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Programmatic Video: The Tidal Wave in Modern Marketing

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Are you wondering how programmatic video marketing started and where it’s headed?

Due to consumers’ new consumption habits, it’d be smart for advertisers and publishers to switch to a cross-platform strategy to retain online views in targeted audiences. In 2019, the viewership of online videos grew by 7.2%, rising to 2.63 billion viewers. Advertisers invested over $37 billion into digital videos, and they show no signs of reducing them.

The following information helps you market like an expert. Read on to learn more about the tidal wave in modern marketing and everything you need to know about programmatic videos.

What Is Programmatic Video?

Programmatic video’s defined as video ads programmatically traded. This marketing method’s done with SSPs, DSPs, and Ad Exchanges. It requires the same infrastructure and tech as a programmatic display advertising strategy.

Programmatic videos reach your target market based on behavioral data. This advertising strategy is for purchasing ad placements through a platform that can place them in front of your target audience. The platform use bots to automate purchases and collect data to find the audience.

To find the right audience, the selected platform will advertise on multiple channels. They’ll also schedule and adjust media campaigns based on data. These benefits will provide more time to develop and optimize ads.

When and Where Did It Begin?

When the first banner ad appeared on Hotwired in 1994, it created a need for ad servers and ad networks. The game changed in 2007 when Apple launched iPhone and Google launched Android OS. As the web grew and the audience grew, it became difficult to turn a profit with manual ad serving.

By 2010, real-time bidding created the first big wave. Within one-tenth of a second of an online visitor landing on a page, advertisers bid based on consumer data. Buying and selling in an open exchange also created relevant placements.

In 2014, Google started using programmatic advertising to increase brand awareness. Google wasn’t the only company to do this. After AirAsia’s revenue dropped due to the 2014 plane crash, they successfully used programmatic video ads to receive a high return on ad spend.

Present Day Approach

Today, advertisers purchase across thousands of various sites by focusing on the target audiences. Buying and selling ads programmatically in the present-day mirrors the real-time bidding process. Placements are bought through an open auction, private auction, preferred deals, and guaranteed deals.

Programmatic advertising is CPM-based. CPM means you pay for the impressions, not per click. This digital marketing strategy’s used for new and existing consumers.

Rather than purchasing a set number of impressions on one site, you can spread these across various sites. You use customization, targeting, and data-driven technology to place ads in front of a specific audience.

Future Possibilities

A lot has changed since the beginning of digital marketing strategies. To understand where programmatic video and advertising will go, you need to know the current trends. The following are new developments that are shaping the future of programmatic advertising:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Augmented Reality Ads
  • Virtual Reality Ad
  • Blockchain Technology

These developments are already in the process of changing the advertising game. Using these methods to target the right audience is the next step for video ads. You can optimize ads on YouTube to create a better future outcome.

Types of Available Video Ads

Linear ads are the most popular ads for programmatic buying. They run before, during, or after video content. You’ve probably seen these ads on video streaming platforms.


This type of ad runs for around 15 to 30 seconds before video content starts. It’s common for platforms to give users the option to skip these after a short clip. These aren’t the best option for advertisers seeking a high return.


This ad will pause the video to play the ad sometime during viewing. The content resumes once the full ad’s finished rolling. This is the best choice since viewers are committed to the video content.


This type of ad appears when the video content’s finished. These ads are only the best choice if the ad’s relevant to the video. The post-roll ads redirect viewers to a different webpage.

The Programmatic Advertising Ecosystem

The programmatic advertising ecosystem is part of a much bigger system, AdTech. The AdTech ecosystem is a collection of platforms powering digital advertising in today’s market. These systems consist of multiple types of advertising deals, purchasing programmatic media methods, and ad formats.

Ad Exchange

Ad Exchanges are digital marketplaces for advertisers and publishers to come together and trade inventory. The digital inventory can be video, display, native, or in-app. Buying and selling are enabled by real-time bidding.

Ad Exchange’s independent platform simplifies programmatic ad buying in a mediation type of auction that doesn’t work for the buyer or the seller. Website owners and bloggers are the publishers selling space. Independent marketers, ad agencies, and ad networks are the buyers.

