Top 10 Alternatives to Facebook & Google Ads

Updated: May 5


Photo by inlytics | LinkedIn Analytics Tool on Unsplash


When it comes to driving traffic and boosting conversions, advertising with Google and Facebook against the backdrop of rising Cost-Per-Click (CPC) often feel like the only option on the table. While tech giants may own the lion’s share of attention, they are not the only platforms which users are excited to spend time on.


If you are a small business without a large pile of cash to burn through, here are 10 alternative advertising platforms to get the most bang for your marketing buck.



#1 Bing Ads (Microsoft Advertising)


Who is it for

Businesses looking to maximize their limited budget.


Why use it

Stretch every marketing dollar by taking advantage of Bing’s lower CPC. When advertising with Bing, your ads can be displayed on not one, but three Search Engines: Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. According to marketing legend Neil Patel, Bing currently has more than 133 million users worldwide. That’s almost half the population of the United States. What’s more surprising is that Bing now accounts for roughly 23% of searches happening online and Bing ads often experience a higher average click-through-rate (CTR) than their Google counterparts. By not advertising on Bing, you are leaving money on the table while serving up a huge percentage of your target market to your competitors on a silver platter.


Best targeting feature

Allows advertisers to be ultra specific in targeting. Bing’s demographic targeting provides more granularity by allowing you to fine-tune your search demographics and adjust your bids accordingly. (eg. increase bid for female aged 25 to 34)


Available Ad formats

Paid Search and Display Ads.



#2 Linkedin Ads


Who is it for

Recruitment, higher education, and high-value B2B products and services.


Why use it

Laser-focus targeting for specific groups of audience. Be it hiring for a particular marketing role, or selling Saas products to help professionals streamline workflow, Linkedin’s targeting allows you to bypass uninterested groups and focus solely on marketing to your ideal prospects.


Best targeting feature

Linkedin allows you to target users of specific professional traits and education backgrounds who are more likely to be interested in your products/services.


Available ad formats

Text ads, inMail ads, native ads, dynamic ads, and programmatic display ads.



#3 Pinterest Ads


Who is it for

Food, home decor, handmade goods, and e-commerce businesses selling high-end products.


Why use it

Pinterest found that users who interact with a Promoted Pin on average spend 7 times more than others. It’s interesting to note that 87% of Pinterest users have purchased a product through the platform. With women being the overwhelming majority of users, it is the perfect place for women-focused brands to direct their marketing efforts.


Best targeting feature

Promoted pins give you that extra visibility while letting you reach the right audience at the right time based on locations, demographics, and devices. Just like advertising on other search engines, there’s no better time to engage users who are searching for products similar to yours.


Available ad formats

Standard display ads, video ads, shopping ads, carousel ads.



4# TikTok Ads


Who is it for

Larger businesses with a bigger budget should consider investing in TikTok. It’s been reported that the general cost of advertising on TIkTok ranges from $50,000 to $120,000. If you are a small business, opt for the self-service option and promote your brand using In-Feed Video ($50USD min/campaign) option while you wait for the general advertising cost for TikTok to drop to a more accessible range..


Why use it

Study conducted by Influencer Marketing hub showed that TikTok has the highest social media engagement rates across 100,000 user profiles, mostly persons below the age of 29. With users spending roughly 45 minutes on the app daily, the potential for brands to get their message in front of a large audience is tremendous.


Besides some extra room for creativity, advertising on Tik Tok is an absolute time-saver as the same ad can be posted on other social media and ecommerce platforms as well. You may also choose to have your ads shown on partner apps besides TikTok, such as BuzzVideo (Japan), TopBuzz (US and BR), Babe (Indonesia), and News Republic (Worldwide).


Best targeting feature

Geo-location targeting. A report from Later discovered that live videos are often shown to users in the same geo-location first, which has great potential for smaller businesses when it comes to increasing local brand awareness.


Available ad formats

In-Feed video, Brand Takeover, Hashtag Challenge, Branded AR content, Custom Influencer Package



5# Reddit Ads


Who is it for

Brands targeting males between the age of 18 to 29. Though Reddit users are predominantly males, there’re many subreddits such as AskWomen and XXFitness that are largely targeted towards women etc.


