Beyond Google Ads: Exploring Alternative PPC Advertising Platforms
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a powerful way to reach your target audience and drive awareness of your business. Enlisting the help of PPC management services from an experienced agency can open the door to opportunities for your brand’s growth that you might otherwise miss out on.
Overview of PPC Advertising
PPC advertising allows you to reach a large audience of people who are already seeking out information related to your brand’s services.
Here’s a breakdown of how it works:
- You conduct research to understand what your target audience needs
- You target specific keywords, user demographics and interests that are relevant to these people
- Users click on your ads in search results
- What you pay is based on how many clicks you generate
As a channel of digital marketing, PPC advertising has a few strong advantages. It allows an impressive reach, makes it easy to measure and track its effectiveness, gives you intricate control over your budget and targeting, starts demonstrating results quickly, and provides flexibility to adjust your budget and ads at any time, keeping your tactics agile.
The King of PPC: Google Ads
Google Ads is easily the most dominant PPC platform on the market. Google is the most popular search engine in the world, with over 92% of the global market share. That means ads on Google have the potential to reach a substantial audience compared to other search engines.
Google Ads also allows you to be hyperspecific in targeting, makes it easy to export detailed reports on campaign performance, and offers a variety of ad formats. It’s relatively user-friendly, but with a myriad options for formats and targeting, it’s best to utilize PPC management services by an experienced digital marketing agency to execute campaigns that optimize budget spend. Costs can get away from you quickly without proper techniques being utilized.
Why You Should Think Outside the Google Ads Box
The Google Ads PPC advertising platform carries with it numerous benefits, but it’s important to diversify your paid advertising spend to ensure you’re reaching all relevant audiences.
Alternate PPC platforms will allow your brand to cast a wider net, target different audiences, and get more creative with ads. Other platforms might even give your brand a lower cost per click (CPC) and generate higher-quality results. These platforms generally have less competition, more flexibility, and stronger customer service if you run into trouble.
View alternate PPC platforms as a necessary addition to the campaigns you run on Google Ads. They can be used to fill the gaps and allow you to generate increased awareness.
Popular Alternative PPC Platforms
The following are the most popular PPC platform alternatives to Google Ads, for businesses of all kinds:
Bing Ads is a search-based advertising platform developed by Microsoft that provides PPC advertising on Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo search engine results pages. Bing has a smaller market share than Google, but it still reaches millions of users each day (being the default search engine on Microsoft computers doesn’t hurt, either).
Apprehensive about the usage of Bing? Here’s an interesting fact: Every day, millions of individuals interact with an Alexa-enabled device, posing various inquiries. What you may not be aware of is that Amazon’s Alexa devices rely on Bing for conducting information searches!
This is just one example of how Bing PPC advertising could allow your business to penetrate markets you aren’t currently reaching. Another benefit of Bing Ads is a lower cost per click than Google Ads, allowing your budget to stretch further.
Whereas the most common age group for Google Ads is 25-34, the most common age group for Bing users is 45-54. This means Bing is a great platform for brands seeking an audience that skews older than the one they would find on Google.
Meta advertising is a PPC platform that reaches audiences through Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Here’s what Meta has to say about the extent of its access to users:
Billions of people use Meta apps to connect with people and explore topics they care about. Your Meta ads can show up as your customers explore their Facebook Feed or watch Instagram Reels or check their Messenger inbox.
Ads on Facebook and Instagram are generally more visually appealing than those on Google, which is an advantage for brands that use strong visuals to attract an audience to their services. These ads meet people where they spend a lot of time, scrolling through posts from people they know and brands they admire.
The biggest difference between how Google Ads and Meta Ads operate is the way they target users. While Google Ads mostly relies on intent-based keyword data, Facebook Ads uses demographics and user behavior data to pinpoint an audience.
Most types of brands can benefit from Meta Ads, but they are especially effective for brands selling products and service experiences that can be demonstrated in a visually stunning way.
Niche PPC Advertising Platforms
The following PPC platforms provide specific targeting benefits to brands that fall within certain niches:
No other PPC platform shines for B2B companies more than LinkedIn Advertising. LinkedIn boasts a user base of “the world’s largest professional audience,” a type of user most B2Bs hope to target with their marketing methods.
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions is so confident with its usefulness to B2Bs that it has dedicated entire web pages to it.
