For a number of years, Google has been the go-to choice for click-through advertising. After all, Google receives approximately 77.43 percent of the global search engine market, which is massive. When it comes to advertising on search engines, there isn't any other player to consider up front.
Yet, as popular as Google is, it isn't the only player around. There are many reasons to branch out from Google. One big reason is that online companies can crash and burn overnight - MySpace anyone? You probably remember the website browser Excite, too. It rose to popularity and then disappeared into obscurity, finally rebranding.
So, yes, Google is king and AdWords will bring you pay-per-click traffic, but it's just smart business sense to diversify. Never put all your eggs in on basket. While you should still keep a presence on Google, here are some other options to add to your marketing repertoire.
This social media site offers a search option that will pull up even some sponsored content. Even better, though, is that you can target ads to a specific audience. Since Facebook collects a lot of information from its users and sees the things they are most interested in on a daily basis, you can run an ad to a highly targeted group and earn impressive click-through success rates.
There are approximately 1.9 billion people on Facebook each month, so it is very likely you'll reach someone who wants your product or service. While all 1.9 billion obviously won't be interested, there are likely thousands who will be, depending upon what it is.
One company on Shopify decided to add Facebook ads in addition to AdWords campaigns. Their marketing team helped them go from zero to over $139,000 in sales in just 21 days.
In their case, they chose carousel ad campaigns because of a previous successful campaign. The results speak for themselves. Facebook ads can really work, especially if you are trying to sell a popular and trusted product.
Bing may only have 7.31 percent of the market share, but those who use Bing are intensely loyal to the browser because of its simplicity.
Another bonus? The competition for popular keywords may be less intense than on Google. Many experts report that there is no difference in results when using Bing versus Google, so you aren't going to lose out on anything by giving another search engine a try.
One case study showed using Bing ads is significantly cheaper than using Google AdWords. The key takeaway, in this case, is the Bing ads had a much lower cost per click rate than Google AdWords.
Many companies are turning to Amazon these days as a way to get the word out about their products and do some targeted advertising to people interested in similar products. Of course, you will need to sell your products on Amazon to take advantage of their marketplace advertising opportunities.
However, imagine if your competitor already has a page on Amazon where they are selling a product similar to yours. Now, imagine if you could grab the attention of their customers on the actual page they have the product listed on. Of course, they can do the same to you, but many people don't realize the power of an Amazon ad or understand how to implement SEO tactics and use keywords to drive traffic.
Once you sell an item, you can always include literature that directs your new customer to your website, which is a great way to reach new customers. One organic clothing company was able to increase their product sales by 113 percent on Amazon Marketplace by running targeted ads on the site. Crunch the numbers and see if Amazon might be another outlet to use to sell your products and to advertise them.
This site is an exciting option for those wanting to move away from advertising as much on Google. It is the largest online marketplace for buying and selling banner ads, which means you can place your ad on websites, blogs and places you otherwise might have to spend dozens of hours researching and locating.
You can select only the sites that you feel are a good match for you, clearly see how much the ads will cost you and give these other outlets a try to see if you can drive new traffic to your site that you otherwise might not reach through Google or other venues.
Why Don't You Ask and/or Analyze?
One of the key factors to running a successful business is knowing how to branch out and advertise on a variety of platforms. Where do your customers hang out online? If your customers spend time there, then it is very likely that potential customers do too. See if you can advertise on that site.
You may want to spend some time polling your current customers about how they reached your site and what their favorite websites are. You can learn a lot by surveying them and then following their online pathways to find new customers.
No matter which medium you decide to place your ads on, make sure the ads are attention-grabbing and carefully track your results so you can make adjustments or try a different platform if the one you're using isn't working for you.
About the Author
Kayla Matthews writes for Mobile Marketer, Convince and Convert, Cision and Marketing Dive. You can read more post from Kayla by following her on Twitter and LinkedIn.