Programmatic Media Buying 101: Why Viewability Is An Important Metric For Media Buyers?

Viewability refers to the likelihood that an ad is viewed by an actual human user. While that may sound strange, up to 57% of ads served are not considered viewable.

What does it take to consider an ad viewable?

Impressions are considered viewable for both desktop and on mobile when they appear within a user’s browser and have had the opportunity to be seen. Industry standards for display ads are as follows: 50% of the ad has to be visible on the screen for at least 1 continuous second. For larger banner ads on desktop or mobile, only 30% of the pixels need to be on screen for one continuous second for the ad to be counted as viewed.  For video ads, the viewability standard is different, the ad must have at least had 50% visibility on screen, and must have been viewable for at least 2 seconds.

Viewability as a key performance indicator

Viewability has become an important metric. Digital marketers want to confirm that ads are seen and their campaigns are performing as expected. Viewability is a metric that enables marketers to:

  • Gauge the quality of impressions
  • Validate they’re getting what they paid for
  • Evaluate the quality of publishers’ inventory

The need to be seen

The increasing demand for 100% viewability may mean that much of publishers’ inventory is no longer sellable.
With a drop in the amount of inventory that advertisers are willing to buy, publishers would have to increase the CPMs to make up for the gap in revenue. Delivering 100% viewability isn’t necessarily impossible for publishers; Facebook for example is currently guaranteeing 100% viewability.
However, not all advertisers are demanding 100% viewability; some advertisers report desirable performance results – such as click through rates (CTR) – are coming from inventory with only 60% viewability. In direct response (DR) campaigns, KPIs are independent of viewability, measuring conversions over impressions, using a Cost Per Click (CPC) or  Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) pricing model. But CTR or conversions aren’t useful metrics when the campaign goal is to drive awareness.

How to measure viewability? 

For both mobile and desktop – banners and videos – viewability is measured through various ad verification strategies by different platforms. Verification strategies are based on industry standards and provided by companies that enable third-party measurement and ad verification.

Digilant is integrated with the top tier third-party measurement and ad verification vendors, including DoubleVerify,  Sizmek’s Peer39 and Integral Ad Science, to block programmatic advertising fraud on a pre-bid basis and to filter suspicious traffic.  Sites with content promoting hate speech or illegal activity are excluded from the market and added to a dynamic block list.
Verification helps to ensure viewability and identify ad fraud — such as nonhuman traffic from bots registering clicks — which is never considered viewable. But viewability alone doesn’t guarantee better performance.

What does viewability do for your campaign?

Viewability doesn’t guarantee increased ad performance, but viewability and performance are linked.
For example, studies have shown that how long an ad is continuously visible has a higher impact on performance than the percentage of the ad viewed.

Players in the ad tech industry such as Integral Ad Science, comScore, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau are all working toward understanding viewability, setting standards and guidelines. But discrepancies in counting methodologies still exist — both in the final numbers and in the methods themselves.


It’s helpful to keep some more qualitative factors that improve viewability — and improve performance — in mind. While it’s trickier to define metrics for all aspects of viewability, advertisers should keep certain aspects in mind that might impact their viewability, such as:

  • Viewability is defined as a display ad that is at least 50% above the fold, for 1 second – or 2 seconds for video.
  • Viewability as  KPI helps advertisers gauge the value of inventory.
  • There is an increasing demand for 100% viewability, which could impact pricing from publishers.
  • Both measurable and qualitative factors impact viewability, which impacts ad performance.
  • Buyers need to keep best practices in mind when buying inventory, like keeping logos at the top of ad creative and avoiding ad clutter.


Programmatic Media Buying 101: Combining SEM and SEO Strategies with Programmatic Marketing

Search engines meet an age old need for people who want to seek and find. Rather than look up businesses in a phone directory or go to the library, people use search engines — for research, shopping, and even just for entertainment.

Google alone processes 40,000 searches per second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. With additional search engines and searches that are a part of platforms like Facebook and YouTube, people are seeking and finding information and products more than ever before.

What is SEM and Why is it Beneficial?

Search engine marketing — or SEM —  is a key part of marketing plans, estimated to have made up over 30% of digital marketing budgets in 2016.

Usually when marketers use the term SEM they are referring to Paid Search. Paid Search allows marketers to align brands and their products with relevant keywords through the purchase of impressions served for that keyword search. Typically, advertisers pay either on a CPM — or cost per thousand impressions — or a CPC or PPC — or cost per click or pay per click — model just as they would for a programmatic buy.

Companies looking to increase traffic and purchases on their websites will add SEM campaigns as part of their marketing strategy, so that their ads appear on searches indicating keywords related to their product. Typically, advertisers choose between 5-15 closely related keywords for one campaign or set of ads

While the chosen keywords would also appear on the search results page — or SERP — organically, without a keyword campaign, there is no guarantee that they’d appear on the first SERP or even the second or third.  Which is why most marketers pair their programmatic campaigns with search to get optimal results.

Why do Links Appear in a Certain Order or Rank on SERPs?

Additionally, SEO, or search engine optimization comes into play. SEO is a key marketing strategy on marketing plans, it’s the strategy that is used to increase the likelihood that a website or page link to increase its ranking on SERPs. As of 2016, it comes in at nearly 20% of digital ad spend.

But search engines don’t rank pages solely on keyword use and content analysis alone. Other factors include: user data, links, domain authority or credibility, social media signals, brand signals and associations, freshness, diversity, loading speed, and geography.

