Search Engine Marketing: Using The “Other Guys”
Bigger isn’t always better—just as any Disney sports movie from the 90’s. Sometimes the best team isn’t the one full of bigger, better-funded players, it’s the scrappy little Mighty Ducks and their outside-the-box approach to life. And similarly, when it comes to search engine marketing and advertising your site, sometimes Google isn’t the best fit. Sometimes it’s the plucky underdog with a heart of gold and an 80 MPH slapshot. (it’s possible I may be mixing metaphors with The Mighty Ducks again…) So while Google is a powerhouse, and there’s no denying the benefits of working through their Ad Words system or tapping into their 2+ billion person customer base, here’s a quick snapshot of some of the other players on the skating rink.
The Other Guys Include…
You have to hand it to Bing… it takes guts to go up against Google and stay in the game for as long as Microsoft’s search engine has. And while Bing doesn’t reach nearly the number of users as Google, they still claim some formidable numbers. In fact, Bing claims to reach over 56 million users who do not use Google at all. Bing uses a search engine marketing and advertising system very similar to Google’s Ad Words, but due to fewer competitors, those juicy keywords can be claimed with a smaller budget.
Yahoo’s Gemini platform is certainly worth a mention. Though a lesser used option, Yahoo Gemini has gained considerable ground in the battle for mobile ads. It also boasts “intent-driven targeting”, launching ads across multiple platforms in the quest for that elusive customer.
If you’re selling a specific product, and said product is available on Amazon, then advertising on Amazon is a no-brainer. Like other search engine ad products, Amazon allows you to buy keyword specific sponsored shopping ads that will direct users to your product page.
If you’re a Facebook user, you probably see sponsored ads in your newsfeed from time to time. If you’re a Facebook business page user, you’ve probably been pummeled with offers to increase your reach by “boosting” posts or purchasing ads. On one hand, Facebook gives some fantastic targeting options—you can really hone in on your preferred customers. But on the other hand, it takes a heck of an ad to convince someone to click and leave the comfort of their friends, family, and invites to Candy Crush Saga. Keep Facebook on the table as an option, enjoy the targeting, but make sure that ad stands out!
Sure, you may think of LinkedIn as Facebook’s stuck-up cousin, or as that site you only visit to look for a job or to share that great quote on leadership you found. But this is a site that’s attracted a dedicated network of professionals. One that also offers some very specific user targeting when buying ads. There is a minimum bid involved, so don’t expect clearance rack prices.
According to the Pinterest Business page, 55% of Pinterest users are on the site to shop, and begin planning purchases on Pinterest three months before any other platform. So if you have a product (or even some services), it wouldn’t hurt to post them here. You may also find it’s a great place to post grandma’s lemon bar recipe and your sister’s tried and true “30 ways to lose 30 pounds in 30 minutes” exercise routine, but those may not help the business quite as much.
Crafting Your Advertising Approach
There are, of course, many other alternatives to Google out there. Infolinks, AdRoll, StumbleUpon, 7Search, etc—and we could spend days digging into the pros and cons of each. The important thing to take with you from this blog is not to feel pressured into one ad approach simply because it worked for someone else. Take time to craft your approach using as many or as few tools as needed. We all have a limited number of advertising dollars, so make each one of them count.
And as always, I’m available to help you build that marketing plan across multiple platforms, search engines, and social media sites. Your customers are out there, and I’m here to rope them in. You know, like Robertson on D2: The Mighty Ducks, when he literally roped that kid from Iceland to… you know what, I think I’ll just stop here.