Last Updated on September 23, 2021
If you’re not fully up to speed on “arbitrage” strategies, I want to give you a lightning fast primer. Nothing too painful. Just a quick wax and rip touch up job. My objective is to give you a heads up on where to buy some of the cheapest ads (i.e. low CPC bids). But we’ll jabber on a bit about arbitrage and let you know why you might want to try it too.
In fact, let’s get that out of the way first. Then we’ll get you into our list of 9 new networks for low CPC costs.
What is arbitrage in 30 seconds or less?
Wax on, wax off. Here’s a simple version.
You buy low and sell high – at the same time. In the online ad world, the pros who pull this off have a simple formula:
My total ad earnings from paid traffic > My total ad spend
Arbitragers pay for cheap ads. And then they get those visitors to click on higher CPC ads on their own site.
Understanding the basic concept is easy. The harder part is making sure that you actually make it work. That means figuring out a way to earn more than you spend in ads.
Here Are 9 Ad Networks With Lower CPC Ad Costs (That aren’t bots)
I want to share with you 9 ad networks that are on my radar for lower CPC. You can test and experiment with the traffic to see if results in cost efficient conversions for you.
If your site is optimized and getting a higher average CPC for your ad clicks, you may even be able to utilize these low priced ads for an arbitrage scenario.
Taboola isn’t exactly small potatoes, until you stand them up next to AdSense. They are doing 750 Million unique visitors per month. Their model is to drive traffic to your content by posting links to it on their partner sites. As an ad buyer, your content becomes a recommendation, and the ad clicks may be more cost effective than the big players.
Outbrain follows the same model as Taboola, letting your content get recommended on partner sites. And they work with premium destinations including CNN and ESPN. They aren’t quite as big as Taboola, though not too far behind. That’s a good thing as it puts further downward pressure on their ad costs in order to stay competitive and grow their network.
#3 Facebook (Mobile Traffic)
Facebook has a massive swath of traffic, much of it mobile based. You know, people checking their Likes at dinner or during the dull parts of the movie – or the good parts of the movie. They’re targeting is expectedly top notch since they track so much data on their users. You can zero in on ideal ad clickers. But keep in mind, it can impact your per click costs. As Facebook works hard to monetize all that mobile traffic, you benefit by getting lower costs per click.
#4 Gmail Ads
Gmail ads are text based. While Gmail has all kinds of frenzied eyeballs on it every day, they are typically both fleeting and focused. They want to get through their emails as fast as possible. That opens the door for you to get those ads at very competitive rates. Note: You buy these ads from within Google AdWords. In general, the less popular an ad channel, the more likely you are to find low cost CPCs.
RevContent comes in 3rd place to Taboola and Outbrain. Beyond the giant face of Steve Jobs on their homepage and some bold marketing that includes the word “manifesto”, they are attempting to differentiate by focusing on some user experience aspects with their ad widget. Like the others, it’s a great idea to test them out.
Gravity.com is in the recommendation business too. Each of these networks tends to have agreements in place with major publishers. Choosing Gravity over one of the others may come down to reviewing their publisher network. What’s the best match? They advertise “Personalized 1:1 targeting”. We can translate that to meaning they put the bulk of their efforts into tracking their users and matching them up with ads. But this is a part of the algorithm for every network.
#7 YouTube Ads
YouTube might scare you a bit if you’re intimidated by the word “video” – as it relates to you having to create it! But the YouTube network provides excellent ad targeting opportunities. As a Google property, they collect an immensity of data on their users. So you should be exploring this network. If you absolutely can’t create video, freelancers can do it for you on a minimal budget. That video barrier is a part of the reason you may see better overall CPC rates advertising with YouTube.
MGID is another of the native advertising style networks. You can get lower rates, but you have to monitor your results. You don’t want to pay for ad clicks coming from bots. The smaller the network, the more vulnerable. Keep a watchful idea. It impacts your profitability.
Critea claims “machine learning” is the secret sauce behind their targeting algorithms. Every ad network is constantly trying to find new ones to do so. It makes sense. By helping their advertisers get better results, they make more money from their traffic partners. We have to test to see how they perform versus the other networks. Is the machine learning just some simple data collection and number crunching, or are they building Skynet?