When it comes to PPC advertising, no two networks are the same. This means that when you’re at the point of choosing which platform to use for your PPC campaign, it’s essential to understand where each platform excels and how to benefit from it.
There are five main PPC ad networks that most businesses rely on: Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising (also known as Bing Ads), YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
Depending on your campaign goals and business, one platform will likely be better suited for your PPC ad campaign than another. To help you determine which one that is, let’s dive into each network and look at the benefits they each provide.
Top PPC Networks For Businesses
1. Google Ads
Google Ads is perhaps the most well-known and reliable PPC ad network today. Millions of businesses worldwide use Google PPC because it’s a powerful and cost-effective way to promote your brand.
Google is accessible by users worldwide, meaning your PPC campaign can show up wherever you want it to. If you want to target marathon runners in a particular city or readers who own pets, Google Ads is equipped with the targeting technology to do that.
Positive and Negative Keywords
With Google Ads, you have the power to use both positive and negative keywords. While positive keywords are words that will trigger your ad when used in a search query, negative keywords do the opposite. They’ll prevent your PPC ad from being triggered for a search query that isn’t related to your business. This can be especially helpful if you notice certain searches keep triggering your ad and costing you money without earning you new leads.
Here’s the thing about Google Ads: Your ads don’t only show up on a Google search. Google has the widest reach across the internet and PPC ads that Google hosts will show up wherever your users are. Your ad will be posted on Google searches, on YouTube, on shopping sites, within mobile apps, and on the Google Display Network.
Different Ad Types
Google Ads also permits a wide variety of ad types: text, image, interactive, video. With a Google Ads campaign, your options are pretty unlimited. The cost per click will vary by keyword, but Google has a competitive pricing scheme so that you pay based on the quality of your ad and the keywords you choose. However, this does mean that the price will fluctuate.
Once you launch your PPC ad campaign through Google Ads, you can continue modifying and updating it as you get results. You aren’t limited to your first copy and instead, you’re encouraged to modify your PPC campaign based on the results you see.
2. Microsoft Advertising
Microsoft Advertising used to be known as Bing Ads and follows the model set by Google Ads. For each keyword you want to incorporate into your PPC ad campaign, you’ll place a bid and pay accordingly. You’ll notice the cost for certain keywords rise and fall with time, but if Microsoft Advertising ever becomes too expensive, you can drop keywords and no longer have to pay for them.
Like Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising allows very targeted audience selection. You can be extremely limited in who your ad shows up for, or you can be fairly open and let a wide audience view your PPC ad.
Unlike Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising will not show your ad across YouTube and other popular Google networks or ad platforms. Instead, it uses the Microsoft network of Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. Any sites that are Microsoft partners may also show your ad, but since fewer users access these search engines and platforms, your ad won’t have as broad of a reach as it would with Google Ads.
The one main advantage Microsoft Advertising has is that Bing is the automatic search engine used by Microsoft products. This means that most people with a Microsoft device will use Bing by default, and your ads will show automatically for your targeted audience.
With Microsoft Advertising, it’s important that your PPC ad appears as high quality within the Microsoft algorithm as Microsoft will display PPC ads in order of relevancy and quality. The higher the quality rating of your PPC ad, the higher up in the results your ad will show. Even within PPC networks, there’s a top spot, and you want your ad to show there to reach as many users as possible.
Easy Import From Google Ads
If you decide to switch from Google Ads to Microsoft Advertising, you can do so easily by importing your already created PPC ads. You’ll start over in terms of ad quality rating, but the import process is easy and prevents you from having to rewrite all of your PPC ads.
YouTube is already connected to the Google Ads network, but it also offers its own advertising platform. The platform sees about 2 billion users each month from all around the world, so your PPC ad will certainly reach a wide variety of people.
YouTube advertising only places ads on YouTube, so you are a bit more limited than with a larger network like Google Ads or even Microsoft Advertising, but it can be an effective way to increase your brand awareness and attract new customers.