Demand-Side Platform

The demand-side platform is the system where buyers manage ad and data exchange accounts. Marketers can manage their bids during real-time bidding within the ad exchanges, by using this platform, for the data used to target the right audiences. The demand-side platform provides users the chance to optimize based on their key performance indicators.

The platform gathers access to supply-side partners for advertisers. This makes it easier for them to message consumers across different channels from one place. By working with supply-side platforms, it’s simpler to place ads online.

Supply-Side Platform

The supply-side platform is for publishers. It’s an advertising technology platform for managing, selling, and optimizing available ad space on their websites or apps. With this platform, website owners can monetize by showing video ads to online visitors.

This platform acts as an all-in-one system to connect the supply to demand. It works on behalf of the publishers. By analyzing their audience and organizing inventory into thematic packages, it can sell space to the right advertisers.

Ad Server

An ad server’s another part of the AdTech ecosystem. Publishers, advertisers, ad agencies, and ad networks use it to manage campaigns. Ad servers decide which ads are shown on a website before serving them.

In 1995, FocaLink Media Services created the first ad server. These servers evolved to meet the growing demands of advertisers and publishers. Targeting, budget control, and frequency capping are some functionalities that have been incorporated into the newer platforms.

Data-Management Platform

Data management platforms are software for collecting and managing data. They provide businesses with the ability to identify audience segments. These are utilized during digital advertising campaigns.

This software platform uses ai marketing and algorithms to process and evaluate data about users from multiple sources. Data organization, increased insight, and effective advertisement budgeting are a few of the advantages. It’s constantly being developed by various global entities.

Agency Trading Desk

A trading desk can be technology or services provided by media agencies. It assists in planning, buying, and managing advertising campaigns. They used to be able to offer competitive prices on the media in their portfolio, but the situation has changed.

The technology used today’s based on trademarked advertising technology. However, it can also consist of licensed AdTech platforms. Demand-side, ad servers, and data-management are some of the current platforms.

Ad Fraud Protection Platform

Ad fraud is an activity that affects ad content delivery, steals money, and prevents ads from reaching the target audience. These scams manipulate traffic, impressions, conversions, and user activity. Criminals or competitors are behind these attacks.

The common types of ad fraud include cookie stuffing, traffic, click, action, conversion, retargeting, and affiliate. Once the damage occurs, there’s nothing you can do to reverse it. An ad fraud protection platform can help prevent these scams.

Ad Viewability Solution

Ad viewability means how visible your ads are to users on websites and mobile apps. To be viewed, 50% of the ad needs to display for over one second. This is according to the Internet Advertising Bureau.

To improve visibility, publishers must prioritize ad viewability. The solutions are designing web pages to load ads with maximum visibility, making sites mobile-friendly, speed, and design. Data can assist in improving viewability rates.

Brand Safety Solution

Brand safety means protecting the reputation of a brand as it’s advertised online. This includes ensuring logos and ads don’t appear with irrelevant content. The solution is to offer brand-safe inventory.

Some challenges are fake news, current events, and shifting context. Blocking specific keywords and managing URL blacklists aren’t enough. Thankfully, there’s technology available to determine the story’s true context by going beyond the basic keywords.

Creative Management Platform

Creative management platforms are cloud-based tools that use technology for marketing campaigns. These programmatic creative ad technologies meet the design criteria of digital advertisers. The platform gives advertisers the ability to create better quality ads.

The production enables tailored messages intended for the target audience. For better performance, it refreshes the messages more frequently. They’re tested for creatives to split, learn, and optimize.

Dynamic Creative Optimization Platform

The dynamic creative optimization platform is a technology for display ads to be tailored to the audience viewing in live time. This platform can be the best choice for advertisers, since the ads are more relevant to current viewers, tested, and optimized. One of the most popular uses is for product retargeting ads.

Another common use is for prospecting and similar goals for marketing campaigns. All ads utilize location, behavior, device, context, demographics, and other variables. Advertisers could also automatically optimize based on multivariate and split testing.

Ad Order Management System

Ad order management systems streamline the ads sales process. They manage multiple rate cards and build product catalogs. These are based on peak seasons and the ad agency’s pricing and services.