Transforming SEM with Programmatic Buying

SEM can be even more effective when paired with the basic types of targeting — geo location, time of day/day of week, device type, and other behavioral targeting. Search Engine Marketing and Programmatic are both effective advertising buying strategies, but they are not the same. Each method reaches the consumer at a different level of purchase intent, and advertisers need to consider both when planning their budgets. It is the combination of both that will provide the full funnel strategy a brand needs to thrive.

Search Remarketing has become a valuable programmatic tactic to increase customer acquisition. Search remarketing allows advertisers to target the competition’s keywords without actually buying those keywords. It’s different from display remarketing, where site visitors see ads for the site they visited when they go elsewhere online – and they may not be looking for anything remotely related to the advertiser.

  • With search remarketing, advertisers can target users who use specific keywords on search engines.
  • The first thing an advertiser does is build a list of keywords as they would for a regular SEM campaign.
  • Segment target audiences by keyword categories, then optimize based on performance.

To compliment SEM and Search Remarketing strategies Digilant has developed Search Engine +, a contextual targeting solution that uses an advertiser’s paid keywords to build a whitelist of URLs composed of Google’s top organic search results.

Benefits Include:

  • The ability to compliment current SEO and SEM initiatives
  • Target pages that users are already engaged with
  • Use strategically valuable search terms to advertise on sites users are likely to visit after searching

Digilant’s Search Engine + enhances the performance of programmatic campaigns by unlocking quality URL’s that rank highest in Google search and uncovering relevant ad placements that competitors are not reaching.


SEM is a highly effective way for advertisers to be found by interested users and is an important part of any marketing or programmatic buying plan.

  • 2016 digital ad spend for SEM and SEO is around 30% and 18%, respectively.
  • Paid Search puts advertisers in front of users at the exact moment they’re looking for them.
  • SEO can boost rankings on SERPs.
  • SEM and Programmatic both have a place on marketing plans and accomplish different objectives.

The 7 Most Common Errors Programmatic Media Buyers Should Avoid

Many brands still don’t take advantage of all the possibilities offered by programmatic advertising, preventing them from increasing the profitability of their media buy and maximizing their ROI.

Instead, if brands leveraged the potential of programmatic advertising they could broaden their audience, reaching twice as many unique users, increasing conversions by more than 36%, and reducing CPA vs. traditional online media buying methods.

Analyzing Campaign Errors

Digilant analyzed nearly 500 programmatic advertising campaigns and identified the seven most common mistakes made by media buyers that hinder performance of their campaigns.

  1. Vague or overambitious campaign goals.

    Although digital marketing has become increasingly precise in its targeting, it’s still very common for advertisers to want to cover too many goals or KPIs at once with their programmatic investment. Advertisers should be clear in setting their KPIs to whether for example they are looking to increase brand awareness in a new market, drive online conversions or in-store traffic, or other goals.  That starting point is imperative, the advertiser’s target must be aligned with the most appropriate programmatic tactics, which will ultimately improve campaign performance and ROI.

  2. Failure to segment audience data using programmatic technology.

When provided with large volumes of user data, the possibilities of different types of audience segmentation are endless. There are about 200 individual data points associated with each online user, and by using dynamic programmatic reporting, marketers can create profiles that allow for real-time segmentation and thus increased performance.  To capitalize on this enhanced campaign performance, the audience must be segmented at several levels. With each layer, the objective is to filter and eliminate users that do not fit the target audience for that brand.

  1. Ranking users without considering their value.

By applying machine learning and using data from advertisers and third party data providers, it’s possible to determine the appropriate user profiles for the advertiser to target in real time that are most likely to convert. Skipping this step puts campaigns at risk for failure. After identifying users’ behaviors, predictive algorithms can be applied to determine the value of each profile and user in real time. Knowing the value of the user will allow the audience to be segmented efficiently and effectively, by focusing the campaign on the right users and increasing the investment on users who will be more prone to make a purchase.

After executing a campaign it’s important to reexamine consumer conversion data to optimize the effectiveness of future media buying actions, as brands can exponentially enhance the returns on their programmatic campaigns by knowing more about their user behaviors and attributes.

  1. Delivering the same creatives to customers and leads.

One of the great strengths of programmatic advertising is its predictive ability. It is possible to apply data science algorithms to find potential “new consumers”, not just recycle the same users gained through retargeting.

But it would not make sense to send the same message to the every user. It is necessary to personalize the messages directed to the different profiles that the campaign wants to impact, using technologies like Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) to optimize the ad investment. This level of customization is not done as often as it could be for programmatic campaigns, which can negatively impact performance.

  1. Low investment in attribution.

Insights gleaned from programmatic KPI metrics allow marketers to understand campaign performance at a level that is unmatched by other traditional channels such as print advertising or television. The added invested in attribution gives media buyers the opportunity to analyze the results beyond last click, which is a one dimensional view of online marketing and doesn’t allow for full funnel analysis.

Attribution allows you to understand how the media really affect results. For example, actions in the media may be linked to loyalty data or to credit card transactions; So by using attribution technology it is possible to measure the impact of a campaign or a channel on the final conversion of a new customer. In addition, advertisers can also analyze the impact of a campaign on the brand and the perception of users.

  1. Campaign reports are not optimized for future strategies.

Programmatic ad buying provides more metrics, information and data than any other advertising medium. Taking advantage of these real-time stats can help brands and agencies discover ideas that are not always intuitive to them and guide the strategy of their next campaign.

For example, a sportswear retailer may be focussed on targeting a totally male audience. However, a programmatic campaign using intelligence gained through data science could reveal that its highest performing audience is actually in the segment of women aged 25-34.

