In terms of paid traffic sources, Facebook and Google are the indisputable big bad boys on the media buying scene, there are several other great paid traffic marketing channels that are available to advertisers and marketers if you know where to look.
To kind of give you a little bit of history on me though... And my convoluted journey into paid traffic marketing.
I've been doing this for 14 years and I literally thought for a very long time that I was allergic to paid traffic marketing. I gamed the search engines as hard as I could possibly game them.
Despite going through all of the paid traffic training and paid traffic courses out there, I just couldn't get myself to spend money on traffic...
I mean, we literally had EIGHT of the TEN rankings on the first page of Google for one keyword phrase back then. Just pure domination. And then Google got smart and updated their algorithm - ie. the Penguin update and the Panda update.
For those of you who have been around for awhile, you know what I'm talking about because everybody's dreams shattered at the very same moment, all across the globe, when those updates went live.
Basically I had websites that were making $20,000 a month that just disappeared. That was the reality of those updates. So ever since then, I became very wary about building a foundation for business on anything that I didn't directly control.
Search engine traffic is fantastic, but if and only if it is thought of as a bonus. Your business should be built on paid advertising that you control, and not 100% built on free traffic and things you luck into.
Now content marketing and content optimization has changed. To rank and get quantifiable free traffic (when all you're doing is organic SEO), you need:
- Hundreds of blog posts
- Hundreds of videos on YouTube
- Hundreds and hundreds of pieces of content in order to get any kind of economy of scale in terms of free traffic.
That content needs to be optimized to the hilt. It needs to be shared socially. There are lots of things that make SEO and search rankings very, very difficult anymore.
So we turned to paid traffic marketing to scale our client's businesses.
With paid traffic marketing, you set up an ad, it gets approved in a couple of hours, that ad gets turned on... Then you're live!
After that, it's just making sure that the ad campaign and automated sales funnel is optimized. It's reading the analytics, making sure people are moving through the sales funnel the way they should, opting in, purchasing from a sales video, converting in the shopping cart, and getting fulfilled as a customer.
According to Ana Gotter of Adespresso, the average CPC (Cost Per Click) of Facebook Ads for all countries is about $0.97.
Of course, for some countries, it’s higher and for others, the CPC is lower.
If you are in countries that do see a higher CPC for Facebook (and likewise for Google), you’ll do well to have alternatives. Furthermore, if your business ads do not comply with Facebook’s or Google’s Ad policies, you are out of luck.
Also, for discerning business owners and tight-fisted marketing budgets, there’s a world of paid traffic sources outside of Facebook Ads and Google AdWords that you should consider. Also, a worthy addition to your arsenal are well-crafted promotional products...
We've totally gotta get into Facebook and Google though...
1. Facebook Advertising
With most of our clients, we're BIG on Facebook advertising. Facebook advertising, in our opinion, is one of the best paid traffic sources there is because it gives you instant access to great prospects and buyers. It is not as good as it used to be, though...
Facebook ads are much more expensive than they used to be, even a year ago. A lot of the targeting that we used to use, they took away. There's been a lot of ways that they've made the platform less reliable than it was previously.
Facebook advertising, however, still is fantastic, BUT only if you are using video campaigns. Video views campaigns are our bread and butter. I actually just recorded a little Facebook Video Ad example here. We create video view campaigns or video conversion campaigns for our clients, and there are two things we are looking for:
- Cheaper clicks from a video views campaigns
- A quick way of putting together lookalike audiences and retargeting audiences
Facebook's Video Ad Campaigns are great for both. When somebody watches 50% or more of the video, they then get put into an audience and we can build lookalike audiences based on that.
That is why we love video campaigns. All of our clients, we run video campaigns on, especially for the cold traffic ads. Sometimes it will be cold traffic as a video view campaign, and then the retargeted ad will be an image-based ad. It really just depends on as much video as we can possibly run, we run.
2. Google Advertising
About a year and a half ago, we started pushing our clients to move some of their ad budget off of Facebook because ad approval and overall campaign effectiveness started getting convoluted. If you've run Facebook Ad Campaigns in the last few years, you know that it's a lot more expensive now than it was previously.
So, we started to move clients back to our Google Ad Management Service.
Now, Google is our number two platform.
Google Ads represent a different type of traffic to advertisers.
Facebook Advertising is 100% interruption-based. Somebody is scrolling through their newsfeed, and then they're interrupted by your ad video / ad image / story, they click it, and then they're off and going down your automated sales funnel.
It's 100% interruption-based, and Facebook relies on interest targeting to make sure that it is serving the ad that people want to see.
Google Advertising is keyword-based.
So if somebody goes to Google and type a query into the search box, they are hoping to find an answer to their problem. They're interested in a solution. Then, your ad pops up and they assume that Google showed them that ad because your company fixes problems like theirs.
So everything on Google search intent-based.
Somebody has a problem, they search for an answer, and then 'boom' your ad shows up.
At the end of the day, Google Advertising is a solution-based ad network as opposed to Facebook Ads which is interruption-based.
... Which means two different types of traffic.
Neither is better. Google tends to be a little bit more expensive, usually, on a fully qualified lead basis than Facebook is... But you usually get a better lead on Google. So it really depends on what you're looking for.
