10 Best PPC Platforms For Skyrocketing Sales

06 May.,2024


10 Best PPC Platforms For Skyrocketing Sales

 Ever listened to a radio ad and thought, “Man, I’m gonna go to the store right now and buy the crap out of that.”

For more PPC Plantinformation, please contact us. We will provide professional answers.

Any takers? No?

Well…I can’t say I’m surprised.

Before the internet introduced online advertising into the mix, all businesses had were TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, and billboard advertising opportunities.

And while a lot of us can remember a few jingles from ads across TV and radio (“Do-do a dollop of Daisy…”), very few of us actually thought to go buy those products right away. (I still don’t buy Daisy sour cream.)

And if we did buy them, it was likely a pretty far cry from when we heard the ad. The advertiser probably never directly saw that return attributed back to their ad dollars.

But PPC (pay-per-click) advertising…now that’s a different ball game.

PPC platforms helped shuttle in the idea of higher intent and higher ROI advertising with real, trackable results that could be attributed directly to ad spend.

Advertisers can look at their PPC platform metrics and see whether or not their advertising is making them more money than they’re spending for their ads.

So, if you’re not already using PPC platforms to advertise, now’s a good time to start.

In this article, we’ll run through 10 PPC platform options you can choose from, including the audiences represented there, average costs, pros and cons, and more, to help you decide which platform is right for you.

We’ll also let you in on some benefits of PPC, as well as some big-time mistakes to avoid when you’re getting started.

Without further ado…

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What exactly is a PPC platform?

A PPC (pay-per-click) platform is a digital advertising platform that charges the advertiser each time a user clicks on their ad. PPC ads are shown across web search results and various sites and apps.

The idea of a PPC advertising model began back in 1996 with a company called Planet Oasis. Planet Oasis was a predecessor to the Google search engine.

Similar to Google SERP, it featured various brand “ads” on its homepage, as well as its various entertainment and media categories. They originally charged each advertiser a flat fee to be sponsored there.

However, Planet Oasis appeared as a digital city rather than the SERPs (search engine results pages) we know today. On the homepage, each brand was featured on one of the city buildings, which would take you to that brand’s page when clicked.

Takin’ PPC aaaaalll the way back

As Planet Oasis evolved, they began charging advertisers a specific fee for each click on their featured brand (which wasn’t very positively received at the time).

Circling back to today, even though many PPC platforms now give you the option to be charged in other ways (e.g., for every 1,000 impressions (CPM)), they are still generally considered PPC platforms.

And advertisers worldwide use these platforms to gain brand exposure, target high-intent markets across the web, and push their sales through the roof.

Long-term benefits of leveraging PPC platforms

There’s a reason why so many advertisers rely on PPC advertising to build their businesses at scale. In fact, there are a lot of reasons.

PPC has grown tremendously in the last decade, and our PPC platform options continue to expand.

With each new PPC opportunity, the list of benefits to PPC advertising gets longer and longer. But we’ll let you in on a handful of the biggest universal benefits you can expect to gain from PPC.

Benefit 1: PPC is measurable and trackable

There are plenty of ways to advertise traditionally, whether on TV, in the newspaper, on the radio, etc. Many advertisers still seem to hold these advertising methods above all else.

But what all these traditional advertising methods lack is trackability.

You’re putting your brand message in front of eyes, but whether or not those channels are actually starting the seeds of future sales is up in the air.

PPC, on the other hand, is trackable from the first touch to the last using technology like cookies, single-platform conversion tracking, and cross-platform attribution.

Some platforms, like Google Ads, even have attribution models that will attribute partial conversion credit to each step that assisted with the conversion overall (position-based attribution).

Other platforms, like Google Analytics, can even help you track cross-platform and cross-device conversions.

With PPC, it’s much easier to attribute credit for each conversion you get, so you know the value of all your paid efforts.

Benefit 2: Flexible and powerful targeting options

With traditional advertising mediums, you’re typically advertising to anyone and everyone.

Sure, sometimes you can target different demographics based on what TV channels a demographic is more likely to watch or what radio stations they tend to listen to.

But the intricacies of that audience’s interests and buying intent are all over the place.

With PPC advertising, all PPC platforms have their own methods of accurately targeting more specific audiences based on things like their interests, behaviors, and even visits to your website.

Many of the audiences based around interests and behaviors are built by machine learning and algorithms that are much smarter at predicting a consumer’s inclinations at any given time.

Paid search platforms also benefit from targeting specific things people are searching for, making paid search one of the highest intent platform options.

You no longer have to settle for netting in an audience so broad that you can’t hope to guess where each of them is at in their consumer journey.

PPC platforms help you hone in on specific target markets that are more valuable to your business and your return on investment (ROI).

Benefit 3: PPC is testable and can always be improved

Because PPC happens and is paid for in real-time (rather than being built and paid for in advance), you can always test and change different aspects of your marketing campaigns in your PPC platform of choice.

PPC platforms are highly flexible, and most edits can happen whenever convenient for you. New ads can be tested, new audiences can be added, and new campaigns can be launched at any time, all while staying within your desired budget.

Adding new ads, audiences, or campaigns doesn’t inherently have to cost you more money than you planned. If you only want to spend $10,000/month and add new campaigns on top of the ones you already have, you can do that. (You’d just be adjusting each campaign’s budget share appropriately so that you don’t surpass your monthly limit.)

Not to mention, PPC platforms are constantly releasing new innovations to help advertisers perform better, especially in an increasingly privacy-first digital world. So you can expect that over your years doing PPC advertising, your platforms of choice will grow with you.

Benefit 4: Higher intent skyrockets wins, leads, and sales

I came from an industry in PPC where billboard and radio ad spend was huge.

Of the tens of thousands of ad dollars my clients had each month, they usually spent 85% of it on billboard and radio advertising. We got what was leftover to spend on PPC.

Now, I’m not saying that billboards and radio ads are useless—in their own right, they try to plant the seed of brand awareness, which is necessary.

But think about it this way: how many times have you actually seen a billboard and thought to shop at that place within the month?

One of the biggest benefits of PPC is the higher available intent among platforms.

