If you’re reading this, it means you are already buying or willing to buy an ad inventory in the most efficient manner – by using the Voluum DSP platform. Digging into a completely new platform might seem time-consuming at first, but it’s actually really simple! Thanks to the tips I’ve prepared for you, you’ll be ready to start in the blink of an eye!
In this article I will explain to you:
- What is a DSP?
- How can you benefit from buying media inventory in Voluum DSP?
- What steps should you take to kick off?
Just to make it clear… what is a DSP?
A DSP (a Demand-Side Platform) is a type of software that enables you to manage, purchase, and optimize digital advertising inventory from multiple Ad Exchanges and SSPs (Supply Side Platforms) through a single interface. What it means is that with a DSP you can buy a diversified ad inventory, across a range of publishers, through a single platform.
Demand-side platforms use data from a variety of sources to make media buying more efficient and match ads to audiences in real-time. On the platform, you can see the market rate for every impression, control which Ad Exchanges you want to buy from, and how much you want to bid. All that lets you optimize your campaigns more easily.
So, how does a DSP work? It ‘plugs into’ the Ad Exchanges, where publishers make their inventory available. A DSP then analyzes it and bids on the ad space on behalf of the advertisers in real time (learn more about Real-Time Bidding). The ad of the highest bidder is loaded almost instantly onto a user’s device. DSPs are first and foremost used by advertisers and agencies.
When you feel ready to start buying ad inventory, go to voluumdsp.com and register. Once you create a DSP account and top up, focus on our tip no. 1.
Do your research before you choose a vertical & an offer
- If you come across an interesting offer, make sure it will be available on multiple affiliate networks (Don’t forget that the offers’ performance may vary among different networks).
- As your offer must be suited for the specific Ad Exchanges, take a good look at their guidelines. What are the requirements? What can you advertise? When and how?
- Verticals’ performance differ from one to another. Consider choosing one of our top categories:
Once you’ve chosen the right offer, you can go to the next stage.
Plan your campaign with Voluum DSP Planning Tool
Planning is a very important part of the campaign creation process. Go to Voluum panel and click on the DSP tab to find out the following:
- How much traffic is available for specific targeting criteria?
- What is the bid floor for certain Ad Exchanges (to identify the minimum bid you need to set to take part in the auction)?
- What is the average win price, based on the calculations from the last 30 days (to get to know the prices that are more likely to win the auctions)?
- How many impressions could you get in the last 24h? The more specific target audience you choose for your campaign, the less traffic will meet your criteria.
You can set filters to see specific data, for example only mobile traffic from the United States.
The above information will help you plan your campaign effectively and as a result – avoid wasting time and money on the countless tests. You can also use the Planning tool to create the lists of placements, which later will be included or excluded from the campaign targeting (more about whitelists and blacklists).
Be wise when setting up your budget and spending strategy
When creating your campaign:
- Use at least $1000 to test a new campaign. That’s how much you need to get sufficient data, understand what works, and start running tests later.
- Don’t be afraid to bid high – Voluum DSP operates in a second price auction environment, which means that the highest bid wins the auction, but pays the price set on the second-highest bid plus 1 cent.
- Choose a smooth spending strategy if you want your daily budget to be distributed evenly throughout the day. That way, you will be able to find volume patterns in a day and avoid bursting your daily budget in a short period of time.
- However, if you decide to set ASAP as your spending strategy (so your budget will be spent in the quickest time when all bid-winning conditions are met), consider setting the frequency capping to 1 or 2. This way, your creative will be displayed only once or twice per day to a unique device or a user.
When it comes to targeting, we recommend you:
- Use one Ad Exchange per campaign. If you decide you want to buy traffic from more than one, consider increasing your budget (so you get enough data for each Ad Exchange). If you increase the budget, set its limits and bids accordingly to our Planning Tool.
- Split your campaign per device type – mobile, desktop or tablet. As these devices behave differently, your campaign performance may vary for each of them.
- Target broadly, especially in the learning phase. Choose all source types (an app or a website) and all connection types (WiFi and Mobile) before moving to optimization.
Play with your creatives
A native campaign in Voluum requires creatives and the copy (headlines, images, and descriptions), are created accordingly to the Ad Exchange requirements. Besides that:
- It’s always recommended to create your own custom banners and test them along with those prepared by the affiliate network or the advertiser.
- Use a maximum of five creatives, as you need valid data for each of them to run optimization.
- As image sizes vary on each Ad Exchange, make sure you choose the right one (more about the requirements for different Ad Exchanges). However, if a creative has a headline with a maximum of 25 characters, the main image has 1200x627px and the icon image 100x100px, it should be suitable for 80% of the Ad Exchanges.
Optimize, optimize, optimize…
Optimizing means cutting off any elements that are not working well for you, but at the same time – keeping in mind that you aim to scale and get the highest gains possible in the long run. Effective optimization is a hard and time-consuming job, however, if well applied, it can determine the success of the campaign. I will not cover it in this post, but I’ve already started working on the optimization guide – you can expect it to land on Voluum Blog soon! To stay up to date with the blog content, subscribe to our newsletter.
Before you dig into optimizing, check your win rate. How much traffic do you have? The regular, healthy ratio stands between 40% – 90%, depending on your daily and total budget. If you want to get a higher win rate, increase the default bid. If you want to increase the number of internal bids, experiment with targeting options, creative sizes and spend strategy. You can also consider increasing your daily budget too.
I hope my tips will help you with your first DSP campaign. It’s actually not that hard to start when you know what to do. If you still haven’t registered, go to voluumdsp.com and set up your account. Remember that DSP is integrated with Voluum, so you don’t need any external tracking solution and you can track your DSP campaigns for free.
If you have any questions – don’t hesitate to ask! I’ll be happy to help.
- Take time to get to know Ad Exchange policies.
- Use DSP Planning Tool to know how much traffic is available for specific targeting criteria and what is the bid floor and the average win price.
- Invest at the beginning to get the necessary data.
- Target wisely and use micro-bidding to learn how a small change can affect the performance of your campaign.
- Play with the creatives and the copy, trying different angles to discover what works.