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The Traffic Source Affiliates Aren’t Using Yet

Real Time Bidding Explained

You know all about dealing with Google’s Display Network. You’re leveraging as many channels as you can to get results. But unless you’ve been on the very cutting edge, you probably missed a big change. The biggest factor in the growth of search-based advertising has now – finally! – come to display ads. It’s called real time bidding, and it’s a big deal.

What Is It?

RTB Precision
It's all about precision & accuracy

Real time bidding is a method that allows you to more precisely control your ad spend, your buy, and your targeting. Commonly referred to as RTB, it’s been the standard in search ads since the beginning. It works similarly in display ads and in search advertising. You can hyper-target your ads to a specific audience. You can determine exactly how much you want to spend. You can change the amount you’re willing to pay based on individual opportunities. Never before has display advertising offered this level of control and targeting.

Why Does It Benefit You?

As an affiliate marketer, you’re working to bring traffic and earn your commission. If you’re like most of us, you rely fairly heavily on advertising to make it happen. Here’s how using real time bidding will make that process more streamlined.

  • Incredible targeting detail – You can hyper-target, eliminating unproductive impressions. Only the people who are most likely to convert are going to see your ad in the first place. You’re less likely to waste impressions.
  • Granular control over spend – Because the bidding happens in real time and you’re paying per individual impression, you’re able to fine-tune your budget like never before. You control exactly how much you spend overall and exactly how much you spend based on the individual profile of the people you’re targeting.
  • Go beyond Google’s reach (Way beyond!) – Google’s Display Network can be useful, but it also has its limitations. With real time bidding, you can step outside of those relatively narrow confines. You don’t have to worry about quality score or approval.
  • Determine your ROI more exactly than ever before – Never before have display marketers been able to so exactly calculate what we’re getting back for our spend. Real time bidding lets us calculate cost per conversion much more exactly, helping us plan better and see better returns in the long run.
  • More information means more improvement – Because we’re targeting and spending more carefully, we reap the reward with better data. It is much easier to see what’s going wrong, what’s going right, and adjust accordingly.

Getting Started

Ready to take a stab at real time bidding? Here are a few tools I found interesting.

Rocketfuel (http://www.rocketfuel.com) This is a good tool for higher end advertisers who are willing and able to spend more for the best technology. Rocketfuel’s platform goes well beyond just real time bidding. It includes additional intelligence and data management that power users will love.

Clickcertain (http://www.clickcertain.com) Currently in Beta and therefore invite only. When it comes out, it promises to be a powerful traffic tool for real time bidding.

E:BDR  (http://www.engagebdr.com) A good tool for anyone looking to get started in the space. It has an exclusive network and is extensively performance-oriented. Competitive pricing options makes EBDR a strong choice.

Have questions about real time bidding? Are you going to give it a try? Share your experiences in the comments!

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