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What Paid Media Platforms Should Your Business Use for Advertising?

Blog / Aug 23, 2021

What Paid Media Platforms Should Your Business Use for Advertising?

Hawra Hashem

Have you been wondering which social media and advertising platforms are best for your business? Where do you have the most potential to find like-minded humans interested in what you have to offer them? Which platforms will give you the most room to grow and build a loyal community?

These are all marvelous questions that we can’t wait to dive into in today’s post. Let’s get right to it.

Paid Media vs. Paid Social: What’s the Difference?

Paid media is a method businesses use to promote their content on different platforms. Rather than gain exposure by organic means, organizations can pay to reach more people through social media ads and search engine advertising.

Examples of paid media include sponsored posts on social media, display ads on websites, and paid search results on search engines. Using paid media, you can reach a larger audience, build brand awareness, generate more traffic to your website, and convert leads into customers.

Paid social is a form of paid media. Paid media encompasses advertising on various platforms (search engines, websites, and social media). Paid social, however, focuses on social media channels like Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Why Should Brands Leverage Paid Media?

We recommend leveraging the power of paid media in your business using a multi-channel approach.

Imagine that you only have a business website and run Google ads to drive extra traffic. This may work for some businesses. But we would argue that this setup may not be as effective as, say, a cross-channel approach that connects Google, your website, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Pretend you own a consulting firm. Most of your clients are on Facebook or LinkedIn – if not both. And they all use Google for quick answers to their questions.

Having a presence on all three social media platforms gives you a greater opportunity to create touchpoints throughout a potential client’s buyer’s journey. Let’s say a lead – named Roger – sees your ad on Google and clicks to visit your website. He browses for a while and decides to look you up on Facebook to get to know you better.

He also checks your credentials and work history on LinkedIn to ensure you’re legit. After researching for a few weeks, he’s satisfied with what he’s learned and decides to fill out a contact form on your website to set up a consultation.

By being present on multiple channels and giving Roger the right messaging at the right time, you won a new lead who is well on his way toward becoming a loyal client. And you’ve achieved this by having a cohesive paid media and organic content strategy.

Which Paid Media Platforms are Best to Advertise on?

The answer to this question depends on your business, the strategies you want to use, and where your audience spends time. Certain brands will thrive on Facebook and Google, while others will resonate better with their target audience on TikTok and Snapchat.

To help you decide where you belong and can have the most significant impact, we’ll give you an overview of the benefits and demographics of each major advertising and social platform.

Google

We’ll start with Google since it’s the outlier – being the only search engine on the list.

Google gets billions of daily interactions and millions of unique visitors. It’s also the most popular website that exists, which is probably no surprise.

Google Ads is the search engine’s paid advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC), platform. With it, your business can drive traffic from the search engine’s homepage straight to your website. You can target your ideal audience and analyze and improve your ads over time.

Paid ads on Google get 65% of clicks and have a click-through rate of about 8%. Those numbers are huge.

Demographics and Other Stats

  • Share of the market: 38% on desktop and 93.87% on mobile (compared to Baidu, Bing, and Yahoo!)
  • Types of Google Ads: Search, display, shopping, video, app
  • Industries: All, B2C and B2B

Source: Google Ads

Next, we’ll dive into advertising on social media.

Snapchat

What makes Snapchat stand out is the number of times its users open the app during the day: a whopping 30 times on average! Like TikTok, it’s a favorite among teens. It’s also a great place to identify trends among younger consumers.

With Snapchat ads, you can encourage users to take immediate action (e.g., set up a hair appointment or order a pizza) or build brand awareness for a more long-term strategy.

Demographics and Other Stats

  • Largest age group: 13-34
  • Gender: 58% female
  • Snapchat ads: Snap ads, Story ads, filters, Collection ads, lenses, commercials
  • Industries: Restaurants, schools, gyms, salons, music, food and beverage, makeup

Source: Snapchat

Twitch

Twitch is a live-streaming app primarily for gamers. However, the platform is expanding its audience by highlighting food, music, crafts, and more.

