Which bidding option is best suited for an advertiser focused on direct response marketing goals?

Question: which bidding option is best suited for an advertiser focused on direct response marketing goals? Let’s give this a clear answer…

We have to cover many subjects in order to answer this question…

“Where do you get so much money?”: Fonbet marketing director on advertising bookmakers

Now the most informal question I get asked is: “Where do you, bookmakers, get so much money?”. Indeed, today betting companies are leaders in terms of advertising budgets. They are present on the main federal channels and sponsor popular sporting events.

But three years ago, we had a minimal marketing budget, a five-person team, and no plan or strategy at all. In April 2017, amendments were made to the law “On Advertising” (Art. 27, FZ-38), which allowed bookmakers to use almost all means of communication.

After that, we were literally flooded with offers from various agencies, sports leagues and federations. In my opinion, both rights holders and sellers have not yet understood what betting clients need.

Bookmakers are becoming more demanding in terms of agency services. And the marketing department of Fonbet now employs more than 40 people. We took some of the processes in-house, because no one on the market knows how to do it the way the company needs it.

But first things first.

Legislative restrictions on bookmaker advertising

You can not exaggerate the likelihood of winning, condemn those who do not participate in gambling, say that bets are important for social and personal success. federal law “On Advertising”, Art. 27, FZ-38

This limitation is easy to get around. For example, Fonbet used the slogan “Bet to win” last season. It indirectly hints at winning and success, while the expression itself is a term. This is a bet on the victory of one of the teams. The slogan was missed by all the media.

You can not give the impression that the receipt of winnings is guaranteed.federal law “On Advertising”, Art. 27, FZ-38

The Winline bookmaker came up with a good move: the company decided not to guarantee a win, but to receive it. This is not the first season that the bookmaker has been using the slogan “Winline will pay without options”, without breaking the law.

Use images of people and animals.federal law “On Advertising”, Art. 27, FZ-38

And also everything anthropomorphic (resembling a person): robots, animated characters, and so on. In my practice, with this restriction, lawyers reached the point of absurdity. We had a commercial showing four sports. There was nothing but sports equipment in it.

Lawyers voiced the remark that the ball flies into the basket in one of the frames, which means that someone is throwing it, therefore, you can think of the image of a person. We were forced to redo the animation so that the basket itself jumped on the ball, and only after that they skipped the cutscene.

Later, we coordinated videos with moving cars and planes, proving that they can be controlled by drones (thanks to modern technologies).

These are the basic requirements for creative materials that you need to know about. There is also an impressive list of legal information that must be present in a bookmaker’s advertisement: from a large “over 18” badge to a license indication. Create adDisable ads Readymag DevelopersBalancing image quality and download speed: how images work in ReadymagAuthor: Sergey Nechaev, fullstack developer at Readymag.

Channels where bookmakers’ advertising is broadcast

Now you see more ads from bookmakers, but not all of them are legal.

The television

Advertising is allowed after 22:00 and before 06:00. If the channel does not have Orbita (almost all federal channels), then de facto advertising can be placed from 23:00 so as not to go beyond the allowed time in Kaliningrad. Needless to say, the ratings drop a lot during these hours.

Since April 2017, bookmakers have been able to advertise in sports broadcasts (both live and recorded). At the same time, the videos of all betting companies cannot occupy more than 20% of the possible advertising broadcast time. For example, in football, if there are no extra halves – 210 seconds, in basketball – 180 seconds.

The liberalization of the law has led to the fact that now almost every sports broadcast has a sponsor-bookmaker. But here you should be careful with the purchase of regional advertising. In media planning, you need to make sure that regional and federal advertising in total will not go beyond 20% of the allowed time in a particular region.


Betting companies can now sponsor sports events, clubs, individual athletes, leagues and federations. Within a season and a half, all the teams in the main sports received bookmaker sponsors, and there were practically no “free” clubs left in the Russian Football Premier League.

It is worth noting that sponsorship does not cancel the ban on the use of images of people in advertising. BC Betcity, being a sponsor of CSKA, can place the logo on the game uniform and boards, but cannot use Igor Akinfeev in the video or on the banner.

