People buy and sell goods and services on the internet.
There are hundreds and thousands of vendors selling whatever one needs to buy.
Some use famous websites like Amazon, Craigslist, Flipkart, etc., while others try to sell on their own website, not via the popular middle agent websites.
Out of the latter, there are a few who become famous (reasons can include- the service being unique, the person selling it is famous or through endorsement by celebrities). The rest stay anonymous unless they try to buy ad slots on search engines.
Ad slots on search engines work in the following fashion (Though there are many kinds of online ads. For the purposes of this article we will explore only the Pay Per Click also known as PPC kind of online ad):
So firstly, the provider of goods and/or service (let’s call that person ‘X’) bids on a relevant term/phrase also known as the keyword. This keyword, when entered into the search engine would show X’s goods and/or service.
In order to make the most out of the amount X’s paying, X as a business owner would have to ensure that this keyword is highly related to the goods and/or service he is providing. Supposing that X decides against it, the user (general public) would surely see X’s website but will not buy the goods and/or services.
What factors go behind selecting the search engine to display your ad
Keeping the above example of “person X” in mind. Let’s go through the why should one select a particular search engine to display one’s ad on (using person X as the business owner):
- The kind of audience X wishes to target- all goods and/or services are not made for everyone, so before selecting any search engine X has to see what audience/ what part of the general public would actually buy what X has to sell. Keeping that in mind X would select the search engine so that not only is his goods/service is visible, but he also earns money because people invest in what X has to sell.
- The amount that X’s firm/company is willing to spend on the keyword- some firms have a relatively lenient budget for advertising whereas others kind of live on a stringent budget (reasons behind this can be the company’s position in the market; is it a startup or a well-established company; do they prefer online advertising or not, do they want to invest a lot on online advertising or not, etc.). This is important because different search engines have different prices for PPC ads.
- Ideologies of X’s company vs. the ideologies of the website- There are times when a search engine doesn’t necessarily support or want to promote the goods and services by X simply because there is a clash in the ideologies of X’s company and the search engine company or vice-versa.
- Availability of the keyword- imagining X has a keyword set in mind that is closely related to the firm’s goods and/or services, he goes to bid for the word on his 1st choice for a browser. He notices that the keyword has already been taken by some other firm, in this scenario X will go to some other browser in order to get the keyword he wants for his brand of goods and/or service.
Major search engine companies
The market for PPC ads basically depends on the popularity of a search engine. This is what the market for PPC looks like:
Google leads the market by taking 66.7% of the market; Bing comes second with 17.4% of the market, Yahoo takes about 12%. While these three giants take up about 90% of the market. The rest 10% though it may seem small (but it’s not) is divided amongst few other firms that have search engines of their own.
Bing ads alternatives
This is for everyone out there who has no intention of advertising their goods/service on Bing’s browser. Whatever the reason may be, here are the alternates that firms who do not wish to advertise their goods/service on Bing can look at, as options.
- Google at number one we have the tech giant that takes up the largest portion of the market (66.7%). This would give the person who wants to advertise a better opportunity to have a larger target audience (general public that wants the goods and/or service given by the firm).
- Yahoo is the third largest company in the market (after Bing) with the autonomy of over 12% of the market for PPC ads. Firms that either has tie-ups with Yahoo or prefer the browser in general or maybe share some sort of basic ideology or maybe cannot afford Bing, or Google’s PPC ads (due to budget issues that are mentioned above) can bid on a keyword for their goods and/or services.
The following are not such a popular web search browser but nevertheless are alternates for buying keywords for PPC ads on Bing:
- 7Search because of its lower cost for bids on keywords, 7search in a way offers a better return on investment than the actual tech giants (Google, Bing, and Yahoo) in the PPC ads business. According to them the amount of people that search using 7search is 2 Billion searches per month.
- Advertise.com been in business since 2001, Advertise.com is not only a new PPC ad providing platform but also a unique one. Reaching about 60% of the people (they claim), advertise provides PPC ad slots for a minimum amount of $250 as a deposit. This makes it a website with a relatively fixed rate for the companies interested in buying PPC slots, ensuring that the firms/companies know what they are signing up for. Along with this they also provide remarketing and digital solutions.