Currently owned by Amazon, Twitch has around 140 million monthly users, and its users are glued to their screens. About half of them spend more than 20 hours per week (or 95 minutes per day) on the platform.

Consider advertising on Twitch if you want to engage with users in real time, connect in more personal ways than you would on other social platforms, and partner with influencers that can sway users’ opinions to your advantage.

Demographics and Other Stats

  • Largest age group: 13-34
  • Gender: 65% male
  • Twitch ad types: Cross screen video, homepage carousel, desktop video, medium rectangle, homepage headliner, multilayer ads, mobile video, super leaderboard, SureStream

Source: Twitch

Facebook

Facebook has faced controversy and frustrated many business owners to no end with its ever-changing algorithm. But it’s still the most-used social media platform. With 2.7 billion monthly active users spending an average of 38 minutes on the channel daily, Facebook is still going strong.

And while many youngsters think Facebook has become inundated with “old people,” the largest demographic remains on the younger side. Since Facebook has been established for quite a while now, people of all ages have grown comfortable with it. It’s a go-to for many consumers and businesses wanting to connect with others and read and share articles.

Facebook Ads can help businesses in any industry build brand awareness, encourage users to consider your offerings, and boost leads and conversions.

Demographics and Other Stats

  • Largest age group: 25-34
  • Gender: 56% male
  • Facebook advertising options: Video ads, photo ads, stories, slideshow ads, carousel ads, collection ads, Messenger ads, Playable Ads
  • Industries: B2B and B2C

Source: Hootsuite

Instagram

Like Facebook, Instagram can help you move prospects through every stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. Instagram and Facebook ads also allow you to target your ideal customer and create lookalike audiences.

Instagram has around 1 billion monthly users who spend an average of 29 minutes on the app per day. Instagram Story ads perform well for many brands, and many businesses find success running cross-channel ads on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously.

Influencers also play a prominent role in Instagram advertising. If you run a B2C business that sells products, Instagram could be a good option for you. 70% of shopping enthusiasts use Instagram to discover new products, and 87% of people say an influencer has persuaded them to make a purchase.

Demographics and Other Stats

  • Largest age group: Millennials
  • Gender: 57% female
  • Paid advertising on Instagram: Video, photo, carousel, collection
  • Industries: Photography, lifestyle, fitness, travel, cosmetics, food and beverage, ecommerce

Source: Instagram

TikTok

TikTok is still taking off, but it already has close to 700 million users worldwide. It has a younger consumer base than many other platforms but is starting to see growth among adults. It’s a fun, exciting, and creative network for anyone wanting fast entertainment.

If you’re looking to build a loyal following in an unconventional space, TikTok may be the platform you’ve been searching for.

Demographics and Other Stats

  • Largest age group: Gen Z and millennials
  • Gender: 53% male
  • TikTok paid ads: In-feed videos, Hashtag Challenges, Brand Takeover, Branded AR Content, custom influencer packages
  • Industries: Entertainment, beauty and skincare, DIY, fashion, fitness, sports, outdoor, pets, food and beverage, life hacks, advice

Source: TikTok

Other Social Media Platforms for Business Advertising

Don’t forget these other social media giants when devising your strategy.

  • Twitter: Good for B2C and B2B businesses targeting professionals working in retail, technology, finance, and the travel industry. The platform has 187 million daily active users, 68% of which are male. Twitter users are also highly educated and high earners overall.
  • YouTube: If you work in arts and entertainment, health and fitness, technology, DIY, gardening, SaaS, travel and hospitality, education, healthcare, or ecommerce, you should have an active video marketing strategy. YouTube has 2 billion monthly users.
  • LinkedIn: With 738 million users, this professional channel can help you reach B2B businesses and other professionals in the legal, IT, and manufacturing industries. If you’re targeting an older and wealthier demographic, consider LinkedIn.

Learn More About Paid Social Media Advertising

Want more expert tips on advertising on various paid media platforms? Check out these stellar guides.

Demographics sources included Sprout Social and Hootsuite.