Online and print media

The law only allows advertising in media with a sports media license. Any advertising in online cinemas, social networks, information sites (without a sports media license) is illegal in both print and digital form.

Outdoor advertising

This type of advertising is prohibited, with the exception of sports arenas, buildings where a registered betting club is located,.

This is where the list ends. People often come to me with offers to advertise Fonbet in a variety of ways: from sponsoring city holidays to pasting buses, advertising on napkins in airlines. Believe me, I really don’t like it when an agency cannot first study the law and starts building castles in the air, offering to sit on their facade.

Checklist for companies that want a contract with a bookmaker

Over the past few years at Fonbet, I have had the opportunity to work with a dozen agencies, and say “no” to even more. Therefore, I decided to make a short checklist for marketing companies that want to sign a contract with a bookmaker.

1. Analyze which business the company is focusing on: online or offline

These are two parallel universes with their own target audience. If the company is actively developing offline, be sure to visit several betting clubs. It is important to understand whether the bookmaker has partners, a franchise or develops its own network. This affects how decisions are made, which business tasks may be relevant.

For example, BC Fonbet did a rebranding together with an international agency three years ago. A huge proportion of the work fell on the designs of the exterior and interior of the clubs. It was necessary to take into account the different financial possibilities of partners, different formats of clubs for the regions, while retaining the identity. Many bookmakers still have this pain: one club can be clean and technological, and the other resembles a tent near the subway from the 2000s.

2. Find out how a betting company identifies customers to play online

In 2016, the law on interactive rates on the Internet came into force. To open a gaming account, the client must be identified. Conducted personally by an employee of the company. Many bookmakers ask their customers to come to the club for identification. Some carry out this procedure remotely: via video link or using a passport photo.

I will not assess the legality of registration methods, but I will note that the chosen method is important for understanding the lead in advertising.

For example, companies that identify remotely often offer CPA offers on the first deposit. It costs about $100 on average in the market. For a webmaster, this is beneficial, since a client who comes from advertising can immediately register and make a deposit.

Bookmakers who check documents personally in the club practically do not give CPA offers. And who would agree to this when the online journey is interrupted offline for an indefinite period. For example, a client can come to a club and stay there to play. The client was attracted online, but the webmaster will not receive anything, since the accounts for the Internet and the club are different according to the law.

3. Look at the competition

I really don’t like it when they offer me to do the same thing that a competitor does, and then they are surprised that the idea is unoriginal.

There are not so many players in the industry, only six or seven active bookmakers. We all follow each other and the last thing we want to get from the Bayan agency. Make a matrix of competitors, find that attractive place that is not yet occupied. And then make an offer.

So just a year ago, BC “Leon” became a pioneer in rap content on Youtube. The company sponsored Versus Battle, individual rappers, came out with advertising integrations in interviews and videos. Bold slogans and scandalous brand ambassadors helped to firmly occupy the niche of customers aged 18 to 22. This is a good example of how the agency offered the bookmaker to stand out from the competition.

4. Read company reviews

Paradoxically, bookmakers rarely write about their advantages on their website. And if they do, they mention the standard list: from high odds to fast payouts.

Read the reviews on the forums. So you get a real idea of ​​the strengths and weaknesses of the bookmaker.

For example, Fonbet does not always have the best odds, but the largest selection of free sports broadcasts for the user. Find that strength and bet on it in your proposal.

5. Walk the custom bookmaker path

You will not understand a betting shop client until you go from registration to the first bets. I give you a hint: most bookmakers along the way can meet a bunch of mistakes in CRM and content marketing. But so much the better for you, the agency, to be able to offer something that really relieves business pain.

Learn the law, look at your competitors, understand your prospect’s priorities, and become a real customer yourself. At least within the pre-sale. The industry really lacks competent marketers who understand the needs of the business. Bookmakers no longer scatter money, but want effective costs.

Which are the best and most known bidding option in advertising?