  1. Using the wrong marketing channels.

There are many ways to reach an audience programmatically — desktop, mobile, apps, video, native advertising, audio and traditional television, for example.

Each channel offers potential advantages and drawbacks that marketers need to carefully weigh when deciding where to allocate their ad spend. If the priority is to take a low-cost action with a quick return on advertising investment, it’s best to invest your budget in display. Video and audio justify the highest CPM if you pursue better brand recognition.

It is also important to keep cross-device segmentation in mind, as the average consumer connects to the Internet through five or more devices daily.

Programmatic ad buying relies on advanced data science solutions to provide marketers with a comprehensive understanding of their respective marketplace and at the same time gives them the tools they need to set out more precise guidelines for optimize advertising campaigns and increasing their ROI. However, many companies still treat their target audience as one large segment, often employing obsolete tactics without analyzing the consumer’s behaviors, interests and attitudes, to find the right segments within that large audience to target.

Advanced segmentation, especially adaptive segmentation allows you to identify the most essential existing audiences for a brand and uncover new key segments. It is as important to spend time with your media buyer to find the right tactics and channels for a programmatic campaign, as it is to learn from the results. The flexibility provided by programmatic advertising allows a continuous optimization during and after a campaign. The analysis and strategy prior, during and after the campaign will ensure that future media buys will have better results for the investment made


  • Too many campaigns are executed without having properly analyzed the value of each user, which is essential to effectively segment the audience, thus improving performance: investment should be increased in clients more prone to conversion.
  • The second most costly error: do not apply algorithms or look alike models to find potential “new consumers” by recycling users gained through retargeting. The messages are not targeted to the different profiles that the campaign wants to impact, and the investment is therefore not optimized.
  • Unclear objectives, mistaken marketing channels, inability to identify adequate data layers, poor measurement of objectives and not optimizing the information obtained are other frequent mistakes.
  • Properly using the potential of programmatic advertising allows advertisers to broaden their audience, reaching twice as many unique users, increasing conversions by more than 36%, and reducing CPA versus traditional online methods.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: YouTube Advertising Best Practices

Video has a lot to offer digital marketers and consumers. In 2017, video will account for almost 70% of all internet traffic. With additional advances in connectivity and mobile technology, streaming big video files is no longer prohibitive, enabling users to share a wide array of content.

Buying YouTube Advertising

As a medium for marketing, video requires more time and effort to produce than a Instagram Post, Tweet or Facebook Status Update, but the overall payoff can match or go much beyond the investment. Once efforts to produce content are made, marketers attempt to gain the most from their creative content by leveraging social media to make sure it gains visibility and recognition so they can earn return on their investment (ROI).

Of the top seven social media platforms, YouTube ranks as the 4th highest in usage by consumers, and of those seven, it’s the only platform specializing in video.

Topping the list of online video platforms, YouTube has made it easier for marketers in many ways by offering:

  • An easy to use format for posting and sharing videos on any social media channel
  • A wide reach and plenty of traffic: 1 billion users, who spend millions of hours watching videos daily
  • Global reach in over 70 countries and 76 languages
  • The ability to go anywhere the user goes – over 50% of video play comes from mobile audiences
  • A truly social video channel with options to share, like, comment and subscribe which helps to drive interest-based traffic
  • Search features makes videos the answers to consumers’ questions

And that’s all just a part of setting up a YouTube channel.

Brand Advertising Campaigns

When it comes to using the YouTube platform as a mechanism for brand promotion advertising campaigns, there are two ways to go about paid advertising:

  1. In-display ads: appear in YouTube search results, as related videos, or on websites that belong to the Google Display Network.
    • These display as the results of a search or appear on the right hand side of a video being viewed as related content.
  2. In-stream ads: appear as pre-roll before a video plays.
    • Pre-roll ads may have a “skip ad” or a “Your video will play in 10 seconds” notification to let viewers know the ad’s duration.

Advertising Targeting on YouTube

To target audiences for these ads, advertisers use a variety of targeting options that are also found within programmatic campaigns such as keywords, location, time of day, network, language and device type. While video offers marketers the opportunity to engage and provide value through things like demos, testimonials, and “how to” content – it’s not as easy to produce as a tweet, blog or white paper.
When setting up these campaigns in a programmatic self-service platform, advertisers set their maximum bid price even with no guarantee that the video will be viewed in its entirety.

Best Practices for Video Advertising 

Marketers need to keep in mind that with video, quality matters. Not only do the audio and visual components need to be high quality, but the content should follow as well. If these factors fall short, and your video isn’t useful or engaging, it’s not valuable.

For both advertising and brand channel pages, YouTube provides reporting analytics that help to quickly assess and optimize the posted video and it’s targeting on your programmatic platform. These video metrics give marketers a lot of insight into how much of the video is being viewed or engaged with. This information can be used as a way of gauging intent signals, for example, a video that’s been completed can indicate a qualified marketing lead and is also a re-marketing opportunity.

Best Practices Summary

  • Video is on the rise, and YouTube tops the list of online video platforms.
  • YouTube also ranks among top social platforms and provides real social features such as share, like, comment and subscribe.
  • Marketers can get a big return on investment by creating quality video that engages and provides value for users.
  • Video gives marketers insight into intent signals and the opportunity to drive qualified traffic from YouTube to sign up or purchase pages.

5 Great Internet Advertising Ideas for Media Buyers

Have you thought about how to bring a new twist to your marketing strategies? We are in the middle of 2017 and everything has evolved, from buying ads on the internet to the media platforms on which they are displayed.

Think about social networks like Facebook or Twitter, do you think that you can comfortably master all the new features that have been introduced in the last few months?

