5 Bidding Strategies You Won’t Hear From Your Advertising Rep

Working with ad representatives inside traffic sources can be useful.

Getting a head start on new formats and algorithm updates has proven valuable many times over.

However there is one specific area I have found ad reps to be not quite so useful.

When it comes to bidding and spending money! Incentives structures are usually in opposition to each other. The standard response to questions asked about bidding you get is…. “Bid more”…

Who would have thought!

As we can’t always just keep bidding more, this post will reveal to you 5 strikingly effective bidding strategies to get more bang for your bucks. A lot of these have actually come from ex-ad reps sworn to secrecy when in position.

My general strategy is to auto bid firstespecially on the more well known platforms – bidding auctions and exchanges have become very efficient. But these come in handy to run as tests once other aspects of campaigns and funnels have been properly optimised.

Start Low, Increase Slowly

In a perfect world advertising is carried out programmatically where advertisers bid against each other for the privilege of showing their creatives over other advertisers. And in the world of cut throat capitalism – whoever pays the most wins.

The truth is we don’t live in this ‘perfect world’ and inefficiencies lay all over the place. One of the inefficiencies is finding out where the ‘bid floor’ (the minimum bid required) is at. If you have some time on your hands, start the bidding really low and increase slowly. You often find that clicks and impressions can be acquired at a discount to the suggested rate.

Bully method

The bully method comes from the early days of the now popular Facebook Ad Buyers group. The bully method in essence is bidding so ludicrously high that you bully the competition from competing in the auction.

This does three fundamental things:

    • You get the best ad inventory which equals higher CTR’s – higher CTR’s in turn leads to lower CPC which counter-intuitively lowers your cost!
    • On the more advanced ad platforms they know how much a user is ‘worth’. Out bidding not only gets you into the top spots, but in front of the best buyers.
  • Your competitors will be getting less traffic and left scratching their heads wondering what happened.

To do this best it’s recommended to bid at a rate 2-3X higher than your current cost per acquisition.

Bully method extended edition

If the bully method has been working for you for a couple of weeks it might be time to try stage 2.

This is where you drop the bids to the floor after a couple weeks and significant spend. Because of various delays in how metrics are reported you can often get – almost free – traffic because of the outstanding metrics the internal algorithms have been seeing from the campaigns history.

High budget, low bid, accelerated delivery

Low bids more time than not mean lower traffic. However accelerating the delivery which is available on most reputable platforms gives you a way of spending your budget fast.

As you may have experienced before, accelerated delivery blows through budgets faster than the US government. But when you bid lower (helps if this is combined after strategy #1) at the same time, the results can be cheaper traffic at a more manageable pace.

When doing this you want to pay careful attention, look for signs of budget spending increasing fast. If this happens shut it off.

Start Both Bidding & Budget High Then Drop Both Lower Slowly

This is less effective as it used to be. But the general premises behind it being by dropping both the budget and the bidding (after conversions have been acquire) you are signalling to the ad platform that the current acquisition rate is too high and can’t be sustained. As such in search of longer term value the ad platform will try where necessary to accommodate and make it work at a lower acquisition.

This should bring at least one or two fresh approaches to run in your campaigns.

Happy testing!