3 Advertising Platforms Media Agencies Might Be Missing

Digital marketers know that in order to reach a variety of customers, they need to advertise on an array of different platforms.

Companies traditionally turn to Google, LinkedIn and Facebook when they want to run digital ads, but competition can be steep — and expensive.

As the world continues to move more online, media agencies need to cast a wider net with their digital advertising strategies and that includes embracing some less traditional ad platforms. We will detail some of the best advertising platforms you might be missing out on.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

Types of Digital Ads

Paid Search

Paid search advertising refers to digital ads placed on search engine results pages (SERPs) like those from Google or Bing.

These ads typically appear in text format at the top and bottom of organic search results, and are indicated as ad results (in small green font for Google).

Paid search results usually operate on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, meaning that you only pay for the ad once search engine users have clicked on it.

Display Ads

Display ads are digital advertisements that typically contain images, text, and a link that directs customers to additional information or a digital shopping cart.

These ads can consist of static images, multiple images, videos, and changing text. One of the most common types of display ads are banner ads that appear at the top of websites.

Native Ads

Native ads differ from display ads in that they are designed to blend in with other content on website pages. They are legally required to contain the text “sponsored,” but often appear as seamless content in website, news, or blog feeds.

While they can be effective, native ads do run the risk of offending customers who feel tricked or camouflaging too much of the brand.

Social Ads

As the name implies social ads are hosted on social media platforms. They can appear as photos, videos, stories, promoted posts, and even camera filters.

These are among the most engaging ads and often produce high conversion rates because there is so much actionable data surfaced through platforms that require personalized user profiles.

With that in mind, here are some of the underused advertising platforms that media agencies might be missing.

3 Ad Platforms You Might Be Missing

A lot goes into deciding what kind of ads you want to use and where you want to place them. You need to consider the type and format, your target audience, and what your budget is for both ad spend and the design and production of the ads themselves. For example, a text only ad costs less to produce than a 30-second video ad.

We’ve compiled information about some of the lesser-known digital ad platforms to help you decide which ones might be of the greatest benefit to your business.

Instagram

Instagram may be owned by Facebook parent company Meta, but the photo-sharing giant differs from Facebook when it comes to ads. 

Because Instagram is a primarily visual platform, you’ll want to ensure your ads and promoted content blend seamlessly with users’ scrolling experience. The content itself should stand out because it’s engaging — not because it jolts the user out of the app’s experience. 

Ads on Instagram are clickable (unlike regular posts), which can be great for driving traffic and sales — but keep in mind that Instagram users are not accustomed to clicking. It’s very much a scroll and double tap app, unlike Facebook.

And while Facebook Ads may have more robust insights and targeting capabilities, Instagram is still a viable option if you want to target younger audiences. While younger generations do tend to use both Facebook and Instagram, the majority of Generation Z and Millennials prefer Instagram

More than 60% of Instagram users fall between 18 and 34, while more than 50% of Facebook users are above the age of 35. So if you’re looking to target a younger audience, Instagram ads are definitely worth having in your arsenal.

TikTok

TikTok: it’s not just for viral dances anymore! The video-centric app has exploded globally in the last few years — and with that comes a massive market for advertisers.

The sheer number of users should make advertisers pay attention. The app has one billion monthly active users. 43% of them are aged 18-24, and women in that age group make up 25% of the platform’s advertising audience. Hootsuite also found that the advertising reach compared to population was extremely high in the Middle East and Asia.

So, if you are targeting younger, female-skewing customers or looking to expand business in regions like the Middle East and Asia, TikTok could be a particularly lucrative ad platform for you.

Some of the ad types available to businesses on TikTok include image ads, video ads, and spark ads. Managed brands (companies who work with a TikTok sales rep) also have options like TopView ads, branded hashtag challenges, and special stickers and filters available to them, as well. TikTok Promote also allows you to “boost” existing content, similar to Facebook Boost.

Reddit

As one of the top ten most popular websites on the internet, Reddit’s vast scope can be as useful as it is intimidating. Luckily, there is an audience for absolutely everything on Reddit, so you can narrow down your advertising goals to the subreddits and topics most suited to your product or business.

As HubSpot notes, this will require a lot of legwork and research. Find out what topics are most important to your customers, where those topics are discussed on Reddit, and how active particular communities are. This should give you a base understanding of where you can best reach your target audience.

The nature of Reddit and its users is not conducive to posting spam or self-promotion. Instead, you’ll want to invest in the communities you engage with by sharing a variety of relevant content other than your own. This organic interaction can help build trusting and long-term customers — and it won’t cost you anything.

When it comes to ad spend, you can also go the route of paid promoted posts on Reddit. However, it’s important to note that although Reddit can be great for brand awareness, without the initial research, community-building, and engagement, these posts can fall flat.

It’s also worth noting that Reddit differs from many of its social competitors in that more than two-thirds of its users are male. Majority of its users are between the ages of 18 and 49. So, keep those stats in mind when deciding if Reddit is the right platform for your next ad campaign.

Final Thoughts

User demographics, as well as the ad building functions within popular platforms are constantly changing and evolving. Who knows — in a few years maybe Boomers will have gotten the hang of TikTok!

As such, it’s important to frequently conduct updated research to ensure that you’re reaching the right audiences for your business. Ad platforms like Instagram and TikTok skew younger and female, while Reddit is used significantly more by Millennial males. 

There’s no perfect formula, but demographics and app mechanics can be crucial to ensuring you choose the right platforms to advertise on. So, next time you are looking to build a digital ad campaign, consider turning to the aforementioned platforms and see how they compare with the old standards like Google and Facebook.

Mesh Payments can help your team manage ad spend with uniquely customizable virtual cards and SaaS insights. Book a demo to learn more.

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