Facebook ads are the behemoth that everyone is using these days. If you’ve been marketing using Facebook ads, then you know that their prices have gone up. Anytime prices go up, that means profits go down. Online marketers tend to gravitate towards Facebook ads because it has all of the hype.

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You should know that there are other platforms where you can advertise. For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to break down these platforms into two types. Those two types will be, social media and traditional pay per click advertising.

Social media marketing:

Let’s get social media marketing out of the way first. Social media is an ever increasingly popular place to advertise. People spend a staggering amount of time at their favorite social networking sites. Some people spend more time talking to others on social media than they do their own family.

  • Twitter

Twitter is used by almost a quarter of all Americans. While its numbers pale in comparison to Facebook, it shouldn’t be overlooked. It offers an excellent opportunity for you to reach new customers. Twitter is a unique platform in that its users post short messages. You should open up a free account to understand how Twitter users are different than those found on other social media platforms. It’s a good idea to get yourself familiar with any social networking platform before you buy advertising on it. Twitter more so than the rest because there is a certain mentality that you have to follow.

  • Reddit

Most people are going to overlook Reddit and skip it altogether. You can buy advertising there. Reddit users tend to be savvier when it comes to the internet. You will find that the average Reddit user is much different than those found on other platforms. They tend to be smarter and more reluctant to buy. But, this is a source of excellent niche traffic. Converting it is difficult, but not impossible.

  • Instagram

Yes, Instagram is owned by Facebook. It’s an entirely different social media platform. Instagram has caught on over the past few years. For whatever reason marketers seem to overlook it right away. It’s about so much more than sharing pictures of what you just ate for supper. You can drive very niche specific traffic to your offers. The critical thing is zeroing in on your exact niche. You’re going to get burnt if you go too broad. A laser-like focus is required if you want to be profitable.

  • Pinterest

Do you think Pinterest is nothing more than a bunch of women looking at shoes? If that’s what you think of Pinterest, then it’s time to change that. Yes, it’s true that Pinterest does have more women visitors than the other sites. While it is best to promote things geared towards women, there’s still plenty of other opportunities. It could be said that the real untapped goldmine is the male traffic the site has. Marketers immediately go elsewhere when they want to get traffic for things that a male audience would be interested in. While the traffic may be low for items catering to men, the fact it’s an untapped market may make it cheaper to buy.

  • YouTube

Is YouTube a social networking site? This one is up for debate. There are definite social media aspects of it. For example, people do comment on videos. Sometimes the comments people leave are more entertaining the videos themselves. YouTube is the second most visited site on the entire internet. Anyone who watches a video does so at YouTube. If you’re in the mood to watch videos, YouTube is where you do it. You don’t even think about going to the other sites to watch videos. It’s entirely possible you don’t even know what the other video sharing sites are.

YouTube has many different advertising options. You don’t have to make videos to advertise on YouTube. It’s debatable whether or not you should stick to getting traffic to your videos. It probably all depends on if you’re trying to develop your channel or a brand off of YouTube.

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Buying shoutouts from influencers:

Let’s step back for a minute and not be social site specific. Now we’re going to talk about buying shoutouts or product reviews from influencers. There are those in your niche in the world of social media that sell shoutouts. You can use a service like BuzzSumo to find out who the influencers in your niche are. A free method is to search a social media site using your keywords and see who continuously talks about them.

Before paying anyone, you want to make sure they are an influencer. Buying fake followers and reposts is possible. The critical thing you’re going to want to see is the influencer interacting with their audience. Each post they make needs to have interaction. If there is no interaction, then the account is probably not worth buying mentions from.

There is no guide on how much you should spend on a mention. You may be able to get away with just offering a free sample to the influencer. Though, most will more than likely want some form of monetary reimbursement for mentioning your product or service.

Other pay per click traffic sources:

Now let’s turn our focus on other sources of pay per click traffic. Some of these sources will not be able to deliver the type of volume that social media can.

  • Google Ads

AdWords is the most well-known source of pay per click traffic. You can advertise right on Google search results. It’s also possible to advertise on Google’s partner pages. If you limit your ads to only search results, you’ll end up getting less exposure. But, Google is the most visited site on the internet. Some believe that Google traffic is as good as gold. Converting this traffic isn’t as simple as many people would like to think.

The only way to achieve good results is by zeroing in on your niche. Don’t buy traffic for the sake of numbers and that’s it. A visitor who buys nothing is worthless to you. It’s entirely possible to spend upwards of several dollars for one click. As you can imagine clicks that don’t convert will quickly drain your bank account.

  • Bing

You can advertise on Bing. It’s the same as advertising on AdWords. There are two main differences, and they are costs and traffic volume. Bing traffic tends to be cheaper per click, but there’s also less of it. The savings may make it more worthwhile to check out Bing first. Just keep in mind you’re going to get less traffic than you would with AdWords. There is a tradeoff, and for some businesses, it’s well worth it.

Since you’re dealing with smaller amounts of traffic, you may want to target many more keywords. Managing a large number of keywords sounds like a more daunting task on paper than it is in real life. You can efficiently manage fifty or more keywords.

It all depends on how much time you have to spend on marketing. This may be one of those tasks in the beginning that you hand off to a marketing agency. You can watch what they do and try your best to reverse engineer it.

  • PropellerAds, OutBrain, and Taboola

None of these three are search engine related like AdWords and Bing Ads. PropellerAds is a source of traffic that may be considered by some as less quality. It’s all about the price you’re paying and how it coverts. At the end of the day, if you’re making a profit, nothing else really matters. It’s well worth checking them out if you have a little extra cash to throw around.

You’ve seen both OutBrain and Taboola before. Their ads are usually at the bottom of news stories and other sites. The ads tend to be very off the wall. If you have a unique item, this might be a way to go. They only work with sites that get a lot of traffic. Bizarre items and quirky ads are the best way to profit from either of these traffic sources.

You’re going to have to do a lot of split testing:

Very few people create an advertisement that works right out of the box. You’ll have to continuously split test everything to see if it’s possible to improve your conversions. Your ads will need to be split tested and so will where the people land.

You may find that sending them to a landing page works better than directly a store listing. You’re going to have to follow the entire process from click to checkout to see if there are any bumps along the way.

Buying traffic is very tricky, and most fail at their first attempts. You are going to burn through several thousand dollars before getting the hang of it. You may get lucky and only spend a few hundred before finding an ad that works. You’re probably going to end up spending several thousand before finding the ad that works the best.

Scale up fast when your ad works:

The good news about failure is, it enables you to learn what works. After you find what works, then exploit it. If an ad is making a good return on your investment, then pump all the money you can into it. As long as it’s profitable, don’t stop. Keep on going until the profits start to decline. This is the secret to buying advertising.

You have to keep failing until you hit the jackpot. Once you find an ad that works, milk it dry. That is what every successful marketer does. They too fail, and it happens a lot. What separates you from them is usually they have deeper pockets. They can burn through thousands of dollars without any concerns. Then when the perfect ad strikes gold, they’ll run it until the conversions start to dwindle.