CPA With Google As mentioned earlier though, you can also use Google or Facebook to do your CPA marketing and for most people, these will still be the best choices. Of course, Google AdWords is a PPC advertising platform and so you will still pay per click. However, the fact that you can track your CPA means that you can ensure that you are still making conversions and you can see how much you're paying for them. While this doesn't protect you as much from an unsuccessful ad, you can quickly make changes to ensure that you start making money. What's more, Google has some powerful tools such as it's 'automated bidding' that ensures that your ad will always be getting you the best rates for CPA. This way you can get Google to 'do your bidding'. And at the same time, you'll be working with a much larger and much more respected publisher, you'll be seen by infinitely more potential customers and you'll be able to closely control how your advert looks. So how do you go about using CPA with Google and what does it look like?
To do this, you will go to set up a Google Ad as normal and then select 'Automated CPC' when setting up the campaign. When you create a Google Ad, you basically tell Google how much you're willing to pay for each click. This then also dictates how regularly your ad will be shown to Google's visitors: and the more you're willing to pay, the more often your advert will be displayed instead of other competing ads (you can also set a budget which is the maximum amount you're willing to pay, so you don't need to worry about paying more than you can afford). With automated bidding, you are essentially telling Google to tweak how much you pay per click in order to gain you the maximum number of clicks.
Or in our case, we're going to tell Google to tweak the bidding automatically to get us the very best conversion rates. To do this, you will need to set up a Google Analytics account and then you will need to set up a goal. A goal is basically a page on your website which can be the 'thank you' page after a purchase or the e-mail sign-up page. When your visitor reaches that page, this will be considered a conversion. Now select 'Enable Enhanced CPC' and then the 'Focus on Conversions' box. Now you will be telling Google to automatically tweak your advert in order to optimize the Cost Per Acquisition. Google also gives you the option to look at your 'ROAS' which is the 'Return On Ad Spending'. This basically tells you how much you are earning back for the amount you're spending on your adverts, again letting you very closely control your CPA. Note though that in order to get this information, you will need to make 30 conversions in 30 days in order to provide Google with the right amount of data.
A Little Bit About Google AdWords
While you aren't actually paying based on CPA with Google, the fact that you can accurately track it means that you essentially are still able to approach AdWords as you would do a CPA platform. In doing so, you can then benefit from a number of advantages that are unique to Google AdWords and that have made this arguably the most popular advertising platform on the internet.
Google AdWords, of course, shows adverts on the SERPs. These are the 'Search Engine Results Pages' and to do this you can choose to target any given search terms. A search term is something along the lines of 'buy hats online' that people are likely to search for when looking for your products. This is a very smart way of advertising of course because it means that you will be targeting people who are interested in your products and who are actively looking to buy said products at the time they see your ad. Google AdWords also comes with a huge variety of other awesome features that let advertisers profit even more.
For instance, AdWords gives you access to 'remarketing' that allows you to target people who have previously been to your site and shown an interest in your products. AdWords also lets you target people based on location to ensure that they are able to hire your services if they are locally based and it lets you use 'negative keywords' in order to exclude some search terms from showing your website. By combining all of these features with CPA, Google gives you a very flexible way to control your advertising campaign and to see how this directly impacts on your percentage of conversions.
CPA With Facebook
Facebook also offers a CPA option that works differently from Google or the likes of MaxBounty. Like MaxBounty or AscendMedia though, Facebook only charges you for successful actions rather than for each click. Of course, Facebook has a big advantage over MaxBounty or AscendMedia though in terms of the sheer amount of people you can reach, the control you have over the ads and the reputation of the publisher.
But before you get too excited and assume that Facebook is the perfect solution to all your CPA worries, bear in mind that Facebook is rather specific about what it considers to be an 'action'. In other words, you can't use Facebook to track actual purchases of your product (generally) and nor can you use it to track the number of people who sign up to your mailing list… really. Instead, Facebook lets you choose from a number of goals for your adverts which include:
Canvas App Installs
Mobile App Installs
Offsite Link Clicks
Now the savvy among you may have noticed that CPA for 'offsite link clicks' is basically… just CPC. So that's not all that exciting. But if you were thinking of using Ascend Media, for instance, to get charged on a per-installation basis, then immediately you can see that Facebook is just as capable a tool for doing that which will actually help you to reach a much broader audience. And here's an exciting bit of news: you can also actually use Facebook CPA for paid apps.
That means that theoretically, you can have a direct profit for every click and essentially pay Facebook on a commission basis. There are a few problems with this strategy though. For starters, Facebook itself is free which makes it a relatively poor place to try and find customers willing to pay for apps. At the same time, the cost of the app isn't displayed which is intended to increase CTR for free apps. And finally, it's a cold sale, despite being targeted. Still, it's certainly something worth trying out. Also interesting to note is, of course, the fact that you can use offer claims through Facebook, which is another direct form of CPA. This way, you get paid when someone chooses to use redeem a special offer. This means that you can run a 20% off sale for your product or service and then get direct CPA through Facebook. Potentially this method could be highly lucrative.
