What is Demand Side Platform and How Does it Work?


There is a lot of technical jargon out there when it comes to online advertising and the good news for you is that we are here to break it down in simple language.

Well, we aren’t here to break it all down because this guide would turn into a 100,000-word essay! What we are going to tell you is what is DSP advertising and how a demand side platform works. You are probably wondering ‘what does DSP standing for in advertising’ and before we get into that specifically we just need to have a quick look at advertising online.

what does dsp stand for in advertising

History of internet adverts

Online advertising has been around for longer than you probably think.

The first ad space was actually sold in 1993 and the first banner ads appeared the year after. They might look rudimentary compared to the sophisticated and optimised ads of today but they were vital in shaping the internet as we know it.
Back then things were don’t a little different. People weren’t searching for a demand side platform definition because it simply didn’t exist – if you want a dsp on a website you had to contact the site owner directly and work out a price. This is where ad networks came into play.

What is an ad network?

Ad Networks make it a lot easier for everyone to either sell their digital space or to put an ad on a website.

These really started to grow in prominence by the end of the 1990s – it seems so far away doesn’t it?! – and they continue to act as a middle man of sorts in the advertising world.

Instead of having to contact a number of websites directly to show your ads this can all be done within the one network.

A number of years later we started to see demand side platforms emerging so how does a DSP work?

What is DSP advertising?

Demand side platforms give advertisers more control over the whole buying process. They link in with a variety of different ad networks and it means that advertisers can get traffic from a wide range of different sources.

From an advertisers’ perspective, they also offer a lot of data about who see’s and who clicks on their ads. This could be something like the users’ geo-location or it could be even more detailed and specific such as the device and browser the used or even their age and gender if that information is available.

Demand side platforms can be confusing at first however they are powerful tools work to great benefit for advertises and we have some tips for using them.

5 hints for working with demand side platforms

#1 Different traffic sources

There are quite a few DSP networks out there at the minute and many provide traffic from different kinds of websites so ensure that the one you choose has traffic available in your niche.

One of the most obvious examples would be for adult traffic and not every demand side platform provides this so ensure that it is able to offer you what you need. By doing this you will ensure that your campaign gets targeted traffic that clicks by users that are relevant to what you have to offer.

#2 Make sure and set your target audience

This links in with the first hint in this guide. You need to ensure that the traffic you get and the audience that will see your ads is what you need for your offers.
DSP media buying is powerful but it isn’t as powerful as reading your mind so if you don’t set out the audience you want and establish your campaign properly then you won’t get the results that you expect.

#3 Keep an eye on your budget

Different demand side platforms require you to have different budgets. For example, some require to have a commitment that runs into the thousands of dollars every month for the higher end platforms and others can be as little as a few hundred dollars.

Some demand side platforms don’t require a budget at all. When you do choose one this is another thing to consider and make sure you use a DSP that is right for your budget and what you can afford to spend.

#4 Check out their support reviews

Sometimes things go wrong or maybe you just require clarification on something. Well, before you sign up to a DSP advertising network ensure that you read their reviews first.

You can a DSP that responds quickly and has great customer support in case something goes wrong. If they take a long time to get back to you or don’t resolve issues quickly then this could result in lost revenue and it can have a big effect on your advertising campaign. Everyone needs support at some stage so it’s best to choose a DSP that offers great customer support when you need it.

#5 Choose a DSP with a good reach

What we mean by this is how many ad exchanges does that demand side platform link in with?
DSP’s by nature link up with various ad networks however you need to ensure that the one you are using has sufficient scope for your needs. You might just need to access a small ad network or you might need to access a large one if you have a big business. Make sure that demand side platform you use offers the services you want and can provide the ad networks you need to succeed.

DSP networks and internet advertising

Demand side platforms can be confusing and if you came here wondering ‘what is a demand side platform’ then by now you will know.

They can be confusing at first but once you get the basics you can make them work in your favour.

Make sure that you follow our 5 hints for using demand side platforms and if you do your research and choose the right DSP for your needs then there is no reason that they can’t have a positive impact on your advertising efforts.

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