Adwords is a revolutionary ad platform that targets peoples intent through keywords searched in their search engine. When is the best time to place an ad? When the person is looking for your products and services. That’s what Adwords does, and it does it well.
There’s a variety of features, details and nuances about Adwords that could fill a whole book. For our clients, it’s an indispensable advertising platform whose flexibility, scale and targeting is unmatched.
Bing Ads is one of the best platforms for direct response advertising. It’s usually less expensive than Google Adwords while having higher conversion rates due to a higher level of desktop traffic (proportionally to mobile).
It has many similar features of Google Adwords so when Adwords releases a feature, Bing Ads is not far behind. This “second tier” perception brings opportunity to those willing to see Bing for what it truly is, a less expensive paid search option.
Due to lower cpc and higher conversion rates, many advertisers get a better return on investment on their Bing Ads spend. In the end, a high roi is what most people want and it’s why I recommend this platform for many types of businesses.
Gemini is the red-headed stepchild of paid search. Not many people enjoy working with it but if you have an existing profitable paid search program, it makes sense to expand onto this platform. It’s an incremental revenue increase play. While it’s not going to dramatically change the business, it could add several percentage points of growth if implemented correctly.
Facebook & Instagram Advertising
Facebook has unprecedented targeting capabilities in the history of advertising. On no other platform is someone able to access so much demographic data for targeting. Not only is the demographic targeting unprecedented, it’s getting better at intent based targeting through it’s data and algorithms.
You combine that with it’s dozen plus different ad formats and the platform is a must for every advertising program in the US. It’s difficult to find a business where Facebook advertising won’t have a positive impact on it’s goals.
Twitter isn’t the first platform many people think of when it comes to social advertising but it should definitely be on the list. While the targeting options aren’t as good as Facebook, they’ve improved over the years. The ad formats aren’t as engaging as Facebook either, but they’re good enough to get traffic.
What is appealing about Twitter is it’s “good enough” targeting options combined with the extremely low cost social traffic. There have been many case studies where advertisers have been able to get traffic for a couple cents a click, which is a rarity on Facebook these days.
For any B2B business, LinkedIn is a great platform. While they’ve been slow in adopting the norms of digital advertising (how long did retargeting take again??), they’re still a great place for B2B advertising.
While traffic costs are on the higher end of the social spectrum, they have some unique ad formats that aren’t available on other platforms. I find that promoting content on the platform generally works best, it can work for pure traffic plays to conversion pages.
For a B2B business, it’s not a matter of “if” they should do LinkedIn advertising, it’s a matter of “how” they go about doing it.
Pinterest is a visual search engine that has a social aspect to it. It’s been overlooked in digital advertising circles since the rise of Instagram and Snapchat but it’s advertising platform is well developed.
There are a variety of ad formats and objectives that can be achieved on this platform. While many people think of Pinterest as a female only platform, they have a growing audience of male users.
While it’s not the first platform that comes to mind for many businesses, it’s one that will add value to a variety of them.
The worlds second largest search engine is actually the video platform YouTube. It’s large and active userbase gives it the scale to be a top tier video advertising platform. Combine that with it’s flexible targeting options and ad formats and it’s clear why it leads in the online video advertising world.
Social Video Advertising
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & more have the ability to use their demographically rich targeting information to reach users. Social video advertising is an incredibly good value, offering video views for pennies with little spillage in targeting. To reach a pin-point and highly targeted demographic, social is the way to go.
Web Video Advertising
Videos are increasingly showing up where display ads once ruled. With internet connections & devices able to process more data quickly, more companies are offering video advertising alongside traditional display ads. While it’s not our favorite avenue for video, there are some use cases where it makes sense.
Google Display Network
GDN has a huge amount of inventory, flexible targeting options, several ad formats and is controlled through the slick interface of Adwords making it our favorite display advertising network. For traditional retargeting or introducing a large amount of people into the top of the funnel in a cheap manner, it’s hard to think of a better option than Google Display Network.
Google isn’t the only company with a display ad network, there are literally dozens of programatic advertising companies. They differ in their use of algorithms and placements. There are sometimes good reasons to think beyond Google Display Network. Amazon allows companies to utilize their data when they buy ads through them, giving other companies access to some of the most up to date shopper information on the web.
If you have an ecommerce company and you don’t have a presence on Amazon you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Once a presence is established, it’s great to grow it with Amazons advertising platform. Keyword targeted ads or display ads make for some great intent based targeting. As value as real estate on Google is, the real estate on Amazon is just as valuable. Make sure you are staking your claim to it.
Ebay was the original marketplace that facilitated person to person transactions. It’s no longer just for the part-timer selling used products out of their garage, it’s a great addition to any ecommerce companies marketing strategy. Lower levels of competition with high buying intent give it real value to companies. Expand your reach on the platform with Ebay ads to maximize your investment.
For unique or handmade products, Etsy is a great marketplace. They offer ads to boost the reach of those who list products on their platform. If you sell the right products, Etsy can be a great sales channel and with advertising, provides greater reach than a pure organic strategy.
Taboola & OutBrain
These content delivery networks are a great value and provide huge scale at a very low cost. There are a variety of plays that can be made on these platforms ranging from direct response to branding, public relations and affiliate marketing. These networks have a bright future ahead of them as more and more companies realize the value they provide.
Yahoo Native Ads
Yahoo native ads are a way to make your display ads appear to be more “native” to their placements. Yahoo may have lost the search engine war, but their websites still get plenty of visitors a day making this an attractive option for any sort of display advertising/native strategy.