Pay per click ads can be a great way to jump start an online marketing campaign while you wait for your SEO efforts to begin making a difference and as an ongoing part of an overall marketing campaign.
For a small business however the best known of the pay per click options – Google and Bing – have become very expensive, often far too much so. And yet it can still be tempting to make the investment because pay per click is, if you get the keywords right, often very effective. So it leaves a small business owner with a bit of a dilemma – should they really buy into a pay per click Google or Bing campaign that they really cannot afford in the hope that the ROI will make sense?
Before making that decision though small business owners should also realize that there are alternatives to running pay per click ads with these giants that are cheaper and still effective. Here are some of those:
Facebook Ads – Although Facebook ads are going up in price in some cases they offer very direct targeting – by age, sex, location, interests and more – so you can make sure you are really advertising to the right demographic. If you have a good Facebook presence already and have learned how to engage an audience there then Facebook ads are still less expensive than Google or Bing and can be even more effective if you know who your target audience really is.
Promoted Twitter Tweets – Some small business advertisers are reporting great success with promoted tweets as well as the ability to get some bargain pricing. The successes that these companies are talking about also seem to have a two fold benefit as they are bringing conversions and an increase in the number of followers the promoted company has. Again, you do need to be fairly twitter savvy already for this to work.
Reddit Ads – Although Reddit has been around for a while with the demise of its rival Digg it has really come into its own as a true social network over the last few months. PPC advertising there brings you into contact with what is usually a very engaged and opinionated audience. And the prices are still very low compared to many other options.
Shopping Specific Search – If yours is a retail business advertising with a shopping specific search site like Shopzilla or Pricegrabber can be an effective alternative to Google Shopping.