The Holy Trinity of Bid Strategies, Explained

PLUS: Why is Meta massively overrunning daily budgets? The most likely answer: "Operating as intended."

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The Holy Trinity of Bid Strategies, Explained

PLUS: Why is Meta massively overrunning daily budgets? The most likely answer: "Operating as intended."

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META • The Holy Trinity of Bid Strategies, Explained

Every Friday, we check in with our Meta Ads correspondent Andrew Foxwell. Andrew has visibility into $300 million dollars in Meta ad spend through his Slack community called Foxwell Founders

This week: Andrew and Tod walk through the three types of bid strategies, and discuss which ones are best for your campaigns.

Lowest cost finds the person most likely to convert at the lowest cost.

Cost cap sets a range for finding conversions within a specific cost.

Bid cap finds conversions at or below a specific cost, sacrificing volume.

Be sure to check out Andrew’s Foxwell Founders community of digital ad buyers and his extensive training in the digital ad space.¹

Today’s Trivia — Guess and Win!

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Which auction type is also known as open outcry or ascending price auction?

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META • Wild Overspending Reported. Again.

Regardless of the bid type you use, you might run into Meta overspending your campaign. This is when you tell the ads manager you have a certain budget — say $1,000 daily — and it spends more than that, and sometimes very quickly.

Here’s what DTC media buyer David Herrmann posted on social media last night:

It’s not clear, of course, why this is happening — but it’s a good time to remind you of our reporting a few months ago that Meta is now happy to overspend your daily budget by as much as 75%, as long as it gets the daily average in line with your budget across the entire run.

In simpler terms, if you’re spending $100 a day for five days, it’s quite possible that Meta would spend $150 one day, $150 the next, then a couple of days at $50 to bring things back in line.

Again, it’s not clear if this is what’s happening, and as usual Meta is silent on the issue. Just maybe check in with your campaign spends just to be sure.

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TIKTOK • Watch Time May Not Be As Important

Scientists say they have cracked open a bit of the mystery box of TikTok's algorithm, and found that watch time — long considered to be one of the biggest factors in a video’s success — may not be the holy grail after all.

The data comes from thousands of users in Europe who downloaded their data — that’s a new feature that was implemented in the app because of stricter European privacy laws — and gave it to the researchers.

And those data revealed that between 30% and 50% of the first 1,000 videos TikTok users see are because of their past interactions — whether they liked a similar video, who they follow on the platform, and so on.

That’s quite a bit lower than I think most of us assumed.

And one surprising note: The effect of watch time wasn’t as strong as earlier thought. Certainly, the percentage of the video a user watched had some effect, but TikTok seems to be scaling that back.

That’s at odds with the last couple of years of best practices — which is why you often hear creators start their video with something like “And be sure to stay to the end, because the last thing is amazing!”

Algorithms do change, and this is a good reminder to always be testing, and not locked into a strategy that may be years old.

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GLASSDOOR • Is the Site Doxxing Its Own Users?

If you’ve ever used the web site Glassdoor to anonymously complain about your former employer, heads up: That web site may be doxxing you to that employer.

Glassdoor has always been a good place for people to leave anonymous employer reviews, but it seems the site has quietly changed its policy and now mandates the use of real names for account holders.

Worse, some users say this happened without their knowledge or consent, and that the only option support is offering is to delete your entire account, along with your reviews. And even then, account deletion confirmation emails users are receiving add that they might actually keep some of their data around anyway, even after the accounts are removed.

As far as anyone can tell, this is actually due to an acquisition the company made a while back of an app called Fishbowl. It’s a networking app for professionals, and that app required users to use a real identity. Somehow that data architecture seems to have made it up to the main site.

Either way, if you’ve bashed a company or boss on Glassdoor, it might be worth double-checking to make sure your name isn’t suddenly right alongside it all.

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BING • Buying Ads for Bing Searches… on Google

So this is weird. Microsoft is buying ads to promote its search engine, Bing. And it’s buying them on Google. And weirder still, the ads go to a live Bing search.

So if you’re searching Google for “best hearing aids,” you might see an ad for Bing, with the page title “Top 5 Best Hearing Aids,” and the link goes to that same search on Bing.

It’s sort of like search engine inception.

That specific example returns a list of ads on Bing for hearing aids pages and products, many of them pages stuffed with affiliate links.

Bing has bought ads on Google before, but until now it’s been to throw people to the front page of Bing, or to promote its AI search — something Google’s probably not happy about, but doesn’t want to rock the anti-trust boat, so they’re just letting it fly.

The practice isn’t new. Ask.com did this more than a decade ago.

It makes you wonder if Bing is doing this to win over Google users, or if they have some sort of model where they can make more on their ad clicks than what they are paying for the Google Ad click...

INSTAGRAM • Change to How Hashtags Work

Instagram has made a small but important change to how hashtags are used in the app.

Now, when you tap on a hashtag, you’ll get a broader range of search results related to that hashtag than the previous “Top Posts” feed. The new results page looks basically the same as the Explore feed.

You can still follow a topic via the tag page, but you don’t have the full results (e.g. Accounts, Audio, Places, Reels) that you would get via a similar search in Explore.

By providing access to these additional elements, Instagram’s hoping to improve profile discovery, as opposed to only highlighting content. It’ll also, ideally, expand user search behaviors, by linking them through to the various elements.

So it’s not a radical change, but a logical one, as the Explore overview enables users to dig into different elements, instead of being confined to the top posts feed.

What does this mean for marketers?

It might behoove you to include your brand’s target keywords in your profile.

Profiles that come up in this new search screen don’t always have the hashtag or keyword in the media caption any more, but most do have that in their profile somewhere.

Correction

Yesterday we reported about Lyft’s new video ad product. We reported that the ad product in question was tablet-based. It turns out these video ads would play in the Lyft mobile app.

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