The system is single and centralized to better manage orders from multiple sales channels. Since consumers demand simplified buying, this system helps meet expectations. Companies can sell directly to consumers or various industries.

Digital Asset Management Platform

A digital asset management platform is software used for centrally storing and managing digital content. It also provides advertisers with the ability to increase campaign productivity and create brand consistency. The best platforms will organize your assets more efficiently, therefore maximizing your brand’s value.

The features include automating workflows, setting expiration dates for asset licensing, creating levels for user access. The varying levels are for campaigns, files, folders, and projects. The software’s in-app analytics reveals how well creative assets perform.

Web Analytics Platform

A web analytics platform will measure a website’s activity and behavior. This can be how many visitors, which pages they visit, how long visitors stay on a page, and how they reached the website. Businesses can use this information to measure website performance and conversion rates.

The analytics offer the insight and data website owners can use to create an overall better user experience. By understanding online traffic behavior, businesses will optimize the website’s conversion rates. The platform will track the online marketing campaign’s efforts to improve future results.

Marketing Attribution Platform

A marketing attribution platform’s software that attributes value to a brand’s marketing interactions with consumers. The science behind it is for understanding interactions that contributed to purchases, conversions, and the how. These help marketers understand first click, last click, multi-touch, data-driven, algorithmic, linear, and more.

The differences come down to where the credit of conversion is distributed. When used properly, a marketing attribution platform enables marketers to discover the channel’s return on investment. This is how marketers understand how consumers are finding the brand.

Tag Management System

Tag management systems help with implementing and managing tags in digital properties. They were created to help manage e-marketing tag lifecycles. This information can be utilized to integrate third-party software into websites and applications.

Marketers can use them to track, monitor, and capture customer engagement information. Consumer behavior’s analyzed while they’re on websites and applications. The data provides insight into marketing efforts and customer satisfaction.

How to Buy Media Programmatically

The process of being media programmatically is complex. It involves automation and technology that require a deep understanding. The process can be broken down into several steps and purchased in various ways.

The steps are users visit websites, owners request a bid, advertisers receive data, advertisers bid, highest-bid wins impression, the ad’s served, and the user clicks. The process makes it easier for selling and buying inventory. Exchanges can happen in different ways.

Real-Time Bidding

Real-time bidding is how impressions are bought and sold online. The entire process takes less than one second and has been around for years. All of this happens in real-time, as the name suggests.

This bidding option can happen in exchanges that are private or open. Efficiency makes it a good choice for advertisers and publishers. Not only does it reduce impressions on the wrong audience, but it can also minimize the cost of unreliable ad buyers.

Open Auctions

The official term for real-time bidding is an open auction for publishers and advertisers. In an open marketplace, the prices for inventory in these auctions are chosen in real-time. This happens in an automated system.

Publishers make the media available for a minimum cost per thousand. Advertisers bid for the available inventory, and the highest bidder wins. This is the most cost-effective way to start purchasing media with large target audiences.

Private Auctions

A private auction is like an open auction, but publishers can restrict the participants to being only advertisers. By going private, deals can be provided to exclusive advertisers. This makes it possible for them to bid before the inventory’s made available in open marketplaces.

Some publishers may give certain advertisers the option to apply for participation invitations. In these instances, publishers will decide who gets approved. Again, ad exchanges can set a minimum cost per thousand, and the highest bidder wins.

Programmatic Direct

Programmatic direct is a type of deal where the publisher contracts advertisers to purchase space for ads at a negotiated price. These costs are based on a fixed time interval, automating pricing. A benefit of this deal is advertisers get guaranteed impressions by displaying on premium pages.

Programmatic direct deals provide an opportunity to negotiate a fixed cost that will be fair for all parties involved. This gives publishers a chance to sell to interested buyers. Advertisers benefit from guaranteed impressions reaching their target audience.

Preferred Deals

Preferred deals are the best option for bypassing auctions and negotiating the fixed cost. The deals are in real-time, and advertisers win impressions by bidding at or above the set price. This type of deal offers publishers a stable stream of revenue.

