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One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Raine Digital is “I have $xxx budget for advertising, where should I spend it?”

 

Great question–but the answer doesn’t look the same for everyone. The best place to spend your ad budget varies greatly based on various factors, including your ad goals, how your target audience uses the internet, and your budget. 

 

One thing does remain though, if you want to grow your business, you should absolutely be spending something on advertising. So, how do you know where you’ll see the best results and return on investment? With more and more advertising platforms coming and going, the decision can be overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with a small, fixed budget.

 

For most businesses, Google ads is our first recommendation, primarily because it’s easy to get in front of people who are searching for the products and services you offer. That makes them a warmer lead than some other ad platforms, like social media, where you are working to capture users’ attention. 

 

So, where do you focus your ad dollars in a world with ever-growing ad platforms?

 

Google

 

We will almost always tell you that Google is where you should start. There are unique exceptions to this rule, but for the general masses, this is step one. 

 

When you advertise with Google, you’re tapping into a massive audience. 

 

Pros:

 

  • Google is the largest ad network out there. Lots of other websites leverage the technology behind Google search through network partners and the Google Adsense program. 
  • Search Advertising allows you to connect your brand with users who are searching for your prices and services. 
  • You can utilize remarketing to advertise to past website visitors. 
  • Deep targeting options allow you to fine-tune your audience. 
  • The ability to use text, image, and video ads lets you send your message across multiple mediums. 

 

Cons:

 

  • If you’re in a highly competitive market, the cost per click can be too high to make the return on investment worth it.
  • Some topics are off-limits for Google Ads, like certain homeopathic medical treatments. 
  • Customer support from Google can leave a lot to be desired. You’re often sent to overseas call centers only to speak with representatives trained to give cookie-cutter answers.

 

Who is the platform best suited for?

 

Google ads are a great option for local businesses, e-commerce stores, consulting firms, law offices, healthcare professionals, startups, and many more. 

 

With budgets as small as a few hundred dollars a month, most businesses can get started on the platform. 

 

Who is the advertising platform not for?

 

Brands that are in highly competitive markets need to closely monitor their ROI to ensure profitability. More competition drives up bid costs and could make it too costly to profit. 

 

Bing

 

I know, you may be surprised to see Bing on this list, but they are still the second largest search engine out there. Additionally, many advertisers ignore Bing, making bid costs less competitive, and therefore, lower. 

 

Pros:

 

  • Bing is the second most utilized search engine in the United States.
  • Bing is the default search engine for most PCs, so desktop ads tend to do well here. This can be especially true if you have an older target audience. They are less likely to install their preferred alternative browser and search engine. 
  • Bing can see CPC prices that are 1/10th the cost of clicks on Google, so smaller brands and smaller ad budgets tend to do well on Bing.
  • Bing does not require a large investment to see solid traffic. This can be a tremendous benefit to brands who see bid costs on Google in the $100+ area.
  • Bing offers ad settings and targeting similar to Google Ads.
  • You can import campaigns from Google Ads. This means you can refine your campaigns in Google, with a larger pool of users, then import high performing campaigns into Bing Ads.

 

Cons:

 

  • It does not do well for some industries, and mobile traffic tends to be very weak on Bing’s network.
  • There is also limited conversion tracking for phone calls. It is recommended that you use a call tracking solution like CallRail or CallTrackingMetrics.

 

Who is the platform best suited for?

 

Bing Ads are a great place to start if your bid costs on Google are too high. It’s also a viable option if your target audience is an older demographic who primarily browses the internet from a computer rather than a mobile device. 

 

Who is the advertising platform not for?

 

It’s not the best option if your target audience is Millennials or Gen Z. They’re not often using this platform. 

 

Facebook

 

Now we are moving from search advertising to social media advertising. Success on Facebook depends on the audience you want to target. Facebook does well for the 30+ age demographic, but not as well for the younger audience. 

 

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, tends to have more success for the 18-30 group. Through Facebook’s advertising portal, you can create ads that target both groups.

 

Pros:

 

  • Highly detailed targeting, able to serve ads to a very specific group of people.
  • High exposure gets a lot of impressions, which can sometimes translate to clicks.
  • Advertisements can be served across messenger, Instagram, and stories.