You need to take a step back, take a look at your campaigns from last year and put several ideas on the table. Especially those that show your success stories and your failures. In doing so, you will be able to determine more easily what to replicate and what to change, and most importantly to focus on this second part.
2016 was a year full of advances, updates, new trends and new formats. It began with Snapchat and concluded with Instagram as one of the most powerful channels to purchase digital ads, also important were live videos and the power of content marketing.

All this means one thing: You have twice as many sources of inspiration for marketing strategies from now on, without losing your creative and personal touch.

There are different ways to define your ideal audience, new ways of buying ads on the Internet to reach your target, as well as many alternatives to understand each customer

Trends In Advertising And Digital Media Buying

Do you know how to shape your ideas so that they become more innovative?

1. The power of landing pages

There is no doubt that landing pages have become one of the most popular marketing lead generation tools in recent years, in fact  Search Engine Journal data reinforces this idea.

According to their report on ‘the state of digital marketing,’ the content advertisers see as most successful are ebooks and whitepapers. And perhaps your media buying strategy should also include these kinds of tactics.
If you ask yourself what is the relationship between landing pages and digital advertising, you must first understand that the landing pages are the key to accessing any content. And, in fact, it is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to capturing leads.

Landing pages use highly persuasive elements, amongst them social influencers, customer testimonials, and copy oriented towards conversion. And, therefore, even with time, landing pages tend not to go out of fashion nor lose effectiveness in any of the stages of the conversion funnel.

2. Outstream video

 Not all marketers or advertisers knew or used this advertising format a year ago. However, today, 77% of organizations say that buying outstream videos ads will be crucial to media buying strategies.
Its rapid rise to popularity has a lot to do with annoyed Internet users, competitive advertisers, and publishers looking to generate revenue. But, what exactly does this advertising format refer to?
Outstream video is an advertising format that allows publishers to display video ads outside of real video players. For example, in text line breaks or in the corners of a web page.  Videos are either shown before the actual video content started or during the video content transmission, inside a player.
Issues resolved by outstream ads
Outsourcing ads are here to stay, basically because they solve problems like the following:

  • Allowing publishers to monetize their ads.
  • Reach increase. Brands can now reach audiences on websites beyond YouTube. They can also ensure that your videos are actually viewed, since outstream ads only play when they are in sight of the Internet user.
  • They are not annoying since the user can ignore them. While these videos are intrusive in the sense that they can disrupt your reading experience, the user also has the ability to ignore them.

That is why the purchase of ads on the Internet using this format is booming.

3. Using Snapchat Advertising

Snapchat launched two major advertising innovations in 2016. Therefore, it is worth trying to buy Snapchat ads, to increase your visibility.
That said, Snapchat is not a suitable platform for all brands. But you probably already know that. It is geared more towards a younger target and towards more informal content. However, there are many opportunities to buy ads online for any brand that wants to gain ground here as well.
In fact, while 85% of Facebook videos are consumed without sound, 60% of video ads in Snapchat are viewed with audio enabled. And this is more of an advantage for your business:

  1. In Snapchat your ads will not have as much competition

Currently, most brands are buying ads on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Keep in mind that the more advertisers that focus there, the more inventory they leave for others on the other platforms.
You need to get the attention of your target audience and probably Snapchat is one of the best choices for a younger user. Therefore, advertising on Snapchat will probably double your likelihood of conversion.

2. You will gain visibility into new audiences

Millennials move through all networks, and although this may be advantageous in several cases, buying ads to reach them can sometimes be complicated.
However, advertising with Snapchat is a good choice for those who want to catch their attention, because they are one of the main targets of this social network.

3. Snapchat is not like other social networks

It is not just a chat, but it is also not just a visual platform either. Snapchat is the pioneer in introducing content that disappears which has become a growing trend. And even though Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp have also incorporated stories, the way users connect through Snapchat is still different.
In fact, it can be said that it is more authentic, or so many of its users perceive it. And, even though Instagram has also included filters, Snapchat still has an advantage with its more varied and well-known ones.

4. Live broadcasts

One of the hits of 2016 has been live videos. Youtube was the real sensation in the video world since its inception. However, over time, some competitors have been gaining market share.
Why? Video streaming platforms have emerged in real time such as Periscope, Facebook Live and now Instagram – the new kryptonite for millennials. 
In addition, Twitter has also invested in streaming and the advertisers have already tried it. Or have not you noticed how brands also broadcast events, meetings or live moments? The purchase of live ads on social networks has taken a turn in this trend.
In fact, as soon as some aspects like the quality and speed of videos are improved, people more people will connect. And it’s the users who claim they prefer live videos. They generate much more confidence and make everything more human. In a live broadcast there is no possibility of error: what you see is what you get, therefore it increases credibility.

Suitable content for live videos:
If you have just started with live broadcasts, you will first need to brainstorm what content to generate. Which are more related to your brand. These could include:

  1. How-to: Why not use this format for users to learn about certain products or services? Bare in mind that there is no better publicity than the one that is made live, where there is no room for error.
  2. Questions and answers. If you want to reinforce, even more, the engagement with your users, you can try interviews with experts or professionals from certain sectors.
  3. Events. Use this format to show events you have organized.
  4. Behind the scenes. It is one of the users’ preferred type of content.

The most important thing is that you do not forget to announce your live broadcast before launching it. If you want to make sure that users do not miss it, you have to announce it buying ads to promote your event, this way you will maximize your potential audience, and it will also be the perfect opportunity to make a first impression.