The positions of bookmakers in the country are strengthening every year, and sports betting is becoming more and more popular. One of the main reasons for this is not the popularization of sports, but literally the ubiquitous advertising of bookmakers. With the introduction of amendments to the law “On Advertising” in 2017, almost all advertising methods became available to bookmakers, which they did not fail to use.

The only limitation in bookmaker advertising is that it is impossible to position the bookmaker as a guaranteed or easy way to make money. Thus, bookmakers are quite free to advertise themselves to their loved ones and can do it in a variety of ways.

The television

Television is the easiest way to attract a new gaming audience to a bookmaker. Today, every sports match is accompanied by an advertisement of some bookmaker: a la “Today’s broadcast is sponsored by the bookmaker x, you can bet on the victory of the first team here with x.x odds.”

In addition to this, in advertising breaks, bookmakers also make themselves felt. At the same time, in accordance with the law, advertising betting shops should take no more than 20% of the advertising time of the channel.

Club sponsorship

Sponsorship of clubs is one of the oldest ways of advertising bookmakers (we all remember Real Madrid T-shirts at the beginning of the 2000s with Bwin inscriptions). Almost every football club has its sponsor-bookmaker. So, in the Russian Premier League, Zenit, Krasnodar and Spartak sponsor BC Winline, Dynamo and Lokomotiv – 1xStavka, and Khimki, Tambov, Akhmat and Sochi – Parimatch .

Such sponsorship is beneficial not only for bookmakers and clubs, but also for bettors: bookmakers regularly hold promotions with bets on sponsored teams. For example, Winline accrues an increased number of points for bets on matches involving Zenit, Krasnodar and Spartak.

Why do bookmakers sponsor clubs?

The names and logos of bookmakers are emblazoned on the T-shirts of almost all European clubs. This also applies to RPL teams. Why do bookmakers need this? In fact, everything is simple, and first of all, sponsorship is necessary to attract new customers. The fan watches the broadcast and sees the name of the betting company on the T-shirt of the player of his favorite team, which settles in his memory, and if he wants to make a bet, he will most likely come to the site of this particular office.

However, it should be understood that the names and logos of legal betting shops appear on the T-shirts of Russian teams, where it will be a little more difficult to create an account than with offshore counterparts. Creating a profile with legitimate bookmakers will not only consist of filling out a questionnaire. The procedure also includes mandatory registration in TsUPIS with subsequent identity verification. But it is thanks to this that it will be possible to place bets not only with comfort, but also with the maximum level of security. Therefore, for a player from the Russian Federation, it is best to register with legal bookmakers, and you can learn from how, for example, Parimatch registration looks like in the corresponding article.

Sponsorship of leagues and tournaments

Sponsorship of sports championships is an even louder way for a bookmaker to make itself known. Recently, every more or less significant tournament also has a sponsor-bookmaker. On the Russian market in this regard, the same bookmaker Parimatch has advanced the most. It is the title sponsor of the Russian championships in volleyball, handball, mini-football and beach volleyball.

The most popular Russian sports championships are also “busy”: the RPL is sponsored by Liga Stavok, and the KHL is sponsored by Fonbet.

As for such sponsorship abroad, it looks approximately the same.


Of course, I would like to believe that bookmakers are engaged in charity only for good purposes, and not for the purpose of additional advertising. However, willingly or unwillingly, in this way they enlist the loyalty of a new gaming audience. For example, in 2020, the Fonbet bookmaker helped orphanages, hospitals, various charitable foundations and organizations to develop children’s sports. The total amount of charitable assistance amounted to approximately 80 million rubles.

According to experts, such actions help to increase the level of trust and respect of the population for bookmakers.

Outdoor advertising

Outdoor advertising is a prohibited way of advertising bookmakers, excluding sports facilities and administrative buildings of the betting shop. For this reason, in Russia today you can not find advertising banners on the facades of buildings, in public transport and other similar sources.

However, this situation is far from being observed in all countries, for example, in neighboring Kazakhstan, the bookmakers Fonbet (KZ) and OlimpBet (KZ) are freely advertised on the streets of large and small cities.

