other ad platforms

Other Digital Marketing Platforms

Why do you need to consider?

Google & Facebook aren’t available globally

Sometimes for digital marketing google and facebook ads aren’t enough. You need to be aware of other digital platforms to achieve your goals. In some geographies such as china, google & facebook are blocked.  You can learn more about more on the history of facebook ads here.

Cost Advantage

Also platforms like google and Facebook are huge, extremely popular which attracts a large number of advertisers. With higher density of advertisers who are willing to spend more money to advertise, average cost to reach per user will be increasing as the popularity of the platform grows.

Hence the other platforms (Bing ads, yahoo, LinkedIn, twitter & Quora) are relatively less popular compared to those two advertising behemoths. Since lesser number of advertisers looking to reach people you will be paying lesser amount to reach per user. Hence advertising cost is pretty much lesser compared to Facebook and google.

Google & Facebook doesn’t fit you’re Niche

Just because google & Facebook are great platform and you know how to work with them, your customers going to find you via that channel. Because you can’t successfully explain or advertise a customized service. For example, let’s consider you’re in “home lawn design” space. You do everything from design, maintenance, planting trees & cutting grass.

The odds someone searches for  lawn design setup and maintenancein google. Neither you can target people on Facebook based on the “ lawn design setup and maintenance”. In this niche google and Facebook can’t do much for the business.

As a smart market you need to know where to look for if big giants can’t help. For some market’s big giants like Facebook & google simple doesn’t fit. You can think or research about a platform or a niche website where you can more likely to find the target audience.

If you want to target software developers you use stackoverflow. If you want to target people who loves cricket you can try cricbuzz, cricinfo .  

Quora Ads

Quora.com is a publicly mediated question and answer platform founded in 2009. It was founded by former CTO of Facebook and other early Facebook executives. As of now quora is valued more than $1 billion. Quora has a more than 200 million monthly active as of 2017. Quora is also known to having a high user engagement next to Facebook and YouTube.

Quora opened to advertisers on may 2017. Quora is inherently a display network much like Facebook which was biggest. From the founding members to product features, quora and Facebook resemble very much. It has a timeline like answer feed much like Facebook’s news-feed. Upvote button, comments , shares contributes more resemblances to Facebook.

Quora ads as of now enjoys a true cost efficiency due to lesser density of advertiser and also due to quora’s early time in advertising. Hence in 2019, quora is a at least try platform for every digital marketer.

The Quora Ads Advantage

Most of the quora content is an answer to informational queries ( interlink). Informational queries usually starts with “what is….” or “how to do….” or “when did this happen..” or “who invented this..”. Basically, whenever a person uses google to seek answer for a query, chances are quora will be ranked in #1.

This means user is still researching about a product or service, you have an opportunity to present your brand and build engagement and loyalty. In this way, your brand becomes familiar with people, they will be find your brand when they need it eventually.

Rather than targeting people who are in buying stage in google ads, you can target then in the research phase so that they don’t have to search when they need your product. Also, quora has high engagement, quality content, higher user intent & measurability across all social platforms.

Features of quora ads manager

To run ads on quora.com, you need to create a quora account. Quora account manager is very similar to the early versions of Facebook ad manager both in terms of UI/UX and targeting features.

Pixel & tracking

Much like Facebook, quora also provides tracking pixel to measure the campaign performance. You can measure, visits, conversion and sales using the pixel. I’m really surprised by quora’s ability to provide pixel right from the start.

Campaign Structure & Targeting Options  

Campaign structure in quora is much of Facebook boilerplate. Larger entity is called as campaign. A campaign can multiples of small entity called “Ad sets” which contains two things- targeting and ad creative.  Ad creative is can of text ads as well as image ads.

Quora offers variants of targeting- which again strikingly similar to Facebook targeting. Quora offers topic targeting, question targeting, audience targeting,interest targeting & broad targeting.

It also offers, device wise targeting, location wise (city wise also), mobile operating system targeting.