Why use it

According to a recent 2019 study, Reddit’s daily pageviews per visitor is 3 times that of Facebook’s. A Pew Research study also found that 62% of posts on Reddit linked to other websites. As Reddit users are constantly searching for fresh content on subreddits or other websites, a little research prior to crafting an ad would allow you to channel quality traffic to your website.


Best targeting feature

Subreddits that are highly relevant to your products/services are a goldmine for lead generation. Each subreddit is made up of users who already possess a high level of interest in the topic related to your products/services.


Available ad formats

Promoted post and video, category takeover, front page takeover, trending takeover, Reddit takeover



#6 Quora Ads


Who is it for

Brands offering niche products/services.


Why use it

With more than 200 million users, Quora has a user base comparable to Pinterest and Twitter. As the platform is saturated with users seeking solutions to particular challenges or questions, you’ll be able to reach the right users at the right time. Moreover, with no minimum spend required to get started, small businesses are able to experiment with different strategies to discover what works best.


Best targeting feature

Like Google, Quora’s Contextual Targeting option allows users to reach high intent users directly via relevant topics, keywords, or questions.


Available ad formats

Image Ad, Text ad, Promote an Answer



#7 Outbrain Ads


Who is it for

Brands that can afford spending $10/day or $300/month on advertising.


Why use it

Crowned native advertising platform of the year at Native Advertising Institute 2021 Awards, Outbrain’s offering of non-intrusive native ads have enabled businesses to engage their audience effectively at every stage of the buying journey. Besides the ability to slip past ad blockers, Outbrain’s native advertising approach shows contextualized and seamless ads to the right users at the right time.


Best targeting feature

Outbrain’s Interest Targeting feature lets you select your desired target audience segment based on topics that interest your customers the most; providing you a higher level of granularity when selecting where your ads should appear. In the case of TacoTax, the result was spectacular. Using Outbrain’s Interest Targeting feature, TacoTax was able to acquire for the high quality leads at a lower acquisition cost with an average of -44% CPL.


Available ad formats

Display ads, carousel ads, native image and video ads.



#8 Taboola Ads


Who is it for

Brands that can afford spending $10/day or $300/month on advertising.


Why use it

Similar to Outbrain, advertisers can harness the power of native advertising and push the right message to the right audience at the right time. Taking advantage of Taboola’s world-class AI technology, advertisers are able to reach top-of-funnel audiences when they’re in “discovery mode”, and are most open to new and exciting content. .


Best targeting feature

Taboola Pixel allows you to identify your very own Attentive Audience for remarketing purposes. By remarketing to an audience that has already shown interest in your brand, the chances of conversion becomes significantly higher.


Available ad formats

Native display and video ads.



#9 Twitter Ads


Who is it for

Native image ads and video ads.


Why use it

You only pay when you’ve achieved your marketing objective (eg. app installs, follows etc).


Best targeting feature

Twitter’s keyword targeting option allows advertisers to speak directly to users who have demonstrated interest and intent based on their interaction with tweets containing specific keywords.Unlike Facebook that only offers topics targeting, Twitter allows you to be more precise in your targeting, zoning in on highly relevant users most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.


Available ad formats

Promoted tweets, carousel ads, videos.



#10 Amazon Ads


Who is it for

Ecommerce brands looking to get more eyes on their products.


Why use it

More than 300 million users shop for products ranging from daily toiletries to big ticket items on Amazon. The average CPC on Amazon hovers around $0.35, making it comparable with some of the lowest CPC’s on Facebook ads or Google Display.


Best targeting feature

Amazon’s ASIN targeting feature allows you to manually target top performing ASINs you want your ad to show up for. In other words, you can have your ad placed directly on the product page of your strongest competitor’s product page! Alternatively, you can also prevent your ad from showing up on low-performing ASINs using the Amazon Negative Targeting feature.


Available ad formats

Sponsored product ads, headline search ads, and product display ads.


Get in touch with us

While there may be no silver bullet to advertising, picking the right platform and having the right strategies in place is half the battle won. If you are looking for ways to supercharge your advertising efforts or make each marketing dollar work smarter, reach out to us today!


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