I think the best strategy is to do both. To have a Google campaign, a Facebook campaign, and then you're hedging your bets by leveraging two of the biggest ad platforms in the world.
And then, we add in a third platform for retargeting.
3. Banner Retargeting
One of the platforms we use for our retargeting ad management clients is Adroll.
Adroll is a retargeting network. It's all they do - banner retargeting.
Inside Adroll, you throw your banners up and then they serve the banners to your retargeted audience through 70 or 80 other ad networks... Your banner ads then show up when somebody has your cookie in their browser and visits most other websites online.
Now, Adroll does also has Facebook retargeting advertising. We generally do not do Facebook retargeting in Adroll. It's cool, but the features pale in comparison to what's available inside FB.
... The nice thing about Adroll is it's an independent platform. So even if Facebook was to shut down your ad account, you don't lose all your retargeted data. You'll still have it in Adroll.
4. LinkedIn Advertising
The next paid traffic sources that are useful for this article is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has some really awesome new retargeting behaviors and that are coming out, like retargeted InMail. When somebody lands on your website, you can send them an InMail a couple of days later.
LinkedIn advertising is also interruption-based, but the prospect that you're getting in front of on LinkedIn is so good when you're selling a B2B product. The downside is LinkedIn Advertising is expensive. Ad costs are start very high per click, which means it might cost you 18 or $20 just to get an email lead. (Not all the different from radio and TV advertising prices!) In Facebook, it might cost $3 to get an email lead.
If your business serves other businesses, you are in luck with LinkedIn Advertising. For a long time, LinkedIn has been quietly building a massive and active database of professionals, employees, and business owners.
While LinkedIn appears largely passive (compared to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), it’s the single largest database of working professionals, company founders, and self-employed professionals in the world.
LinkedIn Ads has a self-serve ad platform allowing you to easily launch campaigns and target your relevant buyer persona. While LinkedIn might seem expensive at first glance, using appropriate sales funnels, staying tight with your budget, optimizing, and testing will get you the results you seek.
5. Twitter Advertising
While Twitter isn’t really like Facebook when it comes to the “stickiness factor,” it’s still a large network and is incredibly active.
Twitter Advertising is as good as new since there aren’t many advertisers on the platform yet, meaning that there’s a large inventory available for you to do paid advertising (just how many personal Twitter feeds did you think you could reach?).
Twitter Advertising was also the pioneer of the Facebook Lead Generation type campaigns where all that Twitter advertisers have to do after they see your ad (or offer) is to click on a button to sign up as a lead.
6. Mobile Advertising
Almost all of your customers have a mobile device. In fact, even for Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, a large percentage of engagement -- with ads or otherwise -- happens on mobile.
But that’s not what we are talking about. Social mobile PPC is one thing; but there’s more mobile advertising inventory available out there -- more than you'd know what to do with.
Large mobile advertising networks such as Chartboost, AdMob, Adcolony, Leadbolt, Unity Media are available -- with their own inventory of mobile publishers (apps, games, mobile websites etc.).
You also have access to real-time bidding networks for mobile; self-serve mobile ad platforms, such as PocketMath, and so much more are there for you to use, if you wanted to.
7. Native Advertising & Native Traffic
Two of the biggest native ad networks, or native traffic sources, are Outbrain and Taboola.
Outbrain and Taboola actually just published that they are going to be merging, creating an absolutely huge ad network for native ads.
If you're not familiar with native ads... Native ads show up at the bottom of blog posts and articles, disguised as 'related content.' They look like featured content or related posts on a blog.
One of the nice things about Outbrain and Taboola is that their policies are really pretty lax. You can get some things approved in Taboola and Outbrain that you just can't get approved anywhere else.
At the time of writing this, native advertising has also gone on to mobile in a big way and now has more formats than ever.
You could easily get started with native advertising by promoting a piece of content, blog post, or an article to get more targeted traffic instead of an actual ad.
As a paid traffic source, native advertising has potential simply because ads looks like “article recommendations.” Popular native advertising self-serve networks include Outbrain, Revcontent, Taboola, and Gravity.
8. Social Forum Advertising
If you’ve ever tried to get on Reddit (or one of its sub-reddits) and post a link to an article or a blog post in the hope of getting some traffic, you know just how snooty online community forums and communities can be if you tried to do that without first providing value.
As such, using online communities and forums such as Reddit and Quora requires a lot of time, effort, and altruism.
But with social forum ads such as Reddit Ads and Quora ads, you don’t have to spend time writing or trying to build a community. Just use their respective ad platforms and have access to millions of like-minded, passionate people.
The key to making your paid traffic sources work -- regardless of which traffic source you choose -- is to use proper sales funnels along with a judicious application of design, copywriting, and more.
If you’d like to learn more about lead generation (through AdWords or other paid traffic sources), be sure to check out our ultimate lead generation template.
Check out our Funnel Blueprint Series, and also be sure to check out our Attract. Engage. Profit Webinar
Would you like to get on a call to discuss your AdWords Management, Funnels, or Marketing? Get in touch with us now!
Which of these platforms or paid traffic sources will you be working with next?
So with that, if you have any questions at all on driving traffic, managing ad budget, and you want us to do it for you, click below!