Advertisers benefit from access to a more exclusive inventory that has no surprises in prices. Once an advertiser has bid, they can’t bid on the impression again in the open auction. This type of deal allows publishers and buyers to bid in real-time in a direct deal at a negotiated price.

Guaranteed Deals

Guaranteed deals give the buyer the chance to purchase inventory directly from publishers. The buyer will agree to purchase a certain number of impressions. In response, the publisher will agree to deliver the agreed-upon number of impressions for a set price.

Advertisers and publishers will need to negotiate the price and terms for reserved inventory. The guaranteed inventory’s reserved only for that one advertiser for the agreed-upon price. These deals mean that both parties offer a guarantee to the other.

What are the Formats?

Programmatic advertising formats are the channels used for ads. They enable advertisers to reach their target audience more easily. The advertising channel should provide real-time insights, enhanced targeting, higher transparency, better budget utilization, and tackle ad fraud.

There are six commonly used programmatic formats to choose from. These range from video to social to audio ads. The channel you choose depends on your need and brand.

1. Programmatic Display Ads

Programmatic display ads refer to online visual ads on a publisher’s website or application. To be considered display ads, they need to be placed on the sidebar, header, or footer. You’ve likely seen these ads while exploring different websites.

Both publishers and advertisers, work with display networks to facilitate the exchanges of media inventory. Google, Snapchat, Bing, and Microsoft are all common examples of display networks. These networks collect data from clicks and impressions for publishers to be able to generate revenue.

2. Programmatic Video Ads

Programmatic video ads are the more preferred format for ads to reach consumers. The popularity of video ads will continue to grow as the desire for video becomes more common. There are a few types of video ads to choose from.

In-stream ads appear in video players as pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll. Out-stream ads appear within the content of articles printed online or in pop-up windows. In-display ads are shown in search results or recommended videos, rather than in the video player.

3. Programmatic Native Ads

Native ads follow the vibe of the publisher they’re being served on to create a format that’s targeted at the right audience. Advertisers must use a DSP to decide the price and which impressions to purchase. Publishers must sell their inventory, ad space, on an SSP.

Some of the native ad formats are in-feed units, in-article, paid search, recommendation widgets, promoted listings, sponsored content, rewarded video, and in-ad with native element units. These ads can appear at any location on websites or applications, and not only on the header or footer. This can help consumers view these ads more often than display ad choices.

4. Programmatic Social Ads

Social media collects user data to enhance targeting and deciding based on several factors. This information’s used for viewability, ad format, time, and frequency caps. The data’s utilized for optimizing the budget for ad space and inventory.

These types of ads aren’t restricted to platform advertisements. Influencer marketing can automate campaigns by identifying the best influencers for the brand, signing them up, and automating management. These ad placements depend on the audience and performance of the campaign.

5. Programmatic Audio Ads

Today, the audio ads you’ll hear are commonly played on podcasts and music applications. There are three common reasons for their growing popularity. Popular podcasts can amplify the revenue generated through audio ad efforts.

Audio ads are the equivalent of video ads for advertisers and publishers looking for this option. They rely on the data of real-time audiences to place and utilize an engaging ad experience. SoundCloud, Pandora, Spotify, Google, and BBC are some of the most popular publishers for programmatic audio.

6. Programmatic Digital Out-Of-Home Ads

Digital out-of-home ads are marketing channels where media’s displayed in outdoor public spaces. These are seen in airports, near food courts, beside showrooms, and kiosks in major cities. Programmatic digital out-of-home advertising is the automation of buying and selling inventory using computer programs.

The exchange happens in real time and it’s open to all bidders. It drives the campaign’s speed and flexibility for optimization on the go. This enables better targeting and eliminates minimums to allow ad spaces to be bid on fairly by smaller advertisers.

Prospecting and Remarketing Tactics

There are certain tactics followed by advertisers to create a successful media plan. Along with media planners, buyers, creative designers, and sellers, these tactics help execute an advertiser’s plan. By knowing these, you’ll understand the work that goes into targeting the right audience.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual targeting’s for serving appropriate ads in the right context, so consumers view the most relevant message. One popular way to target within context is by selecting which ads appear next to a website’s content and keywords. Another common choice is by targeting and purchasing ad space that matches keywords.