With paid search, you can show your brand and offer when someone’s specifically searching for your product or service—they’re in the mindset to buy or are taking steps toward a purchase.

With social media platforms, you’re still using highly accurate audience targeting to net potential customers who have shown interest in what you’re offering. And if your ad is great enough, you’ll interest them enough to get a click (and hopefully a conversion).

The intent is there, and it’s worth your while to capitalize on it if you want more leads or sales.

Benefit 5: Start it up and shut it down whenever you want

Lastly, one of the best (and most comforting) things about PPC is its budgetary flexibility. Gone are the days of pre-paying for a campaign that will keep running whether you decide you like it or not.

PPC platforms allow you to spend as much as you’d like, start your campaigns whenever you want, and pause them (halt spend and advertising) whenever you need to.

This is especially great for new small businesses, whose available advertising dollars might fluctuate as they get up off the ground.

Don’t have the funds to continue your advertising efforts on Facebook for the last week of the month? No problem. Shut it down and start it up again when you’re able.

The 10 PPC platforms you need to know

Now we’re getting into the juicy part. All this general talk about PPC platforms is great info, but you’re probably ready to start scoping out your options.

Before we give you the list of the top PPC platforms advertisers are experimenting with, let me give you one word of caution…

Not every platform is right for every business.

Each platform has a different kind of audience, whether that difference is their level of intent or the majority demographics there.

And while it’s a good idea to have some kind of platform mix, most (if not all) businesses aren’t advertising on all these platforms at once. Don’t worry.

Generally, we recommend starting with at least two platforms. However, if your budget is small and you’re still feeling pretty new at PPC, it’s perfectly acceptable to start with just one platform.

That being said, let’s dive into that list.

1. Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords)

One of the most popular and widely used advertising platforms is Google Ads. Most advertisers you’ll speak to with PPC strategies in place include it in their platform mix.

Google Ads is an excellent higher-intent platform that’s a good starting point for beginner and experienced businesses alike. It helps bring in a higher click-through rate (CTR) and higher conversion rates back to businesses using the keyword advertising model.

Who you’ll reach

With Google Ads, you’ll primarily show your ads to people based on what they’re searching on Google Search Network or Search Partner sites. Google Ads is a paid search platform that functions primarily around keyword lists.

Essentially, you decide what keywords you want to target, and your ads will show for user searches that are exactly that keyword or reasonably close to it, depending on the keyword match type you choose.

Your search audience is based entirely on how a user’s search relates to the keywords you're targeting. So, you’re inevitably catching these users at a time when they’re actively shopping, researching, or considering. (That’s what makes this a high-intent platform.)

You can also reach certain pre-built and custom-built audiences using Google Ads through the Google Display Network (a lower-intent Google Ads network) or on YouTube.

The Display Network will show ads to users as they browse various websites within this network. Your YouTube ads will show on YouTube videos, in YouTube search results, or on certain websites.

Because people browsing in the Display Network or on Youtube aren’t actively searching for something you offer (and instead are members of an audience based on what machine learning has determined they’re interested in), the intent here is much less refined.

Ad formats available

Google Ads has three total basic ad formats available: search ads, display (image) ads, and video ads (hosted with Youtube, which we’ll talk about in a separate section).

Search ads show up as a block of text with a clickable headline (AKA a search result on Google, at the top or bottom of the page).

In the example below, if one of your keywords is “red high heeled shoes,” your search ad might show on the Google search engine results page (SERP) when someone types that into the search bar.

An example of a search ad

On the other hand, a display ad is an image ad that may show up in the headers, footers, margins, or as pop-ups on Display Network websites.

An example of a display ad

We’ll keep it brief with video ads since we’ll be discussing those later, but they are typically short, sometimes skippable videos that show at the beginning, throughout, or at the end of a YouTube video (or on certain sites across the web).

A video ad playing before a Youtube video starts

Bidding strategies

The bidding strategies available on Google Ads are

  • manual CPC
  • ECPC (enhanced CPC)
  • maximize Clicks
  • maximize Conversions
  • target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) (being condensed into Maximize Conversions)
  • maximize conversion value
  • target ROAS (being condensed into Maximize Conversion Value)
  • target impression share
  • CPM (cost per thousand impressions)
  • tCPM (target CPM)
  • vCPM (viewable CPM)

Average pricing

Google Ads pricing is very flexible, meaning you can spend about as much or as little as you want.

Just be aware that Google Ads determines your ad rank in an auction partially based on your bid, so you need enough ad spend to be able to bid high enough to rank well.

But to give you an idea of how low you can go, you can set each campaign with a daily budget as low as 1 cent. (Not that you should, because your ads won’t get any traction.)

If you’re curious about the average cost-per-click on Google Ads, it varies a lot by industry.

To give you an idea, the insurance industry’s average in 2021 was the highest average recorded on Statista at $20.12. The electronics industry sits at the lowest average CPC at $0.77.

Here’s an overview look at the average CPCs of various industries in the graph below:

Average CPC by industry - source

Pros and cons of Google Ads

Some pros of Google Ads that you should know:

  • you get to capitalize on the high-paid search intent
  • Google is the most used search engine out there, so you’re getting your ads in front of a ton of people
  • abundant ad features make it easy to write eye-catching ads that give you plenty of space to grab attention and convince someone to click
  • ad extensions give you even more opportunities to expand your ad, make it more relevant, and take up more of the search page from your competitors

Some cons of Google Ads that you should know:

  • Google paid search is quite competitive, which means you’re jockeying with a lot of other competitors bidding on the same keywords
  • depending on the industry, visibility can be tough
  • niche or new industries or products sometimes have difficulty surviving on Google Ads because the search volume for their most relevant keywords is too low
  • some industries have very expensive cost-per-click, which can make it hard to get good return on ad spend (ROAS) and makes the competition stiff for low-budget businesses

Bottom line

Many advertisers start with Google Ads, and even more advertisers keep it in their established platform mix.

The paid search part of the platform holds a lot of high conversion intent potential, which is its biggest draw. But it doubly contains channels like display and video to help you build brand awareness.

Ultimately, Google Ads is a versatile and valuable platform for most businesses to use to start drumming up intent as well as brand awareness, all in one.

