9 Alternatives To Facebook Ads You Must Check Out

July 18, 2017 by Jasmin Hukić

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Facebook is one of the most powerful advertising platforms and it will remain so. There are about 2 billion monthly active users which is a huge advertising potential.

Number of monthly active Facebook users

However, increasing costs for Facebook Ads are pushing smaller businesses to consider other alternatives for advertising.

But that’s not the only reason. It’s not necessarily that Facebook provides the best targeting, raise your brand awareness or generate the most traffic.

You may find out that there is more efficient way to run your campaigns.

Whether your business model is B2B or B2C, you’ll definitely find an alternative that will fit your needs.

For example, did you know that 44% of U.S. marketers have no interests in Pinterest? That’s way too much, wouldn’t you agree?.

In this blog post, I’ll show you 9 alternatives to Facebook Ads you should think about, so let’s explore them!

#1 Reddit

With more than 17 million unique visitors on monthly basis, Reddit has been the most popular community since forever.

The chance for small businesses is in its subject based communities – subreddits. At the moment, there are more than a million subreddits. Here’s how Reddit grew over time.

New reddits by month

Also, comparing to Facebook the costs are lower. When you advertise on Reddit, CPM is $0.75, which is 40% lower than Facebook’s commonly $1.25.

Depending on your promotion goals, you can promote posts as link ads.

Reddit link ads

Or you can do it as text ads.

Reddit text ads

Link ads are generally better to drive traffic to your website, while text ads are more suited to invite for conversations.

Before you start advertising I strongly suggest reading the tips how to write effective Reddit ad copy.

According to the photo below, the majority of the users come from the United States, and after that, from UK and Germany.

ReddIt: Users by countries

This means that most of the visitors are actually English speakers, so you’re probably interested in this social network if your potential customers are English speakers.

The same source says that even 69% users are actually males, and females are only 31%.

However, this data isn’t segmented – it’s the data for all registered users.

When it comes to the U.S. users, then we can say the results are actually almost equal, although there are slightly more females – 51%.

#2 Product Hunt

Counting nearly 300k registered members, ProductHunt is a big community where people rank new products on daily basis.

What’s more, many of the members are big influencers in their field.

As you can see from the photo below, the most contributors are founders and co-founders which mean that Product Hunt is the place where you can reach decision makers.

Product Hunt: Contributor titles

An average Product Hunt contributor is located in San Francisco and has about 7,426 followers on Twitter.

You’ll stand the best chances if your products belong to one of the three main categories:

  • SaaS platforms
  • Games
  • Books

If you manage to reach high ranks, you’ll get thousands of visitors to your site that day, and slightly less on the following day.

However, there is one little catch – it’s a closed community and you need to be invited. You can deal with this in two ways.

First, interact with ProductHunt members through other social media like Twitter and wait for an invitation.

Second, get posted by an influential member. One of our previous posts was about reaching out the influencers.

Once you become a member, you should try to get your product featured.

Product Hunt: Popular this month

SEJ says that getting featured is a 5-step process:

  1. Do your homework
  2. Build interests before you launch
  3. Contribute to the community
  4. Time your launch for maximum impact
  5. Learn from your submission

Keep in mind that you can be penalized, and you will be if you start asking for a vote or try to force visits in some other way. Announcing that you’re a member is enough.

To dig deeper, here are the stories behind successful Product Hunt launches.

#3 Google Ads

If I’d have to pick only one alternative to Facebook ads, it would be advertising on Google.

Here are some of the reasons:

  • Precise match to the customer’s intent
  • Fast results
  • Budget control
  • Easy to measure

Huge amounts of money are spent every single day. How much your competitors are spending depends on the industry your business belongs to.

Top AdWords Industries

On AdWords, you can advertise on their Search Network and/or Display Network.

Advertising on Search Network means bidding for a place on Google’s search engine result pages – SERP.

On the other hand, advertising on Display Network is nothing else than bidding for a place on partner websites (those who use Google AdSense).

CNN Ads

It’s the most effective auction system. You place a bid and enter in competition with other bidders.

