One thing that I have begun moving away from for some of my clients is PPC and doing Media Buys instead. I never thought that I would recommend media over PPC as an instant form of traffic, and for a better ROI or CPA, but with the growing costs and increased competition, Media can now beat out PPC and drive a large amount of quality and targeted traffic if done correctly. This post is about using Google’s managed placements as a way to drive traffic and sales instead of a traditional media buy which is something that is working amazing right now because of increased and better targeting technology. The thoughts here are to help you try to think about where to place your ads and how to find the sites that may be able to work for you. I cannot guarantee it will, but it is working for me and my clients.
The thing you have to remember with PPC and Managed placements as a media buy is that you have two different goals. With PPC you are bidding on keywords that will being a person to your landing page or website that sells your products. With managed placements as a media buy you are trying to find where your customers shop and then you need an ad that will generate interest and cause a click and then bring them to your website. They sound similar but they are completely different. Here are a few examples. Then I’ll help show you how to find sites that you may want to use as placements.
If you have a campground and need to rent out spaces.
With PPC you may geotarget the areas around you, or where your customers tend to come from and bid on terms like campgrounds, cabins for rent, family friendly campgounds, etc… For managed placements you want to think about where your campers and customers may be going when they are thinking about camping.
With Managed Placements you need to find sites that have adsense on them and create the banners sizes that fit. For people who would be camping, you may want to look for local camping forums, local camping guides, if one of your selling points is fishing or hiking, find local sites, or national, that show the best fishing and camping spots or even blogs about it. Then you add in the keywords that are on the pages you want to show on as well as the url and you use ads that target a fishing trip or hiking trip or families having a fun weekend vacation camping.
For targeting eBay or Amazon sellers.
If you sell a product that is used by eBay or Amazon sellers to list products on eBay or Amazon, for PPC you would bid on things like eBay datafeed tools, automatic Amazon product listings tools, eBay listing creators, etc… For managed placements you have to think a bit different.
Find organizations, websites, forums, blogs, etc… that have sections, categories or pages that have adsense and are dedicated to helping these store owners with issues that could be a fit for you. You may also want to find more general eBay powerseller stores or Amazon shop owners where they ask questions and get answers about improving or managing their store. Then you take keywords like listings, datafeeds, product feeds, how do I list multiple products, etc… into the keywords, load the urls and then upload relevant banners to target them.
Targeting Affiliates (non recruitment)
If you have a general tool that Affiliates could use to create a store or list coupons or other things, instead of bidding on terms like affiliate store creators, affiliate datafeed tools, etc… you will want to think about where these types of affiliates hang out.
You can try conference sites, awards sites, affiliate blogs, how to guides, etc… and then upload the urls of the sites and pages you like as well as the keywords and phrases from the pages you are targeting and show ads that are relevant to them. For recruiting Affiliates, you need to take a different approach. I’ll do that in another post.
Finding sites for Managed Placements.
There are numerous ways to find sites that could be a good fit for managed placements. My favorite is to take your PPC results that have become to expensive to bid on and type those terms and variations into Google. Then take the pages and sites that show up for the terms and enter the relevant ones into your url list.
Now add in the keywords that will trigger your ads and you are on your way to getting exposure for those same keywords at a potentially lower cost and bringing in a lower CPA, it will depend on your landing page, etc… as well because you have to speak to them from the pages they came from and not from a direct ad while they were searching for a product or service like yours.
Another option is to use the Google url recommendation tool. Although I don’t have much luck with it, it does break down the pages and sections for you and can sometimes recommend some awesome sites that you haven’t thought of or found in the search results.
Using Managed Placements for a media buy is a great way to help fight off the costs of PPC and bring in relevant traffic. The trick is to think about where your potential customers are, what keywords will trigger your ad to show on the pages you want to show them on and then how can you generate an ad and landing page that is relevant for your new customers. Although this isn’t the first type of media buy I do with a new client, it is one that is proving to be effective and can potentially show a better CPA than PPC campaigns if your costs and CPAs are getting to high. It may not work all of the time, but I have been having luck with it for my clients.