Deciding which online platforms to use to advertise your products and services can be a tough decision to make - especially if budgets are tight. How can you pick the channels that will yield the best return on investment for your business?

Fortunately, this blog can help point you towards the solution that would be most suitable for your business’ needs. We take a look at the different online platforms you can advertise on and what respective benefits they have.

Advertising on Search Platforms

In terms of advertising on search engines, Google is the obvious choice. With a usership of nearly four billion as of October 2019, this platform is a surefire way of reaching out to new customers.

Google Ads also stands out in the way that it only charges you for ads that people engage with, potentially increasing your return on investment. Additionally, the platform delivers comprehensive reports on your ads’ performance swiftly, is easily integrated with Google Analytics and allows you to learn more about your audience, such as the keywords they used to find your website. It also has the benefit of having no minimum ad spend and is able to target audiences across all industries and demographics.

Bing is also another option for businesses wanting to advertise on search engines. With approximately 1.03 billion users a month, this platform will not advertise you to as many people as Google does, but it does have its own advantages. Due to Bing drawing in a smaller number of users, this means there is less competition for ad bidding, so for those with limited budgets, advertising on Bing could be ideal.


Advertising on Shopping Platforms

Advertising on shopping platforms is another great way of reaching potential customers. Amazon attracts 2.507 billion monthly users, making it the biggest online marketplace in the world that spans across all demographics. Similarly to Google Search ads, you pay for ads based on when they are clicked on, not the impressions they make. Its ad reporting feature also helps you optimise your campaigns by showing you which keywords and creative are proving the most effective. For headline search ads, the minimum spend per keyword is $0.10 and the minimum campaign budget for these ads is $100.

Additionally, using Google Shopping ads is an effective way of promoting your brand online. Not only are you able to take advantage of Google’s massive usership, but you can also increase the quality of your leads by featuring product information directly in your ads to help shoppers make informed purchase decisions.

eBay is another shopping platform you could use to advertise your products/services. It works slightly differently to Amazon in the sense that you only pay for the ad when a user clicks on it and purchases the product within 30 days, giving you better value for money. eBay also allows you to bulk upload promoted listings using a CSV file and will recommend which of your listed items would most benefit from promotion. eBay shares similar costs to Amazon, with the minimum bid per keyword being £0.10 and the minimum campaign budget being £100.

Matt Sadler, one of our Paid Search experts, shares his tips when it comes to making the most of eBay advertising: “Promoted listings are a good way to enhance your sales by driving more traffic to high converting products without compromising on price. Using eBay suggested ad rates in conjunction with your own promotional plan can also help your listings maintain traffic even in the most competitive categories.”


Advertising on Social Media Platforms

Utilising social media platforms for advertising is an amazing way of promoting your products and services and speaking to audiences that traditional advertising methods cannot reach. Facebook is a good choice due to its 2.74 billion monthly users, and also due to its exceptional targeting capabilities. Using behaviours, interests, demographics, connections, age ranges, languages, or locations, you are able to specifically target the type of users you want.

Facebook ads minimum spending includes $1 a day for ad sets charged for impressions, $5 a day for ads charged for clicks, likes and video views, and $40 a day for events such as offer claims or app installs.

Twitter is another social media platform which can be useful for advertising, having a monthly usership of 353 million. It also has the handy feature of being able to target those who have previously engaged with your company’s tweets, meaning it’s a great platform to use to help boost your brand. Additionally, it also has no minimum ad spend.

With 260 million monthly users, LinkedIn is another platform that you shouldn’t ignore, especially due to its unparalleled access to an audience of professionals. It also uniquely allows you to target users based on metrics such as job title, company name, industry and job seniority and is particularly optimised for lead generation. LinkedIn’s daily minimum ad spend is $10.

If the products/services you want to advertise would be better expressed via visual assets, then you might want to consider using social media platforms that mainly use pictures and videos. Instagram has a monthly usership of 1.221 billion, with excellent outreach amongst younger demographics, and places a greater emphasis on photographic content over copy, e.g. Instagram stories, meaning that if you have some stunning visuals of your product then this might be the best advertising method for you. Instagram also sees a higher median engagement rate per post than platforms such as Facebook, with a rate of 1.6% compared to Facebook’s 0.09%. It shares the same minimum ad spend requirements as Facebook.

YouTube is the ideal platform for you if you feel that video content is the best way of promoting your products or services. With a monthly usership of 2.291 billion, YouTube is the largest video hosting platform on the Internet and the go-to website for anyone searching for video content. Another benefit that advertising on YouTube brings is that it is easy to set up, it only takes a few minutes to set up targeting and a campaign, and there is no minimum ad spend.

Pinterest is another great social media platform for you to promote your brand via images and videos, and with a monthly usership of 442 million it might be less popular than Instagram but still holds a large, predominantly younger, audience for you to reach out to. One feature that sets Pinterest apart from Instagram is that its content is also based on sharing ideas as well as images, e.g. recipes, outfits, home décor etc. The minimum ad spend for Pinterest is $2.

Miruna Sfat, our Head of Social, comments about what sets Pinterest apart when it comes to social media marketing: “Pinterest has evolved rapidly as a Paid Social platform in the past couple of years, offering advertisers excellent targeting options and engaging ad formats they can use to reach their target audience. Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest is seen as a more positive corner of the internet where users go to map out their ideas and turn inspiration into reality, which means they can be more open to engaging with content from brands that can help them achieve that.

When used efficiently, Pinterest can help you acquire new customers, making it a perfect advertising platform for top-of-the-funnel campaigns, and with recent ad formats such as shoppable product pins or collection pins, you can also see very strong ROAS from your Pinterest advertising campaigns.”

If your target audience is a younger demographic, then you might find it beneficial to advertise on Snapchat and TikTok. With 498 million and 698 million monthly users, the majority of whom are under 30 (and with TikTok 41% are between the ages of 16 and 24), these platforms are ideal for communicating to young adults who might not use platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn as their primary social media. The daily ad spend minimum for Snapchat is $5 and for TikTok the minimum daily spend for ad groups is $20.

Which Online Advertising Platform is Best for You?