows. Display ads are a critical part of any powerful digital advertising campaign, so make sure that yours are working for you.

To recap – what is programmatic display advertising, exactly? It is display advertising that is being traded programmatically by advertisers so that they can reach their specific audience segments, and get better returns on their ad spend.

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What Have We Learned?

Programmatic Display Advertising is the automated process of buying and selling banner ad placements on the online open ad space.

Display ads can be in the formats of: text, video, audio, gif, images, HTML5, flash etc.

The main distinction between programmatic banner ads and display ads that the former is traded within an automation software.

Native display ads blend in with page content.

Programmatic display ads have a variety of sizes and can be either static or dynamic. Generally found on websites you frequent in the header, footer and sidebar locations.

The upcoming trend is that the majority of the online advertising market will be made up of programmatic display ads (almost 90%)!

By combining visuals, personalized dynamic content and proper audience targeting, display ads tend to drive great results.

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