Life is a collection of different and equally exciting firsts.
First lessons, first mistakes, first losses and first seriously awesome revenues!
Now think about the kind of firsts you wanna have.
You can experience everything naively, basing it all on your own unique experience and the specific steps only you’d take.
Or…You could have a cool, smooth first experience!
An experience that’s gonna be super successful because it’s a product of learning, exploring and finding help from those people who already went through what you’re gonna experience.
Wanna be an expert in creating media buying campaigns like a master?
Set up your media buying campaigns
The road of Media Buying is gonna demand you know a lot before you get your different “firsts”.
For you to start your first campaign, you’d better follow the Media Buying Beginner’s Guide in order to avoid some basic media buying mistakes that’d make you regret starting the media buying journey altogether.
This is the article that’s gonna give you all the tips for you to be able to create a successful first campaign from scratch!
1. Offer – The Media Buying Modus Operandi
First of all, you need to choose which offer you want to promote (CPA/CPI) and which vertical (mainstream/adult) you wanna go for in your media buy campaigns.
These are two of the most important decisions you’ll have to make since they’ll influence your actions.
For every different offer, there’ll be different ad networks and Demand Side Platforms that’ll give you the best traffic you need.
Be sure to explore the market before taking a pick too soon and seeing your money go down the toilet!
A media buyer doesn’t usually have access to an offer’s entire internal statistics.
This means that – in order to choose a well-performing offer (or profile of traffic in case you decide to use the Smartlink) – you should contact your affiliate network’s account manager.
He/she will give you several amazing ones which you can choose from. You can also go and check forums to see what’s hot and trendy.
These processes will help you creating media buying campaigns!
2. Traffic Source – The Juice That’s Gotta Keep Flowing
There are numerous traffic sources for media buy campaigns and you need to make the right choice in order to become profitable in your media buying activity.
You can search and read forums online or dedicate your hours to improving your knowledge in the Mobidea Academy.
You can also check available spots in the ad network and, in case you want your ad to be shown on some specific site, you can check which ad network that site’s selling traffic to.
These actions can help you pick an ad network.
Ad networks are all different so you might as well take the time to study each one thoroughly and select the one that best fits your media buying profile!
3. Spot – Choose Wisely or See the Money Fly Away
Now that you’ve chosen your ad network, what’s next?
You need to select which spot you wanna go for!
There are a whole lotta them available in each ad network.
If you’re really one of those hardcore newbies in the media buying arena, I suggest you start with safe spots with less volume.
his is how you can get a taste of media buying without risking your financial well-being.
First, you should perform a test without a great amount of dangerous risk.
You should test a lot, so you can receive info that’ll allow you to understand if the offer has the traffic potential you’re looking for.
This is fundamental to creating media buying campaigns!
I suggest you try every spot with the exception of the Popunder, the mobile redirect, and the 300×250.
Why these exceptions for your media buy campaigns?
Because these are some of the trickiest spots. In fact, they have a lot of volume and an increased risk.
You should launch two/three spots to test the offer in different perspectives.
The goal is to evaluate the potential of the offer/segment.
Afterward, you can scale it up upon gathering more relevant info.
4. Targeting – Shoot your Traffic-Arrow Like Robin Hood
While choosing the offer, you’ve already taken care of picking the basic targeting.
In the event that you’re working with a Single Offer, you’ll see that you’ll be informed about which country/operator/OS it’s working in.
If you prefer working with Smartlinks, you can get the precise info from your account manager on which country/OS/operator you should target to get the biggest profit.
However, bear in mind that not all networks will allow you to target the operator.
Indeed, some can offer you the chance of buying Wi-Fi + 3G traffic together; others can target by ISP.
Some networks offer some more advanced targeting options.
I’ll always suggest affiliates target the highest number of features available.
Because that’ll allow you to test the maximum traffic possible, becoming able to find a gold mine like a true super cool pro baller!
I’ve seen cases where a very small OS yielded an ROI of 500%!
How’s that possible?
Day-to-day media buying struggle.
A lot of hours, minutes and seconds dedicated to media buy campaigns.
That’s why the Mobidea Crew will always give you hot tips for you to avoid making silly mistakes.
For instance, you should know that English language banners don’t normally work in Latam countries.
Or that the Opera mini browser and the UC browser will show – in the majority of cases – a much lower performance.
That’s why I suggest you remove these options right at the beginning.
If the campaign eventually works for you, you can add them later on.
I’ve also got a cool Traffic Factory tip.
In case you’re afraid to spend a lot of money at the beginning, you could choose only a country’s main cities.
The biggest cities tend to perform better than the rest of the country.
Later on, you can surely expand your targeting.
5. Blacklist – The Place Where Media Buying Money Goes to Die
This field is normally empty at the beginning but sometimes you already know that some sites/spots will probably only eat your money away without actually yielding much profit.