5. Retargeting

You hear a lot that nobody likes retargeting ads, they say it is annoying and ineffective. Well, it is not true. In fact, data from the Search Engine Journal study ensures us that 91% of experts use retargeting because of their high effectiveness rate. 

With retargeting, you can target the purchase of your ads online depending on your audience tastes,  since you will be tracking their online behaviors and preferences, the user will be shown 100% custom ads.
Digilant is part of ispDigital, a group of technology companies that offer marketing services and innovative solutions to help brands reach their marketing objectives. Digilant is a programmatic buying and services company that helps advertisers gain visibility and maximize results.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: How Marketers are using Snapchat Advertising?

Snapchat is a mobile-only image — and video —  sharing platform that might be less familiar to most marketers — and users — than Facebook or Twitter. But it would be a mistake to overlook it as a programmatic media buying platform and miss out on the opportunity of a quickly growing user base.
snapchat filters

Snapchat has reported to have 200 million active users worldwide. Users are spending an average of 30 minutes a day on snapchat. Snapchat started as a way to privately message “snaps” that disappeared after a user-specified period of time. With users sharing an average of 9,000 snaps per second and viewing an average of 10 billion videos per day, rivaling the video viewing numbers of Facebook, Snapchat has become a very interesting inventory source for programmatic media buyers.

Not only is Snapchat growing, but it also boasts an audience that’s almost 50% receptive — or at least neutral — to ads. And Snapchat is expected to continue to grow a larger user base in the U.S. than either Twitter or Pinterest.

Ad Inventory Source for Teen Demographic

Snapchat is giving marketers access to a young audience – 60% of its users are under the age of 25. Snapchat is the most popular social media site focused on teens and young adults in the US. And with only about 2% of its users falling into the baby boomer category, Snapchat has a very clear cut age demographic for media buyers and marketers.
snapchat screensWhile marketers may see Snapchat as a direct line into teens, they’ll need to keep an eye on the potentially quick shift in demographics for longer term planning. Teens express that they use Snapchat precisely because their parents do not – once parents become Snapchatters, teen usage could drop.

When it comes to gender demographics, Snapchat holds its cards close to it’s chest. However, several studies confirm the assumption that nearly three quarters of users are likely female.

In terms of location, usage for Snapchat varies, but surprisingly Ireland currently has the highest usage rate, followed by Saudi Arabia and Sweden, with India, the US, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Belgium, the UK and France completing the top ten.

How Brands are using Snapchat?

Brands are having a lot of success engaging a youthful audience with Snapchat’s filters that can playfully place objects, text and animation. Like most social media platforms, Brands can win over followers and friends to broadcast promotions, stories, imagesSnapchat Programmatic Adsand videos. But Snapchat offers a uniquely creative way to engage users in what a lot of brand marketers are saying is the social media platform they have the most fun with.

For example, if Devon’s Digital wanted to promote a new line of earphones, they could create a filter with which Snapchat users could add headphones and a mic to an image – or better yet a video. They can then share themselves geared up in the latest headphones, lip syncing like a rock star.

Snapchat Sponsored Filters

Retail Marketers SnapchatUsers are keen to “try on” products – a marketers dream. Just imagine the possibilities for brands in the fashion, cosmetics or food and beverage industries. Advertisers can reach out to friends or those following their brand. It’s a big marketing opportunity if a brand can create a filter enticing enough to win over friends of followers using it, and so on.

Retail businesses can also take advantage of Geofilters. When a Snapchatter takes a Snap in a set location, they’re able to use the sponsored Geofilter to explain where, when, and why they took the Snap.

For example, if a fictional restaurant called Penny’s Pizza had a grand opening party, they could use a filter to promote the event when Snapchatter’s Snapped themselves eating delicious pizza at the event. Even without rolling out clever or creative filters, brands can buy ads that appear in between Snapchatters’ stories. The ads are skippable, but they’re also now measurable via third party ad serving.


  • Snapchat’s youthful user base is quickly growing, and is expected to shift toward a higher age demographic in the future.
  • Marketers like Snapchat’s global reach and the creative and fun way it engages its audience.
  • More metrics are now offered for ads that appear between Snapchatters’ Snaps.
  • Geofilters give brands a chance to connect with users in a functional and fun way where they can share the where, when and why about their Snaps.

10 Tips For Digital Advertising Best Practices

Keeping up-to-date on digital ad buying best practices is essential for any marketer to successfully navigate today’s digital ecosystem. Given the sustained high-level growth of programmatic media buying in recent years, the way in which we leverage new technologies to bring together the main players of digital ad buying and selling is constantly evolving.
buenas prácticas para la compra digital de publicidad
To understand this evolution, you have to familiarize yourself with the foundations of programmatic buying, an impressions-based buying system that relies on algorithms generated from DSPs (Demand Side Platforms).

What for? It’s simple. DSPs need to access global ad inventory with millions of advertising impressions  in real time, with the ability to adjust to what every advertiser wants or needs.

The main draw of programmatic buying lies in its ability to automate the ad buying process in Ad Exchanges and on websites from a unified dashboard.

Differentiating between Programmatic and Direct Ad Buying

 Before reviewing best practices for digital ad buying, it’s important to understand the difference between programmatic and direct ad buying.

  • Direct buying occurs when a marketer buys impressions in bulk, normally in a specific context on specified sites and from a specific publisher. This involves hours of researching which publishers’ impressions will be best to optimize campaign performance and then negotiating the purchase before launching the impressions.
  • Programmatic buying occurs when a DSP automatically and instantaneously places ads on publishers’ sites after evaluating the quality of individual impressions from the best bidder.

