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1. Google Ads
Google Ads is the king of online PPC platforms, holding the largest market share of over 29%. As the most popular search engine globally, billions of searches occur daily, providing advertisers with massive reach and access to potential customers. In addition to search, with the Google Display Network advertisers can reach their audience across 35 million websites and apps, and on Google-owned properties like Gmail and YouTube.
- Target high-intent buyers when they're searching for a solution to their problem
- Extensive global reach
- Variety of bidding strategies for different campaign types
- A comprehensive suite of tools for optimisation
- The Google Display Network offers a wide range of websites for display ads
- Detailed analytics and reporting
- Various targeting customisation options
Google Search Ads, have the highest level of purchase intent amongst all advertising platforms. This can mean that they also experience quite a bit of competition which increases the CPCs due to the high ROI. A properly structured Google Ad account can set you up for success and help realise your business's potential.
2. Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads)
The Microsoft Search Network is the second-largest search engine with 12.2 billion monthly searches although this accounts for less than 4% of the total market share. Considering Google search accounts for 93%, the size of the opportunity with Microsoft Ads is much smaller however it's not to be discounted and it's a PPC channel that all advertisers should evaluate. The Microsoft Search Network includes search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, as well as LinkedIn profile targeting.
- Potential for a lower cost per click (CPC) compared to Google Ads
- Exclusive access to Yahoo search traffic and LinkedIn profile targeting
- Simplified campaign importing from Google Ads
- Less competition for popular keywords
Microsoft Ads allows importing campaigns from Google Ads for some campaign types. If your Google campaigns are using Broad Match keywords, reconsider this strategy for Microsoft Ads. In addition, it's important to optimise the campaigns for the Microsoft Ads platform by adjusting bids or bid strategies, match types, and adding any Microsoft Ads ad extensions.
3. Meta Ads (Facebook and Instagram)
Facebook, the dominant social media platform, boasts 3.74 billion monthly active users. More than 77% of all internet users are active on at least one Meta platform. As you can see, the size of the opportunity for advertisers is enormous. Facebook Ads offers granular targeting options based on user demographics, interests, behaviours, and more, making it a powerful platform for reaching specific audiences.
- Advertise across Instagram and other Facebook properties
- Access to a vast user base
- Highly detailed targeting options
- Variety of ad formats, including video, single image, carousel, and slideshow
Meta Ads tend to work better for B2C businesses rather than B2B however if you're business is B2B you should always test different PPC channels. Remember to test different ad imagery, videos and copy, this can really improve performance on Facebook and Instagram. It can be hard to measure Ad attribution from Meta ads as it's more of a discovery platform when compared to Search Ads.
4. TikTok Ads
TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform with over 1.4 billion monthly active users worldwide which is expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2023. This provides a great opportunity for brands to reach a highly engaged audience of Gen Z users. TikTok Ads offers different types of video ads such as TopView, Brand Takeover, and In-Feed Video Ads. These ads can be used to create brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
- TikTok can have cheaper CPC's than Meta Ads
- Short-form videos are easy to consume and engaging for users
- Make use of User-generated content (UGC) as an advert
- Highly targeted audience options such as gender, location, device type, and interests
- Innovative ad formats
When creating TikTok Ads it's important to keep your videos short and punchy - no more than 15 seconds in length. Use eye-catching visuals like bright colours and motion graphics to grab attention quickly. Try experimenting with different ad formats to see what works best for your brand.
YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform, reaches over 2 billion logged-in users per month. As a part of Google Ads, YouTube offers advertisers a diverse range of video ad formats to engage their audience effectively. Video ads require a little more creative input than standard display advertising however the benefits massively outweigh the negatives. Google has also recently a Video Ad builder within Google Ads to make it easier for advertisers to create video adverts.
- Access to a massive global audience and a range of demographics
- Ad formats for a range of goals from awareness to consideration to action
- High user engagement
- Variety of video ad formats
- Similar targeting options as Google Display Network
Leverage the power of video content to capture the attention of your target audience and create a lasting brand impression. I recommend trying Skippable in-stream ads as you are only charged if a user watches 30 seconds of the advert or if they interact with the ad.
6. LinkedIn Ads
Owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is a professional network with more than 930 million users. LinkedIn Ads allows advertisers to target users based on professional criteria such as job title, seniority, company, and more. Due to the nature of LinkedIn their PPC platform is more relevant for B2B advertisers.
