Self-service Returns As Trend For Advertisers, Marketers

Self-serve advertising/marketing reduces time in implementing a campaign and is a cost-effective way to reach a broad customer base 

At a time when media buyers are demanding transparency, ad tech, since 2017, has been moving toward a self-service model for media spending. 

Through self-service, media buyers can manage their in-house data and create bidding tools. These platforms are gaining momentum, thanks to the cookie-demise scenario – they will stop working by 2023. Many popular advertising techniques will halt without cookies, including behavioral targeting, remarketing, and frequency capping.

With the death of popular techniques nearing, publishers and advertisers are scampering to update their ad tech stacks to prevent revenues from tumbling.

What is self-serve advertising?

Self-serve advertising is any medium that allows an advertiser or a marketer to chalk out criteria and elements for an ad campaign – such as timelines, budget, and display location – and buy digital ad inventory without relying heavily on a publisher or a representative from the sales department.

It is vastly different from managed service advertising, in which a sales representative forms a team to plan and execute the campaign.

Several self-service platforms are automated, too – they automatically arrange when and where to show certain ads based on the available ad inventory. 

What are some self-service strategies/tools?

  • Social media platforms: They are popular among advertisers for their sheer audience. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, Snapchat, Spotify, and TikTok have become veritable tools for online advertisers. Media buyers can log in to these platforms and access a panel on which they can specify the details of their ad campaign. 

Moreover, advertisers can peruse granular demographic data to understand their target audience and provide services likewise. The big advantage is also the versatility offered by the social media platforms – from the display, video, and audio to native ads, there is enough flexibility.

  • Paid search-engine placements: Google, Yahoo, and Bing offer interfaces through which advertisers can give details about the media purchasing requirements of their campaigns. By putting together search algorithms with predictive user intent, programmatic bidding factors, and billions of searches conducted each day, paid search ads can net a large audience without sacrificing relevance.

  • Ecommerce platforms: It is safe to say that millions of consumers trawl across social media platforms every hour. Today, there are big players like Etsy and Amazon, where shoppers are ever present – it is the virtual retail communion. These platforms support a variety of ad formats and often specialize in providing sponsored listing slots that blend with the rest of the website. Given the high volume of traffic, these websites have a money-minting opportunity for advertisers who have a grasp of their audiences.

  • Digital out-of-home platforms: Digital displays are replacing traditional billboards. They have the capacity to relay whatever message an advertiser desires. This variety of advertising is referred to as the digital out-of-home and offers a creative way for brands to position themselves in front of audiences in the outdoor world. Platforms like Blip, AdQuick, Broadsign, and AdSemble are examples of programmatic self-serve advertising platforms specializing in digital-out-of-home platforms.
  • Company Wiki: Despite being an open-to-edit platform, Wikipedia has been treated as a knowledge center. It is also one of the first entries for a search on Google. Thus one could create a company Wikipedia page operated by employees who give accurate knowledge of what is on offer. 

Why do brands like it?

Brands swear by self-service advertising because it helps them control costs in two primary areas – segmenting local audiences by location and running targeted campaigns at a lower price with a better return on investments. These low-cost and big-impact models could be channeled through social media, local websites, and community event sponsorships.

Moreover, with the correct self-service tool, local marketers can produce hands-on brand communication without involving higher-ups. It allows the design department and marketing teams to utilize their time better and focus on processes specific to their departments. Moreover, since local teams have several approved marketing tools, they can make immediate decisions without making requests to corporate teams.

The quickness of self-service methods drives sales. As any consumer uses digital channels to know more about products and services, having relevant websites, search engine optimization, and optimal social media use become very important for companies. 

Google has found that 1/3rd of all mobile searches are related to location. A customer is more likely to purchase from companies whose digital channels can provide information relevant to the location.

Self-service marketing can also provide many windows to gather data analytics for valuable insights about the customer journey. Corporate marketers can also follow local campaigns to get better insights into geographic performance.

The advertising method also helps businesses – with many branches– improve their time to market. For instance, a company that sells raincoats relies on quick campaigns for the monsoon. When the campaign is not deployed in this season, a lot of revenue could be lost. In such circumstances, the businesses in each location can free up campaigners to develop more strategies.

Does self-servicing work for smaller teams?

Given the low cost of self-service digital marketing, it is certainly of great utility to smaller businesses that once relied on cold calls and posters. Now, they simply need a social media presence and a content management system like WordPress, HubSpot, Joomla, or Drupal. Furthermore, search engine optimization skills that optimize content for searches, internal and external linking, title tags, alt tags, and headings come in handy too. 

These small efforts directly put the company on the international radar.