- Ask having their PPCs powered by none other than the tech giant Google, Ask is a rather unusual firm to get a PPC from. They do not directly provide for a PPC but rather go about outsourcing other companies to do it for them. Most of this work goes to Google because Google is a partner with Ask.
- Looksmart a former search engine company, LookSmart claims to get over 2 billion hits for queries per day. A firm/company can spend over 10,000 USD if they desire for complementary management, helping the firm to get the best value for their money.
- Marchex- the firm works around bringing new traffic for the company that invests in their PPC. They claim to do so because of the fact that they are a mobile advertising technology company.
- ValidClick- this company is basically a website rather than a search engine, which ensures that their clients are getting the best out of their money. They do so by ensuring that the ads are seen by the actual target audience for the goods and/or services provided by the client’s firm/company.
- MediaTraffic gaining popularity for themselves with 15 million opt-in users and growing, at no.9 we have MediaTraffic. They provide a quality service to their clients. They show large ads that catch the eye of the user. This, in turn, ensures a better return on investment for the client’s company.
Other methods of advertising on the internet
This section is basically for the firms/companies that do not necessarily want to go for a web browser for their PPC ad slots. In such cases, the firm/company can look for other methods of advertising on the internet. The other method is:
Using social media to advertise goods and/or services- it is easy, swift and a firm can make changes as per they require. Social media like Instagram and Facebook have a majority of users on them. This makes social media one of the best ways to reach out to many people, informing them about and persuading them to invest in the goods and/or services provided by a firm. This can be achieved by the following methods:
- Setting up a “page” for the brand on the social media- picking the social media of their choice, the company/firm can make a social media handle for itself. This way the company would interact with the old as well as the young audience. The firm/company can then keep updating the said page/handle/account by adding new posts, this way their client base is well informed about any addition and/or subtraction in the company’s goods and/or services. A very great example to look at in order to better understand this is the twitter accounts of the fast food companies. They post some tweets about themselves, reply to the tweets posted about them. This ensures a healthy relationship between the customers and the firm. Wendy’s fast food’s tweets have even been screenshotted and posted on other social media by people who just found it entertaining. This makes the company even more popular and also increases the potential for a growth in the client base. Along with this, another advantage is that it is cheap with literally zero cost to form. There is only the maintenance cost which basically includes the staff one pays that keeps track of every single social media related activity of the company.
- Celebrity endorsements- we all know and follow many celebrities on their social media. We do so in a hope to know a little more about their personal lives. There are also times when many people buy a product or use a service, not because of any logical explanation or a policy they agree with or even if they like the service in general; they simply do that because they follow a celebrity blindly (and are what are popularly known as “loyal fans”) and this celebrity ends up saying that they are “in love” with a particular brand’s goods and/or services. More often than not, these celebrities say that in exchange for money. This is like TV ads, but it is the celebrities that post a photo showing the product and showing the love for the said product. Celebrities like the Kardashians earn in thousands of dollars for one post. This method may be expensive, but it reaches out to a giant number of people.
With all these ways and methods to advertise mentioned above, a firm can get confused as to where to go and what to do; or how to reach out to the maximum number of consumers and potential consumers for their goods and/or services.
Though all the ways and the platforms are great, a company/firm must keep in mind the following:
- Client base which means that out of the general public how many are and/or would be interested in the goods and/or service that the firm wishes to offer.
- Their budget- how much are they willing to spend on online advertising.
- Ideologies- this is a must because it makes a huge impact. For example, a company selling vegan products would not want to tie up with a celebrity that is okay buying things that are made by animal cruelty, for this will send a mixed message (a negative one at that).
The best, however, is to combine both PPC and social media as methods for advertising their goods and/or services to the general public out there.
While PPC would direct people searching for the product to one’s website (out of the obvious thousands of sellers for the same product) social media on the other hand would ensure a healthy relationship and interaction between the clients seeking the goods and/or services and the companies selling the goods and/or services in question.
It would help in maintaining a loyal customer base. Social media if handled properly with PPC ads can do wonders for the company’s online marketing. The company would now have a higher chance of being the unique, popular kind amongst the general public. Grow as the online market is growing. Make sure you are not left behind in a world that is just about digital marketing. Get the best for your business!