2. Facebook Ads (now known as Meta Ads)

Facebook launched in 2004, and back then, most social media participants were just beginning to tinker with platforms like Myspace.

Facebook recently changed its name to Meta, but that’s not stopping many advertisers from referring to the platform by its original “birth” name (at least for now). Maybe that cosmetic rebrand happened a little too late…

These days, anyone who browses around on Facebook knows they’re bound to come across a sponsored ad approximately every 3–4 organic posts. Not only that, but most of us know they’re typically strangely relevant ads…

That’s the beauty of Facebook advertising—its complex algorithm works in the background to decide what posts and what ads are most relevant for users to see in their feed.

Facebook Ads is an audience-based platform. So instead of targeting keywords (like you would on Google Ads), you’re targeting audiences of people based on their interests, demographics, behaviors, or actions they’ve taken on your website.

Members get added to these audiences based on various signals they express, like who a user follows, the pages they interact with, or the posts they’ve interacted with in the past.

For example, someone who has followed a seller of organic, responsibly-sourced coffee might be added to a “coffee lover” interest audience.

Typically, Google Ads and Facebook are the big two platforms that most advertisers start with—and rightly so.

Who you’ll reach

On Facebook, you’re reaching users who are scrolling through their Facebook feed (formerly “newsfeed”), shopping on the Facebook Marketplace, checking out some Facebook search results, and more.

These users are typically on Facebook for leisure, and they’re not actively searching for your product. Just like ads on the Google Display Network, the general user intent on Facebook is typically a bit colder.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get exceptional ROAS on Facebook. Plenty of advertisers do it, and the secret sauce to profitability on Facebook lies in wise audience targeting, a complete funnel, and the algorithm we mentioned earlier.

It’s worth knowing that, while other social media platforms like TikTok have a younger user base (the highest majority there is 10–19-year-olds), Facebook’s user base actually averages a bit older these days. In fact, male users between 25 and 34 make up the majority on Facebook.

Distribution of Facebook users - source

Ad formats available

Facebook Ads all incorporate visual mediums, and you can pair these visual assets with primary text, a headline, a description, and a call-to-action button.

Example of a Facebook ad

Bidding strategies

Facebook Ads contains a mixture of automated and manual bidding strategies. The ones available for you to use depend on whether you are using Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) or budgeting at the ad set level.

Bidding strategies have also recently changed.

The original options were

  • lowest cost (automated)
  • highest value (automated)
  • minimum ROAS (automated)
  • cost cap (manual)
  • bid cap (manual)

The new bidding strategies are

  • highest volume or value (automated)
  • cost per result goal (automated)
  • bid cap (manual)

Average pricing

Like Google Ads, you can spend as much or as little as you want on Facebook Ads. As Facebook puts it, “Some people spend more on coffee each day than they do on their ad campaigns.” (Again, that doesn’t mean you should do that.)

As far as average CPCs go on Facebook,o give you a snapshot, the average CPC across all industries for March of 2022 was $1.02. But bear in mind that the average CPC for each industry is a little different, and some industries are more competitive than others.

It’s also worth mentioning that a lot of advertisers actually don’t choose to pay for clicks on Facebook. They choose to pay for every 1,000 impressions (CPM). That said, the average CPM in March 2022 was $14.08 (about 1.4 cents per impression).

Pros and cons of Facebook Ads

Some pros of Facebook Ads that you should know:

  • there’s a lot of visibility on this platform with wider audiences, which means it’s great for brand awareness
  • very niche products or industries have an easier time making it here because they’re not relying on substantial search volume to succeed
  • visual-medium ads make it easier for you to stand out with eye-catching images, GIFs, or videos
  • eCommerce businesses can even build a Facebook shop where users can browse, shop, and buy from you all without ever leaving Facebook
  • Facebook Ads have social proof (comments, likes, shares) visible on them like any other post, which can benefit your product or service’s credibility if your customers are happy campers

Some cons of Facebook Ads that you should know:

  • intent is typically lower here, so it can sometimes be more challenging to win sales or bottom-of-funnel conversions
  • if your ad is perceived as annoying or too explicitly targeted to visitors, they can opt to hide it, which will lower your ad quality ranking and prevent the ad from showing high in the feed
  • Facebook users now have the ability to prioritize content from their “Favorites” in their feed, which means ads and posts from businesses will play second-banana to favorited organic content
  • the Facebook algorithm changes often, and these changes can make it more difficult for brands (especially new ones) to gain visibility

Bottom line

Facebook Ads is a great platform to build brand awareness and even produce great positive ROI if you’ve got a proper funnel built out.

Many new or very niche businesses have more success on Facebook due to its audience targeting capabilities. Established businesses can have just as much success scaling on Facebook with the right audiences.

However, if you’re trying to reach a younger audience (18–24), some other social media platforms might be better suited to do so than Facebook.

3. Instagram Ads (a part of Facebook Ads)

Instagram Ads isn’t a separate advertising platform, surprisingly. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, Instagram advertising placements are included within Facebook Ads.

Instagram placements within Facebook Ad Manager

If you want to advertise solely on Instagram in Facebook Ads, you can do so by creating an ad set with manual placements and selecting only Instagram-related placements.

Who you’ll reach

Instagram is another highly visual platform. More so than Facebook, Instagram carries a lot of video content in posts, stories, and reels.

You’ll be reaching Instagram users who are scrolling through content from other Instagram users they follow. Unlike Facebook, however, many Instagram accounts that people follow will be content creators they don’t know personally. On Facebook, many of the users that people follow there are friends, families, and groups or pages they find valuable.

If your ads contain interesting images with relevant messaging that fits the feel of the platform, it can be a little easier to sneak naturally into someone’s feed without seeming so obviously like an ad.

Ad formats available

The types of Instagram ads you can run are

  • image ads
  • video ads
  • carousel ads
  • story ads (IG stories)
  • reel ads (IG reels)
  • shop ads (IG shops)
A story ad on Instagram

Bidding strategies

The bidding strategies available for Instagram ads are the same as those available for Facebook Ads.

