What paid advertising best suits my business needs [2018 Updated!]

With (paid) digital advertising being one-quarter of total media investment and reporting worldwide a $137.53 billion spend in 2014, it has become one of the most popular go-to networks for any business looking to grow and reach new customers, whatever the size or value of the organization. Consequently, off-line advertising has been left in a secondary plane.

However, currently the options are many and as a business decision maker can be hard to identify the ideal online channel to build a paid campaign on. This article aims to help you find the most suitable platform to advertise your company online.

Google Adwords

The largest and most used online advertising platform is Google AdWords. Managed by Google (95% of Google’s total revenue comes from advertising), allows advertisers to reach users across the search network and the display network, and is currently the first choice of over 1.2 million businesses. Well built, a Google Adwords campaign tends to report positive results.

The average Click-through-rate for a Google ad is 3.16% (higher than most of the options we will see below), and the CTR for a desktop search ad on Google in the first position is 19.3%. Google Ads is clearly the safest option nowadays and it allows to monitor closely budget and ROI, two crucial features for a business owner.


Running an ads campaign on the Search Network is the most popular form of online advertising within Google. Your ads will then be displayed on Google SERPs, a very effective way to advertise considering your ad has been triggered due to a user searching something.

example of google ad in serp

Google Adwords is not as intuitive as it might seem, and that is the main disadvantage of the platform. When setting up a Google Adwords account you actually need to know what you are doing, or you could be easily throwing away hundreds of pounds. 


On the other hand, Google allows advertisers to position their ads on a selection of sites across Internet. Their network reaches over 1 million websites across the Google Ad Display Network. This can be effective for your company if the product you sell is appealing to the eye, as it allows to display image ads, although CTR for Display ads tends to be fairly lower than Search ads. example of a display ad
However, recent statistics are not particularly encouraging for Google’s Display. Banner Snack reported that 54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them and 33% of internet users find display ads intolerable. A good option that Google Display offers is remarketing, an effective way to show ads to users who have previously visited your website. A study from Digital Information World revealed that users who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert. Considering the average person spends 28% of his/her time on social networks, the following Social Media platforms can’t be ignored when trying to define the best platform to reach our audience:

Facebook Ads

Facebook is the biggest Social Media platform with over 2.2 billion people logging in every month. Its advertising features have been running for a few years now and the American network recently revealed that has 6 million active advertisers (4th quarter 2017). The main appeal to choose Facebook is clearly the level of targeting that this platform allows. Facebook has been collecting information about us for years and businesses can now target and reach Facebook users by age, location, age, demographics, interests, gender and behavior.

example of a facebook ad on mobile

An incredibly powerful tool if you are aiming to target a very specific customer. Furthermore, Facebook has a very easy to use layout, allowing business owners to create and manage ad campaigns without problems. One the latest trend and opportunity for advertisers are messenger chatbots.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn is certainly an interesting option if your product or service benefits business owners or professionals. With 450 million users worldwide, LinkedIn is the number 1 network for working professional and from an advertisement point of view it offers fantastic features to target your audience by title, company, company size, industry or by geographic targeting.

example of an ad in linkedin

Instagram Ads

Instagram, owned by Facebook, is currently one of the most popular Social Media platforms. Like its parent Facebook, it allows advertisers to target a very specific audience and can be very useful for companies who are looking to reaching certain segment of the population.

example of an instagram ad on mobile

Instagram can be an effective advertising platform for businesses with strong and appealing visual assets, who are looking to attract a younger audience. Its unobtrusive ads (they look like a normal shared image) have reported an average CTR of 0.4%, which considering its age should be seen as positive.


Twitter Ads
example of a twitter ad on mobile

Finally, Twitter opened its doors to sponsored tweets in 2010. 6 years later it has reported 130,000 advertisers, far from the 2 million Facebook currently has. Seen by most as the briefest of the Social Media channels, it allows advertisers to disguise an ad as a “promoted tweet”. Especially effective in Mobile and used to boost articles and commercial promotions, the American network claimed an engagement rate between 1% and 3%.  



The 7 networks we’ve mentioned will hopefully give you a better understanding of the options you currently have to advertise your business online. If you have any questions or want to discuss what is the most suitable choice to grow your business through paid advertising, get in touch with us!   Sources: https://blog.sumall.com/ https://blog.hubspot.com/ https://www.wishpond.com/ https://audiense.com/ https://www.bannersnack.com/ https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/    

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    Chris Simmance, Marketing Consultant and International Keynote Speaker


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