The most creative bookmaker ads

Now it’s time to talk about the most creative bookmaker ads. Several Russian bookmakers stood out here at once:

Dancing with GGBet

In 2019, esports bookmaker GGBet released two song ads that quickly went viral. And already in 2020, the bookmaker arranged a Summer Dance Challenge and invited users to dance a special dance, and then post it on the social network with the GGBet hashtag. The authors of the best performance received a PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation v2 cameras, PlayStation Move controllers, Just Dance 2020 and other valuable prizes.

Winline will pay without options

Since it is forbidden in Russia to advertise bookmakers as a source of guaranteed or easy income, Winline bookmaker went an alternative way. On its official website, a banner flaunts, the words on which sound quite convincing: “Winline will pay. No options.” Well, as the reviews of most Winline players show, this is indeed the case .

In the match of the RPL 2020/2021 season between Spartak and Sochi (2:2), with a large number of controversial moments and recognized refereeing mistakes, Winline calculated all the bets of the players on the victory of the Red-Whites as winning.  

1xBet and cowboys from NAVI

At the beginning of 2020, the NAVI esports team announced the termination of cooperation with GGBet and almost immediately signed a contract with 1xBet. At the end of the same year, the 1xBet bookmaker launched the 1xSaloon promotion, in which the bookmaker offered players to make eSports predictions in order to compete for PS5, Xbox Series X and iPhone 12.

The most interesting thing is that the bookmaker published promo videos on YouTube with the participation of NAVI e-sportsmen dressed as cowboys. Despite such an unusual approach, the advertisement did not find a proper response from the audience: the most popular video received only 10,000 views.

Google Ads Strategies: The Complete Guide

No one wants to pay more than they need to achieve a goal, if possible. The right bid management strategy is essential for reducing your ad spend. How to choose the right Google Ads strategy and apply it with maximum impact? The answers are in this article.

On what criteria to choose a strategy

When you launch a new campaign, Google prompts you to set up a bidding method. Picking at random is not an option, so keep two things in mind: 

  • Automatic or manual bidding

 Automated strategies take the hassle out of setting up. It’s fast and convenient, especially when your account has dozens or hundreds of active campaigns. The other side of the coin is that Google manages absolutely everything for you. Manual strategies give you more control over your account: you can set all options manually and edit them at any time. Naturally, in this case, you spend time monitoring and adjusting. We do not recommend using this method if you have little experience with AdWords. The best option for beginners is automatic bid management. 

  • The purpose of the advertising campaign

 Answer the question: what results do you want to achieve with a particular campaign. Currently, Google Ads has 7 types of automatic strategies for search (+ 1 manual), 6 + 1 manual for display networks and 6 for video ads. Next, we will consider what these strategies are and for what purposes which strategy is better to use.

Manual CPC

You set bids for individual ad groups or targetings yourself. If some campaigns are more profitable than others, you can quickly adjust budgets to better allocate ad spend. You can combine manual control with automatic control if you enable the CPA optimizer at the same time.

Automatic strategies

The principle is this: in the “Bids” block, first you choose the goal of advertising, then – a strategy for achieving it from the available ones. The list of available strategies is formed depending on the type of advertising campaign. For each goal, the system assigns a default strategy, but you can always change it. Here are the options for goals when setting up an advertising campaign on search : 

 To proceed to the choice of strategy, click this link: 

 The list of search bid management strategies is as follows: 

  • Target CPA;
  • Target return on ad spend (default for the Conversion Value goal)
  • Maximum number of clicks (default for the “Clicks” goal);
  • Maximum conversions (default for the goal “Conversions”);
  • CPA optimizer;
  • Impression share target (default for the Impression share goal).

 When setting up  an advertising campaign in the Google Display Network  , the following goals are available…

 Bidding strategies are the same + “Viewable CPM” which is only available for Display Networks (instead of “Targeted Impression Ratio”) 

  • Target CPA;
  • Target return on ad spend (default for the Conversion Value goal)
  • The maximum number of clicks;
  • Maximum conversions;
  • Visible CPM (default for the Viewable Impressions goal).