Both buying methods have pros and cons and undergo different processes with online publishers. For example, though real-time buying allows an advertiser to reach wider audiences, it doesn’t offer a guarantee on return.

Best Practices for Digital Ad Buying

Real Time Bidding (RTB) marketing alludes to a type of digital advertising in which a variety of ad spaces are auctioned off in real time. The system identifies the visitor’s user information and then each is shown ads that correlate to their tastes and interests determined by data tracked from their online behaviors.
For this process to work correctly, it’s vital to make use of technology and big data. RTB wouldn’t be possible without generating and evaluating millions of data points. This data contributes intelligence to the entire programmatic buying process.

Additionally, advertisers can attract users more effectively thanks to being able to use data for the personalization of ad delivery. This is very evident if one’s to compare the effectiveness of traditional display campaigns.

Today, the majority of marketing departments are employing real-time programmatic buying for retargeting purposes, for example. However, programmatic ad buying allows marketers to also fulfill many other different strategies, analyze the relationships between all media channels, both online and offline, and consider segmentation possibilities.

10 Digital Ad Buying Tips

1.) Start with a general focus

Programmatic technology uses audience data to target specific consumers across vast amounts of ad inventory by using audience data to target individuals dynamically, on a one-on-one basis — in real-time. It’s particularly useful for advertisers who are seeking the reach of a large bulk buy without sacrificing the accuracy of targeting users.

Rather than pay for large inventory, advertisers hoping to reach consumers’ interest can bid for the right audience and the right time. Programmatic not only makes ads more relevant to consumers it also helps publishers to sell inventory in a more valuable way for advertisers.

Additionally, Demand Side Platforms, or DSPs are able to buy ad inventory across all sources with the use of computer programs called algorithms. An algorithm is a computer application that performs sophisticated calculations based on specific rules. For DSPs, these algorithms determine which impressions a specific customer should buy.

2.) Identify your target

As with any advertising strategy, digital or otherwise, marketers need to establish clear objectives and a well-defined target audience.

If you have a specific product or service to promote, or if you’re simply trying to amplify brand awareness on social media, you need to make sure that you’re reaching the audiences that are most apt to listen to your message. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

Start by determining demographic data, such as the gender, age, and location of your audience. After gathering that information, you can begin planning how and where to allocate your ad spend.

3.) Prioritize transparency

 According to Smart AdServer, a third of digital media buyers don’t bid on blind inventories. For that reason, it’s important to segment your audience and provide buyers with as much data as possible.

4.) Think Mobile

 The behavioral capabilities of programmatic buying technologies are strongly linked to cookies. Which is a problem when it comes to mobile, since there are no cookies on mobile devices.

In the past, mobile marketing was used to view products before completing a purchase in a physical store or from your desktop. However, according to eMarketer, 75.7% of U.S. buyers are willing to make purchases directly from their phones and over the coming years that figure is expected to grow significantly.

Additionally, 9 out of 10 smartphone users have used their phone at some point in the buying process, according to the IAB. This is why it’s important to adapt all creatives to mobile devices before starting your next digital ad campaign.

5.) Monitor minimum bids and block lists

Another digital media buying best practice  is the consistent monitoring of your minimum bids. If you’re aware of where your ads will get the most value for their traffic and track minimum bids once or twice a week, you can multiply your return in the short term.

6.) Identify what ad formats are growing

Consider the following data from ComScore: After viewing an online video ad, 64% of users are more predisposed to the purchasing a product online. According to Unruly, online video ads increase purchase intent by 97% and brand recognition by 139%. Still wondering what format to use?

Video generates double the engagement that traditional banner ads generate. Even interstitial ads (advertisements that temporarily take up an entire device’s screen) have average bidding prices that are 60% higher than those of banner ads.

In addition to their creative capabilities, new and more captivating ad formats like dynamic creatives, can be programmatically delivered to the user in real time.

7.) Find Similar Users – Lookalike Modeling

Leveraging the data collected from your cookies, DSPs can find new and undiscovered users that look like your customers to whom you can target your ads and optimize conversion rates as your campaigns progress. Lookalike modeling involves defining the attributes and behaviors of your most valuable customers and then using these profiles to target matching prospects. Since these new audience segments are similar to your current customers, you’ll enjoy a higher likelihood of conversions.

8.) Implement Dynamic Creative Optimization

If you combine the power of a DSP with the audience management from a Data Management Platform (DMP), your campaign’s performance will improve significantly.

This lift is attributed to the sorting and classifying of customers based on diverse criteria makes it easier to deliver more personalized ads in which creatives are launched based on where in the sales funnel a user is located.

9.) Brands go for in-house management 

With the emergence of new programmatic software platforms, companies are increasingly willing to control the advertising spend by keeping programmatic buying internal, facilitated by brand marketers. This is the area of programmatic spending that has grown most in recent years.

CMOs that directly manage their digital ad buying build internal competencies in the execution, measurement and optimization of programmatic campaigns.

10.) Use attribution models to properly measure campaign performance

The efficiency of programmatic campaigns is calculated by tracking post view and post click conversions. Therefore, client acquisition strategies should be data oriented, steadily measuring and predicting the media channels that willyield optimal results based on the brand’s campaign goals.

Finally, the ultimate best practice for programmatic ad buying is to constantly improve upon the above practices and strategies. At Digilant, we don’t simply follow best practices for programmatic ad buying, we create them as the needs of our buyers and the technology to serve them evolve. Programmatic ad buying doesn’t just help reach new clients; it uncovers new and more valuable audiences.

