Having been a long time user and manager of Adwords Campaigns we’ve been forced to find and manage PPC Alternatives for clients.
Realizing how difficult it can be for many small and local business to break the high bid barrier on Adwords we need to discuss some PPC Alternatives. Google Adwords is clearly the established leader in the Pay Per Click industry, from the number of eyeballs you can get on your ad, to the advanced management tools that Google Adwords has for its advertisers.
Don’t be discouraged by PPC though, there are alternatives that serve different markets, and serve your ads in a different way. One of these alternatives may just be the PPC alternative you’ve been looking for to hit your target market.
#1 Alternative is Facebook Paid Ads
Advertising on Facebook’s Paid Ads platform (these ads typically appear in the profile view sidebar) can be a mixed experience.
On one hand, Facebook’s Paid Ads program provides much better targeting features than Google Adwords, enabling merchants to target users according to a number of different criteria, including age, gender, hobbies, geographic areas and more.
Our experience of click throughs on Facebook has been very low for clients, and we’ve figured out why. While it may be the limited text you can put in an ad, it may also be that nature of the Facebook user, they’re on FB to socialize, not search, and NOT Leave FB. You need to give them a damn good reason to leave their nice comfy atmosphere with all their friends.
Because Facebook users have been trained to gloss over advertisement sections on the site, your message must be truly captivating in order to draw clicks. Think carefully about the image you place in this ad, you MUST grabe their attention away from the content they are their to view.
It’s all about the image, choose something stunning, funny, out of place, odd, it doesn’t even need to be related to your content, it just needs to make the look, make them curious, make the click.
#2 Alternative is LinkedIn DirectAds
Overall, LinkedIn’s DirectAds platform functions just like Facebook’s, this PPC alternative allows you to target the specific users who will see your advertisements within the LinkedIn website based on several metrics that LI collects from its users.
LinkedIn’s very targeted network comes at a prices that isn’t for everyone, first there is a minimum bid of $2/click, so don’t be looking for the low lying fruit here. Upside is the target market.
Take the time to analyze your target market and you could benefit highly from LI, especially with their demographic tools.
A downside to LI’s DirectAds is their reporting, very limited in comparison to Adwords, so you might want to find a PPC management tool that supports LinkedIn DirectAds, this may give you better feedback metrics to measure your PPC ROI.
#3 Alternative is 7Search
7Search.com claims to be becoming a leading Pay Per Click Search Engine Advertising and Affiliate Network since their inception in 1999. 7Search is the closest to Adwords of our 5 PPC Adwords Alternatives, and that’s no secret, most of their advertising is based on their comparison to Google Adwords.
Advertisers need metrics to measure results and ROI, this is where 7Search excels, clearly the best PPC metrics you’ll find.
#4 Alternative is StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
Our forth alternative Adwords PPC program that deserves mention is StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery, unique from our others in concept and options, while it may be called a PPC program, it’s more a Random View Program.
To understand Paid Discovery, you first must understand StumbleUpon, a tool we find useful in finding random web designs. StumbleUpons downloadable toolbar, website, and mobile apps allow you to randomly surf the net based on your interests, or selected categories. Rather than clicking on ads, you end up on pages randomly by chance. Paid Discovery allows you to cut in line, and pay for more “random” views.
Is it worth it? It really depends on how “sticky” your website is, websites that are well designed, calls to action, alluring photos and captivating advertisements have a far greater chance of success with Paid Discovery. It’s just so easy to hit the Stumble button. Next.
#5 Alternative is Centro (previously known as Adbrite)
Our final PPC Alternative is Centro, almost as different as StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery, Centro approaches things altogether differently, but allows you to reach targeted websites.
adBrite is the largest independent ad exchange offering an entirely transparent marketplace, direct access to superior campaign data and analytics and ultimately, greater control over what matters most – results. (well that’s from their website)
Banner ads are common, and can easily be obtained on Google Adwords across their partner networks, but be an Adwords Partner Network you need to have a monthly traffic rank of 8 or higher, something like 10,000,000 views per month. Centro allows you to advertise on the smaller ‘nitch’ sites that my just be the targets you needs.