 For the “Conversions” goal, manual CPC with an optimizer is enabled by default. We have already discussed in detail about automatic search strategies and display networks  here . Briefly recall the essence: 1) Target cost per conversion – you get the maximum conversions at a specific price that you specify + Google slightly adjusts it for contextual signals; 2) Target return on advertising investment – you specify what return on the advertising budget you want to receive, and Google selects rates in accordance with it; 3) Cost-per-conversion optimizer – this tool adjusts bids depending on the probability of a targeted action; 4) Maximum conversions – you get the most conversions within your current daily budget; 5) Target impression share (search only) – This strategy increases the chances of your ads showing in your chosen area of ​​the search results page; 6) Cost per thousand impressions in the visible area of ​​​​the screen (only in the Display Network) – suitable if you want to make yourself known to a wide audience, and not increase traffic and the number of clicks. For  video ads , you don’t need to choose a goal, you immediately assign a strategy: 

  • Maximum cost per view (CPV) – you specify the highest amount you are willing to pay for each ad view.;
  • Maximum Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) – you specify the highest amount you are willing to pay for each thousand ad impressions;
  • Target CPM – you set the average amount you would like to pay per thousand impressions of your ad. The Google system raises / lowers the bid you specify so that you get the maximum impressions;
  • Cost per thousand impressions in the visible area of ​​the screen;
  • Target CPA;
  • Maximum conversions.

 The remaining 3 strategies work similarly to those of the same name for the Google Display Network. The availability of strategies depends on which campaign subtype and goal you selected at the beginning of the setup. For example, if our video campaign is aimed at brand awareness and reach, you can only select the Target CPM strategy.

 Below are the basic goals in Google Ads and a list of tactics that will help you achieve each of them…

Goals of advertising campaigns


If you’re looking to increase conversions, drive targeted traffic to your site, and convert it into sales, consider the following strategies: 

  • Maximum conversions;
  • Target CPA;
  • Target return on advertising investment.

Website traffic

To drive traffic to a site with goals other than conversion, choose any of the options: 

  • Maximum clicks;
  • Target position on the search page;
  • Target percentage of received impressions;
  • Manual CPC.

Brand recognition

There are 3 tactics for it: 

  • Target percentage of received impressions;
  • CPM and target CPM for YouTube.

 Now let’s look at 3 ways to apply Google Ads strategies in practice.

Rules for automatic bid management

It is simply unrealistic to observe the dynamics of indicators in the interface 24 hours a day. Therefore, Google Ads has automatic tools – rules. They are triggered under certain conditions that you specify (for example, the CPC has exceeded the maximum). With the help of rules, you can set up notifications, pause campaigns, and adjust bids without changing anything in the settings. 

 This is how rules are configured in Google Ads: 

“Aggressive” bidding

You often have to wait a long time when changing bids to get results and improve your Quality Score. The solution is a sharp start, that is: 1) You bid to get to the top position of the placement. Clicks will be more expensive, which means you will attract more traffic and improve CTR. As a result, the quality indicator will increase in a few weeks; 2) Next, lower your bids to the second position. Bottom line: CPCs drop significantly, while position and performance metrics remain high. To find out how much it costs to place a top ad unit for a specific keyword ad, open the Google Keyword Planner and look at the predicted bids.

Demographic Bid Adjustment

Some audience segments by gender and age are more prone to target action. Let’s say you have a category of users that shows a high CTR (above 30%) and converts more often than others. You can choose it in the “Demography” section: 

 Raise the rates for it – thereby you will redistribute the advertising budget more efficiently: 


So, when choosing a strategy, follow this algorithm: 

  • See which strategy is appropriate depending on the purpose of the campaign;
  • If there are several, test different ones;
  • Measure key performance indicators for each strategy: number of conversions, conversion rate, cost of the target action, etc.;
  • Choose the option that shows the best results.

 High conversions for you!

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