Having a background in Artificial Intelligence is handy for an online advertiser seeking traffic.
This is an area of study where we get computers to make “intelligent-seeming” decisions so computers can interact with humans in a useful way. More specifically, these engines are designed to intelligently make money for engines like Facebook – by selling advertising space.
In the next ten minutes, this primer will show you the smart way to bid for traffic on Facebook. It is based on my understanding of software which has helped me become one of the top traffic strategists in the world.
Before we begin, i’d like to clear something up:
If you’re going to ask for PAID traffic, be prepared to pay.
Advertisers face problems because they make emotional uncalculated decisions in the spur of the moment: “My ads aren’t getting leads after $100 in spending, i better drop my bid, lower my daily budget, or start over.”
That’s not productive.
You need to plan carefully.
Have an advertising budget set aside for Facebook traffic.
Know exactly how much you can afford to spend every day.
And make sure your budget is disposable so you don’t feel frightened and change it every day.
Advertising has ONE purpose only. To send VISITS to your website. If you get clicks, then your advertising is working. So don’t mess with it!
Set Your Daily Budget
Once you know how much you’re prepared to spend on getting hits to your website write that number down.
Study it carefully.
Ask yourself, based on your experience, will this budget make for a one-off traffic campaign? or is it a number you’re prepared to spend MONTHLY unconditional of how many leads or sales it brings?
It doesn’t matter which your answer is. What is important is to make the decision from the start.
Estimate How Much TIME it Buys
Advertising takes money. If your budget is limited, it can only buy you so much time until you need to replenish it.
So you must know how much time you have with your current budget.
A good advertising campaign requires about 50 leads to see a sale. And sales will not come immediately, even with well-done advertising. Your need frequent follow-up for at least 30 days to sell 1 lead from 50.
Be prepared to spend money without sales for ALL new campaign – at least for 30 days.
If your budget doesn’t allow it, find more money.
If you still can’t afford that, then you’re operating out of FEAR. Because you know your sales message and product SUCK. Go fix them up – come back and see me later.
Allocate Your Blitz “Budget”
Aside from having an overall campaign budget, you should allocate an “initial” budget for the first few days of advertising.
The earliest period of any Paid traffic campaign is of UTMOST importance to the engine.
For this, you should decide on a trial period.
This is NOT a trial period for you to test your offer – you should come prepared with an offer that works.
This is a period for the ENGINE TO TRY YOU!
PPC engines intelligently determine competition. Part of their process is a trial period where they figure out how many impressions to allocate to your ads.
They have to make do with estimates based on your ad copy, target audience, and competitors.
Every Artificial Intelligence engine requires a “training period”.
For example, in speech recognition, accurate recognition of the words you say requires a training session where you train the engine to recognise your voice. Everyone pronounces differently. Voices are not all the same.
Similarly, PPC Engines need to see what your ads are capable of in terms of gaining interest and giving the engine revenue. Every ad gets different response.
It is in you best interest to set a LARGE budget for at least 24-hours to quickly give the engine as much information as possible about how your ads perform in front of people.
Screw up the first few days of advertising and your ads won’t be shown much.
So always allocate a sizeable budget (over $100) to the first 24-hour period. And consider spending that amount every day for as much as 7 days.
You can drop it later.
Determine Your CPC Bid
When you write a new ad, the engine has NO history data about it.
Competitiveness is an important metric that PPC engines need to get training data on.
On Facebook and most PPC engines, your competitiveness is determined by TWO factors:
- – the FREQUENCY of clicks (usually a ratio of impressions-to-clicks)
- – the amount you PAY PER CLICK
Your CPC bid is the only thing that can influence this. And it doesn’t change your competitiveness directly either.
If your competitors bid higher than you, then you have a smaller shot at getting impressions in favourable areas of the website.
The engine is going to “bet” on your ad. So it tries to do this intelligently with a formula that looks something like:
Historical CTR x Actual CPC.
When you have no history, the engine bases all its Historical CTR estimate on what other advertisers in your market have done in the past with similar ads. You can’t control their existing history.
ACTUAL CPC is what you are charged per click. You can’t control that either.
So what can you control?
The Click-Thru-Rate and CPC bid.
And this is where i see most hang-ups.
People bid stingy to keep their actual CPC down.
But your CPC influences your competitiveness.
How will the engine bet on you if you’re the slowest horse in the race?
Set your CPC bid higher than the engine’s estimate. What they show you is the bid-range of your competitors. Are you the fastest horse in the race?
Show the engine you’re a GOOD bet.
Bid high. As high as it wants and higher.
It gets you more impressions than everyone else AND it gives your ad the best shot at being clicked. This gets you the HIGHEST Click-Thru-Rate possible for your ad copy.
If your ad copy sucks, you’ll quickly know by how much your ACTUAL CPC is.
Don’t like that? Go fix your ad and try again.
But if you have a great ad, then you will immediately see that your CTR is high and your CPC is lowwwwwwwwww as low as it will ever go.
STAY The Course
Once you’re getting clicks and your CTR is great, don’t frigging change your bid!
Stupid, stupid mistake to think that by dropping your bid you’ll start spending less. You won’t. All it will do is kill your CTR response and reduce the number of clicks you get to your website.
More clicks to your website are VALUABLE even if they’re not converting well.
Clicks allow you to see which ad offer perform best. So adjust your landing page to do a better job of converting the clicks to leads and sales.
Clicks are VALUABLE data for every marketer.
If you don’t plan properly with the earlier steps, you will not be willing to keep up your clicks.
There you have it folks. This is the most honest primer on Facebook bidding i could muster.
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