Many online marketers and small businesses feel they can’t afford to use paid advertising. Fortunately, there are more options than ever to advertise online. Even better, there isn’t a steep learning curve to get started in online advertising and get a good return on investment.
With that said, if you're going to get serious about paid advertising, it's a good idea to outsource to an ad manager who knows the specific ad platform you're considering.
Review "Grow Your List With Paid Advertising" along with the tools below.
Insider Tip: Go through the Target Audience posts before paying for any ads. Make sure you're using the right platform to reach your target audience. E.g if your target market is senior citizens, then it wouldn't make much sense to advertise on Instagram where most of the audience is under 35. So know your audience and know the demographics of the advertising platform you're considering.
Check out swiped.co for examples (swipes) of all kinds of successful ads, landing pages, sales pages etc. for your industry/niche.
Use SpyFu to download your competitors' most profitable keywords and ads for paid and organic search.
Use WhatRunsWhere to access the most complete and accurate picture of the digital advertising ecosystem. Discover winning strategies, learn which ads perform best and build more profitable campaigns.
Search Engine Ad Networks
When we're talking about ad networks, we are mainly referring to Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. As the name implies, you only pay if someone clicks on your ads. The cost is referred to as Cost Per Click (CPC). There is also CPM, cost per thousand (M being the Roman numeral for 1,000), but most advertisers pay on a CPC basis.
- Google AdWords (now Google Ads)
The oldest and most established. It shows ads on its own search engine results pages (SERPs) and on a network of other sites. Some of the sites are owned by ordinary people who want to make money from their website, so they join the Google AdSense program.
Google has textual ads, and a banner network of display ads. AdWords tends to be the most expensive, but this is because they have so much traffic, so their ads get results (if you set them up correctly). The system is clunky to use, however. It is so full-featured, there are courses online to teach you how to use the system or you can outsource the work to a professional.
- Bing /Yahoo! (now Microsoft Advertising)
Merged with Yahoo!’s ad program several years ago in an attempt to compete with Google. While it is true you might not get lots of traffic from Bing, it is also true that it tends to be cheaper and easier to use.
Social Media Ad Programs
Social media ad platforms are highly targeted and easier to use than Google Ads. There is also not the huge amount of “ad inventory,” that is, lots of ads from competitors on the social networks (at least not yet) compared to Google Ads. Social media ads are driven more by matching your ads with the interests people have stated or shown through their likes and content they engage with.