 

Cons:

 

  • You have to get creative with your creatives. Facebook doesn’t allow more than 20% of ad surface area to contain text, which can feel very limiting.
  • The conversion rate tends to be very low, depending on the kind of ads being run. We attribute this to the fact that, unlike with search, you’re delivering ads to users who are socializing online, not searching for products and services. Therefore, it can take lots of impressions and retargeting to convert new customers compared to search ads. 
  • Conversion tracking can be complex. Facebook offers numerous ways to track goals on the website, but it should be paired with a phone tracking system for the best results.

 

Who is the platform for?

 

Facebook ads are great for brands that can benefit from social selling to a slightly older demographic. The platform itself is about building relationships and brands that are willing and able to do just that perform well. 

 

It’s also a great way to stay in front of users who have visited your website before retargeted advertising. 

 

Who is the advertising platform not for?

 

For most brands, Facebook ads aren’t the right fit if your target audience is under 30, or if you can only advertise on one platform due to budget or management capabilities. Facebook ads genuinely are more powerful when they’re working in tandem with other ad platforms and campaigns. 

 

If you’re a B2B business, we recommend utilizing the platform by leveraging its retargeting capabilities to stay in front of your target audience. 

 

Reddit

 

Reddit updated its marketing platform recently to include a CPC model that is more effective in driving traffic to your website than the previous pay per impressions model. Instead of paying by impression, you only pay for users who engage with your ad.

 

Pros:

 

  • High exposure for a very low cost.
  • Less, but growing, competition from other advertisers, as Reddit only recently switched its ad network to using a Pay-Per-Click model.

 

Cons:

 

  • Highly dependent upon targeting popular subreddits (groups).
  • Ads perform better when presented in a more casual way, very direct to a niche audience.

 

Who is the platform for?

 

Reddit provides targeted niches, and its community is very active. Because the very structure of Reddit is based on sharing and discussing links and ideas, it lends itself to getting your content in front of a large group of people. Because most marketers focus on other, longer-standing platforms, there is less competition, and bid costs are lower. 

 

Who is the advertising platform not for?

 

Brands who struggle with authenticity will come off as spammy on Reddit, so you’ve got to be careful with that. 

 

LinkedIn

 

LinkedIn is often described as the Facebook for business professionals, and it excels at targeting ads to people based on education, experience, and employment. The platform provides less traffic than Facebook but depending on the kind of ads you are running, you may find more success here, especially for B2B. 

 

Pros:

 

  • Excellent for targeting people based on their professional lives. 
  • Detailed targeting methods, similar to Facebook.

 

Cons:

 

  • Most of the detailed targeting is focused on business/employment details. If you are trying to target an audience outside of this, you are better off running ads through Facebook.

 

Who is the platform for?

 

Advertising on LinkedIn really is best for B2B marketers or brands with a target audience of professionals.  

 

Who is the advertising platform not for?

 

LinkedIn isn’t the place for retail unless your products and services are very specifically targeted towards professionals in their work life.

 

Twitter

 

Twitter has a stable marketing platform with a broad audience and detailed targeting options. However, it’s still a smaller player in the advertising game when compared to Search Engines and social platforms like Facebook. However, depending on your brand, it could still be worth investing some ad dollars into the platform. 

 

Pros:

 

  • Campaigns that focus on social issues and outreach do fairly well here. Consider the thing that sparks conversations.
  • Since Twitter only works well in specific situations, the CPC is very low in those situations.
  • Ads that tell a story do well on the platform, so boosting some blogs can help build your audience.

 

Cons:

 

  • Twitter performs well below Facebook and Google, so it really should be a tertiary marketing channel for your ad campaigns. 
  • Alternatively, if your brand isn’t making a social impact, and your ads don’t start conversations, your campaigns won’t perform well.

 

Who is the platform for?

 

Twitter is fast-paced, so your brand and its ads need to fit in that genre. Tell stories, capture attention, get people talking about them. If your brand does that, twitter may be a good ad platform for you.

 

Who is the advertising platform not for?

 

Twitter isn’t the place to promote things that don’t spark conversations. Additionally, if you don’t have time to stay engaged with the tweets that come in as users converse, Twitter isn’t the place for you.  

 

Note: These recommendations are made with the notion your brand already has an established social presence and you have mastered what you can do organically. 

 

If you’re looking for custom-tailored advice, reach out to us for a complimentary exploratory session with our marketing team. 

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