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How To Start Real-Time Bidding Today!

When stepping into the advertising world real-time bidding may appear more complex than it actually is. We are here to tell you that real-time bidding isn’t hard to get involved in because bots are doing most of the work for you.

Since you are personally buying and selling ads this leaves more time to do what’s important. To learn about real-time bidding and how to get involved keep reading our guide below.

What is Real-Time Bidding?

Real-time bidding (RTB) is an auction process that is done digitally through online platforms. This digital process allows advertisers to bid on ads from various publishers on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) scale. CPM is what you pay as the publisher for every 1,000 people that see your ad space.

The digital auction works just like any other auction in existence. If someone is the highest bidder, they will get your ad.

You may be wondering how long RTB takes, and the truth is that it doesn’t take long at all. The bidding time for RTB is very fast and usually can take a few milliseconds. This means you won’t even notice it happening and will be informed when someone buys your ad.

What Are the Main Components of RTB?

The RTB process is made up of many platforms and systems in the advertising and marketing world. Even though there can be many parts to this process, it can be simplified into 5 main components.

The Publisher

When talking in terms of RTB, the publisher is the website or platform the user visits. This can be anything from a shopping website, blogging website, phone application, or streaming service.

When the publisher decides to create a revenue through advertising they will then open up ad space on their website. This space for potential advertising content is known as inventory.

The Supply-Side Platform

The supply-side platform is where the RTB action happens. This platform is made to help publishers sell their open ad space (inventory) to several different ad spaces. This process is reliable, fast, automated, and secure.

It’s good to note that not all publishers use the supply-side platform to sell their ad space. With this said, most publishers do use this platform because it provides them with many benefits such as receiving the most yield for their open space and to get a better insight into what their audience wants.

Ad Exchange

Ad exchanges are another technological platform involved with the RTB process. They help with the buying and selling of ads to publishers. You can view this process like the stock exchange when investors and companies buy and sell to each other. Here, publishers and buyers (advertisers) are selling back and forth.

The Demand-Side Platform

The demand-side platform is the same thing as the supply-side platform but it’s just for advertisers. This platform will store ads that the advertiser would like to sell and have them appear on websites. The demand-side platform also provides the advertiser with benefits such as using algorithms to find the best audience, avoiding fraudulent sales, having transparent reporting, and giving the advertiser a report to see how well their ad is doing.


On the other end of the publisher is the advertiser. The advertiser is the person that buys the media and can be a company or agency.

Where Does the RTB Actually Happen?

The RTB process begins when you (or anyone) goes to a website. While you’re waiting for the page to load, the website’s publisher is sending available ad space to the supply-side platform.

The supply-side platform will then take a peek at your cookies to see what interests you. Remember that cookies keep data of your web activity such as the websites you visit, what you click on, and your demographics.

The demand-side platform will kick in and assign a value to you, the user, and then will place a bid on an ad that will interest you. All this is happening between the time you click on your search result or type it in the URL and the time it takes for the page to load.

Lastly, the supply-side platform will look at the bids. It will select the highest bid and place the ad in the open space of the website for you to see.

Why Use RTB?

If you’re on the fence, there are great reasons as to why you should use RTB. First off, it’s a fast process and can save you a lot of time with your ad campaigns.

Since it’s automated the bots are doing the buying and selling for you. This means you can sit back and relax. Pull a report every once in a while to see if you need to adjust and demographics.

RTB is cost-efficient since you set your budget, and you’re making sure the ad is relevant to the person it’s put in front of. This means people are more likely to click on your ad because it interests them instead of it being put in front of thousands that want nothing to do with it.

When it comes to why RTB is good for publishers, there are many positives. RTB will help publishers maximize revenue through the bidding process. It also offers access to a lot of demand sources and the platforms usually bring in insights to improve monetization.

How Do I Get Started in RTB?

Getting started with RTB is a lot easier than it may look for either the publisher or advertiser. The first step is to get involved with the platform that fits your needs the best. If you’re an advertiser then you will want to join a demand-side platform, if you’re a publisher then you will want to look into the supply-side platform.

After selecting your platform you will have to make sure you meet some minimum requirements. These requirements differ from platform to platform and the best way to ensure you meet them is to see what each platform requires.

Most platforms will generally want the following:

  • Page views – Publishers should have a good number of page views before registering
  • Traffic referrals – Publishers should have decent traffic coming from search engines but not a lot. If more than 70% is from social platforms you may be rejected.
  • Target audience – Having a targeted audience isn’t required but helps the platform place the best ads for the user
  • Avoid frauds – If your a publisher or advertiser, the platforms will help save you from fraudulent content
  • Know your stats – Advertisers should know the demographics of their ad before joining a platform

Is RTB Expensive?

The answer to this isn’t direct since the price of RTB varies depending on a few things. Some of the factors that go into the price of RTB are what other bids are, what you’re trying to target with your ad, location, keywords,  demographics, and interests.

Depending on what you invest in your ads you can pay anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000 for a campaign. This is just an estimated range and you can find cheaper options if you do your shopping.

It’s good to remember that RTB is based on a CPM basis. So this means you can bid a dollar or two. Overall you control the budget when it comes to RTB.

Will There Be a Future In RTB

It’s currently estimated that 50% of top publishers are using RTB. This is because it creates higher revenue and it works.

So, what does the future of RTB look like? Well when looking at its rising popularity and data that support its higher revenue than other marketing campaigns, it’s safe to guess that RTB will continue to be on the rise.

Since it markets to those that are interested in the product or service and doesn’t require much time from the buyer or seller, it’s an ideal way to market with little to no downsides.

Now You Know the Ins and Outs of Real-Time Bidding

When first looking over the process of real-time bidding it may seem overwhelming and complicated, but now that you know the ins and outs we hope it’s not as scary as before. We have broken down the process for you and hopefully aired out any confusion surrounding the process.

You now know how publishers and advertisers can benefit from this marketing campaign. You even know the breakdown of the process to make using real-time bidding easier.

For more information on marketing please check out our website here.

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