When most businesses start using a paid traffic strategy, the first thing they think of is Google Adwords. It’s an important option, considering that Google controls 75.2% of the search market. But it’s also super competitive. In some industries you will end up paying as much as $100 per click.
If you want to develop a paid traffic strategy that actually brings a return on investment, then you need to look beyond AdWords for traffic opportunities. Read on to learn how to create a diversified paid strategy for your online business.
Find out where your customers are hanging out
Google may be the gateway to the internet, but it’s far from the end of it. Your job is to find the platforms around the web where your audience spends time, then use that information for your paid traffic strategy.
On Social Media
Social media platforms are introducing more and more advertising options every year. But before you take advantage of them, you need to find out which platforms your target audience is using.
Start by looking at social media demographic data like this survey from Pew Research. It breaks down social media platform use by age, gender, location, and other demographic factors. Once you’ve identified a few platforms that look promising, you can start digging deeper.
For example, you can use Facebook Audience Insights to get even more details about where your audience hangs out on the platform.
Type in demographic factors (age, interests, gender, etc.) and use that information to define other parameters (such as location). You can also research what pages they like, their purchase activity, and more.
Other Places Online
You should also spend some time identifying which online publications your target audience reads, and what websites they frequent. There are a lot of ways to do this.
One tool you can use is Google Analytics. If you’re already set up with this tool, just log in, then navigate to Acquisition>All Traffic>Referrals. Set a date range, then you can see a list of websites that have already referred traffic to your site.
If you’ve used Google Adwords in the past, you likely have a wealth of data on which websites your audience frequents. In your display advertising campaign, check the “Placements” tab to see them.
Don’t rely on one platform alone
Google Adwords is definitely the most popular paid advertising option. It has the most reach, but also the most competition. If you want to really create a diversified strategy, you should branch out and take advantage of other platforms.
Here are a few popular ones:
- Advertise World: We are a display advertising platform that allows you to target audiences around the web with banner ads. What really sets us apart from other platforms is that we get around ad blockers – recovering up to 40% of what other platforms lose in traffic.
- Yahoo Gemini: Gemini is Yahoo’s answer to Google Adwords, offering its own options to research, target and engage your audience through the search network. Use their system to target people already searching for the kinds of products and services you offer.
- Bing Ads: Bing might not attract as big of a search audience as Google does, but their audience does spend 25% more than the average searcher. Expanding your search PPC strategy into Bing is a no-brainer, especially since you can import campaigns straight from Adwords.
- AdRoll: AdRoll is a widely used advertising platform for prospecting and retargeting. The tool gives you access to more than 500 exchanges, including social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That makes it easy to reach your target audience just about anywhere:
- Outbrain or Taboola: If content marketing is one of the stronger parts of your marketing strategy, then Outbrain or Taboola could be valuable option for paid traffic. Instead of promoting traditional outbound advertisements, these platforms will help you promote your content on different sites around the web.
- Facebook: As a brand on Facebook, you have a lot of options to attract paid traffic to your site. For one, you can “Boost Posts,” in other words, promote your content to your audience so it’s more likely to appear in their newsfeed. You can also take advantage of their paid advertising options and create ads that appear in the feeds of your target audience (even if they don’t follow your brand). Facebook’s audience targeting is probably the most sophisticated on the web.
- Twitter: Twitter operates in a similar way to Facebook. You can create Sponsored Tweets to reach a specific audience with your messaging. If your goal is to attract website traffic, then the Twitter Website Card ad format is a great option. You can also drive a variety of specific actions with Twitter ads, including online purchases.
These are just a few examples of paid advertising options outside of Adwords, but that’s far from everything. The list of advertising options is getting longer every day. You could also check out:
Use different content for different platforms
If you want to make the most of having a diversified paid traffic strategy, you need to think beyond just choosing different platforms.
Each platform has its own strengths, including which types of content or ads work best. So don’t make the mistake of creating just a handful of ads to use across platforms. Tailor your sponsored content to the strengths of each network you’re using.
- Traditional banner ads: Your traditional banner ads will work best on the Advertise World network as well as Bing, Yandex, and any other traditional search networks you use.
- Retargeting ads: Create a special set of advertisements tailored to people who already have some awareness of your brand and what it has to offer. Here’s a nice example from Bonobos:
Then you can use advertising platforms that actually track site behavior to promote them. Facebook, the Google Display Network, and Adroll are all examples of powerful retargeting tools.
- Marketing content: Sometimes, you won’t want to overtly promote your products and services with your advertising. If your goal is to attract traffic back to your website, then quality content that entertains, informs, or otherwise brings value to your audience will work just as well, or better than other advertising strategies. So to give a boost to your content marketing efforts, create content that you can promote on other related sites. Then use a tool like Outbrain or Taboola to make it happen.
- Videos: If you use YouTube for advertising, you’ll want to create some compelling video content to attract interest. But you don’t have to stick to YouTube alone. Social media platforms like Facebook will also help you promote your video ads.
Test everything to see what works
Banner ads, video, and promoted content are just a few of the advertisements you can create. But you should also take the time to create many different versions of each advertisement so you can test and see what’s best.
Most advertising platforms will make it easy to rotate and test different advertisements. You can even A/B test minor differences in your ads, such as the headline text.
Here’s an example of two advertisements AdEspresso A/B tested on Facebook. Look at the differences in how their audience reacted to them:
Eventually, you’ll discover which one has the highest click through rate, and use that ad to optimize your campaign.
Keep it brand consistent
Brand consistency is one of the first rules of marketing. But many businesses don’t realize it goes beyond just sticking your logo on every piece of advertising you create.
To really understand the importance of brand consistency in advertising, take a look at this example from Parkinson’s UK. Before they did a rebrand, their advertising was all over the place:
After, it was easy to get a clear idea of their brand identity and message:
Beyond just attracting traffic to your site, your advertising will also help build brand awareness. Fail to make your ads brand consistent, and your business will miss out on this benefit.
Online advertising has been around a long time, with Adwords dominating the market. Now, there are many options to develop a diverse and effective paid traffic strategy for your website.
All you have to do is pick the right platforms, create targeted content, test, and see what works best.