If you’re sure a specific site is hogwash, you can dismiss it.
In the event that it becomes something special, you shouldn’t worry:
You can always exhume the corpse and try again!
6. Bid – What Are You Willing to Give to Get to First Place?
After choosing the target, it’s time to go for the bid.
There are ad networks that have some references on the minimum and the average bid and you should definitely take this info into account.
However, in case a network is working on a CPM/CPC basis, I suggest you insert an above-average bid in order not to spend a lot of money but still be able to receive quality traffic and stats for further optimization.
If an ad network offers you the possibility to bid based on Smartbid, I suggest you go for this option since you can pay less than you’re actually bidding and also act like a spy and keep tabs on your competitors’ behavior. This is the norm on most ad networks.
Each network has its own Smart Bidding system.
I recommend you analyze this tool thoroughly and use it to your advantage.
If you can choose between CPM and CPC, I suggest you pick CPM.
That way, you can control one more parameter – the banner’s CTR.
In case the specific campaign used to be active and you feel like running it again, you can check its stats to calculate the eCPM.
Just divide the revenue you got on your first campaign for the corresponding impressions you’ve bought on the traffic source and then multiply it by 1000.
eCPM is an awesome metric that you’ve gotta use to succeed!
It will let you know how much you’re actually earning per 1000 impressions.
This can really help you understand what bid to go for in your online media buying campaigns!
7. Capping – Get the Frequency Right, and Get That Money on Sight!
In the event that you create a campaign from scratch, I suggest you set a capping of 1/24 hours.
This means a user with the same IP will see your ad only once in 24 hours.
Why do I recommend this capping?
Due to the fact that – the higher the capping you set – the less quality the impression of that same user will have.
When you put capping equal to 1, you restrict your traffic to the highest impression possible according to your position.
This obviously implies fewer risks and a lower amount of costs, which means you can fly high without having to fear falling down and coming close to hit the bankrupt floor!
8. Budget – To Make Money, You Need Money
Here’s another important aspect:
You need to set up your daily/campaign budget.
You should try setting the lowest possible budget but still have enough so that you can run the whole 24 hours of the day.
By doing this, you make sure not to lose a huge amount of cash in case of any unexpected expenditures.
At the same time, you’ll get stats for the whole day, something which will definitely help you to correctly optimize in the future.
In case the daily budget you’ve set is just too low, you’ll be making a huge mistake.
Because if you don’t invest the necessary funds, your campaign will stop before the 24-hour deadline which means you may miss out on the best-performing hours of the day!
9. Day-Parting – Pick the Hour that Suits you Best
There are some media buyers who pick specific hours to play on, in the hopes that they’ll receive a higher number of conversions while also lowering costs.
The night period is quite common in the adult vertical, for instance.
However, I’d never recommend you do this. Even if you do manage to get more conversions during night time, competition can also be tougher.
This means you can become less profitable in these highly competitive hours.
At the beginning, you should go wide and not try selecting a specific hour so as to get as much data as possible and therefore be able to optimize like a media buying sultan!
This is how you rule your online media buying campaigns!
10. Banners and Landers – An Image is Worth 50k a Day
You can also use one of many spying tools available in the market in order to understand banner patterns and create your portfolio based on actual research.
Even though you should always check what others have been doing to see what the market responds to, you also need to get your creative juices flowing!
At times, something that’s truly unique can really appeal to a larger number of users.
When starting your first campaign, you should run 3-5 banners at least.
You’ll start with this average because you wanna understand the kind of creatives that work best for both your offer and targeting.
Indeed, it’s important for you to gather stats to be able to see which images, words, colors, and animations are gonna be the best choice for that specific campaign.
Feel like it’s important to check an article on Banner Optimization to become a master of online media buying campaigns?
Then read “Banners – Tips to Improve Campaign Performance“.
Conclusion – When You Know Better, You Become a Campaign King!
Now that you have read this dope post, you can start checking different ad networks, investing the right amount of money, and testing offers!
After testing, analyzing and optimizing, you’ll start getting some sweet money!
Then, what? Then you get that special feeling that affects all us media buyers.
That thrill for the chase; for the eternal fight in the search for the best possible offers, verticals, price models and campaigns that turn determined hope into big brawny bucks!
I hope this article has given you the skills you needed to start your media buying journey to the top!
Good luck with your first online media buying campaigns!
Media Buying Expert
Elena started in the company as an affiliate manager for Russian and English-speaking countries. Since she is wicked smart, she quickly managed to get a lot of new clients to grow steadily, taking advantage of her updated advice, super competent guidance, and inspired mood. Later on, Elena became responsible for Media Buying tasks as well. In fact, she's a real pro when it comes to APAC countries, since she always gets to make it rain with lots of traffic and small payouts!
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