Editor’s Note: This is a section of our Media Buying Guide – Semi Advanced. Check it out!
When you’re launching campaigns on Exoclick you have two main choices: a RON campaign and a Premium campaign.
The first one allows you to target all the websites available on the Ad Network. The second one gives you a selection of specific websites.
This means you can choose not only which sites to target but also the specific spot in which your marketing material will be displayed and viewed by the users (e.g. mobile top or mobile middle). In premium campaigns you can also insert individual bids for each one of the chosen websites.
What’s usually done – especially when you’re getting to know a country – is launching RON campaigns with a wide target.
Later on, as you start receiving traffic and consequently data, you optimize it. Indeed, that’s when you cut bad parameters, adjust bids and execute other strategies you can easily learn from several Mobidea Academy articles.
What I want to focus on in this present article is the process of creating premium campaigns.
Wondering why you should create this type of campaigns?
There are two main reasons to do it:
1 – Very good performance on premium websites
When optimizing a RON campaign, you notice that one or more premium websites showcase a very good performance, perhaps way better than the others on the campaign.
So what do you do?
First, you detect the chosen websites. Second, you proceed to the analysis of their zones.
This process of seriously analyzing each zone is crucial. It is so because what usually happens is a situation where it’s very good in one spot – say mobile top – and not so great in another, such as mobile middle.
If you’re thorough in the analytical stage, you can select only the zones that interest you and generate good results in your premium campaign.
2 – Poor or below-average performance on premium websites
Sometimes, you’re analyzing your RON campaign sites and realize that either one or more premium websites aren’t performing that well.
Usually, this occurs because, although they’re converting, they have a high cost when compared to the others – most likely due to the fact that they have a higher number of impressions and your target is yet too wide.
When you’re a beginner faced with a similar situation, your first impulse is to cut the website, which can make you lose an opportunity to make a lot of money.
What are you to do in those cases?
Something similar to what I’ve already explained in the previous item.
First of all, you check the zones, and what you’ll probably see is that one zone can showcase good behavior, or at least not that bad, while another zone is really awful. This is a textbook situation to create a premium campaign but just with the better zone.
This way, you’ll solve two problems at once:
a) lower the costs of your RON which was probably being negatively affected because of the website;
b) avoid losing the traffic in its good zone. In addition, you can’t forget that having only specific websites in a premium campaign allows you to better manage the costs so as to get the most possible juice.
In general, I recommend you to not get rid of these premium websites.
Because they are usually filled with amazing potential!
Once you do this, you have to worry about other details, such as which bid to put and which targeting to use.
Remember: these decisions can never resort to a template. In fact, each case is original and special in its own way. You need to study each particular situation, ultimately relying on your personal preferences as a Media Buyer.
From now on, so as to make things more clear, you’ll get to check our case study. It shows you a premium campaign in Spain for the mobile top spot of a very big website.
This campaign was launched for a slightly different reason than the two most common ones that have already been alluded to, meaning that it did not originate from a RON.
In this case, I was already familiar with the European region. I knew that this spot was behaving very well for many similar countries. Therefore, as I started to work in Spain, I made the decision of launching this premium spot directly in the carrier that was performing very well, which was Vodafone.
You’ll do well to understand this example as a lesson. In fact, this is yet another reason to launch a premium campaign.
Even though it’s not as common as the ones I’ve picked, I’d always tell you the same: in case you’re are having a very good experience with a specific premium website and feel comfortable launching it directly in a similar country, I advise you to go for it!
I started the campaign with a wide target. I opted to remove iOS, which is something I normally do, as this OS tends to underperform and it’s also expensive.
If you think it could work well you can launch a campaign just for it later on. My bid was 1.00, which is the one I most regularly use when I don’t have references to calculate a bid based on eCPM.
Tip: you should always calculate a bid based on eCPM, especially in the two cases you’ve already checked.
This comes in handy for any Media Buyer. If you need to read more info about this subject, you’ll be glad to know we’ve got an article dedicated to the smartCPM tool.
Getting back to what I was writing about, I knew that, with a bid of this value, I’d probably be able to get, if not the first, at least a decent position.