And finally, if you look at CPA for page likes, this can be considered somewhat similar to a CPL (cost per lead). Getting a page like gives you a lead in a sense and you can later try and convert your page likes to e-mails. Note though that a page like – though valuable – is not as useful as having an actual e-mail address. Apart from anything else, when you update your Facebook page it will only be seen by about 2% of your viewers. In order to actually get a post seen, you have to pay for a Page Post ad and that means you're essentially paying to contact the list that you paid to build… Hmmm…
A Little on Facebook Marketing
Again though, Facebook marketing gives you a lot of advantages that you only get from using a big platform with lots of powerful tools. You get highly advanced tracking and statistics for instance that let you see a graph showing your clicks, likes, conversions etc. for a particular ad.
Like Google AdWords, Facebook also lets you target your users very precisely albeit in a different way. Unlike using AdWords, you can't reach people who are actively online shopping which is a disadvantage. On the other hand, though, you will be able to target people who are a certain age, who have a particular job title, who are married, who have particular interests etc.
Which Platform Should You Use?
At this point, your head may be feeling a little with all the options and all the different types of CPA marketing available. This is a very powerful tool indeed for directly creating conversions for your products and if you get it right it's one of the only ways to guarantee returns. But unfortunately, it's also one of the slightly more complicated forms
of marketing currently and this is also owing to its relative youth as compared with more general and straightforward CPC. Don't get overwhelmed though! Go away, make a cup of tea and come back having mulled it all over. Back? Great. Now let's recap on the different options you have available to you and who each is likely to be most useful for.
Pure CPA Platforms:
First of all, you have the option of going purely CPA, with something like MaxBounty, AdGateMedia, AscendMedia or CPALead. These charge you only for each acquisition and put your ads on the websites of thousands of participating advertisers.
On the positive side, this option means you don't pay for unsuccessful ads. At the same time, you have people actively pushing your ads because those ads are incentivized. This is also called 'Incentive Marketing' and this makes a big difference in the way that your ads get pushed.
BUT at the same time, this type of advertising is still relatively young. The oldest platforms still have only been around since the mid naughties and they have yet to perfect their service. To sign up as an advertiser you will need to go through a lengthy process involving speaking on the phone in many cases and even then you may be rejected. Once you're 'in' you will find you don't know how well you can trust the platform or your advertisers to represent you and you may lose some control over the way your brand is represented. The overall audience you reach will be smaller compared with using AdWords or Facebook and you'll probably pay bigger overheads. You also need to consider scrubbing and shaving, and the risk of your offer not being picked up by any publishers. This is an interesting prospect but right now it is far from a perfect experience.
Who is this right for? This type of advertising seems most popular among dating sites, legal and financial services, software and app developers and perhaps those selling digital products. For a startup willing to invest some time into this process and with a relatively high ticket item to sell, it could be lucrative.
Affiliate Marketing Platforms: Then you have the likes of WSO Pro, JVZoo and ClickBank. These allow you to sell products – largely digital – and to have a legion of marketers help you to do so for commission. This is the ultimate in incentivized marketing because often you will be offering 40-60% and the kinds of marketers you recruit will be full-time digital marketers that use email marketing, landing pages, PPC (perhaps even CPA!) and other strategies to really push your product. This can lead to a huge amount of sales and a truly passive income as you sleep – and if it's not successful then it won't have cost you a single cent. BUT again you have risks. For starters, affiliate marketing means giving away the biggest cut of all of your profits. It also means losing a lot of control over what you're selling. If you've ever come across a landing page that uses aggressive sales tactics with poor spelling, then there's a good chance they were selling an affiliate product. This way, you are opening up your product to be represented by anyone and that can do serious harm to your reputation. What's more, affiliate marketing seems to very much favor the internet marketing niche. If you have a book on how to make money from PPC, then this will probably do very well on JVZoo. If you have a book on fitness though, it will likely be less popular. And if you are selling a garden fork, then you're just wasting your time.
Facebook and Google: Finally you have the option of Facebook or Google for your CPA. Now neither of these are 'true' CPA marketing in that they don't offer you the option to be charged only when someone buys your product. You'll still be paying per click for the most part and that means that you aren't actually guaranteed ROI.
Google and Facebook ads each also only end up in one place – the site of the respective publishers. Furthermore, because you aren't incentivizing a marketer, you will find that you don't have the power of hundreds or thousands of marketers behind your product. If you used affiliate marketing or true CPA, then you might find that those marketers used Google and Facebook on your behalf even!
BUT Facebook and Google do allow you to see precisely what your CPA is – as in how much you are being charged for each sale or lead. This is good enough and if anything it simply incentivizes you to work harder on your ad and your bidding strategy to ensure you're doing this right. And with automated bidding in Google, that's already handled for you. Facebook meanwhile does give you the option to pay based on certain actions and in some cases, this can lead to direct profit. What's more, Google and Facebook give you a huge plethora of tools for targeting specific audiences and for tracking your success? They also give you complete control over the look of your ad and where it is showing and they allow you to immediately stop the ad.
Another big advantage of Google and Facebook is that they let you sign up immediately (unlike something like MaxBounty) without having to make phone calls or prove yourself. If you have a small business or an e-commerce store, then this is probably the form of CPA marketing for you. Few!