However, this doesn’t mean that the highest bidder will have the best rank. There is a value called Ad Rank, to determine your ad position.

Actual CPC

Take a look at how Ad Rank is calculated.

Ad Rank is calculated using your bid amount, the components of Quality Score (expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience), and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.

It’s obvious that, besides earning from ads, Google wants to provide the most relevant results with the best user experience. So make your ads relevant and your landing pages enjoyable.

#4 Twitter

When it comes to advertising on Twitter, you have three options:

  • Promote your brand
  • Promote your video
  • Drive conversions

Twitter Ads Objectives

Promote your brand will increase the website traffic, followers, brand awareness and tweet engagements.

If you decide to increase the website traffic, then you have to know that you’ll pay only per click.

Next, promoting your video is whenever you want to reach a targeted, engaged audience. Here, you pay only when targeted user views a video which is absolutely great.

As for drive conversions, it’s perfect when you have an app that you want to increase people to download or open your app.

When setting up a campaign, you can target your audience by country, gender, location, followers, behavior, and so on.

Twitter Audience Targeting

Besides that, what really matters on Twitter is the time when you share (advertise).

According to Raka, these are the best days and hours to tweet.

Best time to tweet (for CTR)

Although it can be useful for any type of business, Twitter is more suitable for B2B than B2C.

So, if you’re B2C and looking for one or two alternatives to Facebook ads, Twitter is probably not the best option. On the other hand, if you’re B2B using Twitter is a must.

#5 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the largest social network focused on business connection. Almost half of the U.S. population is registered on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Users vs Country Population

In other words, the perfect opportunity for business advertising.

The two ways you can advertise on LinkedIn are:

  • Self-Service Advertising (supported Ad formats: Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail and Text Ads)
  • Managed Campaigns (supported Ad formats: Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Dynamic Ads, and Display Ads, account-based marketing – ABM)

Sponsored Content allows you to get your company’s updates, share content and promotions and more. The ads appear in a homepage feed.

Sponsored InMail is a chance to send sponsored content to active members inboxes. This is a great way to make personalized messages.

LinkedIn: Sponsored message

Text Ads are only available on desktop and may appear on the top of the homepage as a text link ad. You can use filters to make precise targeting.

Display Ads are best suited for raising a brand awareness because they help you to show your ads in front of relevant profiles.

Dynamic Ads allow you to make customizations by writing your own ad, choosing a call to actions and using dynamically generated images.

Advertising on LinkedIn may look costly because a minimum daily budget is $10. Still, your audience here should be very specific and very influential so it’s worth trying.

#6 Pinterest

Pinterest is a platform where users can share content to virtual collections – pinboards.

It’s founded in 2010 and, as New York Times reported, in the first five years they crossed the number of more than 100 million monthly active users.

According to this year’s update from DMR stats, there are 175 million active users. Here are some more mind blowing stats:

  • 60% percent of Pinterest users are women
  • 42% of women and 13% of men are adults
  • 2 billion is the average number of monthly searches on Pinterest
  • 55% of US online shoppers pick Pinterest as their favorite social media platform

Looking these numbers you can see just how great business opportunity Pinterest is.

However, even 44% of U.S. marketers have no interests in Pinterest. As for me, I think that’s too much.

42% of U.S. marketers have no interests in Pinterest

If you’re considering advertising on Pinterest, there are a couple of things you need know.

First of all, when you create an account it’s very important to sign up for a business account. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use all the features like analytics tool.

Think of pins as a content as the content you share while pinboards (usually called just boards) are how you organize pins.

Get familiar with Rich Pins because they include extra information beyond just the image, click-through link, and the pinner’s description. You can find out more about Rich Pins here.

Paid advertising option at Pinterest is Promoted Pins.

At this time Promoted Pins are only available to partners in the US, CA, UK, IE, AU, & NZ and you have to sign up for the wait list.

#7 StumbleUpon

Some may not know about it, but trust me on this, using StumbleUpon is a very powerful traffic generator.