Indeed, I knew that I could get a spot that would generate data for my optimizations.
The campaign converted three times the day it was launched.
A day went by and guess what?
The campaign had converted an incredible nineteen times! It was surprising.
Wondering what happened?
It’s quite simple. It seems I found what Media Buyers call a “gold mine”. This means that there was probably one guy with a relatively low bid getting all the juice without being bothered and I got very good and cheap traffic.
Knowing that the payout in Spain Vodafone is between 5 and 6 Euros, you can see that the campaign made around 100€ on its second day.
Not too shabby, right?
Next day, I increased the capping of the campaign from 1 to 3 to get even more juice. When you increase the capping, the goal is to get more impressions per user knowing that they have less quality.
After this, you need to check from which impression you start to lose money. This was on Friday, so I left the campaign as it was throughout the weekend. The results were very good but the costs were increasing on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, as the revenues were not increasing at the same pace, the margin was decreasing. This was obviously due to the increase in the capping, which substantially raises the costs.
Moreover, I had another problem: the competition also increased.
On Monday my average CPM had already gone from 0.56 in the second day to 1.04. The first thing I did was to decrease capping in order to remain only with the best quality impression.
Why did this happen?
Someone, most likely the guy from whom I stole traffic, was pissed off. That’s why he put a bid below me; he was forcing me to pay higher, and so the bid war had begun!
As we’re dealing with Smart CPM on Exoclick, I’ll always pay 10% higher than the guy below me. The fellow was pressuring me, so that my costs would increase to such a level I couldn’t afford the position anymore.
Basically, that’s what happened.
On Monday I tried to maintain the first position. I was hoping he wouldn’t get good traffic and choose to leave. However, the costs increased too much as conversions started to decrease.
This slump was probably due to the fact that it was a Monday and I was left to suffer a relatively big loss.
Now what? What was I supposed to do?
I decided to calculate how much my competitor was paying – that is 10% less than me – and introduced a bid a little bit below that. This way, I gave him a taste of his own medicine!
Additionally, I optimized, removing some costly devices that failed to convert.
The battle remained heated for the next days. When I was below him, my costs obviously decreased. The problem was that I didn’t have the best traffic, which means I had fewer conversions, making me barely break even.
Even so, I had to endure because I knew something only experience can teach: I was sure my rival wouldn’t be able to afford that place, paying the same level of CPM I had paid before.
Later on the week, the days after the beginning of the campaign, I employed yet another strategy to win this tussle: I knew that my biggest source of costs was a Samsung device and, although it was converting, it was expensive.
What I did next is easy to understand: I removed Samsung from this campaign and launched a new campaign just for it with a bid equal to its eCPM. Just as in the cases I referred before, this allowed me to lower the costs of the campaign without losing the whole traffic from Samsung.
Along with this, I increased bid again. That meant I became able to take more heat. Indeed, once I removed Samsung, I knew my costs would instantly decrease.
I had three more days of high CPMs, due to the bid pressure below me. On the 18th, though, something happened. Apparently, that’s the day my enemy chose to leave. He probably realized he was paying a whole lot without getting good traffic.
After he left the war zone, my CPM fell to 0.8 and then to around 0.6, which was very close to the CPM I had at the beginning of this Media Buying arm-wrestling.
The campaign started to be profitable again (I still managed to have some profitable days in the middle of the battle, which is great).
What does it mean? Am I victorious? Should I start celebrating? I guess that I’m happy for now.
Nonetheless, you have to beware. In high payout segments, such as Western European countries, competition is fierce. In fact, everyone’s gonna want a sweet piece of the money cake, because it can be a very valuable slice if you play your cards right. The key is to always be on alert mode.
This business demands you to stay sharp, getting your weapons ready for another gruesome, no-holds-bar Bid War!
Learn from this post, search for other valuable content and get ready.
Up for it?
Prepare your ammo. The battle is only beginning and there’s a lot of green paper waiting to be stacked!
Questions about this perennial struggle?
Ask them all!
Raul Correa - Europe Expert