- Access to a professional audience
- Precise targeting using professional criteria
- Range of types such as sponsored posts, sponsored messaging and dynamic ads
- Variety of ad formats, including text/image ads and native ads
Offer valuable content, such as industry-specific tips, whitepapers, or webinars, to engage and attract users on LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be more expensive than other platforms but no other advertising platform is as B2B focused.
7. Twitter Ads
Twitter, with 330 million active users per month, offers several advertising options for reaching its user base. Promoted tweets, one of the most flexible ad formats can include text, images, GIFs, or videos in compliance with Twitter's overall policies. With Twitter Ads, you can target keywords and also follower lookalikes so that you can target users who have similar interests to an account's followers.
- Access to a diverse user base
- Generally cheaper CPCs than other well known advertising platforms
- Variety of ad formats, including promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends
- Real-time audience engagement
Users tend to scroll Twitter in a quick fashion and it has less dwell time than other advertising platforms. With that said, Twitter advertisers can connect with communities and groups of users who share similar interests.
8. Pinterest Ads
Pinterest, with 450 million active monthly users, is a popular platform for users researching trends, ideas, and products. It's the 15th most used social media platform with 76% of users being women and over 45% of US users earning a household income of over $100,000.
- Access to a predominantly female demographic
- Users actively seeking inspiration and product ideas
- Variety of ad formats, including promoted pins, one-tap promoted pins and promoted video pins
Research keywords before starting a campaign, as Pinterest search queries tend to be more general than on Google. A strong Pinterest presence with shares and saves will improve results without additional advertising costs.
9. Reddit Ads
Reddit monthly users are expected to reach 1.66 billion in 2023 and for those that don't know what Reddit is it's an online discussion platform and content aggregator. Reddit Ads allow you to reach Reddit's large and diverse user base by targeting subreddits or interest-based audiences. You can create ads in the form of text/image ads, link posts, or video ads.
- Access to a wide range of users
- High average daily time on site per user
- Targeting based on interests and a highly engaged audience
- Range of ad objectives
Be aware of the culture and rules of each subreddit you are targeting as Reddit has a unique user base who can be sensitive to certain topics and ad formats. Additionally, focus on providing value through your ad content as this will help you reach more users.
Taboola is a native advertising platform that displays sponsored content on partner websites, blending seamlessly with organic content. With access to a vast network of high-quality publisher sites, Taboola helps brands reach and engage their target audience through content recommendations.
- Made for content marketing
- Low CPC compared to other ad networks
- High-quality sites with high-traffic volumes
- Useful for retargeting previous campaign clickers
Create engaging and informative content tailored to your target audience for the best results with Taboola. Taboola is great for generating traffic but I would look elsewhere if your budget is tight and you require a quick return on your investment.
Outbrain is another native advertising platform that helps brands reach their target audience through sponsored content. Outbrain works with top-tier publishers and provides access to a network of high-quality websites. Ads are displayed on the right side of the page and blend in with organic content, providing users with a seamless experience.
- High-quality sites with large audiences
- Low CPC compared to other ad networks
- Retargeting options for previous campaign clickers
Create content that resonates with your target audience to achieve the best results when using Outbrain. Additionally, make sure you use relevant keywords and images to ensure your ads are seen by the right people.
12. Spotify Ads
Spotify Ads is an audio advertising platform that allows brands to reach their target audience through audio ads, video ads and podcast ads. With access to a large and engaged user base, Spotify Ads provides an opportunity for brands to create impactful ad campaigns and reach new customers. Slightly different to most advertising platforms, Spotify is great for brand awareness campaigns. This PPC channel may not be a good fit for smaller advertisers who are focused on generating sales quickly.
- A highly engaged user base
- Targeting based on age, gender, and location
- Opportunity to create custom audio ads
Make sure your audio ads are creative and engaging in order to grab the attention of listeners. Additionally, use a clear call-to-action so users know how to take the next step.
Which PPC Channel Is Right For Your Business?
Choosing the right PPC platform for your business can be challenging. By understanding the benefits and capabilities of each platform, you can make informed decisions that will maximise the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. Remember to monitor your campaigns' performance, adjust your strategies accordingly, and explore new platforms to stay competitive in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape. Design Rush also have this comprehensive guide on PPC platforms.
At Lever, we help ambitious brands scale through paid advertising. Get in touch with us here and let our PPC experts grow your business.