Have you ever heard any business owner say, “Hey guys relax, we have reached enough customers!”
We bet not.
Business owners – big or small, new or established – with resources want to grow as widely as possible. Thankfully, opportunities are endless with online advertising channels and marketing platforms.
With the right advertising and marketing, you can spread the word about your venture to the ever increasing population of online world. But just like you, millions of other businesses are also trying their best to leverage the enormous power of internet. This is where paid advertising can help. And that is what this blog is about, PAID ONLINE ADVERTISING CHANNELS.
Paid media is one of the quickest ways to drive traffic and sales. Paid campaigns on diverse channels ensure that your content – be it a video, banner, discount or company news – gets picked up, shared around, and reaches the right audience.
To help you explore all the available advertising options, we decided to curate a list of paid online channels. Read on to discover the most promising platforms and identify which ones are best for your business:
Popular search driven advertising platforms
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. 63,000 PER SECOND. You read it right. No wonder it is the largest and most widely used online advertising network in the world. You can directly pay Google to make your ads appear on Google search results pages and websites that are part of Google Ads network.
Google Display ads
These ads appear as banners or small boxes on websites that are part of the Google Display network. Display ads are especially effective for building brand awareness and to make people ‘familiar’ with your business. Display ads are best for remarketing i.e. putting your ads in front of people who have already expressed an interest in your products & products similar to yours. This way, you can increase the chances of getting a sale.
Every month, 5 billion searches are performed on Bing. This is surely not a figure to ignore if you want to make the most of the top online advertising channels. Plus, with less competition compared to Google, your chances of a successful ad campaign automatically increase. You can also bring in your campaigns from Google Ads with its Import tool. Also, in a new Microsoft-Verizon Media deal, Yahoo search traffic will be exclusively served by Bing Ads. The updated partnership means that marketers can reach audiences across Yahoo through one platform.
Video content is among the most engaging forms of online content right now. In fact, 85% of companies that utilize online video advertising find it successful. Considering the fact that the demand of video content is on the rise, running a series of YouTube ads can be one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience through online advertising & marketing.
Now let’s talk about the most popular social media platforms you can pay to put your content in front of the masses.
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Popular social advertising channels
Facebook continues to have the highest number of monthly active users (2 billion per month). Whoever your customers are, rest assured that they are using Facebook. It’s THAT popular. Being the most targeted form of advertising you can advertise to people by age, interests, behavior, and location. If you want to reach customers instantly, you can also tap into Facebook’s Messenger ads.
Facebook messenger ads
According to Facebook, Messenger ads are absolutely effective as they’ve already been shown to increase conversions and response rates. They work just like ads across other Facebook platforms. You can use the same ad content for Messenger that you’re already using for Facebook. The ads are automatically delivered in the inbox of people who are most likely to drive campaign results. Isn’t it the perfect online advertising channel ever?
Facebook acquired Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform currently. Year over year, its user base continues to grow at an exponential rate. If you aim to target millennials, no other platform can perform better than Instagram. You can promote your products and services with eye-catching images or short video ads. With call-to-action buttons such as “Shop Now”, you can take readers directly to the product page.
If Gen Z is part of your target audience, consider the next online advertising platform!
Here’s the perfect strategy to market your business on Instagram!
In Q2 of 2019, Snapchat has over 203 million daily active users. Loved by teens and young adults between 12 and 24, the platform has high engagement and impressive advertising platform. But remember, Snapchat content is raw, natural and unedited. You need to design ads in a fun, cool and exciting format which could appeal snapchatters.
The next social media platform is a place where you’ll find funny, informative and inspiring images, memes and GIFs.
Imgur has more than 250 million monthly active users and 84% of them are men between the ages of 18 and 34. Since the platform is male dominated, it is quickly establishing its own subculture. If millennial males are in your target audience, Imgur is a good place to start online advertising and marketing.
