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16 Best PPC Alternatives To Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Microsoft Ads

April 30, 2020
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written by Amber Dawson
Copywriter

Need an alternative PPC network? Try our list of 16 networks outside the Big Three including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Reddit.

Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Microsoft Ads are the biggest and most popular online advertising platforms for a reason – if you’re looking to advertise on there, we have plenty of PPC guides to help you get started. But if you’re after an alternative place to list your PPC ads, often for a fraction of the cost-per-click and a more specific audience, one of these may take your fancy.

This list of alternatives is regularly updated and designed to show you where you can promote your products and services via PPC.

1. Capterra

Capterra logo

Capterra is the ultimate software review site. It allows people to search for new software to make their lives easier, based on the trusted opinion of thousands. There are over 700 categories and 1,200,000 reviews covering sectors from accounting and retail to IT and project management.

Users typically spend a lot of time here, browsing and comparing programmes which provide a great opportunity if you want people to learn about your product. Each listing includes information about the software, pricing, features, reviews and more. Better yet, it compares similar companies alongside one another, making it even easier for customers to make an informed decision.

2. SourceForge

SourceForge logo

Another software-focused site you can advertise on is SourceForge. Boasting thousands of software and solutions for developers, this open source community platform is designed to be a hub for its 3.7 million registered users. SourceForge also promotes business software, so listing yours here is a strong way to get focused clicks.

Users will be of a particular demographic, and this allows you to get amongst the competition. Similar to Capterra, you can clearly display the benefits of your product in its profile, whilst easily comparing it to others.

Read: Capterra vs. SourceForge: Which Is Best For Software Advertising?

3. Quora

Quora logo

Quora is an American question-and-answer site where people submit questions that are then answered by internet users. All answers can be edited, meaning the answers can be both factual and opinion-based. People can add to and comment on other user’s submissions making it a community of people helping one another out.

With millions of daily visitors covering thousands of topics, you’re likely to find questions pertaining to your product or service. When this happens, you can Quora allows you to promote your business within its answers, allowing you to sandwich your advert between helpful information. This makes your offering appear a lot more organic and helps to convert those merely searching for information into customers.

4. Reddit

Reddit logo

Reddit is an online discussion site made up of forums, popular web content and social news. It collates daily news from around the web and divides it into ‘subreddits’ based on topics. Content is submitted by its dedicated user base, of which anyone can join, and works on a currency of upvotes. Posts that are most popular reach its frontpage, whilst its subreddits form online communities brought together by common interests.

Reddit ads are a great alternative, allowing you to target these highly-focused, passionate users in a place where they’re discussing a topic relating to your business. Campaign objectives can vary between discussion-starting and promoting products. With diverse communities from across the globe, Reddit may offer an audience you’re yet to tap into.

5. Outbrain

Outbrain logo

Outbrain claims to help over 1 billion people discover content, products and services that may be of interest to them. It’s native advertising approach (ads that blend into their surroundings) suits ads that prefer to be amongst similar content. Outbrain’s feed technology is utilised by media companies such as The Guardian, BBC and CNN, suggesting the platform as a whole is credible and worthwhile.

You can use Outbrain to distribute your own content or earned media. Their niches cover a wide variety from tech, fashion, business and politics. If you’re looking to market your content on sites that discuss topics related to your business, Outbrain is designed to amplify your reach.

6. Taboola

Taboola logo

Taboola is a content and discovery native advertising network. Similar to Outbrain, it populates the ‘recommended for you’ boxes found at the bottom of articles on the web. Their marketing strategy is based on reaching the right moments: targeting audiences when they’re most receptive to new messages.

7. Quuu Promote

Quuu Promote

Quuu Promote is a content promotion tool that gets your work shared on social media. It uses real people (not bots) to get your content shared across Google, Facebook and Twitter. It aims to drive leads by increasing the amount of engagement your posts get. Quuu Promote gets your content shared and then the rest is up to you. Whilst this tool is limited, it can be integrated into your existing social strategy.

8. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. The social media site is targeted towards businesses and is used by 675 million to connect with other professionals. Like most other social media sites, LinkedIn allows you to advertise on its feeds via sponsored content, messaging, text and dynamic ads. You can create an ad in minutes and narrow down from the 675 million users on there your exact target audience.

However, it does have a minimum spend cap of $10 per day per campaign – something which other sites don’t typically have. If you’re looking for a great B2B advertising platform, LinkedIn Ads can be quick and easy alternative to get started with.

9. Snapchat

Snapchat logo

Snapchat is a photo-based messaging app that is popular among younger demographics. Its audience is primarily female and aged between 18-24, offering a specific demographic to target with your advertising. Its ads are full-screen videos that run for up to 10 seconds and you can also sponsor its dedicated geofilters and lenses for location-based campaigns.

