The Best Google Ads Alternatives To Start Using Now
Marketers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Google Ads platform - whether it's because the CPC in some industries is ridiculous or due to automation concerns and the new Partners Program, PPC managers from across the world are voicing their dissatisfaction with the platform. Just last week, Google has once again sparked negative discussions about its platform updates and removing Search Term reports, which would result in advertisers not knowing what they are paying for.
While Google isn't going away any time soon, there are some excellent alternatives to Google Ads for almost every business in every industry. Here are the best Google Ads alternatives and what you should know about them:
Alternative search engines. Alternative search engines have been gaining popularity in recent years, especially among some demographics in specific locations. A great example is Ecosia, a non-profit search engine powered by Bing - it is increasingly popular in Germany among younger demographics. Ecosia plants millions of trees in developing countries and just like any other search engine, it relies on ad revenue to power it's business. Unlike most other search engines however, Ecosia does not track user demographics and is much more privacy-friendly.
Ecosia offers text and shopping ads and is surprisingly competitive. There is no keyword planner nor actual reports on demographics - while this might be a downside to some advertisers, it might work wonders for businesses and NGOs whose audiences are using Ecosia. In the past, we have seen great results with Ecosia advertising eco-friendly products in the UK and France. With ecosia we reached our clients' perfect target audience and saw great CPA and sales volume.
In our experience with Bing, the CPA and CPCs were almost identical to Google's. We have tested Microsoft ads targeting multiple industries and locations, the only significant difference between Google and Microsoft ads were the search volumes.
Another key difference between the two is that Microsoft Advertising has much better technical support and unlike Google, they're easy to get in touch with and offer hands-on help. Alternative search engines could be popular due to browser settings or user privacy concerns and include engines like Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and the Chinese Baidu.
Social Media. The most obvious alternative to Google Ads is social media. A great alternative for many competitive industries including retail, travel and luxury niche markets. While most marketers choose to use social media alongside Google Ads for optimal results, you could switch to social media only if your Google's cost per acquisition was too high or to expand your awareness campaigns beyond the GDN.
Although with Google Ads you've got excellent targeting options, you might not always be able to reach your target audience, for example, if you're after professional audiences with specific job titles or your product is aimed at the youngest generations. This is when platforms like LinkedIn and Snapchat come in.
Social media is excellent for raising brand awareness, selling all kinds of products and even lead generation. The benefits of major social media platforms include detailed targeting, affordable CPC and the chance to engage with your target audience. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & Facebook are all excellent for interacting with your buyers and engage them by inciting user-generated content.
Social media provides a platform where past and future clients can discuss their experience with your products, leave reviews and share photos. Your business has the opportunity to shine with great customer service and publicly resolve order issues and more, just like Glossybox.
Marketplace Ads. Amazon, eBay and Etsy are the top marketplaces which attract millions of daily customers. They offer shoppers a huge selection of products and the ability to compare prices, features and customer reviews. If you find yourself with a poorly-performing website and unable to run Google ads, marketplace ads could be an excellent alternative. Depending on your product and location, Amazon, Ebay and Etsy could be the perfect platform for your product.
Some of the biggest Marketplace benefits include free organic exposure, incredibly low CPCs and taking advantage of brands and platforms buyers trust.
Some of the downsides of marketplaces are definitely worth noting - seller fees, and it can be extremely competitive and over-saturated with cheap products, fake reviews and dishonest buyers who often buy and return products after a single use.
Creating your shop and uploading all product descriptions could be an extremely time-consuming process too. As platforms become more complex and utilise machine learning, it is crucial to have a good understanding of how to write compelling product descriptions and write for both humans and bots.
Programmatic Ad Platforms. 'Programmatic Advertising' is a term used to describe the process of automated ad buying. Programmatic enables us to make decisions in real-time about ads and performance, by using data and technology.
Agencies or marketers use various demand-side platforms (DSP) to find their target audience, set maximum bids and upload ad creative. Website owners use supply-side platforms (SSP) to provide advertising space and monetize their websites.
Google ads, Facebook as well as many other platforms are technically DSP and SSP at the same time. There are hundreds of different Programmatic platforms targeting different locations, audiences and website categories and serve different ad formats.
Some examples of programmatic ad platforms are Adobe Advertising Cloud, Outbrain, Taboola and TripleLift. Depending on the platform and your campaign objective, you can utilise different bidding strategies and use different ad formats. Programmatic ad formats include native ads, banners, pop-under, push notifications, video and more.
The best DSP would depend on your product and user category - some platforms are excellent for gambling and have a huge partner network, while others are focused on niche markets in certain geographical areas.
The main benefits of Programmatic advertising include guaranteed impressions, extremely low CPC & CPM, and being able to promote otherwise restricted product categories. Programmatic ads also have the benefit of avoiding some ad blockers and serving different ad formats, such as pop-under ads.
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