Some stats of interest for B2B’s that LinkedIn boasts:
- 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions
- Audiences on LinkedIn are 6 times more likely to convert
- #1 platform for B2B lead generation
- 4 times higher open rates and just as much engagement as traditional email
LinkedIn often has a more expensive cost than Google Ads, but the reason it’s pricier might be worth it for a B2B brand looking to scale. LinkedIn ads can perform more granular targeting–as specific as job titles, industries, and company sizes–which allows you to reach a niche market.
Additionally, LinkedIn’s users are more likely to convert from an ad than Google’s more generalized user base. Lastly, because LinkedIn’s ad inventory is smaller than Google’s, there is less competition for ad space.
Amazon Advertising provides a suite of advertising products that allow businesses to reach Amazon customers throughout their shopping journey. Amazon PPC is best suited for brands that sell products, want to increase brand awareness, and drive sales.
Millions of people shop on Amazon every day. One report estimated there are potentially 18.5 orders per second on Amazon.com.
The selling giant encourages companies of all sizes to consider Amazon Ads, including small businesses. Its benefits include no up-front fees (i.e. you only pay when a shopper clicks on your ad), budget flexibility, and a variety of customizable ad formats.
There are over 353 million products listed on Amazon. Utilizing Amazon Ads will improve the visibility of your brand among the masses, and should be executed with finesse to ensure budget optimization.
There are a few industries that are particularly well-suited for Pinterest ads:
- Fashion and beauty
- Home decor
- Food and beverage
These industries perform well through Pinterest Ads because this PPC platform is highly visual and the ads are integrated seamlessly into results for queries related to personal fashion, decorating, recipes, and travel planning.
There is an impressive opportunity for brands in these niches to generate awareness and leads through Pinterest ads.
That being said, it will take someone with experience who understands the nuances of Pinterest and best practices or ad format and distribution to execute advertising campaigns. It’s important to use Pinterest PPC management services to be sure campaigns are capturing your audience’s attention, targeting the right keywords, and focusing on the correct potential audience.
Emerging PPC Advertising Platform
Here is an emerging PPC platform brands should have on their radar:
TikTok has recently expanded its advertising platform to become a fairly robust PPC playing field. This platform is best suited for brands hoping to reach a young audience as the most prominent age group on TikTok is between 16-24.
This platform is a goldmine for relevant brands because these users are engaged. The average TikTok user spends an average of 90 minutes per day on the app!
But reaching your target audience on TikTok won’t be easy. Ads that experience success on this platform must be engaging and creative. The ad formats allowed by TikTok align with its audience’s preferences, meaning ads can be short, funny, and catchy as well as targeted to specific user demographics.
TikTok advertising is still an emerging PPC platform, but some users have reported a relatively inexpensive cost compared to some of the other platforms as well as high engagement and the potential to “go viral,” generating even more buzz.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Alternative PPC Advertising Platforms
When choosing an alternative PPC advertising platform, or deciding to add one to fill the gaps of Google Ads, there are a few things to consider.
Having a solid understanding of your target audience, their demographics, and the platforms they spend time on is essential in deciding where to place PPC ads. Additionally, you should consider the cost and bidding models of the platform as well as how the ad format creative options align with your brand’s needs.
Lastly, consider the abilities of your marketing team. Is exploring alternative PPC advertising channels a risk you can confidently take, or is it time to bring on the expertise of an agency that offers PPC management services? If you’re leaning towards the latter, reach out to us with your unique brand needs and we’ll develop a PPC strategy customized to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other platforms are like Google Ads?
There are several different alternative PPC options similar to Google Ads. Many of these options have advantages for brands that fall into specific niches. Examples of alternative PPC advertising platforms include Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, TikTok Ads, and Pinterest Ads.
Is Facebook Ads better than Google Ads?
Facebook Ads can be a powerful tool to use to fill the gaps that Google Ads campaigns leave available. Facebook Ads has user targeting advantages that Google Ads does not have, leading to increased customer engagement and results. Google Ads has the benefit of reaching many people in a very short time. Both PPC platforms can be used in tandem for a comprehensive PPC strategy.
How do you optimize PPC advertising campaigns?
There are several steps necessary to optimize PPC advertising campaigns. PPC campaigns need to be broken down into specific details and competitive research must be done for the optimization process to begin. It’s best to work with a digital marketing agency experienced in PPC management services to be sure campaigns are optimized effectively.