There is no doubt that Google and Facebook still dominate the paid advertising industry. But, audiences are growing beyond Google and Facebook, and revenues on alternative platforms are growing year on year.
Now, advertisers that have maxed out their target audience reach on the more mainstream platforms, need to start looking elsewhere for incremental gains. As more and more advertisers join, there is increased competition year on year on the SERP space. This in turn is causing the rise in search CPC’s and subsequently, CPA’s and a lack of growth in sales volume.
Gone are the days of 30% year on year query growth! As the SERP space is becoming more competitive, CPC’s will continue to rise until we reach saturation point, a point where the next click is no longer profitable. Google and Facebook are becoming saturated markets and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. So, what paid media alternatives do companies have? Where else can brands look for potential customers?
The Rise of Amazon Ads
A commendable competitor in the eCommerce industry which should not be ignored.
Amazon’s advertising business has increased year on year, thanks to Amazon Prime! Over the past few years, Amazon has become the 3rd largest digital advertising platform in the US after Google and Facebook. How long do you think it will take before it starts to get saturated too?
The latest Amazon ad products include sponsored products, sponsored brands and multi-page stores. They also offer Display ads, Video ads, Custom ads and ads on the Amazon DSP (demand-side platform). If you haven’t already and if you’re an eCommerce company, you should be considering Amazon for your brand.
Quora – The unique, high intent ad platform
Quora is a place where people can share and gain knowledge by asking and answering questions.
This is a good platform suited to reach consumers as they evaluate & research a product or service. As stated by JD Prater, Ads Evangelist at Quora; “People come to Quora to ask questions and to read and share insightful answers. This includes people looking for reliable information about your company, products, competitors, and industry. This provides advertisers the opportunity to influence people during the consideration phase of their purchase process.”
In terms of reach, Quora currently has a worldwide audience of more than 300 million monthly unique visitors, so it makes sense to get in on the action and make Quora part of your sales funnel if you haven’t already.
Ranked as one of the top ten most popular sites on the internet, there’s no doubt Reddit is becoming more popular for advertising, especially with the other sites becoming saturated. This social media platform enables you to submit content and later vote for the content. The voting determines whether the content moves up or down, which is ultimately organized based on the areas of interest (known as subreddits).
There are several options for paid advertising on Reddit:
Reddit Promoted Posts – This is the most common form paid ads on the site. Essentially you are paying to have a post pinned to the top of a subreddit post. One thing that differentiates Reddit is that you can choose to promote posts that you own. Another unique element is that users can still upvote (or downvote) your promoted post and add comments for discussion. Giving you a chance to have an open dialogue with everyone viewing your ad and boost engagement. Promoted posts can either be Link Ads or Text Ads:
- Link Ads: This an external link to your website or product landing page. This is a great way of driving traffic to your website or landing page.
- Text Ads: These are better for driving conversation and engagement with Reddit Users. These use an internal link to another Reddit page. The page your ads sends users to contain a longer description, external links or links to a discussion that explains more about your product.
Display Ads: These work like Facebook ads. This is your traditional online display like a banner or rich media ad. Displays ads on Reddit show up in the sidebar. These ads can be a bit more expensive as you need a quarterly spend of $30,000 to run them.
TikTok – The time is now
TikTok is a social video app that allows its users to share short videos. There are plenty of stickers, filters and augmented reality features to add to your videos. It was the 4th most downloaded app in 2018 and looks like it’ll top that list in 2020.
TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms worldwide. with over 1.5 billion app downloads to date and more than 500 million monthly active users worldwide – But you’re probably not one of them. TikTok has become a huge hit with the younger demographic (16-24-Year-old). It is a great platform for businesses wishing to target the younger generations, especially for fashion and eCommerce businesses who want to work with influencers. Undoubtedly, more ad money will be spent on TikTok in 2020. TikTok may be the new kid on the block but it has certainly made waves in the social media landscape so far.
As you can see, there are more alternative platforms to paid media than you might have first thought. Advertisers should now expand to these platforms to reach new audiences.
Businesses should not aim to be on every ad platform, but as audiences are becoming more refined, it’s important to gain a better understanding of consumers and where they spend their time online. Meaning, businesses can maximize their profitability on more relevant platforms and make the money spent on ads work smarter, not harder.
In our industry, change is an integral part, you must keep looking ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools and strategies in order to gain an edge over your competitors. Now is definitely the time to be more open to testing out new platforms.