Average pricing

Like Facebook Ads, you can spend as little or as much as you want on Instagram ads.

To give you a baseline, the average CPC for Instagram ads in March 2022 was $1.43.

And again, since many Facebook and Instagram advertisers pay for CPM instead of CPC, the average CPM for Instagram ads in March 2022 was $10.50.

So CPC is a little higher on Instagram than on Facebook, but CPM is a little lower on Instagram than on Facebook.

Pros and cons of Instagram Ads

Some pros of Instagram Ads that you should know:

  • it’s a little easier for a good ad to “blend in” to the Instagram landscape since many content creators that help you advertise aren’t users’ personal connections
  • Instagram provides immersive full-screen mobile video ad opportunities on reels and stories
  • Instagram advertising features are wrapped into Facebook Ads, which makes advertising on more platforms easier

Some cons of Instagram Ads that you should know:

  • it can sometimes be harder to grab attention if your ad doesn’t stand out enough to stop people from scrolling
  • like Facebook, because people aren’t on Instagram intending to buy, it can be a bit more difficult to drum up bottom-of-funnel interest

Bottom line

Instagram is another excellent visual platform to get brand visibility started on. Because it’s included in Facebook Ads, it’s easy to integrate into pre-existing Facebook Ads efforts.

While its biggest capability is to drive brand awareness, it’s entirely possible to get good ROI out of Instagram Ads with a well-built funnel.

4. Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads)

Microsoft Ads is another popular paid search platform.

Many advertisers already using Google Ads opt to integrate Microsoft Ads into their platform mix because they can easily import Google Ads campaigns into their Microsoft Ads account and start running them right away.

The Microsoft Ads interface mirrors the Google Ads interface in a lot of ways to make campaign imports between the platforms more or less seamless.

Microsoft Ads shows paid search ads across a handful of search engines like Bing, AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN.

Who you’ll reach

Similar to Google Ads, Microsoft Ads is a keyword-based platform. It will show your ads to people who type queries into Microsoft Search Network engines if that query matches your keyword or is close to it.

So, you’ll be reaching people with higher intent to purchase your products and services as they’re likely actively searching for them.

Microsoft Ads also has display capabilities and shows image ads across the Microsoft Audience Network (a lower intent channel, just like Google Display).

Important to know: Not all businesses are as successful with Microsoft Ads as they are on Google, and this is partially because Google and Microsoft Ads’ user demographics are different. 20% of Bing search engine users are 45–54 (this age group makes up the majority of all Bing users), and only 11% of them are aged 18–24.

If your products appeal more to younger audiences, Microsoft Ads might not work out as well as Google.

Ad formats available

Microsoft Ads is capable of showing paid search ads as well as display (image) ads, very similar to how they appear on Google search results and partner sites.

Bidding strategies

The bidding strategies available on Microsoft Ads are

  • manual CPC
  • ECPC (enhanced CPC)
  • manual CPV (cost per view)
  • maximize clicks
  • maximize conversions
  • maximize conversion value
  • target CPA
  • target ROAS

Average pricing

Similar to many other PPC platforms, you can spend as much or as little as you want on Microsoft Ads.

The average CPC for the platform sits around $0.84, and in general, we see that, for most industries, Microsoft Ads CPCs are lower than Google Ads CPCs.

Pros and cons of Microsoft Ads

Some pros of Microsoft Ads that you should know:

  • CPCs tend to be lower
  • competition isn’t quite as high in Microsoft Ads, so you might have an easier time gaining top spots without paying high prices
  • Google Ads campaign imports make it easy to set up the platform

Some cons of Microsoft Ads that you should know:

  • the majority demographic you’ll be showing ads to lean on the older side, which might not be suitable for some businesses
  • search traffic tends to be quite a bit lower

Bottom line

Microsoft Ads is an easy platform to get going on, especially if you already have Google Ads campaigns running. This is because you can import those campaigns from Google Ads directly to Microsoft Ads.

However, Microsoft Ads doesn’t work out as well as Google Ads does for every business despite being a typically cheaper platform in terms of CPCs.

5. LinkedIn Ads

Ah, LinkedIn Ads, the must-try platform for B2B companies.

That’s not to say that other types of businesses can’t succeed on LinkedIn, but because of its targeting options and typical user base, B2B advertising tends to do better here.

LinkedIn is a social networking platform for work professionals. Users showcase the company they work for and connect with other users both from that same company and from other companies.

A little-known fact about LinkedIn is that it launched in 2002, even before Facebook. However, it didn’t start to become popular and profitable until 2007.

Microsoft acquired the platform and brought it into the spotlight in 2016, which is about the time in which many of us heard about the buzz and finally hopped on the bandwagon.

Who you’ll reach

LinkedIn’s interface is similar to Facebook’s, where users can scroll a vertical feed and see posts and likes from their connections, relevant businesses, and ads.

A LinkedIn ad from my feed

LinkedIn users tend to be more in a work mindset when using the platform because most of the content from their peers and other businesses is career-oriented. So, you’ll be reaching people who are more likely to be thinking about their job, their company, and their teams.

LinkedIn audiences are also work-focused. You can target people based on where they work, what industry they work in, what their job titles are, and so on.

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You can see how this could be beneficial for B2B businesses. B2Bs can appeal to an audience of people who might be more in the mindset of considering a product or service they might need for their job, and they’re also able to target specific job-related audiences to get in front of the right market.

So, if you know that Vice Presidents of companies are typically the ones that decide to buy your product, service, or software, you can show ads to them directly.

Ad formats available

LinkedIn is primarily a visual medium social media platform that allows you to use both image and video assets in combination with ad text. However, LinkedIn’s right-rail ad placements also allow some text ad options.

The ad types available are

  • single image ads
  • video ads
  • carousel ads
  • event ads
  • conversation ads
  • message ads
  • lead gen form ads
  • text ads
  • spotlight ads
  • follower ads

Bidding strategies

The bidding strategies currently available on LinkedIn are

  • maximum delivery
  • target cost
  • manual

Average pricing

While there’s no upper threshold, the minimum daily budget required for any LinkedIn campaign is $10. The minimum lifetime budget is $100.