Here’s what Stefan Maescher achieved with his StumbleUpon advertising campaign.

StumbleUpon: URL Overview

He got 60,275 visits with the budget of $129,80. That is a food for thought.

StumbleUpon Ads are called Paid Discovery. It works in a way that you submit page to StumbleUpon and then drive traffic to it with no clicks required.

They have some great targeting options which is the reason why many marketers love it. You can target by content category, age, gender, and location. Basically, very similar to targeting with Facebook Ads but with lower costs.

Of course, you can use Google Analytics to track all the traffic and measure the performance. The best way to do it is by using Campaign URL Builder.

This way, you can measure which campaigns, ads and things like that bring the most revenues. Furthermore, you can import cost data, so you can measure ROI on a very easy way.

There’s public Quality Score metric which helps you understand if you targeted users correctly.

You’ll get the most of it if you have a great content because Quality Score is based on the number of people voting up your content.The better content you have, the more visitors you’ll generate, plus the costs per visitor will decrease.

One useful tip: Match your content with different categories to find out what works the best for you.

#8 Snapchat

Snapchat counts more than 166 million daily users and their advertising revenue is expected to reach almost 900 million by the end of this year.

Comparing to last year, that is more than double.

Snapchat: Daily active users

Every campaign must have one of the following objectives:

  • Send people to your website
  • Drive app installs
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Get people to view my content

I always pick to send people on my website because that way I’m able to capture new leads, acquire new customers, and so on.

Snapchat: Choose an objective for your campaign

Here are Snapchat Ad formats:

  • Sponsored Lenses
  • Sponsored Geofilters
  • Snap Ad Videos

Sponsored Lenses are truly unique ad format developed by Snapchat’s developers and API partners. Lenses are activated by facial triggers or tapping the screen. Snapchat stated that comparing to other mobile applications Lenses drive 3x more brand awareness.

Sponsored Geofilters are videos and photos which appearance is determined by user’s account location. That’s why they are best for raising local awareness.

Snap Ad Videos are vertical videos that can last maximally 10 seconds. But there is the option for interactive attachment if users chose to continue engaging with your brand.

It’s perfectly clear that advertising on Snapchat is the option for raising brand awareness.

Maybe you’ve noticed that most big brands are advertising on Snapchat. It’s because of the costs, risks, and lack of standardization.

However, if you’re aiming to raise brand awareness, and especially if you’re locally orientated, give it a shot. You might just benefit more than you could imagine.

#9 Quora

Quora has more than 200 millions unique monthly visitors and 23.03% of them are U.S. visitors.

How many people use Quora?

With trendy questions about everything and usually great deeply explained answers, Quora is a goldmine for marketers in many ways, including advertising. Here’s how it works.

To access the Quora Ads Manager you need have a Quora account. Also, you need to create an ad account.

Create your ad account on Quora

When creating an ad you’ll get to choose your objective, and then audience, headline, description text, landing page URL and call to action for your text ad.

Quora: Select targeting

You can also target audience by topic, platform or location.

If you already have experience with Facebook Ads than transition Quora will be a piece of cake because they have the same campaign structure with three layers:

  • Campaign
  • Ad Set
  • Ad

Another similarity is a conversion pixel that allows you to track conversions on your website. At this moment, you can only one conversion pixel per account.

Apart from Facebook Ads, Quora also share some resemblance to Google Adwords because it’s a CPC based model.

It works as a real-time auction. You can set and adjust bid and budget at any time and pay only when someone clicks on your ad.

Conclusion

There are is best marketing channel and best advertising platform.

You need to figure out what works the best for you. It depends on many factors including your customers, budget, marketing goals and more.

A lot depends on your business model. For example, LinkedIn is a horrible solution for B2C companies, but Snapchat is wonderful.

Snapchat works great when you need to target the young because 60% of Snapchat users are under 25.

At first, you should focus on one or two advertising platforms because it will be hard to advertise on every of them.

Hopefully, the presented alternatives will narrow your choice and give you the idea what platform to use for promoting your business.

Good luck and don’t forget to measure everything!

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