Quora offers various bid strategies including –  optimise for clicks, optimise for conversions ( only work if you had setup conversion tracking, optimise for impressions) with an impressive CPC billing model similar to google display network. ( interlink)

Linkedin Ads

LinkedIn is a world’s largest professional networking website.It was founded by Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly and Jean-Luc Vaillant on December 28, 2002. As of writing this, LinkedIn has more than 500 millions users with 250 million monthly active users.

LinkedIn offers two solutions. One is advertising and other is recruitment. However LinkedIn ads will be the scope of this article. It was most preferred ad platform for business to business ads. With most of the senior manager on LinkedIn, advertisers can reach key decision makers on the organisation with LinkedIn ads at scale.

Why should you consider LinkedIn ads

Tech Savvy Professionals

LinkedIn boasts about 380 million users who are business professional with technological knowledge. So if you want to reach professional, there’s LinkedIn with 380 million concentration of them.

LinkedIn offers Myriad of Demographic targeting options

Although Facebook offers a lot of demographic targeting, LinkedIn is far better in terms of professional & business targeting. For example, you won’t find demographic targeting options like : job title, job function, seniority, company name, industry, company size, skill, degree in Facebook or any other ad platforms.

How to run ads on LinkedIn?

By the user estimates,  LinkedIn could be the third largest display network, next to Facebook & Instagram. Being a display network, LinkedIn ad types aren’t much different from the Facebook. Three predominant ad types are sponsored content, text ads, sponsored In-mail ads.

Sponsored content ad type

This ad is made up of image creative, headline, description & caption. If you’re familiar with Facebook ads ( interlink) you can relate it with sponsored news feed ad type. As name implies, this will be display on the LinkedIn news-feed based on the targeting you choose. This ad type will have the highest click through rate (CTR), High engagement as well as higher CPM.

Text ads

Text ads contains only text, often shown in the right sidebar. It renders low CTR as well as low CPM for the LinkedIn ad type. If you want to create awareness with lesser cost, you could consider this ad type.

Sponsored In-mail

Sponsored in-mail used to be unique ad type, until Facebook introduced messenger placement ads. In this you’re ad copy will be a text content that will be pushed as a message to the people based on the targeting you choose.

Resource Learn more about linkedin ad campaigns

In additional to the linkedin and quora ads which was covered in this guide, i didn’t cover about bing ads, twitter ads and yahoo gemini. However, i do want you to know a little bit about it.

Bing Ads

Bing ads are the search engine ads from Microsoft. In-fact bing.com is the second largest search engine in the world. If you’re targeting customers in united states, 33% of consumers are using bing. Though google is the largest in the world, bing has an advantage. Bing is the default search engine in the Microsoft operating system.

Also, similar to google ads, you can target a host of display networks as well. When compared with google ads, bing ads are very cost effective due to lesser no of advertisers bidding on keywords.

Yahoo Gemini

Yahoo Gemini is still a largest display network. Yahoo Gemini is a collection of third party websites to sign up for yahoo gemini ad network. It uses native advertising- ads will be very similar to the website which it appears. Native ads seems to be popular and has a good conversions as much as up to 6 times of traditional banner ads.

Native ads also good in getting better click through rates than traditional banner ads. Yahoo also provides granular level of targeting, you can target age, language, gender & interests (which contains various sub categories). Yahoo offers first party data to help advertisers built reliable re-marketing list.

Yahoo ads offers a cheaper CPC compared to other display networks. It also manages to provide conversion tracking abilities to help advertisers to measure results.

Twitter ads

Twitter is the third largest social media platform after Facebook & Instagram. Twitter offers some unique features that aren’t available in google ads or Facebook ads.  Cost to reach a user will be cheaper than Facebook and Instagram.

Twitters let’s you to target people based on the tweets, keywords and obviously interests. One of the unique feature about the twitter advertisement is that you can pay for the campaign objectives. Any other benefits you get besides campaign objective is absolutely free.

Also twitter is good platform for going viral. Also, twitter has most number of mobile users which is great. If your business is into entertainment, news, technology & politics – twitter is must.

About the Author: yathav

I'm very passionate about technology, marketing & analytics. Using WordPress and working on blogging & search engine optimization for almost 8+ years, I'd like to share my thoughts, hacks and best practices about what i do professionally & what I experience.

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