This post was sponsored by Adzooma. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Many advertisers start with Google or Facebook because of their market share, track record, and the habit of thinking of them as “online advertising.”

Between Google limiting search term visibility, Facebook’s audience’s impacted by iOs 14.5 privacy changes, and both network’s auction prices continuing to skyrocket – they might need some help in driving ROI for your business.

In this article, we’ll explore ad channels you might have passed up on or not known about:

  • Microsoft: More than just a cheaper Google.
  • Amazon: Branding and revenue ecommerce superstar.
  • Instagram: Impulse purchases and huge engagement.
  • LinkedIn: Premium targeting for B2Bs.
  • TikTok: Influencers and trendsetters.

Each of these channels represents new markets and ways of communicating with your best prospects.

We’re going to go through these five ad platforms to look at what makes them so appealing and how you can get the most out of each.

Before we dive into new channels, it’s worth giving a shoutout to Google’s Display, YouTube, and Discovery campaigns which don’t get as much love as their search cousins. If you’re interested in learning more about Google’s full offerings, check out this post.

Microsoft Ads

Microsoft Ads (formerly known as Bing Ads) is a robust and powerful advertising channel for B2B and B2C brands. While it’s true most only think about it as the cheaper search cousin to Google, there are lots of innovative ad offerings:

  • Auto Ads: Feed-based ads on the SERP which showcase the image of the car and price.
  • Shopping Ads: Feed-based ads that showcase the product and price.
  • Audience Network: Microsoft’s programmatic display/video offering.

Any Microsoft ad channel will have the benefit of LinkedIn targeting data. You can ensure your ads only get served to people working at a particular company, industry, or role.

Microsoft Ads represents about 39% market share in the U.S. and incremental gains in the UK, EU, Australia, New Zealand, and other growing markets.

What many don’t realize is that Microsoft Ads powers the ad channels for Yahoo, AOL, and a premium search partner network.

Microsoft Audience Network utilizes Outlook, MSN, Edge, along with sites including CBS Sports, Reuters, and The Atlantic for you to display your brand’s video, image, or feed-based ads.

Microsoft’s audience is educated and affluent, with a third of Microsoft users in the U.S. having a household income over $100,000.

Microsoft offers great value with ads costing $1.61 per click on average compared to Google’s $7.10.

Microsoft Ads really is an underutilized goldmine.

Tips to Start

  • Create an account on Microsoft Ads and get $125 in search advertising when you spend $25.
  • If you’re already running Google Ads, use Adzooma’s AdSync feature for free to import your Google campaigns into Microsoft Advertising and adjust bids and budgets for both campaigns from one screen.
  • If you aren’t already running Google Ads, have a read of the Complete Guide to PPC Marketing Basics to learn how and where to get started.

Amazon Ads

Whether you’re using Amazon as a branding tool to help customers discover you or to sell mainly through the platform, there’s a lot of value in this ecommerce channel.

  • 49% of internet users use Amazon to start their search for a product.
  • 225,000 small businesses made over $100,000 in sales on Amazon in 2019.
  • More than 55% of all Amazon sales come from third-party sellers.

These are the main ad buys you can make on Amazon:

Amazon is best suited as a supplementary ad channel as their fees can eat into margins and ROI. That said, for some brands, it will make sense to use Amazon as your dominant acquisition channel.

Clicks average less than $1 for sponsored product clicks and can be powerful revenue drivers.

Tips to Start

  • Create a seller account on Amazon and choose a selling plan (plans cost $0.99 per item or $39.99 per month).
  • Take some time researching your competitors to see what you’re up against and if you need to advertise.
  • If you do need to advertise, have a read of the Amazon Advertising Guide to get up to speed.
  • Don’t become reliant on Amazon – 80% of Amazon sellers sell on other platforms, so use a website builder to set up a website if you haven’t already and create your own store to run concurrently with your Amazon store.

Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads are all run through Facebook’s Ads Manager, allowing you to run ads concurrently across both sites to target both respective audiences.

Instagram has specific rules of engagement and often falls down when you use the same creative on Facebook and Instagram.

Be sure your ads:

  • Include hashtags in your creative.
  • Always have emojis.
  • Let the image/video do most of the selling – supporting text is less important than the hashtags.

Instagram’s targets are the same as Facebook’s, which means you can get hyper-targeted on interests.

More than 130 million people click shopping posts every month on Instagram while more than 200 million people visit at least one business profile every day.

Instagram is accessible to all brands. The average cost per click is between $0.70 and $1, while the average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is around $5.

Tips to Start

  • Set up an Instagram and/or Facebook account and follow the creation process.
  • Manage all your ads through Facebook’s Business Manager.
  • Decide whether you’re looking for direct sales or brand awareness from your ads.
  • Use the vast targeting options to reach the right audience.
  • Set up an Instagram Shop to drive sales without the user having to leave the platform.
  • Use Instagram influencers in your niche where possible to endorse your product, set the tone for your brand, and introduce your product to a broader audience.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals.

With 61 million senior-level decision-makers on the platform, LinkedIn is a great place for B2B businesses to do their work.

On LinkedIn, you can advertise through:

  • LinkedIn’s feed.
  • InMail.
  • Spotlight (highlight key features).

LinkedIn can increase purchasing intent by 33%.

LinkedIn can be expensive due to the type of audience you’re targeting – the cost per click averages at about $5.58, while it’s at least $1 per inbox send.

Many choose to test creative on other channels and then bring over proven creatives to the hyper-targeted ad network.

Tips to Start

  • Create a business or personal profile to advertise from.
  • Determine your advertising goals.
  • Use the B2B specific targeting options available.
  • Use LinkedIn influencers where possible.

TikTok Ads

TikTok is taking the world by storm and already has more than 1 billion monthly active users.

TikTok leans more Gen Z, with nearly 50% of 18-29-year-olds using the platform. TikTok requires engaging and fun video spots to highlight your brand’s value and to inspire purchasing intent.

Although it lends itself easily to B2C brands, TikTok can be really powerful at building brand sentiment for B2b brands. TikTok ranks as the second-biggest app in terms of consumer spend.

Cost? It averages around $0.19 per click or $10 per thousand impressions.

Tips to Start

  • Create an account and your ads.
  • Work out what you want to achieve.
  • Use influencers – they’re huge on TikTok and they get so much engagement.

So Where Do You Begin?

Assessing all these channels and determining which channel to go for isn’t easy.

But if you’re already advertising on Google, then you should definitely get on Microsoft Ads.

With Adzooma’s free Ad Sync feature, it won’t even add any extra work to your process. You’ll be managing and optimizing across two channels with ease right away. Plus you get $125 free to start.

It’s worth taking a look at Adzooma’s infographic on evaluating the right digital marketing channel for you.

Choosing the right channel is so important. Getting this right will set you up for untold success and you’ll be able to unlock ROI in your cross-channel digital marketing.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Adzooma. Used with permission.
In-post Image: Image by Adzooma. Used with permission.

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