Media Buying Beginner’s Mistakes – Part 2 of 5

 6 min read

After creating the first article of Media Buying Mistakes, we felt that we should definitely go back to the subject as soon as possible.

That’s why we came up with another list that’s gonna give you even more advanced tips!

10 Tips to Avoid Media Buying Mistakes

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Learn as Much as Possible About the Business

Before you start your Media Buying adventure, you should understand the basics of the business.

It’s crucial that you fully grasp the whole process – from the offers side, to the networks side, as well as what the job actually entails on a daily basis.

This will ensure that you can understand variations on your campaigns and how to do the basics of this business.

I advise you to check forums, read other Mobidea Academy articles and also talk to your Account Manager, since he can explain things you might not be able to understand.

Sometimes, it can get stressful when a Media Buyer doesn’t understand why the performance of a specific carrier went down on all the CPA networks.

In those moments, you’ll wonder whether or not they’re all working together.

Rest assured: they’re not. What happened is simple:

You may have forgotten that the carriers set the rules of the billing flow that will impact all the actors.

Those questions and mortifying doubts will always be easily solved if you trust the expertise of your Affiliate Manager.

2. Don’t Just Randomly Change your Bid

When optimizing a campaign, one of the most important things is the bid, so you must be aware of the influence it will have on your campaign’s performance/behaviour.

In order to know the bid, you should use ratios such as eCPM, which is your revenue per 1000 impressions.

This way, you’ll be able to change your bid, knowing how much you can afford to pay before starting to lose.

Here’s the deal:

In case you have a really high bid but a low eCPM, you should consider lowering your bid to the eCPM value of that campaign.

If you have a low bid and your eCPM is high, you should raise your bid to eCPM, or a little bit higher if you’re using SmartCPM.

In conclusion, you can put a bid higher than your eCPM because, when using SmartCPM, you’ll be paying a dynamic CPM based on the bid below you.

This means that, for example, having an eCPM of 0.45 and putting a bid of 0.5 doesn’t always mean you’ll be paying more than your eCPM.

This metric is really important for you to have an idea of the bid you can set, as opposed to just trying to guess.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Split Campaigns

Sometimes, you’ll see that you have a main parameter which is bringing a huge slice of your campaign’s traffic (for example, a browser like Chrome), but it’s having a very bad performance with low eCPM when compared to the other parameters.

In these cases, you shouldn’t be afraid to remove from one campaign and put in another just for that parameter and adjust the bid according to the eCPM of that particular browser.

This way, you’ll be able to set the target for those differently performing categories.

Moreover, if that bad parameter really continues to go downhill, you can then stop it, knowing there surely wasn’t anything hidden left to explore.

Be careful, though:

Don’t separate too many campaigns because it’ll increase your workload, therefore reducing your productivity.

4. Keep an Eye on Higher Bid Campaigns

If you have some campaigns with a very high bid, you have to be twice as careful about them.

Imagine that you have a campaign with a bid above 2 or 3 and that you don’t check it very often.

Now, for example, imagine that a competitor enters that segment and puts a bid of 1.5.

What happens?

You’ll be able to see you’ll start paying a lot more, eventually beginning to lose money very quickly.

In order for you to avoid having to go through this, you have to be extremely careful with campaigns with bids that are a lot higher than your eCPM.

5. Always Check your Top Campaigns

Your top campaigns are the core of your business volume, so you should check them on a daily basis, constantly monitoring their behaviour.

Beware: I’m not advising you to optimize them on a daily basis like crazy – I’m only saying that you should be alert to changes such as new competition, or changes in ranking/position.

If none of these examples manages to describe the sort of variations you’re experiencing, check if your costs and impressions remain the same.

If they do, and you notice your revenues have dropped a lot, you can ask the Offers Team if there was a drop in the offer side or any technical problem that’s not allowing you to optimize your campaigns in a thorough, competent way.

6. Pay Attention to How Long You’ve Been Losing Money

I understand that it may be difficult for you to stop campaigns since there’s always a hope that they’ll start converting.

Nonetheless, you should quash those fears and check if you had conversions in the last few weeks.

In special cases, such as low cost campaigns, you should also check one month or further into the past in order to ascertain what’s going on.

If you’re having a good amount of conversions but you’re still negative, you should optimize both your targeting and bid.

In case you don’t have conversions or only very few, you should stop the campaign even if it’s losing cents per day because, overall, you might be losing a lot of money.

7. Test your Blacklist

Media Buyers such as myself are used to optimize and cut parameters, reducing costs without cutting revenues.

However, I sometimes forget that what wasn’t performing well some weeks or months ago might be working now.

If you see that – for a consistent period of time – the general performance is increasing for a specific targeting like carrier/country, you should think about testing your campaign’s blacklists once again.

For example, imagine that you cut some bad websites at the beginning of the month.

At the time, it might have been because they were performing poorly and you had a bad campaign.

After a month or more, you know you haven’t had information about those websites in a long time and that you should test them again, so you can create a campaign apart just to test the performance of those websites in the present.

If you do this, you may be surprised:

Maybe you have been missing out on some good websites or devices!

8. Getting Good Profit Margins? Think About Increasing Capping

When you’re having good margin rates such as 100% daily, you should definitely think about increasing your capping.

This obviously applies to campaigns where you’re in the 1st position and you should never do it in low position campaigns because you’re not getting the best traffic, which means you’ll get a higher number of bad quality impressions.

Remember: capping is the number of times your ads will appear to a specific IP within a set period of time.

If you’re constantly getting high revenue margins in the 1st position, with capping of 1, it’s in your best interest to show your ads more than just that one time in that period of time.


Because you wanna generate higher profits, of course!

9. Expand your Horizons

Knowledge comes from experience.

In fact, as you start working with a specific country on a network, you might reach a level where you just can’t expand any more.

The network has simply given you all it could give.

What should you do, then?

Don’t be stuck with that ad network and try the same targeting you already have – and are certain works – on different networks.

In the Mobidea Academy, there are articles in which you’ll find explanations and tips on how to work on different adnetworks.

Never get stuck with your comfortable daily network and try a bunch of other ones!

10. Don’t Forget to Optimize Banners

As you know, banners are the first step of your campaigns.

Indeed, they’re the first thing that appears to the users of a website, so you must not forget them when optimizing.

Always check their performance based on eCPA (cost per acquisition).

If they are all even in terms of eCPA, try checking their CTR, which is the Click Through Rate, a rate which gives you the percentage of clicks compared to impressions.

In addition, you should change the ones with the lowest CTR.

Another thing that can help you is to create a compilation of the best and worst banners.

By doing this, you get to know which ones are performing better and which ones you shouldn’t be using at all.

You also shouldn’t forget to test new types of banners from time to time (different colours, layouts, images, etc.) always respecting the restrictions of the country and carrier you’re working on!


Once again, I hope this article will help you reach a higher level and increase your productivity.

From my experience, I can guarantee these tips work wonders!

These tips are basic daily actions performed by our Media Buying Team on a regular basis and they’ll help you dodge beginner’s media buying mistakes.

They help us control our campaigns, making sure our business grows every day!