While Snapchat is popular for entertainment purposes, along with LinkedIn for networking, they aren’t typically used for PPC. This means there’s less competition when advertising your product or service, as your Snapchat ads won’t be hidden in a huge pool of businesses that might be similar to yours. Whilst this is only advantageous if your audience is on there, those that use the platform tend to do so on a daily basis, giving your ads maximum exposure.

10. Twitter

Twitter logo

Twitter is a popular social media site which allows users to share their thoughts via ‘tweets’ and connect with a big audience. It utilises hashtags to enable people to navigate different topics and engage with others who are discussing the same thing. Twitter is also the ideal PPC alternative for businesses who want to grow their following, drive traffic and generate leads, particularly those who are just started out online.

Its ads allow you to focus your efforts on content that is relevant to your business. You can also promote tweets, which is different to ads, as a quicker option. This is where you just put money behind an organic post to boost its reach. Twitter offers a lot of control over your advertising, so you can spend more time building out your campaigns.

Read: Snapchat Ads vs. Twitter Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads: Which Is Best For Paid Social?

11. Pinterest

Pinterest logo

Pinterest is a less popular social media site based upon images, GIFs and videos where users ‘pin’ things of interest to their own boards for inspiration and entertainment purposes. The platform is dedicated to highly visual content: ideal for aesthetically pleasing products. As a discovery platform, its audience are typically very open to new things and ideas – perfect for businesses whose products are a little more niche.

Pinterest provides a way of engaging with people at an early stage of your sales funnel. You can gain awareness and consideration from those researching their options and with a multitude of ad options, you can advertise pretty much anything you want.

12. Amazon

amazon

300 million people actively use Amazon, making it an excellent advertising platform as well as a global powerhouse. Amazon makes an ideal location to place your shopping ads as people are at the ‘ready to buy’ stage of their customer journey. Selling everything from technology, books and games to grass seed, paints and umbrellas, you can find pretty much anything on there.

This makes it an ideal marketplace for your business with ads that are likely to gain traction. Its ads are reserved just for those selling products that people can buy right this moment. Your Amazon PPC ads also help your organic listings on the site. So if you’re a product-focused business, you can adopt Amazon’s trustworthy reputation by advertising here.

13. Etsy

Etsy logo

Etsy is an e-commerce site that focuses on the sale of handmade, vintage and craft items. It is a popular platform for gifts with categories that range from jewellery and clothing to home decor and art. Etsy has a unique and specific target audience, and is popular amongst small business owners, often those who run everything by themselves.

On Etsy, you only pay for your ads when you make a sale, making it a risk-free way of promoting your products. They also offer Offsite Ads which work on the same principles as Etsy ads – designed for Etsy shop owners – but offer a wider reach to sites such as Google and Facebook.

14. eBay

eBay logo

eBay is an e-commerce site that offers consumer to consumer (C2C) and business to consumer (B2C) sales. Sellers list their products and people compete in a bidding war to purchase them. Sellers also have the option to make their goods available instantly with a ‘buy now’ option. eBay ads are designed to influence a customer’s journey based on shopping behaviour data from real users.

eBay has a lot to offer advertisers from promoted listings to banners which are great for getting lots of eyes on your business. Whilst being a product-focused site, you can also advertise your local business or services on there.

Read: Amazon vs. eBay vs. Etsy: Which Is Best For PPC Ads?

15. Adroll

adroll logo

Adroll is a digital marketing and growth marketing platform driven by artificial intelligence. It is designed to level the playing field for e-commerce brands by replacing the need for a marketing team with AI. 37,000 brands currently utilise Adroll to grow their brand awareness and lead generation.

The platform aims to give smaller businesses the tools, technology and expertise commonly accessed by bigger brands. Adroll is best used as part of a larger strategy across multiple channels and goals. It also has a focus on remarketing so you can ensure your PPC ads capture any lost customers.

16. Regital

regital logo

Regital helps advertisers improve performance through programmatic marketing. Its data-driven, audience-first view of marketing is aimed at brands, agencies and advertisers. The use of machines to purchase digital advertising space can be beneficial to those who need data to point them in the right direction.

PPC is most effective when it’s highly targeted, but some brands don’t have the data to know what this is. Programmatic marketing is difficult to set up alone, so ready-made software can enhance your marketing strategy a lot quicker.

Make the most of what’s out there

On the way are full guides to each advertising platform and in-depth details of what business are best suited to each. Check this list again in the future as we’ll be adding more PPC alternatives to the list. There are so many places to advertise – our aim is to cover as many as possible so you don’t miss out on the best type of customers for your business.

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