Rules of Thumb for Choosing Programmatic or AdWords

With so many developments and options in the world of online advertising, it is difficult to choose the route that is the best fit for your project.

Here are a few suggested rules of thumb to help you decide whether to go the AdSense route or the Programmatic route when taking out ads:

Google AdSense has several points to consider:

The first couple of points relate to the budget you have in mind for your project. If you are working on a project with a smaller budget, under ten-thousand dollars a month, AdSense will probably be a better fit for you. You also want to take into consideration the cost of network fees. If you want to pay less in fees, and the publisher wants to receive more with fewer intermediaries, AdSense’s lower network fees might be the way to go.

The next point is related to the action you want users to take on your campaign. If you want to execute a more performance-focused marketing campaign, AdSense is a good strategy to get more clicks on an ad instead of views. 

Also, consider your skillset and problems that you are prepared to tackle. If you have little experience with the management and optimization of campaigns, it is advised that you look into AdSense. The Programmatic route is different. Because it usually fails to deliver results unless you have strong skills in the optimization of ad campaigns. Additionally, you have to consider how prepared you are to deal with and put in place strong anti-fraud measures. Fraud usually seems to be greater on most programmatic networks as opposed to the Google Ad network. However, you have to keep in mind that you will usually encounter fraud on all networks, to varying degrees. 

Now that you have considered these points, let’s discuss Programmatic ads:

Don’t discard the points mentioned above. These are new considerations that come into play when thinking about Programmatic ads. 

First, you have to consider your ad campaign, is it political or brand-based marketing? Programmatic ads are usually better for campaigns that are more focused on views than clicks. Additionally, this option allows for a bigger reach and the extra option to target specific audiences. 

If you have a specific segment in mind, the Programmatic route allows for more targeted advertising than AdSense. For example, Programmatic allows advertisers to target people who have purchased a particular product and are willing to pay a premium for it. Additionally, Programmatic ads can give you access to higher-value brand audiences via PMPs. 

The last two points are related to the approval of content by the network. Considering that some DSPs have less stringent requirements. You have to think about the possibility of AdSense not approving the product, or not approving the ads. 

So, with all that context, when does it make sense for you to use AdSense and when does it make sense for you to use Programmatic ads? You should apply these principles above to your particular situation? You should test both and see which one performs better for you?

Or maybe you find the pattern in the above. The pattern boils down to, how serious is your campaign? The more serious you are about it, the more Programmatic makes sense. A final way to reconcile them is to start with AdWords as a small test. And then once you’re comfortable and experienced, expand and grow into Programmatic.

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