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By Stacey Subject Jun 8 2016

3 Ways to Drive Brand Awareness through Programmatic Ads

There’s no question that programmatic buying has been widely adopted by advertisers for action-oriented, direct response campaigns. But when it comes to branding and awareness, historically advertisers have been slow to take the programmatic plunge. More recently, however, there have been many developments to develop and improve the overall ‘premium programmatic’ effort. Ad tech providers and publishers have been proactive in bringing more premium programmatic inventory into biddable environments. You can see this not only in examples like the growth of private marketplaces and availability of video inventory, but in how open-RTB specifications have evolved to support programmatic native and other high-impact ad units.

In a report last year run by eMarketer, marketers elaborated on the benefits of utilizing programmatic ads for branding and awareness. They claimed increased efficiency, reduced overall advertising costs, ability to optimize and target the audience in real time, overall higher ROI and the opportunity to better leverage first-party data as all key contributors to their decision to use programmatic for upper-funnel initiatives.
We recommend three ways you can start using programmatic for your upper-funnel marketing programs right away:

1. Private Marketplaces (PMP) – Not only are PMPs the gateway to publisher first-part audience data and premium programmatic inventory, like homepages and section fronts across top comScore-rated sites, but more recently they’ve begun to bring new and compelling ad units into the mix. With PMPs, you can access ad units like rising stars, billboards, pushdown units, desktop and mobile interstitials, 100% viewable units, connected TV, header bidding inventory, pre-roll and native ad units.

PMPs return a bit of control back to the publisher, and as a result they can be more inclined to release some of their best-quality inventory to be sold programmatically to advertisers. They have learned how to package offerings by season, audience, and life-event, making it easy to add these onto a media plan.

2. Video – This is a natural fit for the upper-funnel as video ads tend to run longer and be more impactful. Recently there has been a great uptick in the quality and quantity of available video inventory through publishers and accessing video inventory is easier than ever. An added benefit of using programmatic video in your upper-funnel initiatives is that you can identify users who complete a full view of your video ad and create a pool of these users for downstream retargeting efforts on future campaigns.

3. Native – It’s the most recent addition to the mix, allowing you to place contextually relevant ads that align better with the look and feel of the page they’re on. Advertiser assets such as images, logos, headlines and copy dynamically adjust to fit the page they’re served on, regardless of device type. As a result, an emphasis is created around strong visual imagery and contextual alignment.