If you've ever run advertisements on Google or Facebook, you know how tough it is to keep track of different bidding tactics. It might be overwhelming to have such a broad variety of techniques, especially if you are new to online advertising.
We have gathered and compared all of the bidding tactics available on Google, LinkedIn and Meta in this blog.
We've also included recommendations on how to get the best results to assist you understand and choose the best bidding strategy for your company. Furthermore, we emphasize the important benefits and drawbacks of each bidding approach.
The comparison table below shall help you understand the various bidding strategies of different online advertising platforms better.
The table can be useful when planning your next advertising campaign. It displays appropriate bidding strategies based on the campaign goals of Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
As you can see, depending on the platform, there may be multiple bidding strategies for each goal.
Let's examine each online advertising platform and its bidding strategies in greater detail.
Please keep in mind that you can easily navigate to the channel you want by simply clicking on the preferred platform within the structure shown above.
Let’s first start with Meta.
When you first look at the bidding strategies, it may feel confusing — the main reason for this is their names. Facebook introduces us to completely new bidding strategy wording. However, don't be discouraged - it's not as difficult as it appears.
Let's take a quick look at the main bidding strategies available on Facebook.
In general, we can categorize Facebook bidding strategies into three types: goal-based bidding, spend-based bidding, and manual bidding.
Users can use this strategy to set a minimum ROAS for each bid. As a result, the Minimum ROAS strategy is ideal for advertisers seeking greater control over the purchase value generated by advertisements. However, keep in mind that a functional pixel or SDK set up to track conversion events is required to use the minimum ROAS bidding strategy.
Users can use this strategy to set their desired Target cost-per-action (CPA). As a result, it gives you more control over the cost of your results. If you want to keep your costs under control, Facebook recommends this strategy as the default. The cost cap strategy is ideal for advertisers with specific CPA targets.
Users can use this strategy to maximise delivery and the number of conversions possible for a given budget. You have no control over your costs per result in this case. Despite the fact that the algorithm makes bids to obtain the lowest cost for the target action, it will spend the entire budget because the manual bid is not used here.
This strategy is ideal for advertisers who do not yet know how much each prospect is worth and would like some "advice" from Facebook without being constrained by the manual bid. Overall, the lowest cost strategy saves time because Facebook does the bidding for you, but you have no control over your CPA, which means advertising can become very expensive over time.
This bidding strategy enables users to concentrate on increasing conversion value. In other words, the algorithm will direct its resources towards making the most valuable purchases while spending the entire budget. This strategy is ideal for advertisers who want to maximise their return on investment (ROI) and are willing to spend the entire budget but are unsure of the minimum ROI and bid amount.
Users can use this strategy to specify the maximum amount that can be spent in an auction. Simply put, the bid cap strategy gives users more control over their bids during an auction. It is critical to understand that the auction bid and the cost per result (or CPA) are not the same thing. As a result, unlike the Cost Cap and Target Cost strategies, the algorithm will not place a higher bid in the auction in this case. This strategy is ideal for advertisers who want to control costs while reaching as many users as possible through auctions.
You can also find more information in the official Facebook bid strategy guide that provides an overview of the available Facebook bidding strategies.
Before we get started, let's quickly go over the fundamentals of how Google Ads works.
To begin, depending on the goal you choose at the outset, you can access various bidding strategies. As a result, the possible selection fields differ depending on the strategy used. That may seem perplexing at first, but the more you use Google Ads, the clearer it will become. The best approach here is to select the appropriate objective. Make certain that it reflects your marketing objectives.
Second, it is critical to understand that a combination of inputs allows users to create different bidding strategies due to the various configuration options. Some strategies do not exist in isolation. g., A target ROAS bidding strategy combines a maximise conversion value strategy with a predetermined target ROAS. Target CPA, on the other hand, is a maximise conversion strategy with a predetermined target CPA.
This bidding strategy is ideal for increasing brand awareness because it can potentially help you gain impression share - the proportion of actual impressions received versus the estimated number of impressions received. Learn more about the different types of impressions and variations of this term used in online advertising by clicking here.
Simply put, the Target impression share strategy assists you in occupying a specific keyword and raising brand awareness. It enables you to set a target impression share ranging from 0% to 100% and, as a result, occupy a specific SERP space.
The maximise clicks bidding strategy is an automated strategy that allows users to maximise the number of clicks generated by their ad campaign within the constraints of a daily budget. With this online advertising strategy, you can set your Maximum CPC (cost per click), allowing you to limit bids. In other words, by specifying your maximum CPC, you are telling Google how much you are willing to pay for each click.
