Google AdWords is the most popular PPC tool on the market, and rightfully so; it profits from the largest user base of any PPC tool, and caters to the most widely used search engine on the internet. But just because it’s the most popular, doesn’t mean that it’s the only option. While it should be an integral part of any marketer’s campaign, it shouldn’t be your only PPC venue.
Microsoft’s Bing has been slowly gaining in popularity, each year increasing its search engine market share by just a little bit more. As it stands now, Bing accounts for 3.6 billion searches per month, and it’s estimated that this number will continue to grow. Sure, you can run an effective PPC campaign without using Bing. But that’s what many would call a missed opportunity, because the potential return on Bing is much higher than the initial investment.
Bing uses a keyword strategy very similar to that of Google Adwords, and Microsoft continues to develop more advanced ad technology that will only accelerate over time. Unfortunately, very few PPC marketers are aware of this, and end up neglecting Bing and all the ad revenue that comes with it. It is for this reason that using Bing can be such an effective tool, because it can give you an advantage over your competition.
Also, because Bing has much smaller usage than Google, it’s able to offer more specialized support for your questions. Unlike Google, which operates on automated replies, will connect you with real people that can help you with any problems, all for a much smaller price than Google PPC costs.
Facebook is another gold mine of user data and interaction which is left relatively untapped by the majority of marketers. As the most widely used website in North America, Facebook reaches an immense number of internet users, with ages ranging from youth all the way to seniors. Very few marketers are aware of this, but Facebook also offers PPC ads, which can be targeted towards very specific audiences. This is due to the huge amount of personal information that users put out on Facebook, letting you target age, gender, marital status, occupation, likes, interests, affiliations, and so on.
Unlike other PPC marketing tools, Facebook has a built in estimator tool which can accurately predict the cost of your PPC marketing, and the audience which it is most likely to hit. This makes Facebook one of the more accurate PPC advertising options.
The set back of Facebook, however, has to do with the type of website that it is. Facebook is inherently a social media website, and people don’t visit it with buying habits in mind. Thus conversion rates tend to be lower, as users are more prone to socialize than to buy.
Facebook is not the only social media option that offers Pay Per Click advertising. Twitter has a dedicated advertising platform known as Sponsored Tweets, which has proven to be very effective in reaching a broad amount of social media users. While both Facebook and Twitter have mobile applications, only Twitter has the short-hand, quick glance style of social media nailed down, and users check it for updates much more frequently.
While these are the most popular and widely used PPC marketing platforms, they aren’t the only marketing platforms available to you as a marketer. There are a number of lesser-known, and significantly cheaper marketing options.
AdRoll uses Facebook Exchange in order to remarket to users who have visited your site. These ads follow users around from website to website. BuySellAds is another network which offers banner ads on different websites. 7Search is a paid advertising network with relatively low traffic size and quality, but for this reason it’s incredibly cheap to use. It shouldn’t be your first choice when choosing an advertising platform, but for experienced users, it certainly does not hurt trying.
Other tools such as InfoLinks, Kontextua, DNTX.com, Adsmonster, and Ad Landmark all offer cheap advertising options with a lower audience base, and can be good options for those that have already utilized the more popular venues. If you’re just starting out, the better option is to stick with the big ones.
PPC advertising platforms allow you to set your daily budget, choose your target audience, and give you the tools to track your success and ensure that your investment is getting a powerful return. If these tools show you that this is not the case, consider one of the alternative PPC platforms. Try, try, and try again.
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