The contextual advertising system scans websites for keywords, so they can later return for relevant display ads. The benefits of this tactic are high relevancy, anti-ad fatigue, and privacy-friendly. It’s growing more popular as the hunt for cookie replacement goes on.

Placement Targeting

Ad placement appears on a website, specific page, mobile app, video content, or ad unit. Placement targeting’s how advertisers can find relevant locations for their ads. This tactic can add the placements to marketers’ ad groups in the video and display campaigns.

The benefits of placement targeting include only showing ads on the selected locations and where your consumers spend their time. You can enjoy the right level of traffic by setting specific placement bids. When you’re first starting on popular sites, you may need higher bids to receive impressions.

Demographics Targeting

This type of tactic is a simple and efficient way to identify your target audience. It can ensure that the wrong audiences are not seeing your ads, to help convert views to revenue. For instance, it can ensure that adult content isn’t viewed on a child’s search or family websites.

Effective demographic targeting will review age, household income, and gender. You can refine your strategy by targeting the right audience and excluding the wrong audience. You may also be able to customize your bids to show higher in one demographic and lower viewability in another.


Geo-targeting refers to an active response to a single user’s geographic location in real-time. A site will determine an online visitor’s location based on their IP address, GPS, or Wi-Fi connection. This information will help to create and serve content results that are specific to the visitor’s location and language preference.

The geo-targeted location can be a city, state, country, or other information. This data is beneficial because it helps to provide relevant content that’s personalized to the current user. The consumers will, in return, enjoy a better user experience that helps them narrow down their search results faster.

Lookalike / AI Audience Targeting

Lookalike targeting is a method using your current customers’ behavior to find new clients who demonstrate similar behaviors. AI uses algorithms to analyze the behaviors of your most common clients before searching for consumers with similar profiles. This part of the process happens in an external database.

This type of targeting tactic is great for marketers who wish to find consumers who will visit your website from around the globe. They’ll look for a new targeted audience by looking at demographics, interests, and purchase intentions. By categorizing domains your consumers visit, you can apply your methods using keywords and content.

3rd-Party Audience Segment Targeting

A 3rd-party audience is comprised of data sets that are curated of specific segments. To use this information in campaigns, you’ll search for the targeted characteristics you’re looking for in consumers. This data includes age, gender, geolocation, hobbies, household income, political party, and other information to fit your desired market.

This type of audience can bring users to the top of your target audience funnel, allowing you to reach new consumers more easily. When you have an idea of the type of consumer you’re looking for, you can use lookalike targeting to grow your search. After the third-party and lookalike audiences visit the website, they’ll become known as your 1st party audience.

Layered Targeting

Layered targeting has been around for years, using different ways to spread messages and share brands. This can be a social media ad, another type of ad, or content curated to get the attention of your target audience. The more you’re able to share with the target audience, the more they will recognize and trust your brand.

You can implement a layered targeting approach using social media, sponsored content, press releases, blogs, videos, newsletters, email, ads, and e-books. Marketers can integrate content and publishers. For instance, you can gain interest with one type and direct consumers to another one.

Standard Remarketing

Standard remarketing targets past online visitors with what’s known as static ads. You can show them display ads, banners, or text ads. This gives you the ability to create ads for your current consumers to achieve a higher return on your investment costs.

Standard remarketing is the most popular choice when it comes to remarketing and enticing past visitors to return to your website. You can create a series of ads to be shown to your target audience after they leave your website. This is done using various platforms by applying specific conditions to determine when these ads are seen.

Dynamic Remarketing

Dynamic remarketing is similar to standard remarketing, as it allows you to show ads to your website’s previous online visitors. These ads are tailored for each impression to show content that’s relevant to the consumer’s previous visits. They’re retail, non-retail, or something else entirely, depending on the platform.

The benefits of dynamic remarketing include scalability and real-time bid optimization. The simple and powerful feeds to determine the best combination of products for the specific visitor. The high-performance layout can be used to predict the layout that’s best suited for the specific visitor.

