Pay-per-click advertising (PPC), when used correctly, is a very powerful way to drive traffic and conversions.
The used correctly part includes effective targeting and testing, writing compelling ads, creating compelling offers and managing the bid and budget process in the most cost effective manner.
While the Google and Bing PPC ad networks are the most popular options, smart advertisers also choose to round out their offerings with other options to both capture viewers that aren’t captured by these networks and lower the overall cost per conversion through other channels.
The following seven options should be considered and tested as you build your lead generation platform online.
1) Reddit ads – Reddit is currently the hottest social news sharing site and their ad offering is somewhat unique. You target your ads based on interest and not demographics and ads include user engagement features such as voting and comments. Get your ad right and this network can generate targeted leads.
2) YouTube Video Targeting– Okay I guess this one really is Google, but not exactly AdWords. With the YouTube Video Targeting Tool you can put your ads in specific video channels or even specific videos. You can choose from a variety of formats.
3) StumbleUpon Paid Discovery – StumbleUpon is a unique social sharing site that offers visitors without a click. StumbleUpon users simply stumble to your chosen page. The service delivers lots of low-cost visits, but the trick has always been to convert with a very simple and engaging call to action.
4) Twitter Promoted – Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of Twitter users. They are clearly labeled as Promoted when an advertiser is paying for their placement on Twitter. The Tweets can be targeted to search terms and specific hashtags. Advertisers have been reporting good results in terms of targeted conversions, but also in terms of social metrics such as increased followers and influencer scores.
5) Facebook Advertising – Facebook’s targeting is as effective as any platform and for that reason offers some unique opportunities. If you’ve built a large fan following the sponsored updates option can be a good buy with a compelling call to action.
6) LinkedIn Advertising – LinkedIn advertising isn’t for everyone as it’s predominantly a B2B platform and if used too broadly gets very expensive. The most effective use I’ve seen is narrowly targeting user niches based on keywords or titles in profiles.
7) 7Search – 7Search is a 2nd tier network and does not act as a replacement, but rather a great addition to help advertisers gain traffic from the 10% of traffic that Google and Bing don’t have. Savvy PPC bidders can find some real bargains here for long tail kinds of terms.
Once you’ve created content that converts, compelling calls to action that get people to click and an ROI on bids on the big networks, it makes perfect sense to start exploring other options to lower your cost per acquisition and gain greater exposure.