Best PPC Ad Networks

No two ad platforms are exactly alike. Deciding where to invest in advertising can depend on several factors: platform user base, volume for ad serving, creative opportunities, advertiser budget, etc.

This allows advertisers to gain massive reach to potential customers across audiences and online behaviors.

So which PPC ad platform is right for your business?

It’s likely your business will benefit from several of the platforms that follow.

1. Google Ads

  • Placements: Google search engine results, web placements on the GDN, shopping, mobile apps, and YouTube.
  • Ad Formats: Text, image, responsive, video.
  • Pricing: Cost-per-click (CPC) model based on the competition and ad quality. GDN allows Cost-per-1,000 impressions (CPM).
  • Tip: Depending on the industry, advertisers will find higher CPCs on Google Ads on search keywords. It is time to think creatively, try a highly relevant display network campaign, or move to one of the other platforms.

Google Ads is the most popular ad network due to the available reach of ads in the volume of searches done in the Google search engine and many websites on the Google Display Network (GDN).

Billions of searches per day happen through Google’s search engine. Google states, “Google Ads display ads appear on over two million websites and in over 650,000 apps, so your ad can show up wherever your audience is.” Targeting on the display network includes remarketing, in-market audiences, similar audiences, and more

Both search and display campaigns allow demographic targeting in age, gender, parental status, and household income.

Adding in demographic targeting narrows the available reach for ads but makes the targeting more relevant.

2. Microsoft Search Network

  • Placements: Search engines, Microsoft Audience Network, native content placements on MSN, Outlook.com, the Edge browser, and select quality partner sites. LinkedIn.
  • Ad Formats: Text for search, responsive for native placements. LinkedIn serves text ads, Dynamic Search Ads, and shopping campaigns.
  • Pricing: CPC model based on the competition and ad quality.
  • Tip: While Microsoft Ads allows advertisers to import campaigns from Google Ads, keeping an exact copy and not optimizing for the Microsoft Ads platform can be a mistake. Be sure to adjust bids (usually down), match types, and add any Microsoft Ads ad extensions.

The Microsoft Search Network powers 37.2% of U.S. desktop searches and 14.5 billion monthly searches around the globe, plus connects you with 44 million searchers in the U.S. that Google can’t reach. In the U.S., the Microsoft Search Network has 117 million unique searchers.

Microsoft Ads has tools for advertisers to import campaigns from Google Ads, simplifying the process of getting started.

Microsoft has the advantage of exclusively serving Yahoo search traffic, powering several digital assistant voice searches, and the ability to target searchers with LinkedIn profile data such as company, job function, and industry.

3. Facebook Ads

  • Placements: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. Mobile: Facebook mobile properties and Audience Network.
  • Ad Formats: Video, single image, carousel, slideshow, canvas (mobile). Audience Network on mobile supports various video and display formats such as native, interstitial, rewarded, and instream video.
  • Pricing: Cost per the desired action, based on the bid, estimated action rates, ad quality.
  • Tip: Best for targeting very granular audiences through detailed demographics since the level of targeting is not easily achieved on Google or Bing

As the top social network on the planet, 2.6 billion people use Facebook every month. User targeting can be very granular with demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.

Facebook supports retargeting through user activity on Facebook and off Facebook actions through advertisers’ Facebook pixel data and upload of customer lists.

4. Youtube Ads

  • Placements: YouTube
  • Ad Formats: Skippable in-stream ads, Non-skippable in-stream ads, Bumper ads, Video discovery ads, Masthead ads
  • Pricing: CPV, CPM
  • Tip: Advertisers can reach potential customers with the exact targeting available for the Google Display Network

YouTube reaches over 2 billion logged-in users per month globally, so it’s an excellent opportunity for advertisers to reach their audience through this platform effectively.

With YouTube ads, you can reach potential customers and have them take action when they watch or search for videos on YouTube. You only pay when they show interest or take action.

Campaign creation and management are handled through the Google Ads platform with more in-depth information about the audience’s demographics and engagement through YouTube Analytics in the YouTube account.

