Deciding where to invest your business’ media dollars isn’t always an easy undertaking. The days of Google-or-bust are long gone. Today, there are more paid media channels than you can count on your fingers and toes. To help you better understand the pros and cons of these engines, and how that might affect your media buying and budget, we’ve put together this quick guide to some of the more prominent options out there so that you’re pointed in the right direction from the get-go.
Google is, without a doubt, the king of paid media channels. Though its market share has been whittled away a bit as of late, if you are planning on advertising for your business on the web, Google remains a place you should strongly consider. AdWords offers the savvy advertiser the ability to target people based on their search queries directly on the largest search engine on the internet. That’s a powerful capability. Beyond that, Google offers display targeting on its Google Display Network (the GDN), as well as some powerful remarketing capabilities to keep your business and products top of mind for anyone who’s been to your site.
BingAds is similar to Google in everything that it does, and for good reason: Google effectively blazed the trail that Bing has since been trying to follow. When running ads on BingAds, keep in mind that you will likely see lower average CPCs than in Google, and that the demographic tends to skew older.
Facebook has made some big leaps recently in its ad-serving engine. Its targeting capabilities run much deeper than you will find in Google or Bing. This allows you to target audiences based on interests, shopping habits, job title, or even income. Facebook ads typically are able to drive a lot of traffic economically because of their low average CPC. They also work wonders for more “visually appealing” brands. So if you’re trying to build awareness for your slick new clothing line or custom home additions, Facebook is definitely a place your ads need to be.
Similar in many regards to Facebook, save for reach, Pinterest ads offer a wonderful venue for more visual brands. Pinterest also caters more to a younger, female demographic. Using this information, you can make sure your ads feature content that is designed specifically to engage Pinterest’s user base.
LinkedIn is another engine that relies heavily on its ability to effectively target specific demographics. With the ability to target users based on their job title, industry-related groups they may be in, and the more typical geographic and age-related audiences, catering your ads to exactly the right audience is as simple as ABC. Note, LinkedIn is especially suited for more B2B-related brands, so if your niche business solution isn’t getting the traction you’re looking for on some of the other engines we’ve covered here, LinkedIn is a channel you should be investing in.
I would be remiss not to mention the multitude of account-based marketing platforms that are now available. ABM platforms allow you to laser-focus your account spend on small audiences to ensure you can serve your messaging to exactly the right people. Some of the targeting methods that set these platforms apart include the ability to target specific office locations, job titles, or even just email domains.
Typically, these platforms are used in conjunction with the data gleaned from more traditional campaigns due to the increased cost associated with many of the platforms themselves. If you know your ideal target is the CFO of a specific local company, then ABM is likely to give you the best shot of finding that person and getting your ads in front of them. There are many new platforms out there, including Terminus, El Toro, and DemandBase. Ultimately, you will need to engage with several solutions and find the right platform and pricing for your campaign.
That’s a pretty solid overview of the top paid media channels you can leverage to get your brand messaging out into the wild. The most successful marketing portfolios typically use two or more of these channels. The ultimate mix will depend on your end goals, but by creating a strategy that leverages each channel’s strong points, you can ensure your initiative is a success!