CPM Media Buying vs CPA Media Buying: 2021

CPM is an abbreviation for Cost Per Thousand Miles and is one of the most known and common ways of buying digital media. What this means is that you have to pay every time your ad loads on a webpage or an app. This media buying model has been in use for over a decade and is a simple way of approaching media buying. Still, it has been scrutinized and criticized because the clients have to pay for the impression irrespective of whether they see the ads. Owing to the fact that it is a pre-action metric, and there are no necessary conversions involved, this is generally used for brand campaigns and not performance campaigns. The marketers have been very accustomed to this model, and they typically choose an estimated CPM over cost-per-action or cost-per-lead.

What is CPA Media Buying?

CPA or Cost Per Action, otherwise known as Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Sale, is when you pay for specific actions that the user takes in your app, like registering an account or signing up, or even just putting in their details. The entire point is to make the advertisers pay only when something happens or action or acquisition or sale. This involves comparatively fewer risks for media buying because the advertiser has to pay only when the user takes definable steps or a recognized revenue.  

CPM Media Buying vs. CPA Media Buying: Benefits

CPM model is great for advertisers who are looking to reach a large number of people. It is more effective than other models like- Cost Per Click, Cost Per Mile, Cost Per Action, and more. If the advertiser is interested in brand awareness and not making the immediate sale, then they can prefer publications that offer this model. This essentially means that the publication requirements are relatively lower, and if you simply just show advertisements to your audience, you are fulfilling your part. It is easy to calculate an essential revenue for the CPM model because you would know the average number of views that the publisher gets.

CPA model involves minimal risk concerning the action. The advertisers simply have to pay when there is an action or when something happens. Given that the risk is limited, this is easier for publishers to sell than Cost Per Mile and Cost Per Click. The CPA model ensures that the advertiser is tied to the ad sales program because it takes both time and effort from the advertiser and the publisher to create a compelling sales program.

CPM Media Buying vs. CPA Media Buying: Strategy

For CPM, make sure that your campaign runs on several sites and across many keywords and must have an increasing CTR budget on the best performers in places it is possible. If you can, always tell the sites that they are underperforming and try to get more optimizations. For what you pay, use a CPC campaign and figure out the eCPM. If you can spend less than that and still get the same number of clicks, you would get a good deal. 

One of the best strategies for the CPA model is to have purchase entries on a CPA basis. This would help increase the amount of general advertising in the market by hundreds of millions of impressions while also guaranteeing that contest entries’ goal is met. Also, the communication that the vendor would require to achieve the CPMA goals will most likely have ancillary benefits, and you will witness an over-delivering of the other goals.

CPM Media Buying vs. CPA Media Buying: Limitations and Drawbacks

The CPM model has been criticized for its vulnerability to fraud and because they charge even for the impressions that the users did not see. For instance, on the web, if the ads appear below the browser window and the user does not scroll down and hence, does not see the ad, the client still has to pay for the impression. This can make the clients subject to fraud, and someone can simply stack 5 or 10 ads in the same space, on top of one another, and charge the clients for impressions.

Many media companies do not sell media by way of the CPA model because they have assumed all the drawbacks and negatives in the ad purchase process. If there are no purchases, then they would not make any money. The high-quality publishers who have valuable inventory are more generally interested in the guaranteed revenue. Some companies can sign CPA contracts if the value is high and if they have trust in their inventory.

CPM Media Buying vs. CPA Media Buying: How to Get Started?

To get started with CPM Media Buying, you must ensure that you can find a publication with a highly engaged audience and high volume traffic. Make sure that the aim is to increase brand exposure.

For the CPA model, make sure to find a publication with a niche audience. Many publishers do not take the risk of offering CPA because of its risks, so you might not have many options.

Digital marketing has its specific language and a very different galaxy of acronyms. This article has tried to explain two of the most important media buying models in the digital marketing sphere. Ultimately, given that you are an advertiser, the best model for you would be anything that guarantees a return on your investments. With CPM, you could spend a lot of money and see no real impact, and with CPA, you have to put a significant amount on the table for each action. Irrespective of what model you buy media with, make sure you have an intelligent, unbiased, and fraud-finding manner of measuring the results of your campaigns.