Typically at KlientBoost, we recommend steering clear of LinkedIn unless you have at least $10,000 in ad spend to allocate to it monthly. LinkedIn does tend to be a pricier platform, so budgets under $10,000 tend to have a more difficult time with performance.

At the time of publication, the average CPC benchmark for LinkedIn is around $5.58. And if you’re going after senior decision-makers, that average CPC comes up to about $6.40.

Of course, this varies by industry as well. Currently, the most expensive industry benchmark is Information Technology, which averages at $7.90 CPC.

Pros and cons of LinkedIn Ads

Some pros of LinkedIn Ads that you should know:

  • B2B businesses can get better visibility and more interest here
  • the different targeting options open up new doors for anyone who might do better targeting with job-related audience signals

Some cons of LinkedIn Ads that you should know:

  • generally much more expensive
  • you can only use one ad type per campaign, which can make for a cluttered structure if you want to test many ad types

Bottom line

LinkedIn is a great platform to test out for any business that might benefit more from targeting people in a work-network mindset. Unique audience options and a wide array of available ad types set it apart from other social media advertising platforms.

But it is on the expensive side, so we recommend you come prepared with $10K+ in ad spend to devote to this platform.

6. Twitter Ads

On Twitter, people are tweeting away…but did you know you can wiggle some ads in there, too?

With Twitter Ads, you can create targeted ad campaigns to grow your brand following and even drive more conversion traffic.

Your ad, in essence, is a tweet that you’re paying to distribute among a wider user base with a campaign goal in mind.

Twitter Ads is among the ad platforms with a later launch. Originally, advertisers could only use the platform if they received an invite, but in 2013, Twitter Ads availability was extended to anyone in the U.S.

Who you’ll reach

Unlike a lot of other social media platforms, Twitter Ads has both audience targeting capabilities and keyword targeting capabilities. This feature has pushed Twitter Ads into the space of platforms with higher intent generation, helping drive bottom-of-funnel conversions more effectively.

So, you’ll be targeting people who are browsing through the tweets of people they follow. But you can decide to target these people based on their demographics, their conversations, their past tweet engagement, their interests, and keywords people searched for or included in their tweets.

Ad formats available

The promoted ad types available on Twitter Ads are

  • image ads
  • video ads
  • carousel ads
  • moment ads
  • text ads
An example of a moment ad on Twitter

Bidding strategies

The bid strategies available on Twitter Ads are

  • automatic bid
  • maximum bid
  • target bid

Average pricing

Twitter Ads is yet another platform with no minimum or maximum spend threshold, so the average overall price is as much as you want to spend.

To give you a quick snapshot, the average CPC on Twitter Ads in Q1 of 2020 was $0.58—a much cheaper platform in comparison to some others.

Pros and cons of Twitter Ads

Some pros of Twitter Ads that you should know:

  • generally cheaper in terms of average CPC
  • you can target keywords as well as audiences
  • text ads are also available to give your ads a more native feel

Some cons of Twitter Ads that you should know:

  • the platform can get overwhelmed with posts, which can make it difficult to stand out and drive engagement
  • conversion tracking is more challenging to work with here and may be less accurate

Bottom line

Twitter Ads is striving to provide the bridge between search intent and social audience targeting, which makes it a higher-intent (and cheaper on average) social media platform to test out.

However, conversion tracking is a bit more difficult to set up correctly here, especially when conversions are complicated, so your results might not be as accurate.

7. Pinterest Ads

Pinterest Ads tends to be one of the lesser-known advertising platforms, but we still see our fair share of clients interested in advertising on Pinterest.

Here’s an interesting statistic: Pinterest shoppers spend about 2x more than shoppers on any other platform and typically have 85% bigger baskets than other platform shoppers.

If you’re in the eCommerce space…that’s probably sounding pretty good right about now.

Pinterest is a social media platform where users go specifically to discover—whether that’s projects they can try or products they can buy.

It tends to be a very new brand-friendly platform and an excellent place to start developing brand loyalty.

Pinterest launched in 2010. Then, Pinterest Ads began with the launch of its first promoted pins back in 2013, and has been growing in popularity and evolving as an advertising platform ever since.

Who you’ll reach

With Pinterest Ads, you’ll be reaching an audience of dedicated shoppers and pin-browsers, typically with much higher purchase intent.

Pinterest is another social media platform with the capability to target both audiences (like interests, demographics, and placements) or keywords, which pushes it into the higher-intent advertising space.

Something good to know about Pinterest’s demographic audience is that 44% of its total users are women between the ages of 25 and 44.

Ad formats available

The ad types available on Pinterest Ads are

  • static ads
  • video ads
  • max-width video ads
  • carousel ads
  • shopping ads
  • collections ads
Various ad formats on Pinterest - source

Bidding strategies

Bidding strategies available on Pinterest Ads are

  • custom bids
  • automatic bids

Average pricing

There’s no minimum or maximum spend threshold on Pinterest Ads, so the amount you want to spend depends on your budget.

In terms of average CPC, the average CPC on Pinterest Ads in 2021 was around $1.50.

Pros and cons of Pinterest Ads

Some of the pros of Pinterest Ads that you should know:

  • there’s higher purchase intent from the Pinterest user base
  • there are keyword targeting options in addition to audience targeting
  • users are more receptive to emerging brands

Some of the cons of Pinterest ads that you should know:

  • the demographic of Pinterest skews heavily toward women in the 25–44 age group, which might not work for all businesses
  • there are very few automation opportunities

Bottom line

For eCommerce businesses, Pinterest Ads might be just what you need. Pinterest Ads combines a social media environment with search intent, and it’s easy for new brands to get traction here.

But be aware of Pinterest’s majority-female user base and lifestyle feel when considering whether or not your brand and products will fit in there.

8. YouTube ads (a part of Google Ads)

We’ve all waited through advertisements at the beginning of a YouTube video we’re trying to watch. If you decide that video advertising is your next move, and you want your ads to be seen on YouTube, that’s how they’ll appear—within YouTube videos, on YouTube search results, or on Google video partner websites.

Mmmmmm… Okay, sorry, back to YouTube Ads

Google acquired YouTube in 2006, which opened the doors for the two platforms to meet in the advertising space.

