October 5, 2020

How Does Header Bidding Work 


  • 1 Understanding the Bidding Mechanism
  • 2 How to Access the Bidding
  • 3 The Bidding Benefits 

The online space is highly volatile, and grasping the attention of consumers may be challenging. Customers today have access to numerous websites and applications. Hence, selecting the right platform for advertising can get a little tricky at times.

Adopting an automatic mechanism to buy and sell online ads streamlines the process of digital marketing. This automation is known as programmatic advertising, where computer algorithms ensure the delivery of an advertisement to the right audience at the right time and in the right place.

Header bidding aids a publisher place an offer with multiple ad exchanges and supply-side platforms (SSP) before bidding at demand-side platforms (DSP). It is gaining popularity in the digital market and is also termed as advance bidding or pre-bidding.

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Understanding the Bidding Mechanism

An ad exchange enables advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertisements using an auction, which takes place on a real-time basis. The exchange is a digital accumulation of the advertisements and is linked to DSPs and SSPs.

An impression is made available on the exchange by the publisher on behalf of the advertiser through DSPs and SSPs. The advertising targets are stored on DSPs, which are matched to a suitable inventory of a publisher. The advertiser who makes the highest bid in the real-time auctioning wins the ad.

Publishers make use of SSP to automate the ad selling process and offer each impression at the best possible price. It also supports them to establish a connection with multiple ad exchanges through a single interface. A publisher can also use an SSP to fix a minimum rate for selling the ad inventory. The SSP is also useful for offering an impression to numerous buyers and maximising the revenues. Supply-side platforms are thus referred to as yield-optimisation platforms.

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In real-time bidding, every ad-exchange conducts an auction one at a time in the publisher’s ad server. Also, the auction takes place at a lesser priority. On the other hand, a header bid allows various ad exchanges to bid simultaneously in the ad server. The priority here is at the highest level. Thus the inventory is made available to the marketers programmatically, who win an impression when the bid is high.

How to Access the Bidding

An advertiser may make use of a DSP to purchase ad inventory and conduct an advertisement campaign. Once you establish a connection with the DSP, you must select a publisher who assists in header bidding. Keep a list of publishers ready. This high-value list could include those publishers that perform well in your ad campaigns and may also have those with whom you have sealed private marketplace deals. After that, install the relevant plug-in to access the applicable list of demand partners used by the publishers to enable the bidding process.

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The Bidding Benefits 

The advance bidding option ensures a better control mechanism through ad ops and allows greater transparency. The match rate with the target audience is typically higher. It supports the advertisers to explore and bid for an impression according to its target audience.

Header bidding benefits the publishers by allowing a better charge and clarity in dealings. It also assists in getting the maximum revenue on the ad inventory. On the other hand, it is useful for the advertisers as it gives them access to a better view of the publisher’s inventory. It allows auction for the finest ad inventory, which was earlier available only through direct sales.

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Pre-bidding is considered an advancement in the digital marketing industry as it creates an advantageous situation for the advertisers and the publishers. With its multiple benefits, it has redefined the world of online advertising.

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