Hello, dear readers! Today we’re diving into the confetti-filled world of paid advertising. You might be thinking, “Ugh, advertising? Like watching paint dry.” But hold onto your party hats, because we’re about to turn this topic into a real fiesta!

1. PPC: Pay-Per-Click (The Banana Stand)

You’ve set up a stall selling frozen bananas… hypothetically in Newport Beach. You pay a dollar every time a customer stops by for a sample, whether they buy a whole banana or not.

That’s essentially PPC!

With Pay-Per-Click, advertisers (that’s you with your fancy banana stand) pay a fee each time someone clicks on their ad. So, whether they buy a bunch of frozen bananas or just take a sample and scamper off, you pay a dollar for the mere act of them clicking.

The key to PPC is making sure your ads (or bananas) are so irresistible that most clickers become buyers. After all, a hundred clicks with no sales will just leave you with no money in the banana stand.

2. CPM: Cost-Per-Mille (The Billboard on a Busy Street)

Next, imagine you’ve decided to paint a gigantic, mouth-watering billboard of your banana stand right in the middle of Times Square. Here, you don’t care about who stops for a sample. You’re just excited about the THOUSANDS of eyes that will see your billboard daily.

CPM, or Cost-Per-Mille, is all about impressions. “Mille” is fancy talk for a thousand (we’re chic like that). Instead of paying for every click, with CPM, advertisers pay for every 1,000 views or “impressions” their ad gets.

Picture this: every set of eyes on that billboard is like a tiny cash register ka-ching. It doesn’t matter if they rush to the banana stand right away or dream about it at night; you’re spreading the word to the masses!

3. CPA: Cost-Per-Acquisition (The Golden Ticket)

Finally, imagine every frozen banana buyer gets a golden ticket, Willy Wonka style. But instead of a trip to a chocolate factory, this golden ticket ensures they make a purchase or take a significant action, like signing up for your “Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana” newsletter.

That’s the magic of CPA.

With Cost-Per-Acquisition, you only pay when someone takes a desired action after clicking on your ad. This could be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or registering for an event. It’s like you’re saying, “I don’t want to see your money unless that golden ticket is in their hands!” It’s like only paying for the frozen bananas that people actually eat.

Among the AdWords elite, there’s quite the tussle about which bidding technique to crown king. Team Manual CPC boasts about their hands-on control in choosing bids, while the Target CPA aficionados praise its auto-pilot mode, but find it can be much more expensive. The common argument about picking manual CPC is that it offers much greater control in setting bids, and controlling cost whereas, Target CPA saves time and effort by automating the bidding process, but can be much more expensive.

The bottom line:

Choose Manual CPC when:

  • Your end game is a flood of clicks or to dazzle with ad impressions.
  • You’re aiming to reign supreme in search impression share for top-notch keywords.
  • Your piggy bank is on the smaller side.
  • You’re eyeing a specific ad throne (typically at the top).

Target CPA is your jam if:

  • The mission is conversion galore and you’ve got a CPA target in your sights.
  • If you’re juggling a mountain of keywords or placements – think in the hundreds of thousands.
  • When your campaign’s scoreboard hits 15 conversions or more.

Dance to Your Own Beat (Or Ad Strategy)

Now that we’ve jazzed up the world of paid advertising with some deep cuts, remember that each business has its own rhythm. Some might sway more to the beats of PPC, while others cha-cha with CPM or waltz with CPA. The trick is finding which tune suits you (and your budget) the best.

A word of advice: start with a two-step. Dip your toes into each model, analyze what gives you the best groove for your money, and then dance your heart out!

And there you have it, party people! The dazzling world of PPC, CPM, and CPA, served with a side of fun. Next time someone says advertising is boring, you can dazzle them with your newfound knowledge, all while moonwalking through the crowd.