Today, YouTube ad campaigns are hosted within Google Ads, which makes testing or transitioning to video advertising easy if you’ve already got Google Ads running.

Who you’ll reach

YouTube ads can be targeted to the same audiences as your Google display ads can, whether that’s in-market, affinity, demographics, or even retargeting and similar-to audiences, etc.

For that reason, the groups of people you can reach with your YouTube ads vary largely by the types of audiences you use.

In terms of age, 77% of people in the 15–25 age range and 77% of people in the 26–35 age range use YouTube, so the platform skews just slightly younger.

The other demographic age ranges, however, are not far off, making YouTube’s overall demographic audience fairly balanced.

As a whole, YouTube is a lower-intent (top-of-funnel) ad channel, although it’s arguably a bit further down the funnel than image ads on the Display Network, because of the ability of the video ad medium to hold attention better than a display ad floating on a website.

Ad formats available

The types of video ads you can run on YouTube are

  • in-stream ads (skippable)
  • in-stream ads (non-skippable)
  • bumper ads
  • masthead ads
  • outstream ads
  • in-feed video ads (formerly discovery ads)

Bidding strategies

The bidding strategies available for YouTube video ads are

  • maximum CPV (cost per view)
  • target CPM (cost per thousand impressions)
  • maximize conversions (only when using the “drive conversions” video campaign subtype)
  • target CPA (tCPA) (only when using the “drive conversions” video campaign subtype)
  • viewable CPM (vCPM) (only when using the “outstream” video campaign subtype)

Average pricing

As with any campaign on Google Ads, there’s no minimum or maximum budget threshold for YouTube campaigns.

YouTube campaigns function essentially the same as any of your search or display campaigns within the Google Ads interface, except that you don’t have the option to pay for clicks with video.

That being said, the average CPM on YouTube is hard to pin down because it can vary a ton by country and by industry. The U.S., for example, has an average CPM of $0.38, whereas Mauritius's CPM averages around $7.05.

On the other hand, we’ve typically seen CPVs for YouTube campaigns range between 1 and 3 cents, but depending on bid modifiers in place, I’ve seen that rise to between 13 and 45 cents.

Yep, views are that cheap.

Pros and cons of YouTube Ads

Some pros of YouTube Ads that you should know:

  • you’re getting wide exposure to a large audience with a more engaging medium than display
  • you have the option to make non-skip ads to ensure that your message is being watched, not skipped
  • views are pretty dang cheap
  • ads skipped after 5 seconds won’t be charged as a view

Some cons of YouTube Ads that you should know:

  • conversion intent toward bottom-of-funnel offers isn’t usually high on YouTube, even when using “drive conversions” video campaigns
  • if you want to run an ad for longer than 15 seconds, it will be skippable after 5 seconds, which doesn’t give you much time to get your message across
  • non-skippable ads don’t count views (because the view is a given), so you must use the tCPM bid strategy

Bottom line

YouTube is a top-of-funnel advertising medium that’s a good choice for brand awareness and consideration. It’s easy to implement because it’s featured as just another campaign type within Google Ads.

But you’ll need to keep an eye on your video length and your video ad types. If you don’t want people to skip your ad, it has to be 15 seconds or shorter.

9. TikTok For Business

One of the newest platforms out there, TikTok was founded in 2016. The TikTok advertising platform, TikTok For Business, wasn’t actually made available to the public until 2020.

So, for those considering extending their reach to TikTok ads, it’s still a relatively new advertising platform. We can likely expect it to change and grow a lot over the course of its nascent years.

TikTok is a powerful video platform that’s gained incredible traction since its launch, with users posting content like popular dance crazes, pet videos, pranks, and more.

Who you’ll reach

As we mentioned earlier, 25% of TikTok’s user base (as recorded in 2021) was between the ages of 10 and 19, making that the dominant age demographic.

From a broader point of view, a whopping 69.1% of TikTok’s users are between 10 and 39, while only 31.3% are 40 and over. Users ages 50+ make up the smallest demographic at just 11%.

All this to say, you’ll be advertising to younger audiences here who are primarily interested in entertaining video content.

Ad formats available

The ad types available on TikTok are

  • TopView ads
  • in feed ads
  • branded hashtag ads
  • branded effect ads
  • spark ads
TopView ad on TikTok - source

Bidding strategies

The bid strategies available on TikTok are

  • bid cap
  • cost cap
  • lowest cost

Average pricing

Although there’s no upper ceiling, TikTok does require a daily or lifetime budget minimum of $50 if you’re advertising at the campaign level (that’s per each campaign).

$20 is the minimum daily budget if you’re advertising at the ad group level (that’s per ad group).

TikTok ads charge advertisers on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis, and the minimum CPM is $10, although your CPM may rise over that depending on your industry and competition.

Some ad formats, however, can be more expensive, like the branded hashtag challenge, which can cost advertisers upwards of $150,000.

Pros and cons of TikTok Ads

Some pros of TikTok Ads that you should know:

  • TikTok is a place where content can easily go viral, so if your ad or organic content can go viral here, it means good things for your business
  • the platform is similar in feel to Facebook Ads and is fairly user-friendly, so it can be easy to learn
  • the fully immersive video format helps with higher engagement

Some cons of TikTok ads that you should know:

  • has a minimum spend requirement per campaign and ad group
  • a bit more expensive, especially with ad types like the branded hashtag challenge
  • if your video doesn’t fit the entertainment style that so many users are on TikTok to see, you’re likely to be overlooked
  • the audience skews highly young, so ads intended toward older audiences won’t go over well here

Bottom line

TikTok is a platform with a lot of buzz and a huge user base, and the right video ad has a chance of going viral.

Though its advertising platform is relatively new, it’s user-friendly with plenty of audience targeting opportunities.

Compared to some other platforms, TikTok can be more expensive. And the audience demographic skews young, so that’s something to consider before expanding here.

10. Snapchat For Business

Snapchat is a platform that allows users to connect to their friends and family and send them pictures and videos taken within the Snapchat platform. Users can also follow Snapchat influencers and watch content produced by them.

