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Cost Efficient Paid Search Platforms

Google AdWords

AdWords offers one of the most versatile paid search solutions around, consisting of text, video and image formats. It is an excellent way of understanding a visitor’s intent to buy your product. AdWords can be extremely effective at targeting people who are ready to buy.

Facebook Ads

Over the last couple of years, the Facebook ad platform has evolved a great deal. You can choose the type of people you want to reach (gender, age, occupation, etc), and you can also target audiences that are similar to your existing customer base. That’s right, Facebook will actually find people similar to the ones who have already purchased your product. You can do all the demographic, geographic, contextual, or behavioural targeting you want, but I’d take the behaviour of actually paying for your own product, over any of that, when it comes to finding your next customer.

Outbrain

Outbrain is excellent at driving traffic to blog posts, articles, videos, and third-party reviews. This is where you start the relationship with your potential customer, bringing them down the funnel by providing nothing but valuable, useful, funny, and engaging content. Similar to Facebook and AdWords, Amplify offers a cost-per-click bidding system, the ability to test multiple headlines directed to the same content, device targeting, and geographic targeting. Their premium network of publishers ensures that you’re always getting traffic from high-quality sources. More importantly, though, the algorithms behind their content discovery platform are constantly working to find the most engaged audience for your content. The people who click on content recommendations are far more engaged than people who come from search or social.

LinkedIn Ads

Within the B2B market, LinkedIn Ads is a great paid traffic source. Their 3 main advertising options are sponsored updates, display and text ads, and InMail. It’s hard for the B2B marketer not to be intrigued by a platform that allows you to target by job title and job functions. Other targeting options are location, age, gender, skills, company by name, industry, company size, school, and group. LinkedIn’s network is priced on a cost-per-click and it’s pretty expensive. You won’t find any targeting for less than £1.50 per click, and a lot of the targeting will start at £3.50. With their sponsored updates offering, you can not currently target people on only mobile or only desktop, and according to their SVP of Product & User Experience, Deep Nishar, this year over 50% of their global audience will be mobile. So make sure your mobile experience is great if you’re doing any sponsored posts.

Twitter Ads

Twitter has some pretty sweet targeting options. Probably one of the coolest ones is that you can target people who are tweeting about a particular television program. That’s probably not great for driving traffic though. You can also target by keyword, interests, and followers, and even tailored audiences, similar to what Facebook is doing with their Custom Audience targeting. Their “Tailored Audiences” support page is definitely worth a read. One of my favourite features of Twitter Ads is their lead card feature that allows you to collect someone’s email address without leaving Twitter. All that said, twitter’s CPC is typically pretty expensive and before you spend money here, make sure your prospective customer spends time here.

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