Interested in unlocking data and uncovering your brand’s full potential? Learn more about Digilant’s solutions here.

Programmatic Media Buying 101: Advertising Data & Privacy Best Practices

Since the mid-1990s, digital advertising technology has been accessing user data to make ads more relevant and effective. This collection of user data has continuously raised concerns about privacy for consumers. Cookies were one of the first technologies used by digital advertisers to store a small amount of data on the user’s computers. This method is still used by programmatic buyers for frequency capping, creative rotation, as well as targeting against a small amount of user behaviors.

advertising cookie tracking


A long-time standard, location targeting was initially done using IP addresses. Geo-location data collection has evolved to more accurately identify where users are. Geo-location data is now collected via mobile device GPS technology, wireless routers, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and more.


As programmatic targeting tactics became standard for marketers, so did the need for maintaining consumer trust through privacy regulations.

In 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau was founded to support this need through advisory boards, research, standards, legal support, and also education — for both the industry and its audiences.

In many countries, the government is also involved in ensuring that consumers are aware of their privacy rights and choices. In 2009, the United States’ Federal Trade Commission began investigating advertising technology platforms that collect consumer data for advertising purposes. While recognizing the need for stricter regulations and privacy protection, they tasked industry leaders to develop a self-regulatory program. Multiple organizations across the advertising industry came together to set up self-regulations guidelines and resources forming the Digital Advertising Alliance.

AdChoices Opt-out Program

Most notable from these efforts is the AdChoices program.  AdChoices encourages advertising platforms to include the option icon on ads or webpages where data is collected and used for behavioral advertising.
adchoices advertising opt-out programThe AdChoices icon serves to inform consumers and give them the ability to opt-out of behavioral or interest-based ads. The user has to click on the icon to trigger the pop-up message, which varies depending on the environment in which it is served.
Fortunately for advertisers the icon is small, unobtrusive and most consumers don’t notice it. Viewers have to roll over the icon to see the word “AdChoices” and click on it to view the pop-up in which enables them to opt-out.

Consumers have become more knowledgeable about privacy and data. In 2016, about 20% of iOS device users in the United States were limiting ad tracking through the settings on their device, and in South America less than 10% of iOS devices have the “limit ad tracking” feature turned on.

Most consumers appear to be comfortable or at least accustomed to certain types of targeting.

Users who’ve abandoned items in their shopping carts have come to expect or sometimes even appreciate being retargeted. In 2016, 1 in 5 shoppers completed a purchase after a retargeting reminder.

Cookies and geolocation are still important data points, but a lot has changed since the 1990’s. With the rise of mobile and the growth in programmatic, targeting technology has shifted to include behavioral data — forcing a shift in how privacy is treated across the industry.

The best thing that marketers can do is stay informed about privacy regulations. Although that can be daunting for global brands, marketers need to earn the trust of their consumers — and respecting their privacy remains critical to supporting effective advertising as an industry.


  • The use of cookies and geographic data has been causing privacy concerns for consumers for several decades.
  • In a 2009 decision, the FTC placed self-regulatory responsibilities around privacy in the hands of the advertising industry.
  • AdChoices was developed to give consumers a choice that remains unobtrusive to advertisers.
  • Consumers are becoming more “data-savvy” which will require marketers to stay on top of regulations if they want to continue to build critical trust with their audiences.

Part 4 of 4: Back To School (BTS) Data & Strategies For Smart Programmatic Buying

The two target audiences that marketers need to focus for the Back to School (BTS) season are parents and college students. 90% of parents participate in back-to-school shopping, as the primary shopper for younger children and 89% of college students are shopping for back-to-school items. College students spending is significantly higher due to the fact that they are not just shopping for books and basic supplies, but also dorm room or apartment furniture and furnishings.

Five key product areas that get serious business during the Back to School (BTS) season, according to are:

  1. Apparel and accessories
  2. Books, music and video
  3. Computers and consumer electronics
  4. Office equipment and supplies
  5. Toys and hobbies, including sporting goods

College students start doing BTS searches while they are still enjoying their summer vacations. Since college students spend is a large portion of the anticipated July and August U.S. retail sales of $857.18 billion, it’s important for marketers to dig into consumer insight data to know where to focus their programmatic media buying dollars.

Download the full Back to School Infographic Here! Don’t forget to share #DigilantData.Digilant discovered the following consumer insights about BTS shoppers:

  • 77% of shoppers use Walmart and 58% use Target
  • Low income moms do less comparison shopping because of less access to transportation
  • Upper income moms are better equipped for comparison shopping
  • Consumer Electronics spikes first in the season as a category, then office supplies and third is clothing and apparel
  • Kids are much more involved in the shopping process today with access to information though their parents still have the buying power


Download the full Back to School Infographic Here! Don’t forget to share #DigilantData.

Optimize Your Back to School (BTS) Programmatic Media Buying with A+ Shopping Data from Digilant

Changes in the BTS media consumption market demands a more strategic approach to buying advertising using data

  • Digilant has analyzed the behavior of Back to School (BTS) consumers: when, where and how they shop?
  • 40% of parents start shopping in July, while 60% wait until August. 23% of BTS shoppers wait until later in the shopping season to get better deals.
  • BTS purchasing has more room to digitize, with the majority of parents still shopping for at least some products in stores, while 46% of consumers shop exclusively online.
  • Computers and handheld electronic devices are more often bought in advance, while clothing is more likely to be left for a last minute shopping trip or after class is already in session.

