5 Stages For Implementing Successful DV360 Campaigns


Like any tool, DV360 is only as good as the people using it. With an overabundance of options in targeting capabilities, audiences to choose from, exchanges, formats and bidding; many can find themselves overwhelmed and not knowing where to start in order to set up campaigns in the most effective way. In this post, we will share 5 stages that have helped us implement successful DV360 campaigns.

Stage 1 – Objectives

DV360 is a platform that works based on objectives. Throughout the technical implementation, you will notice the platform asks you several times to detail what your objectives are. These can range from generating brand awareness, actions on your site, or sales. From there, it’s key to select the proper tactical KPIs, such as Cost per Acquisition or ROAS. Before you can set things up, truly ask yourself, what is it that I want to achieve? DV360 will only do what you as a trader set it up to do. With big power comes big responsibility.

Stage 2 – Formats

Now that you know what your objectives are, it’s time to know what formats will work best for what you are trying to achieve. Video formats will be best for brand awareness, while display, native, and gmail ads can work well for both prospecting new users and generating actions via remarketing. YouTube is an interesting hybrid that can really work for both as well. Make sure to incorporate some testing and learning, and dig deep into the data later on to understand format performance a bit better.

Stage 3 – Targeting

Now that you have narrowed down the formats, it can be difficult to know what targeting details, pricing, investment and other factors to use in the detailed tactical implementation. Not to worry, DV360 offers a couple of ways to help you here. The first is the planning section. Here you can select budget, geo, and a targeting criteria to understand the CPM, reach, and other key factors before running your campaign.

A very powerful offering that DV360 offers is the ability to target audiences that Google has identified based on Affinity (passion points) and In Market (likely to purchase). Take the guessing out of this equation by installing a floodlight pixel on your site. DV360 will let you know what those audiences are in the Audience section of the console.

Want to know more, like what sites are the most visited by a particular audience in a specific geo? Use the inventory availability report to understand what are the most popular sites for that audience. Create a whitelist (or a blacklist) from there, or try finding them in the marketplace to strike a private or guaranteed deal.

Stage 4 -Tactical Implementation

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. You have done all the planning and now it’s time to set things up. Before you narrow the line item set up, we would urge you to include day parting, brand safety, geo, and viewability as default parameters (unless of course the format does not allow that type of targeting). If you want to have a life after work as a trader, setting up a campaign right from the start will ensure you are not spending endless hours trying to optimize and playing catch up. Here are some things you can consider when implementing campaigns.

  1. Separate your line items from a broader targeting, narrowing it down by different and more niche targeting capabilities. You could have the following line items:
    • Open prospecting, having google algorithm optimize towards a specific objective
    • Categories
    • Whitelist
    • Audiences – Affinities
    • Audiences – In Market
    • Audiences – Look Alikes / Similar Audiences
    • Remarketing – Based on recency
  2. If starting from scratch, use a fixed bid, for a couple of weeks or once you have enough data, and then switch it to optimize based on an objective.
  3. Don’t forget to set up your frequency across campaign, insertion order and line items.
  4. Make sure your creatives are approved, and triple check they are redirecting to the right landing page.
  5. Make sure you include any floodlight so conversions are counted (if applicable).
  6. Triple check your pacing set up. ASAP pacing has been the worst enemy of many traders, as their budget can get consumed in a matter of minutes when pacing is not set up properly. Try EVEN or AHEAD pacing as needed and adjust accordingly.

Stage 5 – Optimizations

Optimizing for KPIs: Once your campaign launches, it’s crucial that you keep a close eye on what is working vs what is not. Separating line items as we discussed before, will give you the ability to quickly know what type of targeting is working. As a rule of thumb, do more of what’s working, limit or get rid of what is not. You can then allocate more investment towards what is driving value based on your objectives.

Use reporting functionalities to dig deeper into what is working. If your objective involves video completion rates, separate your report by line item, and then go further by seeing what exchange, site, format, creative format/size, device, operating system, time of day and many other countless variables are influencing performance. From there, you can go back to your line item and make the proper changes. Try making 1 or 2 changes per day. You don’t want to make all the changes at once and not know what really affected your performance.

Optimizing for pacing: Sometimes you may be reaching your KPIs while struggling to spend your intended budget. Fortunately, DV360 offers the capability to understand what is limiting your ability to secure the inventory you want. Within the line item, you can go to the troubleshooter section. Here you will be able to see what is limiting your ability to win those bids. If it’s targeting, you can widen that targeting or remove some targeting combinations. If there is a frequency or pacing limitation you can easily change/edit as well. And if the issue is around the bid, you can increase that bid to make sure you capture that inventory.

5 Stages For Implementing Successful DV360 Campaigns – Final Words

Many traders will call it a day after the optimization phase. We would urge traders when possible to go back and do a post mortem of the campaign, review all of their optimizations, what worked vs what did not, and share those learnings with other teams so they are aware of the findings. This can provide better guidance and influence the approach when planning and setting up future campaigns.


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