Snapchat first launched in 2011, and the average user spends about 30 minutes on Snapchat daily.

Who you’ll reach

About 332 million people use Snapchat daily, and a whopping 39% of all its users are between the ages of 18 and 24 (the large majority compared to other age ranges).

Those 18–24-year-olds are Snapchat’s biggest fans - source

Looking at the chart above from a broader perspective, 82.1% of Snapchat’s users are between 13 and 34, placing it as one of the youngest audiences out there.

Like a typical social media platform, you’ll be reaching people on Snapchat based on audiences like demographics, interests, and purchasing habits.

Ad formats available

The ad types available on Snapchat Ads are

  • single image ads
  • single video ads
  • collection ads
  • story ads
  • lenses AR experiences
  • commercials
  • filters
A filter ad example on Snapchat - source

Bidding strategies

The bidding strategies available on Snapchat Ads are

  • auto-bidding
  • target cost
  • max bid
  • minimum ROAS

Average pricing

Snapchat Ads has no maximum threshold, but their minimum threshold to advertise is just $5, making it much cheaper overall to get going here than on a platform like TikTok.

Snapchat Ads bills advertisers by CPM (cost per thousand impressions), and in 2020, the average CPM here was estimated at around $8.83, making it cheaper on average than TikTok. This will, of course, vary depending on your bid goal, industry, and competition.

Pros and cons of Snapchat Ads

Some pros of Snapchat Ads that you should know:

  • although there are static ad formats, it’s primarily a video-driven platform, which will help with engagement on video ads
  • it’s a bit cheaper on average both to start advertising here and in terms of CPM
  • influencer marketing can have a very positive impact here

Some cons of Snapchat Ads that you should know:

  • The user base skews so heavily young that businesses or products that do better with older audiences likely won’t do well here
  • there’s no re-share option, making it harder to bounce your ad from a user to their connections

Bottom line

With such a young audience, businesses that thrive on advertising to the 18–34 age demographic can reach the perfect audience on Snapchat. But for companies geared toward older audiences, it’s probably not the right choice.

However, the opportunity for fully immersive video ads at a lower starting price makes this a good option for businesses looking to drive engagement through video.

Common PPC mistakes to avoid on any platform

Every PPC advertising platform is different. At first glance, it can be challenging to get the hang of what each of their best practices are and what you should ideally avoid when advertising there.

The good thing is, while each platform has its own intricacies to learn, a lot of the big-hitting mistakes you should avoid in PPC are the same, no matter what platforms you’re using.

This is because all PPC platforms center heavily around basic digital marketing principles that are (more or less) universal.

And not to worry, we’ve got your back. Here are some of the most common, important mistakes to avoid when setting up your PPC efforts on any platform.

Mistake 1: Not defining your goals beforehand

Whether traditional or digital, every marketing strategy needs a goal, and that goal needs to be specific.

It doesn’t work to hop into PPC advertising saying “I want more leads” or “I want more sales.” These types of goals make it extremely hard to see tangible results from your advertising efforts. “More” is vague—and always out of reach.

So, before you get started with a PPC platform, identify the goals you want to achieve more precisely, and create those goals around what that platform is specifically designed to do, or where those audiences are in the funnel.

For example, if you’re running high-intent search campaigns on Google Ads, you can say, “I want 20% more leads this month than I got last month.” Or, if this is your first month advertising on the platform, wait to develop some baseline statistics in the first month, and set your goal after your baseline is set.

Don’t take the previous goals you’ve achieved on other PPC platforms or channels and apply them to different platforms. Your audiences on each platform are inevitably different, and you can’t expect every platform to perform the same.

If, for example, you’re running a YouTube campaign on Google Ads, you typically can’t expect to have the “I want 20% more leads” goal for that campaign, too, because YouTube isn’t a bottom-of-funnel, conversion-driving medium.

Mistake 2: Using the same ads across all platforms

Each PPC platform will inevitably have its own environment and unique user base, as you’ve gathered from our platform discussion.

For that reason, you can’t expect the same type of ad stamped across all platforms to have the same success on all those platforms.

For example, a video you run on YouTube might be more professional, product-oriented, carefully produced, etc. Taking this same video ad to the TikTok user base will be a flop because what they want is an entertaining, native, user-created video.

Mistake 3: Not testing enough

All PPC platforms are constantly evolving, from the content users prefer to see there to the competition you face in your target market.

An ad or strategy that performed well for you in the past might not always be a winner, so if you never test anything new or don’t test new things enough, you’ll never really be able to scale your success on those platforms.

So, make sure you’re constantly rotating new ads to see what resonates most with your audiences.

Test new bidding strategies, new keywords, new audiences, etc.

Mistake 4: Setting and forgetting

Setting and forgetting is a no-no, regardless of the platform you’re using.

Yes, your PPC efforts will continue to spend money and run day after day and hit your monthly target spend without your constant attention.

But as we just mentioned, these platforms, your competition, and your target audiences are constantly changing.

So if you make your campaigns and then forget about them for months, your paid efforts won’t scale. In fact, they’ll probably gradually decline as your target market loses interest in your old ads and your competitors take over.

Your PPC accounts aren’t as demanding as children, but you still can’t leave them alone unsupervised.

Mistake 5: Not getting your conversion tracking right

Proper conversion tracking is essential for any platform where you expect to see conversion-related results.

If all you’re after from your paid efforts is impressions, and the conversion return doesn’t matter to you, then, sure, you probably don’t need conversion tracking in that case.

But businesses that do well with PPC and scale their businesses through it are doing more than just brand awareness. They’re tracking conversions and using the huge array of automated PPC features to help push those conversions so they can make more $$.

If you’re trying to make more money with your PPC campaigns, you need to track the conversions your paid campaigns get, and you need to track them correctly. (Which is sometimes easier said than done, so it pays to do your homework—or have a tech-savvy team that can help out.)

Pick your platforms and head for success

So, now you’ve got a really, really good idea of what PPC platforms can do for your business and some of your main options to choose from. You know what each of the platforms discussed here is best at and the user audiences they serve.

Given all this, it’s time for you to decide which platform’s right for you (or if you’re expanding your PPC, where to go next).

