The plain English no-nonsense guide to demand-side platforms (DSP)
When paying for online advertising space, your business probably dips into a wide array of digital ad platforms – think the likes of Google Ads, Facebook Ads and probably many alternatives not quite as well-known to the average marketer.
However, approaching all of these platforms individually can be a cumbersome process costing you more time and money than strictly necessary. It’s therefore easy to see the appeal of demand-side platforms (DSPs), which collate online advertising opportunities from many different providers.
In a nutshell, why use a demand-side platform?
HubSpot defines a DSP as “an automated programmatic advertising platform where marketers can purchase and manage ad inventories from multiple ad sources.” Much of the attraction of using a DSP is summed up in the word “automated”, as it allows you to streamline the ad-sourcing process.
The main benefit of using a DSP, according to HubSpot, is that “you can manage all your digital ads across many networks on one interface.” The ads you can buy through a DSP include mobile ads on apps, banner ads on search engines and video ads on social media.
Hence, you don’t strictly need to set aside time to approach Google Ads, then Facebook Ads and so forth when you want to utilize many different advertising networks. Instead, you can just use one platform – a DSP – and leverage multiple networks through that single access point.
How do you actually source ad slots through a DSP?
Using a DSP can feel akin to participating in an auction conducted by robots. Through an automated system, DSPs buy and sell ads in real time, using what is known as programmatic advertising. The real-time nature of the proceedings enables ad placements to be auctioned off in milliseconds.
However, as with any auction, you should – before using one – think carefully about how much you would be willing to spend in the process. How much you do need to spend for online advertising can be determined on a cost-per-click and cost-per-action basis.
When using a DSP, you would specify your ad-buying budget so that the platform does not go over this when automatically fetching ad placements for you.
Using a DSP can bode well for you in the long term
This is because a DSP can help you to not only secure digital ads but also manage them for the long haul. As a TechFunnel article explains: “DSP platforms enable media buyers to manage campaigns from multiple channels, [and] optimize, analyze and gain insights into them in one interface.”
A DSP allows you to see, at a glance, the effectiveness of your ads – including impressions, clicks, click-through rates and conversion rates. While referring back to this data displayed on the reporting dashboard, you can tweak and optimize an ad campaign in the hope of improving results.
DSP advertising can even help you to build profiles of people who do see your ads. Each of these profiles can detail – for example – what type of content the user consumes and where and how often they click on the ads.
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