5. Linkedin Ads

  • Placements: LinkedIn, LinkedIn Audience Network contains tens of thousands of mobile sites, mobile apps, and ad exchanges.
  • Mobile: Ads in the LinkedIn app and LinkedIn Audience Network.
  • Ad Formats: Text/image ad on LinkedIn, native on LinkedIn Audience Network sites and apps
  • Pricing: CPC model based on the competition and ad relevance, CPM, Cost-per-send (CPS).
  • Tip: One tactic that gets results on LinkedIn is offering valuable information, whitepapers, or other content related to users’ industries.

Now owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is a wealth of information and audiences for advertisers to target for the professional set. More than 500 million professionals are on LinkedIn, and they can all be targeted by professional criteria, such as job title, seniority, company, and many more.

6. Twitter Ads

  • Placements: Twitter.com and Twitter app.
  • Mobile: Ads in the feed of the Twitter app
  • Ad Formats: Promoted tweets (text and/or images, GIFS, videos), promoted accounts, promoted trends.
  • Pricing: Promoted tweets and promoted accounts is CPC, and promoted trends are handled through a Twitter sales representative.
  • Tip: Advertising on Twitter should go hand-in-hand with having a solid Twitter engagement strategy. While promoting an account can get new followers, robust tweet content will yield the best results.

Twitter offers several options to reach users through the platform used by 330 million active users each month. Unlike many other platforms, Twitter ads are entirely contained on Twitter, with no network partners.

Promoted tweets are probably one of the most flexible ad formats because they can include any text and other media that comply with the overall policies.

7. Instagram

  • Placements: Instagram Feeds and Stories can be combined with any Facebook placements
  • Ad Formats: Single image, video, carousel ad, collection
  • Pricing: Cost per the desired action, based on the bid, estimated action rates, ad quality.
  • Tip: Instagram’s audience skews younger than Facebook and has a bit less volume.

Instagram has over 1 billion active users who tend to be younger than Facebook users. As a Facebook company, campaign creation and management are handled through the Facebook Ads platform.

While Facebook recommends using Automatic Placements (targeting all placements in one campaign), this can easily be set to any placement the advertiser would like.

8. Pinterest

  • Placements: Pinterest.com and Pinterest app.
  • Mobile: Ads in the feed of the Pinterest app. Ad Formats: Promoted pins, one-tap promoted pins, promoted video pins, cinematic pins, promoted app pins.
  • Pricing: CPC for promoted pins, app installs, CPM for promoted video pins.
  • Tip: Search queries on Pinterest are more general than on Google, for example. Research keywords before getting started. A robust Pinterest presence will improve results as shares and saves on Pinterest stick around and don’t cost the advertiser.

Pinterest has 200 million active monthly users researching trends, ideas, and products, and many of them are looking to purchase.

The users skew most women at 7%, with 40% earning $100,000 household income.

9. Amazon Ads

  • Placements: Product search, Product page,
  • Ad Formats: Sponsored Product ads, Sponsored Brands Ads, and Product Display ads
  • Pricing: PPM, the advertiser pays for every 1,000 people who see the ad, versus those who click on the ads.
  • Tip: Instagram’s audience skews younger than Facebook and has a bit less volume.

Amazon PPC (also known as Sponsored Products) is an advertising platform to help sellers amplify their product sales online.

Amazon is an eCommerce giant, so the ability to push your products to the top of customer search queries is extremely valuable.

Amazon ads are one of the ideal ways for a seller to “get or buy” the top position of the Amazon SERPs.

Conclusion

As you have seen, there are so many PPC ad networks out there that advertisers can take advantage of.

It is a great idea for smaller advertisers to use alternative PPC networks as they have less competition and charge less. This will ensure that you profit a lot more from a smaller advertising budget.

Keep in mind that the best PPC networks are not necessarily the most expensive ones. The aim of any advertiser should be to get quality traffic for their brand, and this does not necessarily require one to spend a lot of money.

Finding the best keyword is what is essential, and knowing what your target audience wants.

Some will prefer reading the content on advertisements, while users are visual and would appreciate words less.

There is no need for you to lose valuable traffic because you did not know the right platform for your PPC campaign.

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