Display Campaign Best Practices

April 21, 2022
Display Campaign Best Practices

The below Display Campaign guide is a list of best practices for utilizing a DSP. If you’re an Amobee DSP client, please visit our Help Center for more tips and tricks.


Display campaigns offer numerous benefits for advertisers, including engaging a target audience by associating a brand with online content to maximize exposure, and ultimately, buying potential.

The advertiser needs to optimize an ad creative to ensure that a click turns into an action, and the publisher must display the ad in optimized placements so it receives clicks.

For supported formats and size requirements for display creatives, please see the Amobee Media Kit.

General Best Practices

Amobee recommends using the following guidelines for display campaigns:

  • Use Bid Forecaster’s ad format and layout features to determine ad size.
  • Plan on running multiple creatives simultaneously to reach as many users as possible and maximize spend.
  • Pause or remove under-performing creatives so the campaign budget can be applied to better-performing ads.

Swapping & Building New Creative Guidelines

Amobee recommends referring to the following guidelines for creatives:

  • Swapping out a creative through a third-party is not recommended.
    • After a campaign launches, Campaigns learns about the creative.
    • If the original creative is removed or replaced, new learnings will be made about the new creative.
  • Monitor performance closely after making creative updates.
    • Performance drops might indicate that the new creative is not resonating with users as well as the previous creative.

Guidelines on Run of Network (RON) Packages

Amobee recommends using the following guidelines when building RON packages:

  • Set a frequency cap to generate a significant amount of impressions within a short period of time.
    • If you do not have a specific frequency cap to target, start with a cap of one impression/user/day/global by package.
    • If you are unable to reach daily spend levels with this frequency cap, expand it to one impression/user/day/inventory source by package.
  • Monitor spend and performance if you need to open frequency caps further.

Recommendations on Budget Types

Amobee recommends using the following budget guidelines for your campaign:

  • Determine the appropriate budget type (i.e., auto-allocate or manual). The budget type must be tied to the package of the campaign.
    • Use auto-allocate if the budget type is associated with the package.
    • Use a manual budget if it needs to be applied to the package evenly throughout the period, daily, or ASAP.
  • Try not to mix budget types between line items within a package.
  • If auto-allocate and manual budgets are applied to different line items within the same package, the Designated Budget option can be used on manual budget line items to ensure that auto-allocate does not draw from their budgets.

Running Flat CPM Packages

Running a campaign on a flat CPM might have a huge impact on campaign performance because a goal cannot be set. You need to bid the same amount without the price reduction that you may receive with an Automated Bidding pricing model.

A flat CPM does not dynamically adjust the bid price based on algorithmic optimization, but it results in a consistent bid value.

Using Cost-Per-Click and Cost-Per-Action Packages

Amobee recommends using the following guidelines when launching Automated Bidding campaigns with a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or a Cost-Per-Action (CPA) goal:

  • CPA enables advertisers to pay only when the prospect has performed a specific action, such as registering or providing requested information.
    • In this scenario, an ad can be displayed and clicked on numerous times with no cost to the advertiser.
    • Because this shifts the risk to the publisher, publishers only accept CPA campaigns for advertisers with proven performance.
  • Targeting must be used to enforce criteria for the campaign.
    • Targeting determines the bid that the platform will make for each impression.
    • Campaigns can make a prediction about the conversion rate for any given impression based on a variety of data.
  • If your campaign is not delivering but it is hitting the performance goal, this might be because aggressive goal targeting has decreased spend to maintain performance goals.
    • If this situation occurs for only a few packages on a mobile IO, loosen the goals based on the eCPC so you can make optimizations that result in a hybrid of apps/sites that are able to deliver and maintain a respectable performance goal.
  • If the conversion rate for utilized inventory differs from the predicted rate, Campaigns will automatically adjust the bid to improve performance.
    • These corrections between predictions and the results of your campaign allow the platform to continually adjust and learn, narrowing the gaps between CPC/CPA goals and value.
  • The advertiser needs to optimize an ad creative to ensure that a click turns into an action, and the publisher must display the ad in optimized placements so it receives clicks.
  • Carefully select your targeting goals when creating CPC and CPA campaigns:
    • If the goal is too low, it might be unrealistic for the campaign. Campaigns will start to optimize off sites that are not meeting targeted goals. Spend will drop drastically in an effort to meet the performance goal, and it is possible that the campaign will no longer be able to hit the daily spend cap needed to deliver the budget in full.
    • For best results, monitor performance goals closely for at least three days after the campaign has been running to ensure that performance is improving and daily spend caps are being met.
    • Once an Action Rate (AR) prediction is made, the value will be multiplied with the effective goal to calculate the bid.

Setting Up Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting campaigns are set up with beacons that collect data on users that visit an advertiser’s web pages. Amobee recommends using the following guidelines for retargeting campaigns:

  • Place retargeting beacons on several advertiser pages such as the homepage and the order confirmation page. This placement allows you to target only users that have shown interest, but have not yet made a purchase.
  • If you’re running an up-sell campaign, only target visitors who have converted through converter retargeting.

