Alternatives to Google Adwords - Other Platforms to Promote your Products
Google's AdWords platform is the first thing everyone thinks of with regards to online search based advertising. Nearly every day you will visit a website with Google ads on the sidebar or at the top of the page and this ubiquitousness means AdWords has held its position at the top of the ladder for many years. With Google being the largest global search engine it is not hard to see why they are the most popular and widely used, but AdWords does have some drawbacks.
The cost per click can be quite high, especially for competitive keywords where smaller businesses may be vying for position against multinational companies and their huge marketing budgets for the same search intent. In these competitive keywords, or searches that have more than one intent AdWords can actually result in too much traffic. This means website visitors that were not searching for your product of service, or those who are confused about what they want. This leads to a lower conversion rate and can skew the ROI statistics. Conversely, in niche markets AdWords may not generate enough site traffic if people are not regularly searching for those keywords using Google.
There are many alternative and supplementary online marketing channels that can be more suitable for certain markets than AdWords, and the most obvious is from their main competitor, Bing. Bing Ads claim that their search engine users spend an average of 25% longer online than users of other search engines, implying that their users are more savvy, perhaps more dedicated to their online activity and more likely to see a transaction through to the end. With a market share of over 30% and 160 billion unique searches in 2016 they are certainly a strong contender for online search based advertising.
Yahoo, for some, may seem like an old fashioned internet provider but they are still very popular in America. If your business sells internationally and has a strong market in the US then Yahoo Gemini is a good platform to use. They use intent based algorithms to determine which search queries an ad appears next to, which uses similar theories to semantic search. This may well be the future of search based advertising and Yahoo will let you try it out first.
Third party online advertising platforms such as AdRoll give you access to Facebook Ads and Google Adwords among others through their interface, increasing the reach of a given campaign and simplifying the process for a marketing manager. The cost per click is higher than others, but the conversion rate is similarly high, meaning if cost is less of an issue than convenience AdRoll may be the platform for you.
Facebook Ads can be incredibly effective for consumer products and services as they catch people in their downtime when they are actively looking for interesting and relevant content. Appearing within the safe sphere of a Facebook feed lends credibility to these ads and the targeting parameters are second to none. People share a lot of information about themselves on Facebook and this allows advertisers to target their campaigns to the people who will be the most interested. Each click paid for is, in a sense, pre-qualified by interest, age, location or other liked pages and conducting advertising campaigns on Facebook is a great way of increasing your social media presence for future campaigns.
Amazon also offers an advertising route for sellers; their sponsored products feature creates ads that drive shoppers towards your product when they search for that product or related items. This is a good route for ecommerce sites to take as it provides another sales channel. Amazon are also working on another off-site advertising program. Pinterest may seem like a content gathering site, but according to a recent survey of their users a staggering 87% of people bought an item after seeing it on Pinterest. Setting up a company account and generating taggable content for Pinterest could be a lucrative way of getting customers, especially for food, kitchen and home or gardenware companies.
In the B2B advertising arena AdWords can be a struggle in terms of competition. A small business IT services company competing against the likes of IBM may find they get very little traction from AdWords, or that they have to spend such a lot per click that it is not a cost effective way of getting leads. LinkedIn now has an advertising feature aimed at connecting B2B companies with their customers in a more personal way. It is similar in concept to Facebook Ads, in that the content appears within the context of a business networking and semi social environment where people may be more open to investigating a new company or service. Having that personal touch with linking your personal account to a business account can make all the difference for consultancy and marketing services as interested parties can get to know you even before they pick up the phone.
So, we can see that there are plenty of alternatives to Google AdWords as well as some channels that support campaign activity with Google. Choosing the right channels for your business means doing some research and perhaps engaging in a little trial and error, so it is worthwhile getting some input from the industry experts as to how these channels can benefit your business.
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