If you’re new to online advertising or a seasoned marketer, it can be hard to know what advertising platforms suit your business and your target audience. Sometimes it can feel like Google Ads and Facebook have the online world sewn up and that they are the only option, and while they’re the obvious choice but they are by no means the only choice.
(There are in fact so many platforms that we are making this a two-part series so keep an eye out for that!)
Below are some of our favourite platforms available for online advertising:
1. Microsoft Advertising AKA Bing
Firstly, yes people search using Bing so depending on your audience it could be the perfect place to reach them and spend your advertising dollars. Lots of corporate offices, especially those that use Microsoft Outlook and Teams etc block certain web browsers and websites, making Bing the default browser, Bing is also utilised more by those over 55, particularly in the US and North America. So if this is your target market, you could be seriously missing out by not including Bing in your Marketing Mix.
Bing also allows you to import your entire Google Ads account with just a few clicks and the user interface and optimisation options are reminiscent of “classic” Google Ads before Smart Bidding and Machine Learning took over.
That is not to say that Bing doesn’t have its fair share of “Smart” features. The platform includes Smart bid strategies and its Universal Event Tracking is one of the simplest conversion tracking set up’s I’ve experienced.
While you may think of Pinterest as a social network, their team would be very quick to correct you - It really is a visual search platform. People come to Pinterest with a pain point in mind and are usually looking for something very specific.
Pinterest lends itself particularly well to brands targeting young females as over 50 % of the users are women, with more searches falling into the “Home Interiors Inspiration” category. Pinterest themselves boast a 2.3x more efficient cost per conversion compared to ads on social media and a 2x higher return on ad spend for retail brands compared to ads on social media.
AdRoll brands itself as “eCommerce marketing that makes you more money”, being the only platform that allows you to “reach customers as they browse the web, use social media and open their inbox”. This platform is a display/social advertising platform and allows users to seamlessly connect with their eCommerce system to easily track searchers, cart abandonment and completed purchases allowing you to target each stage differently.
The AdRoll system relies heavily on Machine Learning and Smart Bidding, making 100’s of thousands of tweaks and adjustments in a day. This approach means it is vital that your websites analytics and eCommerce system are set up and tracking accurately as any incorrect tracking will skew the machine learning and can result in the advertising budget being misused.
So I said I wouldn’t include Facebook, but I didn’t say anything about Instagram. While Instagram advertising is done via the Facebook Ads Manager, it is possible to run campaigns that only target Instagram.
The benefit of using Facebook Ads Manager is that you can use the vast interest and demographic targeting available, meaning no matter what industry or who your target market is you are sure to find some level of targeting that works for your business.
NB: with the recent changes to IOS 14 and the impact that this has on Facebooks ability to track granular conversions it is worth taking the time to do a little extra research to establish how this might impact your performance and reporting.
5. Google Marketing Platform - SA360/DV360
Not everyone will a) be comfortable using Google Marketing Platform or b) have the budget to cover advertising spend and the fees that are associated with this platform but I think it’s worth including as many people do not even know it exists.
GMP is a “media buying platform” and offers large national and international brands the opportunity to manage their ad exchanges (where your ads might show) and develop relationships with media buyers (aka websites).
SA360 hosts the search advertising element and DV360 houses the Display and video elements of the network. There are vast targeting opportunities and data from Neilsen and other Data Organisations are available to purchase to ensure your targeting is highly relevant.
Budgets of over €20k would be required as you can only access GMP via a GMP Partner and there are fees associated with at the per click or per 1M level which need to be accounted for when setting your marketing budgets as these are invoiced separately.
If your target is B2B then you should definitely consider advertising on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn allows you unparalleled targeting for the company name, size, the industry as well as individuals job title, seniority, skills, interests as well as the ability to upload lists for remarketing, and matching - so if you have a list of customers, LinkedIn can track down similar individuals.
There are a lot of different content formats available on LinkedIn too with sponsored content (e.g. posts), Video, InMail, Lead Forms (e.g. forms on LinkedIn) so there is definitely a format available to suit your content.
LinkedIn has a higher cost per click than other social media platforms, averaging between €5 and €7 so if you have a smaller budget (under €1500 / Month) it might be worth exploring other platforms as you are unlikely to see the return on your investment.
So don’t feel that you have to join Google ads & Facebook to reach your audience, there are plenty of platforms out there that can help you get those conversions and grow your online presence. If you have questions about what platform might be best for you, contact us here and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Next blog - Part 2 will include detail on:
- Tik Tok
- Done Deal - Classifieds