With the YouTube advertising network, you’ll need to use the Google Ads platform to create and manage your PPC campaign. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you use Google Ads as your main network and allow your PPC ads to be displayed through YouTube instead of focusing solely on YouTube advertising. However, due to the nature of most YouTube ads, you might need to create ads uniquely for the platform.
Various Types of Ads
YouTube has several different types of PPC ads: skippable in-stream ads, unskippable ads, bumper ads, masthead ads, and video discovery ads. Depending on your product and the type of PPC ad you want to create, you can choose between the above options for how you want your PPC ad to appear.
Like Google Ads, YouTube allows you to get as specific with your target audience as you want. An advantage that YouTube has, though, is its similar audience feature. You can select this feature, and your PPC ad will appear for anyone with similar interests as someone within your target audience.
The similar audience feature analyzes user data and may show your ad for people that have similar interests on YouTube as someone who interacts with your ad. There is also an affinity audience feature that targets users that show an interest in products or topics related to your business.
As a major social platform, Facebook has a large daily user base that is great for targeted PPC ad campaigns. In fact, Facebook ads have been considered almost “too targeted” by the many users that happen across them. Facebook offers many PPC ad types such as video ads, single image ads, carousel ads, slideshow ads, and canvas ads for mobile.
Due to the many varieties of ads Facebook allows, your business is able to create any type of ad that you want. You can combine image ads with text ads or advertise through stories and playable, interactive ads. When creating your PPC ad for a Facebook marketing campaign, you’re really able to play with the media available to you until you’re happy with the ad outcome.
If you’re looking for a very targeted demographic, Facebook advertising will be able to find it for you. With detailed combing of users data, Facebook pinpoints their interests in a way that neither Microsoft Advertising nor Google Ads allows.
When you launch a Facebook PPC ad campaign, your ad will show across the Facebook network. While it is still expanding, this network currently consists of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.
Due to Facebook’s meticulous data combing, you’re able to limit your PPC ad campaign down to information such as recent life events, spoken language, specific interests, hometown, and even a user’s income and job title. As a social media site, people are readily updating their profiles to show this information and Facebook advertising knows how to use it.
With Facebook advertising, you’ll see results fairly soon compared to other networks. PPC ads always have quick results, but with Facebook, you’ll see results sooner. You’ll have to wait for your ad to be approved, but this is usually done within 24 hours and results are available a day or two later.
If you’re looking to target a younger audience than on Facebook, Instagram is the best option. The average user age is much lower and there are over a billion active users that access the social media platform everyday.
Since Instagram is part of the Facebook network, your PPC ad campaign will need to be created and managed through the Facebook Ads platform. However, with PPC ads placed on Instagram, you can target younger audiences and create PPC ads specifically for them.
Suppose an Instagram user has a Facebook account and has linked the two accounts together. In that case, you’ll be able to narrow down your target audience almost as if you were advertising on Facebook directly. The advantage here is that younger users are more likely to check their Instagram accounts than their Facebook accounts.
Instagram has two main ad placement locations: in stories and on a user’s feed. However, you aren’t limited to one type of ad. You’re free to use single images, carousel ads, videos, or a collection for users.
When it comes to Instagram, simply creating a social media account for your business may be enough to attract new users and earn new leads. Around 80% of Instagram users follow at least one brand account which means they’re already seeing posts from businesses on their regular feed. Combine this with a PPC ad campaign, and you’ll see an increase in customers rather soon.
With Instagram, advertising is all about imagery and videos which means that your PPC ads can stand out more. Text ads work well in Google Ads and search results, but on Instagram, you’ll need to focus your attention on creating appealing, eye-catching ads and less on the text associated with it.
There are numerous PPC ad networks used every day by businesses to reach new customers. While one platform may be more suitable for your advertising needs than another, you aren’t limited to only one. You can host PPC ad campaigns on Google Ads and specific social media sites, though you will have to pay for both.
In the case where your business is limited to only one network, your money is best spent on Google Ads. Google has a wider reach around the world and will host your ads on all social media platforms and websites that are within its network. To get the best advice for your specific business, call us today and our PPC experts will discuss how to best leverage the top PPC ad networks for your business.