Pinterest is a content discovery & curation platform which is used mostly for collecting ideas and inspiration. It is the perfect place for ad buyers to find affluent female millennials as women account for 92% of all pins. Since Pinterest’s content is known for aesthetic, make sure to use images that are visually compelling and will stand out. Your ads will appear as Promoted Pins — Pins that are sponsored by a company and links to a sales page. Pinterest advertising is still evolving and holds promise for marketers.
Some advertisers favor Twitter ads over other platforms as it offers some unique ad targeting features you won’t find anywhere else. Such as hashtags! You can target specific hashtags to reach people using them. Moreover, the ads are pay-for-performance. When you promote tweets on Twitter, you only pay when you’ve achieved your marketing objective. You cannot ask for more from any online advertising channel!
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. 630 million professionals use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals. If you are looking to reach educated, affluent and career-oriented professionals, this platform is your best bet. LinkedIn advertising is widely used by marketers selling products and services relevant for white color labor force.
Tik Tok , the most popular social media app among the generationZ uses biddable in-feed video ad approach which works on 3 basic models named CPC, CPM and CPV. Age, demographics at state-level, and feeds like interests can be taken into account to choose the audience to which your advert will be displayed. Besides direct advertising, this app really is a game changer when it comes to influencer marketing.
Ok, till now we have explored paid search and social media channels you can use to get more eyeballs on your business. Now let’s explore two of the most popular marketing trends right now: Influencer marketing and Affiliate marketing.
Personal brand driven advertising
Influencers are people who already have a loyal following of people who trust them. They introduce your products to their audience in exchange of a flat fee or perks. Since people trust the influencer, there is a much higher chance that the audience will convert. But before engaging with one, understand where your audience hangs out. Do they prefer YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter? Find influencers who have a strong presence on those platforms and can actually influence.
Affiliate marketing is very much similar to Influencer marketing. Brand partners with affiliates (bloggers, publishers, companies, organizations, etc.) to promote their business. The difference is in the way they are paid. While influencers are paid up front, affiliates are paid a revenue share of the sale they help generate. A rewarding online advertising and marketing channel to be sure!
The concept is simple. People with strong online presence create content that promotes your brand. They’ll usually be posting the content on their own social channels, blogs, or websites. And you pay them.
Let’s move on to some popular forums communities or discussion sites to advertise your business.
Popular community platforms for advertising
Quora is one of the largest online communities for getting answers from experts. Millions of people visit Quora every day to find valuable answers to their questions. With Quora advertising, you can reach people who are already looking for answers to questions that relate to your business or industry. It can help you build authority on topics, drive traffic to your site, and ultimately boost conversions for your business.
Stack Overflow ads
Stackoverflow is another Q&A site but for IT professionals, programmers and advanced computer users. With Stack Overflow ads, you can reach over 50 million people who visit Stack Overflow every month to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. The best thing is that you can advertise on questions related to your product or service. Now, how cool is that?
Reddit is the sixth most popular site in the US, ahead of Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. It is a network of more than a million communities based on people’s interests. These communities are known as “subreddits,” each of which covers a different topic. Though the site often seems intimidating to marketers, it is one of the best platforms to advertise due to low competition. Mind it! Reddit users are notoriously anti-marketing. Therefore, consider topics your target audience is most interested in and create content around those topics.
As a small business owner, you’re probably interested in expanding your local customer base. If that’s the case, you can go for paid promotion on sites like Foursquare and Yelp.
Promote your business better online by following these social media content ideas!
Local business relevant advertising channels
Foursquare is an amazingly powerful tool for small businesses to capture the local consumer. With Foursquare advertising, you can reach out to people in your area who are searching for what you offer. The site features your business for free. You only pay if someone acts on your ad — either by tapping to see your business information (address/direction, tips, photos, phone number, and more) or visiting your business.
Yelp Ads puts your business in front of nearby consumers who are looking to make a purchase. On an average, 142 million users visit Yelp every month. 82% of Yelp users visit to buy a product or service and 89% of those who buy do so within a week, according to Nielsen. This makes Yelp a great place to advertise online.
