Digital advertising has become one of the most cost-effective and sustainable ways to increase your brand awareness, find prospective customers and ultimately turn them into paying customers. But, with so many advertising options to choose from, where do you put your marketing dollars? Depending on the nature of your business, your goals, the demographics you want to target and the budget you have at hand, you need to find the best mix of advertising that provides you with an acceptable ROI. Here is a helpful guide that will help you understand more about where to advertise your business online in an effective way.
What is the most effective place to advertise your business online?
Over the past several years there have been two main players in the advertising space with a third one making up quite a bit of ground. Google Ads and Facebook have been the two behemoths when it comes to advertising online. For many businesses, this is a good place to start.
For eCommerce businesses, a third option has come along in the form of Amazon. If you are currently selling on Amazon or considering it, then Amazon Ads could be a great option for you.
Without further ado, here are eight of the most popular and effective platforms for advertising your business online.
With a user base of over 2 billion and counting, Facebook is hands down one of the best places to advertise your business online. It’s also one of the most cost-effective ways to get your brand in front of your target audience, as well as drive sales and leads.
Even if you have a modest marketing budget, you can still create effective ads that deliver results. To get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to understand the various types of ad formats and what each one is best suited for. In general, Facebook has a growing list of different ad types. So much so that it can get overwhelming for new advertisers. Here is a quick list the different types of ads you can run.
- Image Ads
- Video ads
- Messenger ads
- Carousel ads
- Collection ads
- Instant Experiences.
Learn more about these ads
There are very few businesses out there that do not have at least part of its target audience spending time on Facebook. This alone makes Facebook a viable option for just about any business.
Google ads was one of the earliest options for businesses to advertise online. Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) started way back in October of 2000. Since then, it has become the go-to advertising platform for many businesses big and small. In fact, Google Ads alone generates almost $150 billion annually.
Whether your business is looking to build brand awareness, generate targeted leads or increase sales, Google Ads has something for you. With Google Ads you can run ads on Google search, the Google display network and Youtube. Yes, all of those ads you see running on Youtube videos are managed and run through Google Ads.
Google Ads originally was a very simple ad platform. The original ads ran on Google search. Advertisers would create very simple text ads, find keywords to target then run ads. Since those early days, Google Ads management has become vastly more complex with an array of advertising and targeting options.
Google Ads is hard to pass up on as an option for online advertising. Whether it is just a small part of your overall online advertising budget or it plays a bigger role, this is certainly one advertising platform you will want to test out.
Running ads on Bing is done through Microsoft Advertising. This option has traditionally been a bit of an afterthought for many advertisers. It works very much like Google Ads does which is partly why it is overlooked. Most businesses begin with Google Ads.
However, there are people out there who still use Bing. As a result, Microsoft Advertising can be a good option for those wanting to expand beyond Google Ads. It’s common for businesses to begin their paid online advertising with Google Ads. Once that has been running and is generating good results, businesses will test running a smaller campaign with Microsoft Advertising. This is usually supplemental to Google Ads simply because Google dominates the search engine market share. But, if you are getting good results with Google Ads, then Microsoft Ads is common next step to expand into. Learn more about Microsoft Advertising.
Twitter Ads is the social network’s native paid advertising platform. With Twitter Ads, you can target users based on their interests, demographics and behavior. Twitter Ads is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness. It also gives you the option to run retweets, which is a great way to generate leads and find new customers. However, keep in mind that Twitter Ads is a pay-per-click advertising platform, meaning you only get charged when someone clicks on your ad. If you’re looking to monetize your Twitter account, keep in mind that the Twitter Ads platform is best placed to promote your brand, products or services. Learn more about Twitter Ads.
Back in 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion. Since then, Facebook has rolled Instagram into its ad platform. If you want to run ads on Facebook and/or Instagram, you would us the same Facebook ad platform.
With more than 1 billion active users, Instagram has become a very popular place to advertise online. Because Instagram is such a visual platform, visually-engaging ads and videos are important for attracting your target audience. The audience for Instagram is generally a bit different than what you would find on Facebook. As a result, it may not be a good option for many businesses. For example, local service businesses (plumbing, roofing, law firms, dentists, etc.) may not find Instagram to be the best use of their marketing dollars. Learn more about Instagram Ads.
Pinterest is one of the most widely-used social media platforms and has an average user base of nearly 70 million people. Much like Instagram, it is also a highly visual platform where users primarily consume content through pictures. Pinterest Ads can be a great option for eCommerce businesses and brands looking to build brand awareness and find new customers.
People tend to go to Pinterest to discover new things, find ideas and inspiration. They are ready to discover new brands and products and are oftentimes in a shopping mood. What they are not there for is to find business services, thus this is not a good option for generating business leads.
Compared to other paid platforms like Google and Facebook, Pinterest can be a bit cheaper. The way they run their ads also makes them less intrusive to the user. If you think of a television commercials being one one end of the intrusive (and annoying) spectrum, Pinterest ads would be on the opposite end.
Pinterest should be a consideration for eCommerce businesses looking for growth and getting their brand in front of a new audience. Learn more about Pinterest advertising.
With a user base of more than 500 million, LinkedIn has become one of the larger social media platforms for advertising. It’s also one of the more affordable options. For years, LinkedIn was the go-to place for job hunting and recruitment. However, with the introduction of LinkedIn Ads, an entirely new section of businesses and marketers have now discovered this platform as an effective place to advertise online. Where LinkedIn deviates a little from the other ad platforms has to do with the target audience it is best for. With LinkedIn, B2B (business to business) is best. In fact, it is almost exclusively used for B2B advertising. If you run a business that sells services to other businesses, then LinkedIn should be a strong consideration for you. Learn more about LinkedIn Ads.
I think we are all aware of how much of a giant Amazon has become. You would be hard pressed to find a smartphone that did not have the Amazon app on it.
If you’re an eCommerce business or sell your products on Amazon, Amazon Ads is one of the best places to advertise your products online. It’s also one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your audience and grow your business. Amazon Ads allows sellers to create ad campaigns that target potential customers based on their interests and behaviors. These ads can appear on Amazon as well as on other partner websites like IMDB, ESPN, and so on. Learn more about Amazon Ads.
As you can see, there are a number of places where you can advertise your business online. Knowing which way to go can be a daunting task. This is why doing your due diligence and researching each platform will be important.
Choosing the right platform and type of advertisement depends on many factors such as your target audience, your budget and your goals. Testing different advertising platforms is a must. It is important that you find the right mix of advertising and the only way to do that is to give it a go with a few different platforms to see which ones are producing the best results.
In general, many businesses tend to begin with Google Ads and Facebook/Instagram. These two platforms combined will give almost any business the largest opportunity to reach its target audience. From there, they tend to branch out and test some of the other advertising platforms. Two variants of this include the following:
- If you are selling B2B services, then consider incorporating LinkedIn early on.
- If you are selling on Amazon, then consider testing Amazon Ads from the beginning.