If you want to keep digging and do some more in-depth research on each platform, we recommend starting with our detailed guide on Google Ads.

PPC Management: The Questions That Matter The Most

The digital marketing arena is now intricate, encompassing a range of platforms, campaign types, strategies, tools, and updates. This complexity makes it almost impossible for advertisers to cover every aspect comprehensively. Consequently, many business owners and large agencies outsource PPC management to specialized agencies for better results, as they are completely focused on this area.

However, no matter how excellent your third-party service provider is, nobody cares about your business as much as you do. Therefore, it’s vital to periodically review the performance of your campaigns. Keeping this in mind, we have created an article that explains the most critical aspects to discuss with your point of contact.

The Aspects That You Need to Consider

When assessing the progress of PPC efforts, the first thing to have in mind is the campaign goal, which varies depending on the campaign type. This blog covers the main campaign types: Google Search (Lead Generation and Ecommerce), Display, Video, PMAX, and Discovery. So for each campaign type, we will highlight the topics to be discussed with the campaign manager and metrics to prioritize based on campaign goals.

Google Search Campaigns for Lead Generation

The Lead Generation campaign on Google Search involves a strategy where the focus is on reaching out to potential customers who are actively looking for specific services related to your business.

When talking to the campaign manager, it is important to check if there is a clear understanding of the services that you want to promote and the specific stage of the marketing funnel you wish to target.

During the campaign, it is essential to keep track of the conversion rates and ad optimizations. The success of a Lead Generation campaign on Google Search depends on identifying and targeting the right audience and providing them with relevant and compelling ads that encourage them to take action. So this is what you should assess.

Search Campaigns for Ecommerce

To target potential customers who are searching for your products, a Google Search Campaign for Ecommerce is a valuable option. When discussing this type of campaign with your point of contact, it is important to focus on the search phrases that are being used since this is what drives the most sales. In addition, it is crucial to discuss product profit margins and set goals based on your needs, such as increasing brand awareness for a new product.

To make the most out of a Google Search Campaign for Ecommerce, it is also important to ensure your products are classified based on their profit margins. This classification allows you to create campaigns and set Target Return on Ad Spend (tROAS) goals that align with the profit margins of the products. For instance, low-margin products require high tROAS campaigns, whereas high-margin products require low tROAS campaigns because they need more promotion.

In terms of KPIs, a successful Google Search Campaign for Ecommerce should be measured by clicks, conversions, conversion value, and ROAs. Therefore, it is important to track and analyze these metrics for optimal results.

Display Campaigns

Google Display is a type of campaign that focuses on visual ads placed on various websites, YouTube, and mobile apps. These ads appear in different formats, such as images, GIFs, and videos.

When it comes to this campaign type, it’s important to understand the objectives. This can help to determine the target audience and the type of ads to be used. For instance, if you want to build brand awareness, then the focus would be on targeting a wider audience. On the other hand, if the goal is to increase sales, then the focus would be on retargeting previous website visitors who have shown an interest in the product.

The main key performance indicators (KPIs) for Google Display include views, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), and bounce rate. By monitoring these KPIs, it is possible to determine the success of the Google Display campaign and make necessary adjustments.

Video Campaigns

Google Video Campaigns allow you to showcase your ads in videos on YouTube, as well as on websites and apps that are part of Google’s video partners network. It’s an effective way to reach your target audience through engaging visual content.

When discussing the performance of video campaigns, it’s important to understand the campaign goals and prioritize the metrics that matter the most to you. For instance, if the goal is to increase brand awareness, then measuring view count, view rate, and view-through rate would be important KPIs. If the goal is to drive more traffic to the website, then measuring clicks and click-through rates would be more relevant.

Moreover, it’s essential to define the right video format based on the campaign goals. Google offers different formats like TrueView in-stream ads, bumper ads, TrueView discovery ads, and more. Depending on your objectives, you can recommend the appropriate format to make the most out of your video campaign.

Some of the key KPIs to measure the success of a video campaign include clicks, click-through rate (CTR), page on time, average cost per view (CPV), view rate, and view CTR. By tracking these metrics, you can analyze the performance of your video campaign and make recommendations to achieve your desired outcomes.

Performance Max

Google PMAX campaigns are a type of campaign in Google Ads that utilize machine learning to maximize your performance across Google Ads inventory. This campaign type is aimed at driving toward your specific campaign goals.

When it comes to PMAX campaigns, it is important to define the stage of the funnel that you want to target and set specific campaign goals. In case the campaign is more top-of-the-funnel oriented, it is essential to determine what micro-conversions are most relevant for your business. It is also important to discuss the assets required to test different ad formats and messaging to ensure the campaign’s success.

The key performance indicators (KPIs) for PMAX campaigns include clicks, click-through rate (CTR), and conversions. By monitoring these metrics, you can evaluate the performance of your PMAX campaigns.

Discovery Campaigns

Google Discovery campaigns allow advertisers to leverage audience targeting features and visually engaging ad formats in Google’s feed to encourage customer action.

When discussing Discovery campaigns, it’s important to first determine the stage of the funnel and set specific campaign goals accordingly. If the campaign is more top-of-the-funnel oriented, micro-conversions such as ad engagement or website clicks may be more relevant than direct conversions.

Discovery campaigns rely heavily on visually appealing ad formats, so it’s important to ensure that your account manager has access to high-quality images or videos that can be used in your ads.

The main KPIs for a Discovery campaign include clicks, click-through rate (CTR), and conversions. It’s important to continually monitor these metrics and adjust the campaign strategy accordingly to ensure the best possible results.

And the Most Important Question: Is Your Current Campaign Manager Hitting the Mark?

To stay ahead in the ever-changing digital landscape and attain success in PPC, it’s crucial to communicate regularly with the agency or team managing your campaigns.

At our digital marketing agency, we prioritize communication as we recognize its significance in comprehending our client’s requirements and offering clarity on campaign performance.

If you have any queries regarding PPC, SEO, or Social Media Management, feel free to contact us for a free consultation with one of our experts. This could be especially critical if there’s something specific that you don’t understand about your campaigns.

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