Boston – August 3rd, 2017. Today, Digilant is releasing the first in a series of Data Research infographics that Unlocks shopping behavior Data for Back to School (BTS) consumers.  For many companies and brands that make or sell products for students (publishing houses, school supply businesses, clothing brands, computer software companies, etc.), the Back to School (BTS) season is one of the most important retail periods of the year. It’s estimated that the aggregate U.S. sales of all BTS-related verticals throughout the 2017 season will reach $83 billion dollars. This figure accounts for students entering Kindergarten through high school, as well as the more than 20 million students enrolled in college for the upcoming semester.

Digilant, a global provider of programmatic ad buying solutions and services, has pulled together relevant data for advertisers and media buyers about BTS shoppers’ consumer behavior. “We’ve analyzed the behavior of Back to School consumers and are leveraging the data insights to help brands effectively market to these audiences,” explains Adam Cahill, President, Digilant US. “We’re talking about an increasingly competitive marketplace with scarce margins. By giving our clients access to information to understand and define customer behavior they can improve campaign performance and maximize ROI.”

When Do They Buy?

In 2016 alone, Back to School Shoppers spent $75.8 billion dollars, an 11% increase from 2015. If retailers continue to perform at a similar rate this year, buying will surpass $83 billion dollars.

40% of parents start buying in July, while 60% wait until August. Of those August buyers, 20% wait right up until classes start to take advantage of greater discounts. In fact, 23% of Back to School consumers believe that they’ll find better deals by waiting until later into the shopping season.
Analyzing a number of different buying windows, Digilant found that 50.9% of shoppers do their buying three weeks before the first day of school; 22.2% shop two months in advance, 22.1% shop between three weeks to a month after classes have begun; and only 2.1% shop during the first week of classes.
Compared to more frugal parents and students, consumers that start shopping earlier end up spending more on BTS-related products.
These savings are also dependent on the type of product being purchased, given that computers and handheld electronic devices are bought ahead, while clothing is more likely to be left for a last minute shopping trip or after class is already in session. See the infographic here.

Where Do They Buy?

Despite the growth of eCommerce in recent years, there is still  room for marketers’ BTS digital audiences to continue growing. 42% of BTS consumers feel that they need several days to gather everything on their lists, because they’re visiting a number of different stores in order to fill their “shopping cart.” Most parents continue to go to physical stores, while 46% shop online.
Based on survey data from 2016’s BTS retail season, consumers shopped at:

  • Discount Stores (60.5%)
  • Department Stores (59.6%)
  • Clothing Stores (51%)
  • Online Stores (46%)
  • Office Supply Stores (38.5%)
  • Electronics Stores (38.5%)
  • Drug Stores (16.6%)
  • Local/Small Businesses (16.5%)
  • Thrift/Resale Shops (11.7%)
  • Catalogs (6.2%)

These trends are expected to be very similar in 2017, with savvier consumers more inclined to shop with brands that have effective and personalized online buying experiences. Also an opportunity for digital marketers, luring in shoppers with creative advertising campaigns over their preferred media consumption channels. See the infographic here.

How Do They Consume Media?

Although many purchases are not made in July, consumers do begin to prepare in advance: 30% of the Internet searches for “Back to School” are concentrated in the month of July.
60% of the searches related to “Back to School” were made from mobile devices in 2016, 30% more than the previous year. Eight out of ten moms used their smartphones:

  • 25% Used social media to inform purchase decisions
  • 74% Looked for online promotions
  • 61% Researched online before buying in-store

81% of students ages 5 to 22 used their smartphone to compare prices in the lead-up to classes, with significant variance based on age within this demographic.

The more specific segment of millennial moms (approximately 21 to 35 years of age) are particularly inclined to showrooming, with 75.2% using their phones while shopping, to look for better prices in other stores or online.

Where Are They Best Reached?

The four most effective forms of digital advertising for brands that want to reach the BTS consumer are social media promotions, online ads, TV ads, and YouTube ads, in this order.

When it comes to the students themselves, many heavily rely on these ads, especially fashion-forward teens who rely on social influencers on YouTube and other platforms to pick up on fashion trends.

In 2016, about 75% of parents with school-aged children made purchases based on offers and that they received in their mailboxes, or were given to them on the street, etc. 43% bought their products based on television ads. 39% were seduced by advertising on retail websites; 33% were sold on offers they received via email and only 8% received promotions through their mobile phones.

88% of parents who have school-aged children use coupons to cut BTS costs, which 67% of consumers find on desktop computers and 42% on smartphones.

The audience that brands should give most focus to remains the students’ parents, given that they’re making the final purchase decision 76% of the time. However, a student’s participation during the discovery and evaluation phases play a much larger factor in swaying these decisions than in years past. For college students it depends on the age of the students but they are the ones who make the buying decisions in 88% of the cases.
Changes in the BTS media consumption market demand a new approach to buying advertising.  Digilant is here to help by unlocking data for more effective media buying and uncover new customers. Download the full Back to School infographic on Digilant’s website here.

Digilant collected the data for this infographic through the analysis of both its own first party data as well as reports and studies from: Advertising Age, BazaarVoice, Deloitte, Digilant, eMarketer, Mintel and the NRF.

About Digilant
Digilant offers programmatic buying solutions and services designed for independent agencies and brands that are increasing their programmatic spending. Using data science to unlock ‘new’ automated buying strategies, Digilant enables brands to uncover proprietary and complex audience data that gives them the actionable intelligence they need to compete across every important media channel.
Headquartered in Boston, Digilant has offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, and across the globe in Barcelona, Bogota, Lima, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Santiago. For more information please visit or follow us on Twitter @Digilant_US.  Digilant is an ispDigital Group Company (

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