One of the fastest forms of advertising (and sometimes the most effective) is paying for internet traffic. Many online sites use a blend of paid advertising platforms and networks to help advertise their site (a model that has been threatened with ad blockers on the desktop and mobile). With the largest advertising network, it makes sense that you’d consider Google Adwords, and many times that’s all you need.
However, if you are looking to ramp up spending or haven’t had much success with the Google Adwords network, here are some alternative and competing platforms to consider. I’ve tried to break up the networks into groups, and many offer more than one service.
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In the Pay Per Click model (or Cost Per Click or CPC), your ad is displayed to a relevant audience for free, and when your ad is clicked you pay the ad publisher. In Pay Per Impression (or Cost Per Thousand Impressions or CPM – the “M” is the Roman numeral for 1000), you pay for a flat number of ad impressions, regardless if they are clicked or not by the user, and regardless if they are seen or not by the user.
- Yahoo Gemini
- Baidu – very popular Chinese network
- Yandex – very popular Russian network
- Marchex – provides call analytics for search
- Clove Network
On the surface, Cost Per View seems a lot like CPM, but it’s not. Cost Per View, or CPV, is a model in which the advertiser pays for each time the ad is viewed, rather than each time the ad is loaded in CPM. For example, in CPM an ad can be displayed in a page footer and may never been seen if the user doesn’t scroll to the footer. In CPV, an ad can be displayed in a footer but only “paid” each time the ad viewed, meaning the user scrolled down to the footer and thus becoming a “view”.
- Exponential (formerly Tribal Fusion)
- Burst Media
- Conservant (formerly ValueClick)
This has nothing to do with SMS or text messages. Pay Per Text is when text on a page or article are highlighted as a link, and when a user hovers on the text, an ad is displayed to them. If they click the ad, they are directed to the advertiser’s page. It’s somewhat similar to contextual ads, but generally you don’t have to worry about Click-thru rates, quality score – just bidding for the highest number of impressions.
In advertising, media buy is a company that can buy “inventory” (or a set amount of ad space) across sites. Buying media is generally lower in price and also can improve placement and is preferred for strategic campaigns.
- Casale Media
- RhythmOne (formerly Burst Media)
- CPX Interactive
Mobile is a huge growth area, and these companies specialize in mobile-specific ads for websites and also apps.
Retargeting works by creating a list of users who visit an advertiser’s site. This list allows retargeting companies the ability to display ads as visitors browse other sites.