Configuring Retargeting Rules

Amobee recommends referring to any or all of the following when configuring retargeting rules:

  • Advertiser Impression: Did the user see an impression from this advertiser?
  • Advertiser Click: Did the user click on any ads from this advertiser?
  • Package Impression: Did the user see any impressions from a given package?
  • Package Click: Did the user click on an ad from a given package?
  • Beacon Impression: Did the user complete the activity tracked by a given beacon?

Leveraging Enhanced Retargeting

Amobee recommends using the following guidelines to enhance retargeting tactics:

  • Create one line item that is only targeted to men who have been to the advertiser’s site, but have not yet converted.
  • Create a different line item that is targeted to women who have seen a different ad.

This type of enhanced retargeting allows you to select and join appropriate beacons, then layer additional targeting by selecting specific values for gender, age, and/or other criteria.

To optimize delivery and performance, Amobee highly recommends only serving ads to users that have visited the site within the past seven days.

Getting Optimal Performance for Retargeting Campaigns

Amobee recommends using the following guidelines to ensure that retargeting campaigns run at optimal performance:

  • Make sure the bid is high enough to win premium inventory throughout the flight of the campaign.
  • Make sure there are enough fires on the retargeting beacon to ensure that the budget delivers in full.

The sooner that you’re able to place retargeting beacons prior to a campaign launch, the more efficiently Campaigns can collect data and learn about your campaign data.

Using Retargeting Beacons

Amobee recommends following these steps when working with retargeting beacons:

  • Decide if you have any other initiatives that you would consider running in the future (particularly, if you have a number of initiatives that you want to highlight throughout the duration of a campaign). Place beacons there as well. If retargeting beacons are placed on pages where certain products are being promoted, it results in an increase of ROI and a lower eCPA.
  • It is highly recommended that a retargeting beacon be placed on your homepage and landing page to ensure optimal campaign performance. The more retargeting beacons you are able to place (and the sooner you’re able to place them), the better your campaign will perform.
  • When selecting a retargeting beacon, combine it with additional beacons or exclude visitors associated with certain beacons by using the Boolean Logic rules and linking each beacon. Boolean Logic allows you to organize targeting concepts together in sets. These sets are controlled by use of Boolean operators: OR, AND and NOT.
    • OR results in either or both of your search appearing in your results. Grouping together all the categories with an OR will broaden the target audience.
    • AND groups two concepts together. Both concepts must appear in the search for it to be true. Using AND creates a narrower target audience.
    • NOT is used to eliminate unwanted concepts. For example, if you’re interested in studying college students but not high school students, create a target audience of college students NOT high school. NOT should be used sparingly, if at all.

Improving Retargeting Campaign Performance

Amobee recommends the following campaign tactics when retargeting:

  • Velocity Retargeting: This is used to measure activity against a certain beacon with a specified frequency (i.e., percent increase or decrease) and recency.
    • Take 10% of the retargeting budget to launch this tactic, then target the velocity retargeting behavior that you created.
    • Start with a velocity of 12% and a recency of seven days. Then, increase to 15-20% after two weeks, if possible.
  • Recency Retargeting: This is similar to the standard retargeting package, except it only targets users who have been added to the retargeting pool in the last two days to generate conversions from a fresh pool of users. Use 10% of your retargeting budget to launch this tactic.
  • Improved Performance: If you see great performance from one or both tactics, increase budget as needed.

Display Campaign Best Practices by Campaign Phase

Please consult the following checklist when planning and creating display campaigns by campaign phase:

Campaign Phase Best Practices
Pre-Campaign: Beacons or Pixels
  • Place retargeting beacons on home and landing pages.
  • Target retargeting beacons and users that click on ads.
  • Place beacons on “Thank You” and conversion pages.
  • Ensure that beacons or pixels for tracking actions and events are deployed.
Pre-Campaign: Conversions Determine if view and click conversions are equally tracked:

  • Get the percentage of views/click conversions.
  • Confirm click and view attribution windows.
Pre-Campaign: Ad Sizes Use the Bid Forecaster’s ad format and layout feature to determine which ad sizes to include.
Pre-Campaign: Site Lists Determine if you need to use inclusion sites or exclusion sites.
Pre-Campaign: Frequency Cap Determine and implement the frequency cap amount. If there is no frequency cap, consider using a three-impressions/per user/per day cap.
Pre-Campaign: Rich Media Ads Make sure rich media ads are hosted on an Amobee-approved rich media ad server (Atlas, DoubleClick, EyeWonder, MediaMind, Mediaplex, PointRoll, Unicast, etc.).
Pre-Campaign: Segments Define an audience segment in advance of the campaign’s start for behaviorally targeted campaigns.

Check Audiences:

  • Allow at least 24 hours from launch day before checking your segments.
  • Check/confirm in the afternoon (in Pacific Standard Time) that the segments were properly created.
In-Flight: Optimization Start optimization after three days and continue to optimize your campaign throughout the flight.
Post-Launch: Analysis and Evaluation Perform post-campaign analysis (run campaign performance reports, DataMine analytics queries, etc.).


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