Do you know? Amazon is the world’s largest internet company by revenue. So, how can you not be there? For e-commerce businesses, platforms like Amazon should be a no-brainer.
Here’s our brand building guide to help businesses grow better!
Ecommerce advertising platforms
There are 300+ million Amazon users, and they are buying all sorts of things, ranging from home appliances to office supplies, clothing, and gadgets. Advertising on Amazon will give higher visibility to your products in the Amazon SERPs. The advertiser will be charged when a shopper clicks on the ad. Customers can be taken to a product page, a Store, a custom landing page, or an external website.
eBay is the second largest marketplace in the US after Amazon with 182 million global active buyers. Every day, tens of millions of people browse, discover, buy, and sell on eBay. Ebay advertising can give a huge boost to your ecommerce business. Plus, you will be charged for the ads only if you make a sale through them. Isn’t it a wonderful advertising platform for creators and sellers?
Etsy is also an e-commerce website that focuses on handmade and vintage items such as jewelry, bags, clothing, home décor and furniture, toys, art, and craft supplies. If your business is similar, you can purchase paid advertising space to show up higher on search results pages. You’re charged for an ad when it’s clicked. With Etsy Ads, one campaign makes it easy for shoppers to discover your products on both Etsy and Google and make a purchase from your shop.
Of course, there are many other ecommerce sites such as Alibaba and Walmart where you can try your ecommerce luck.
Let’s explore some other platforms for paid promotion.
Other online advertising channels
Podcasts are swiftly gaining popularity with many of the demographics that marketers desire most. According to recent data, podcast audience is projected to grow 81% by 2022. Podcasts are audio episodes focused on a particular topic. One can subscribe to the show with an app such as iTunes or Podbean. Before you spend a dime on podcast ads, investigate your audience preferences because forcing your ads where they don’t belong based solely on the size of the audience would just be a waste of money.
Twitch is a live streaming platform highly popular amongst gamers. The site primarily focuses on video game live streaming but there are other streams as well dedicated to artwork creation, music, talk shows, and the occasional TV series. The core demographic of Twitch viewers is 81.5% male, with an average age of 18-34. If you want to reach young, tech-savvy, and passionate millennials, use twitch advertising for sure!
According to a study, 95% of buyers prefer brands that provide content throughout the purchasing process. Buyers are hungry for content related to the products they plan to buy. And there are content and media publications that give you access to their readership through sponsored content. Sponsored contributions are very helpful in terms of branding and are widely used by big brands.
Then there are some industry-specific sites where you can promote your business such as TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel platform, helps people compare low prices on hotels, flights, and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. With TripAdvisor ads, you can capture the attention of these potential customers. TripAdvisor Ads are charged based on performance — meaning you only pay for clicks that the site sends to your page.
Content discovery platforms
Content discovery platforms like taboola and outbrain amplify the reach of your content. They make your content reach the relevant audience and attract traffic through your publications like blogs and videos. Basically, it puts your content in Recommended Sections of high-traffic websites. That said, this advertising medium often attracts a lot of spam and is notorious for using clickbait.
Global app marketing is projected to reach USD 258 billion by 2525, which is more than 3 times what it was in 2017. This won’t come as a surprise if you take into consideration the growth of mobile usage and smartphone culture in the last decade. AdMob and AdColony are the biggest online advertising platforms to dominate the hottest mobile apps out there.
These ads work best when you already know the websites which have your audience. Leading media publications and content-driven websites offer advertising opportunities to their engaged audience through banner and video ads. Using native banner ads will help you drive more focused traffic toward your products and services. Indeed, a lucrative advertising channel for companies.
Above is our list of the most popular paid online advertising channels where you can invest to promote your business online. That said, don’t go ahead and start spending on any paid advertisement platform!
First understand your audience’s preferences: What types of media they prefer and where they like to consume it. Choose the right platforms, understand their psychology, and create ads accordingly. In short,
- Take time to research
- Deliver what customer demands
- Say no to clickbait
- Create ads according to your goals
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