Media Buying & Optimization

The art of programmatic media buying has never been more lucrative for advertisers specifically on the YouTube and Facebook platforms. While traditional digital segments like display and video networks as well as the search engines playing a huge part to play in this ecosystem. There is no more impactful media than video on YouTube and Facebook. Day trading audiences on these publishers and optimizing results in real-time are a unique set of skills Variable Media has mastered and will continue to innovate as the platforms grow in parallel.


Advertisers understand that they must innovate in the media buying space. Variable Media not only provides the media buying tools but also the optimization recommendations and implementations to ensure success. Our proprietary variable analysis is unique to us and when implemented can yield immense performance results combined with brand awareness & purchase intent information that could have impact on the business as a whole. 

Online video may be a laboratory today, but wise marketers will experiment early and often.

– David Wolf, president/ceo, Wolf Group Asia (view source article)

Cross Platform Analysis

  • Mobile
  • Desktop & OTT
  • Tablet

The above illustrates a breakout of device as each campaign will include a cross-platform strategy with a central focus on mobile.

Example Media Optimization Path

This bulleted list provides an 8-week sample optimization plan to provide a better understanding of our week to week focus based on primary and secondary focus points:

  • Week 1-2 – Campaign Launch
    • Primary – Creative, Bidding, Pacing
    • Secondary – First level variables
  • Week 2-4 – Optimize & Educate
    • Primary – Creative, Placements, First level variables
    • Secondary – Audience Targets, Device, Platform, Geo
  • Week 5-6 – Optimize & Test
    • Primary – Audience, Bidding, Pacing
    • Secondary – Second level variables, custom audiences
  • Week 7-8 – Scale & Sustain
    • Primary – Second level variables, geo, device
    • Secondary – conquest, look-a-like,  custom audiences

Optimization Strategy

The most important part of the optimization path is our variable analysis each week. Insight garnered from this data will be leveraged as insight to improve the campaign and more importantly evaluate consumer sentiment with the brand, product and/or service.

The three primary types of variable analysis are bulleted below.

  • Placement / Creative
  • Audience Target
  • Programmatic Variable Bidding

Cost efficiency is critical, particularly in the beginning of a campaign, hence why the creative is a primary focus in the early stages. Both YouTube and Facebook have placed enhanced focus on creative different from search and display which makes creative variable analysis imperative to help bring down your CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) and CPV (Cost Per View).

  • YouTube TrueView – video ad delivery is heavily dependent on a few factors, most importantly audience size and key view metrics. Of the view parameters, view rate is a key indicator of engagement. Higher the view rate cheaper the cost, Lower the view rate higher the cost
  • Facebook – similar to YouTube, Facebook also has an algorithm that is even more creative focused applying a relevancy score to each ad. Higher the relevancy score, cheaper the cost. Lower the relevancy score, higher the price.

An essential part of our strategy is our advanced targeting techniques on both the YouTube and Facebook platform. While these methods are usually implemented after the initial optimization phase, they have a huge impact on the scalability of any campaign. Below are a few of our advanced targeting strategies we are willing to share.

  • Negative Retargeting – Leveraging the vast YouTube audience segmentation, advertisers have the ability to bucket users who have seen an ad on YouTube and target every except for this group with a 540-day window ultimately increasing your reach.
  • Sequential Messaging – Allows advertisers to reach users with different messaging dependent on what ads they may have seen or not seen. Sequential Messaging provides the ability to target potential consumers regardless of where they are in the purchase funnel on both platforms
  • Look-A-Like Scale – Facebook provides the best look-a-like modeling tools to create targeted segments. However, the look-a-like technique needs to be combined with a campaign strategy to ensure minimal budgetary waste to maximize performance

Results Driven Optimization

Taking into the account the tactics above combined with the device example above we usually can see improved results as early as week two and as late as week eight and this insight is really dependent on the conversion goal, how many conversions are garnered, and at what rate. Decision making can always be made on vanity metrics (CTR, CPC, CPM, VR, CPV) however the farther down the funnel we get, the better and more impactful our optimization can be to improve campaign performance.

  • Launch
    • Pacing (Even Delivery)
    • Develop baseline performance
    • Measure user response via key web analytics metrics
  • Optimization
    • Target Analysis
    • Creative Comparison
    • Variable Testing
  • Sustain
    • Test & Evaluate efficiency at scale of best performing campaigns
    • If data permits, leverage an understanding of lifetime value (LTV) or second/third level conversion results

Cross-Platform Comparison

  • Desktop & OTT
  • Mobile

Variable Media offers Potential Clients a free campaign audit