You let Google adjust your bids automatically while spending your budget if you don't set a maximum CPC limit. As a result, defining the maximum CPC to set a specific limit that the platform cannot cross is usually recommended to better control your spending.
Unlike automated bidding strategies, Manual CPC is the bidding strategy that lets you fully control your spend. Simply put, with this strategy, you define the maximum bid you’re willing to pay in an auction for a particular keyword.
Enhanced CPC (ECPC) is a semi-automated bidding strategy that is more advanced than manual CPC.
What exactly is the add-on? ECPC assists a user in increasing conversions through manual bidding. ECPC enables Google to automatically adjust manual bids for clicks that appear more or less likely to result in sales or conversions by leveraging contextual signals and historical data.
Simply put, Google can automatically adjust your bid based on the performance of your ad.
Enhanced CPC, in contrast to Target CPA and Target ROAS smart bidding strategies, will assist you in keeping the average CPC below the set maximum CPC.
Maximize conversions is another Google automated bidding strategy that assists users in generating as much conversion volume as possible within the budget constraints. A user does not need to set a specific cost per click (CPC), cost per acquisition (CPA), or return on ad spend (ROAS) target in this case.
Target cost-per-acquisition is another automated bidding strategy available on Google Ads. This online advertising strategy focuses on increasing conversions while meeting the defined average CPA goal.
In contrast to the Maximize Conversions bidding strategy, the Maximize Conversion Value bidding strategy aims to help you get the most valuable conversions for the budget you set. In other words, this strategy allows you to concentrate solely on conversions that will yield the highest return. As a result, in this case, the algorithm will prioritise quality over quantity: there may be fewer conversions than with Maximize clicks, but they will be of higher value.
If you choose this bidding strategy, Google Ads will attempt to optimise your bids in order to maximise revenue while staying within your target ROAS.
Keep in mind that you can only use this strategy if you have enough historical data: at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days.
The Target ROAS strategy has the same advantages and disadvantages as the Target CPA bidding strategy.
On LinkedIn, there are three bidding strategies to choose from: manual bidding, targeted cost, and max delivery (automated). Let us take a quick look at them.
Advertisers can use the manual bidding strategy to specify the amount they want to bid per key result. This strategy is the best option for users who want more control over their auction bids.
Based on your campaign segmentation and competition, LinkedIn will recommend a bid amount (i.e., what other advertisers are bidding). Furthermore, LinkedIn's manual bidding strategy includes the option to improve the bidding setup by enabling bid adjustment for high-value clicks. This configuration provides up to 45% more flexibility than the bid amount entered to optimise the campaign for more conversions or leads. Simply put, if LinkedIn believes that a click is more likely to result in a conversion, it will automatically bid up to 45% higher based on historical data. This is a more advanced version of the Manual bidding strategy that is similar to the Enhanced bidding strategies available on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.
Simply put, the Target Cost bidding strategy allows you to get the most important results while staying within your defined target cost range. In other words, it will allow you to specify the highest amount you are willing to pay for the desired outcome (such as impressions, clicks, or views). This strategy is suitable for campaign objectives such as Brand Awareness (optimised for Impressions), Website Visits (optimised for Link clicks), Engagement (optimised for Engagement clicks), and Video Views.
Maximum Delivery is an automated LinkedIn bidding method that allows users to utilise the power of artificial intelligence to achieve the most important results while spending the least amount of money. In other words, by selecting this method, you are allowing LinkedIn to perform all of the work for you, such as automatically adjusting your bid to deliver the best results possible within your total budget.
To be able to run profitable Facebook campaigns, it’s important that you understand how Facebook’s bidding system works and considering there are a limited number of ad spots available, it is crucial to put your best foot forward when placing a bid.
Depending on your objectives, you will need to select an ad distribution type and optimization method, as well as a bidding strategy. As always, extensive testing is required to determine which combination of delivery type, optimization, and bidding approach works best for you.
Combining this knowledge with leveraging customer personas, leveraging funnel content and taking advantage of sales like the BFCM will help you generate maximum profits from your business.
You can also Book an Introduction Call with us to help you understand what bidding strategy would work best for your business.
Are you a digital business looking to win the BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) this Thanksgiving? Get in touch with us and we’ll send over a free guide on the best BFCM myth-busters!