Advanced Tactics for Publishers

You should know and understand the operations of a publisher. They follow advanced tactics for managing ad inventory, increasing viewability, yielding revenues. Publishers work with inventory managers, ad sellers, and yield managers to produce the right outcome.

One goal of advanced tactics for publishers is to add value to products and content. Another goal is to optimize social media by utilizing influencer marketing. The other advanced tactics for publishers are detailed below.

Implementation of Ads.txt

Ads.txt is a text file publishers can upload to the properties on their website to declare which parties they allow to sell their inventory. This helps avoid fraud using a simple format that can be updated to show changes. The implantation involves sharing three to four fields of information.

Dealing with Privacy Laws

Publishers should review privacy laws and updates when considering digital marketing strategies and communication. The California Consumer Privacy Act was implemented in 2018 to provide consumers with more control over their personal information. This includes their right to know, right to delete, right to opt-out, and right to non-discrimination.

No Cookies Tracking with Universal IDs

The Universal ID is a user ID that offers a shared identity to identify the user without syncing cookies. This helps publishers and advertisers to display relevant ads without cookie tracing. In return, consumers won’t have to see irrelevant advertisements.

Header Bidding

Header bidding serves as an alternative to Google’s waterfall tactic. To implement these, publishers must share a JavaScript code to the header section on their website. Prebid’s used when the publisher isn’t required to integrate with a header bidding wrapper.

Price Floor Optimization

A price floor is known as the lowest price any commodity can be sold for. Without it, the inventory easily fluctuates and decreases. Publishers must understand the inventory, users, content, and bid behavior to implement correctly.

Ad Inventory Optimization Tactics

Ad inventory optimization tactics are utilized by publishers to grow ad revenue with a strategic process. Four ways that it can be done are by separating priority metrics, optimizing ad inventory per session, improving ad sales, and increasing inbound traffic. By knowing your audience matches consumer trends, you can share information with advertisers.

Sticky / Docked Ad Spaces

Sticky ads are referred to as anchor ads because they’re tethered to desktop and mobile app screens. When placed strategically, they can be used to expand viewability and increase ad revenue. Publishers need to know the right sizes and locations to create a friendly user experience that doesn’t obstruct viewing the website.

Responsive Ad Spaces

Responsive ad spaces can adjust their size, appearance, and formats automatically to fit available spaces. Implementing requires being able to optimize the image for scaling, crop images, when necessary, be flexible with logos, and be aware of text combinations. Publishers must be cautious of brand safety.

Ad Refresh Tactic

Ad refresh tactics give publishers the ability to increase impressions served every session by refreshing ads. Publishers can set triggers, also known as preset conditions, to implement refreshing ads using configurations. The common triggers for this tactic are user, event, and time.

Ad Operations for Publishers

Publishers rely on ad operations to generate revenue using the management and delivery of advertisements. To implement during ad campaigns, some tools and platforms can maximize revenue. Publishers must have an advanced understanding of these software and platforms.

Why You Need Programmatic Video

Programmatic video advertising can run ads that only appear for the targeted audience. This helps to weed out possible future clients from the rest of the world. The following are some of the most beneficial reasons you need to opt for programmatic videos:

  • Reach a specific audience more easily
  • Spread your reach to multiple channels
  • Easily change campaigns
  • No need for real-time exchanges
  • Quality reporting
  • Business growth

There are different types of video ads that can target the right audience. Once you understand how to create and share these advertisements properly, they have more pros than cons. Be sure you have a deep understanding of ad fraud and your audience before starting.

Where to Get Started

There are resources and templates available online to get started on making programmatic videos that increase revenue and reach. By working with a business that offers managed programmatic advertising solutions, you’ll boost the effectiveness of ad campaigns. These services will help you grow your business faster and more efficiently.

Improve Your Marketing Strategy Today

Programmatic video offers marketing teams the ability to save time and effort with automation and planning. Although this marketing strategy isn’t new, it continues to make waves as video content consumption expands. You can use this essential guide to reach major success.

Programmatic advertising is an influential tool for modern marketing strategies. We feature the services you need to improve your marketing strategy. Contact us today to get started on your free consultation!

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