Online marketing is becoming highly competitive, more and more businesses are looking to digital advertising to attract more customers. Thankfully, the internet is a big place and it has several advertising platforms where you can promote your business.
You can create and test different ad campaigns in different places to see what works best. However, it can be daunting to imagine all the platforms that are out there. Here are some of the best places to advertise your business online.
Best Online Advertising Platforms
First, it’s important to note that there is no single solution or strategy that will work for all businesses. What works for a small business in a town won’t necessarily work for a big company in a large metropolis.
Consider the size, industry, and location of your business. You should do your research and find case studies of businesses like yours that found success on each platform and how.
When it comes to advertising your business online, Google is still the biggest online platform of them all. Using Google’s AdWords platform, you can advertise your business on the following locations online:
- Google search results pages
- Google Maps
- YouTube videos
- Any website online that is part of Google’s Display Network
- Any mobile app that is part of their Google Play network
The size and potential audience you can reach through Google AdWords makes it the #1 online platform to use. Because it is so massive, the audience you can find spans any age, geographic region, industry, and so on.
If you’re a business owner looking to start marketing online, you should start with Google. It’s the best for reaching the largest portion of your target market online.
The next best place to advertise your business online is Facebook. It doesn’t have the same size, scale, or breadth of advertising mediums as Google, but it is still likely the second best platform for most businesses. It is also still the largest social media platform.
You can create ads that appear in people’s news feeds as they scroll through their timelines, but also within Messenger, Marketplace, and any other area of the Facebook ecosystem. You are restricted to visual ads, image banners and videos, but the conversion rate can be great.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is managed through the same Business Manager account as Facebook ads.
It has the same capabilities as far as targeting, bidding and mediums. You can even create one ad and set it to appear on both Facebook and Instagram.
However, it is usually better to keep them separated. Instagram tends to draw a younger demographic than Facebook. It also tends to be better for your Instagram ads to have better visual quality. It’s a great place for businesses that sell technology, fashion, food, and travel.
Bing ads work the same as Google’s, with the same system of using keywords, bidding, targeting, and having a separate search and display network. Bing’s ads are shown both on Bing searches as well as on the online properties that own, including Yahoo and AOL.
Bing does not have the same size as Google, but it’s also not nearly as competitive. You won’t be able to reach the same amount of people, but you might be able to reach a different audience at a far lower and more efficient cost.
Bing users tend to come from an older demographic. So, if your business draws from people who are 35+ years old, it can be a very useful place for your advertising.
If you haven’t heard of Waze, it’s a relatively new app that is a competitor for Google Maps. It also has a platform for local advertising that can be effective for small businesses that have a brick and mortar store.
With Waze advertising, you can make a branded location pin for your store and search ads that will put your business at the top of search results. It also has a “zero-speed takeover” ad format that shows your business as a digital billboard within the map function as people browse it.
It’s great for a business where people commonly search for locations to visit: car dealers, dentists, lawyers, restaurants, and other service-based stores.
Yelp started as a space for online reviews, but is growing into more of a total local business platform. Like Waze, it is also good for local businesses. If you search for “best restaurants near me”, you are likely to see “top 10 restaurants” in your city from Yelp.
It is a place where people are increasingly looking to find certain types of businesses in their area, especially service-based shops. Also like Waze, you can make enhanced listings and banner ads. You can also have your ads appear on unclaimed competitor listings.
LinkedIn is the Google of recruitment, job searches and networking. It has a smaller audience size than most of the other places in this list, but because of its nature it is a great platform for B2B businesses and certain service-based companies.
What makes it great for a B2B business is that you can target people based on their industry, job title, or company. It can also be effective if your business heavily draws from a certain profession — a hearing clinic can target people who work in loud environments, for example.
As an advertising platform, it lets you create banners or video ads in a user’s timeline like Facebook. It also has inbox ads, and text ads in the sidebar.
Twitter is not as large a social media platform as Facebook or Instagram, and its advertising capabilities are more limited. However, it is still one of the best platforms for content marketing. It can help you reach more people and generate more engagement.
If you want to promote an article, blog post or piece of content that can help establish your business as an authority in your field, it’s worth testing Twitter. You can also use it to tweet about sales and coupons.
#9 Press Releases
There are many websites where you can publish a press release about your business. Press releases are a specific type of advertising with an audience drawn more among the media than regular people. That can make it tricky to try and use for marketing, but it can be useful.
It can work very well if your business has a significant change and you want to spread the word. So, use Twitter if your business is…
- opening a new location
- moving somewhere within the same city or town
- launching a new product line
- rebranding itself
The added benefit of these sites is it can also help with your link building strategy for SEO. You get links in the press releases themselves, but you might also get some news outlets coming to you for a story where they can link to you as well.
Find the Best Place to Advertise Your Business
This list doesn’t cover all of the potential advertising platforms you can try online, but it does cover the nine best ones. Even within these platforms, there are different advertising strategies that can work for you. Not all of them will work for everyone.
It’s worth trying any of them out, but always do your research. Find out how the platforms work, what the costs usually are, and what kind of campaigns have worked in the past according to case studies.
See what mediums, platforms, and tips work best for your business and refine your strategies until you hit your sweet spot.