Self-serve Advertising Explained

Kinga Gawron
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Do you know who’s the most successful in digital marketing? People who don’t stop looking for innovative solutions and ways of communicating with their audience. Finding new tools and advertising channels is paramount to that process. So if you’re a successful digital marketer yourself, then you’ve surely heard of self-serve advertising platforms before. Not using one yet?

In that case… just sit, relax and have a quick read of why you should definitely get familiar with self-serve advertising platforms.

What’s self-serve advertising?

Self-serve advertising is one of many channels for digital marketers to reach their target audience, exactly when, and where it’s needed.

Self-serve advertising platforms, to be precise, allow marketers to place, manage, and control their performance marketing campaigns without third-party assistance, all in one place.

Nowadays, various companies offer self-serve advertising solutions for marketers all over the world. It’s not only the digital marketing giants like Google, Facebook, Tik Tok, but also smaller, yet popular and successful companies like Taboola, Outbrain… or Zeropark. 

Each platform is different and offers different advertising formats for your campaigns. There’s plenty to choose from, according to one’s needs and experience or financial capabilities. But no matter what platform we’re talking about, self-serve advertising is fast, easy, and budget-friendly. Most importantly, though, it helps you make the most of your advertising efforts. 

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Benefits of self-serve advertising platforms

Okay… so it all sounds great, but as a digital marketer, you need the exact information as to what self-serve advertising platforms can bring to the table for your business. 

Multiple advertising channels 

Self-serve advertising allows marketers to reach their audience in many different ways. Depending on the promoted product and platform’s ad inventory, advertisers are able to choose from native, display, banner, or search ads — to name only a few popular ad formats. They all answer different marketing needs and can serve as separate or combined channels of communication.

Global reach 

With the evolution of digital marketing, there are no limits as to where advertisers can show their ads. From Sydney to Oslo, or New York to Singapore, ads can be displayed to potential customers within seconds, at the exact time and frequency you wish. That allows advertisers to reach billions of people whenever they want, thus maximizing chances for conversions. 

Instant access 

As every self-serve tool, ad platforms allow users for instant access to their campaigns — whenever and wherever they need, no intermediaries included. This may seem like an emergency-only type of situation, but it’s not. Given the RTB auctions taking only split seconds, or ads traveling thousands of kilometers within a blink of an eye, being able to instantly manage and control your investment is of utmost importance. 

Fast and easy campaign set-up

Long gone are days when launching an advertising campaign took days or even weeks. Self-serve ad platforms allow advertisers to do that in just a few minutes. Once you’ve signed up with a platform of your choice, and the account is fully up and running, just log in and choose the desired ad format. Then, following the intuitive user-interface, complete the required steps, provide needed information, set-up the preferred targeting, add creatives if needed… and your campaign is ready to go! 

Usually, there are plenty of support materials available for new customers. Don’t hesitate to look for them or reach out and contact the support team if needed.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) — For Advertisers and Publishers

The Real-time bidding model allows advertisers to bid for ad impressions in real-time. Once a user tries to enter a given page and the website loads, an ad request is sent to a traffic source. The platform then responds with a bid that was previously set by an advertiser during his campaign set-up, and once the bid is received, the winning ad is displayed to a user. All happening within split seconds! This bidding model enables marketers to broaden their reach and pay only for ads that users get to see. Also, it allows the website publishers to get the best value for their advertising space.

Implementation of the RTB model has surely revolutionized the ad tech industry. It cut the costs, helped increase the demand, and enabled new targeting options. Hence, helping to boost campaign performance and maximize the profits.

Effective advertising

More control over your ads impressions, less wasteful spending, better campaign targeting and cost optimization, campaign testing, data gathering… seems like a plan for an effective ad campaign. Don’t worry, though, it’s not just wishful thinking, it’s reality. Because that’s exactly what self-serve advertising platforms have to offer.

Self-serve platforms offer unique advertising capabilities. They let advertisers identify the best-performing areas, and focus only on those that are worth it. This saves you time, energy, and money while running your effective ad campaigns.

Robust targeting and campaign optimization (mobile traffic included)

Self-serve advertising platforms offer robust targeting and optimization options. The basic set includes:

  • Traffic segmentation
  • Location-based targeting (also know as GEO-targeting)
  • Device targeting (ranging between desktop or mobile traffic)
  • OS systems and OS system versions
  • Adult or mainstream audience filtering
  • Day-parting
  • Frequency capping
  • Keyword targeting
  • Source or target whitelisting
  • as well as blocking/blacklisting of unwanted placements

Innovation-driven approach 

But most importantly, self serve advertising platforms and teams behind them never cease on developing their products and revolutionizing the ad-tech industry. Once you decide to go for such an advertising solution, be sure to get surprised. Not only by the platform’s innovative approach but also by a constant drive for development… to make your life easier.

So here it is. No matter if you’re into affiliate marketing, brand advertising, or only looking into new possibilities, using a self-serve ad platform helps you maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. And effective advertising equals profitable advertising.



Self-serve advertising — FAQ

Since there are some recurring questions regarding self-serve advertising, we’ve decided to briefly answer them for all those still doubting whether or not this marketing model is for them.

How much does advertising with a self-serve ad platform cost?

Most of the time, signing up with a platform is free. Once advertisers have their account created, they need to make a top-up that’s used as credits towards buying traffic for their campaigns. Then, depending on the pricing model (a Cost-Per-View/Click model for example) advertisers pay only when their ads are displayed to users.

What kind of campaigns can I run with a self-serve advertising platform?

Well, anything you want… almost. Naturally, a given platform needs to offer the desired ad format. Also, campaigns need to comply with various policy guidelines (of all parties involved) for campaigns to be accepted and displayed to users.

What type of conversion tracking is possible with self-serve advertising platforms?

Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question for everyone since conversion tracking methods vary depending on a platform. In Zeropark, for example, we enable using tokens and postback URLs to monitor your campaign’s performance. The tracking itself is a crucial part of performance marketing and it’s highly recommended to use a dedicated ad tracker rather than just Google Analytics.

Can I bid only on selected segments of traffic when using a self-serve ad platform?

Of course, whitelisting more granular segments of traffic that bring the best performance for your campaigns, and then focusing on the selected areas only is possible and highly recommended for your advertising campaigns.

What’s the future of self-serve advertising?

Seeing that all the big players in the digital industry, and almost every new player to the game, join the self-serve advertising party… the future is definitely looking good. 

Simply put, where’s demand, the supply follows. Need another proof that there’s a huge potential in self-serve advertising? How about a fact that almost 85% of US digital ad-spend is dedicated to programmatic advertising as IAB reports? Especially when, due to various difficult circumstances and world crises, the traditional advertising budgets are cut and marketers need to look into new ways of delivering their ads to customers in an effective and cost-effective way. 

Statista Self Serve Advertising

Source: Statista

Is Zeropark a self-serve advertising platform you’re looking for?

Zeropark entered the market in 2012 and has definitely made its mark on the ad-tech industry. It offers varied targeting and optimization options, the fastest approval of your campaigns, AI-powered optimization tools, anti-fraud solutions, as well as a simple and intuitive interface of the platform. 

But what counts most at this point is that Zeropark offers not only billions of ad impressions daily, over 4500 thousand customers, various advertising formats ranging from classic pop to push ads, but also a dedicated team that keeps on helping advertisers grow their business every single day.

Is self-serve advertising what you’re looking for?
Give it a try and sign up with Zeropark now!

Kinga Gawron

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