Formerly at Huawei Technologies, Royan Shaw writes about finance, marketing and all things S.E.O and internet digital marketing concepts.
Looking for Alternative Paid Traffic Sources That Convert Better Than the Average?
For digital marketers, getting the right traffic to your offer can be one the most challenging aspect of getting signups and sales for your offers.
It's all fine and good to have an attractive and thoughtful landing page, but what use are attractive landing pages if they fail to convert the traffic into signups and sales?
Quality sales funnels will not get you sales without quality targeted traffic, so if you're tired of the same old dismal results from your digital marketing effort, here are 13 paid traffic sources you should take a look at.
Stop Paying Ridiculous Pay-Per-Click Rates on Google Bing and Facebook
Honestly, when it comes to paid traffic ad campaigns, the cost of bidding for keywords on the search engines and of course Facebook Ads seems super expensive.
The key reason for this is you have big commerce entities throwing up huge budgets who can afford to outbid small businesses with small budgets and affiliate marketers who have fallen behind in the competition.
Pay-per-click keyword ad costs are ridiculous. But who has the time, with so many bills to pay, to wait for SEO to kick in? Google algorithm requirement shave too many variables thus getting to page one is never a guarantee even if you whitehat the hell out of your SEO efforts.
If you're promoting a product as a business or an affiliate you will end up in the welfare line if you wait on the search engines to boost your ranking to the top of page 1. Three to six months to rank, really? Who has the time for that? I don't, so here I am with a list of 13 alternatives that I never knew existed. From the demos I have seen, they are performing way better than what I have experienced so far.
Facebook Ads Take Too Much Testing and Experimenting and Are Not Cost Effective
In my experience, Facebook for Business is just a water bomb in a heatwave: it cools you down for a brief moment but have you sweating just the same in the end.
I did a $5000.00 "experiment" using Facebook Ads and the end results were a disaster. Too many 13-year-old millennials were looking at my ads. I got thousands of likes (for a product that showed the price) but hardly a sale was made.
Besides, in order to corner the market and to get my targeted U.S Facebook users to sign up to my offer, I felt I was being forced to set my acquisition cost between $30 to $50 per acquisition if I wanted my ad to be displayed mainly to users in the U.S.
I wasn't up to that and found my promotion being shown in territories where I did not assign my ads to be shown? Instead of getting leads from the U.K, Canada, and the U.S.A, as I manually set my ads to show, my promotion was dropped into the feeds of users from Turkey, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Complaining to their support centre made no difference. All I got was an explanation that the system has an overridden auto setting that resets and reroutes your traffic to countries outside your campaign setting.
Well so much for $5000 on the much-touted Facebook for Business. It's their money (U.S dollars) so I guess they had a right to take it away from me without accounting for either fairness or equity.
List of 13 Alternatives to Traditional Paid Traffic Sources
|Platform||Type of Ads||Interested Based or Targeted|
interest-based using Google, Bing, Facebook's API
app icons, offer walls, push notifications
product recommendation from search
classic search ads, display ads, PPC
targeted and interest-based
targeted and interest-based with geo-targeted
native ads, content recommendation
in-feed targeted link ads, text ads
geo-targeted, native ads, sponsored content
video ads, Web viewing, application install, and long-form video content
audio ads, banners, sponsored playlists
offerwalls, viewables, interstitials
geo-targeted, niche and keyword targeted
classic search ads, display ads, banner ads
both interest-based and targeted
My 13 Paid Alternative Paid Traffic Sources
Here is my list so far of the most effective list of paid traffic platforms other than the one we are used to. Please note this is for information purposes only and not my professional recommendation. I have listed them in no particular pattern of choice or preference.
Adroll is a platform that focuses its services in the retarget marketing area. Their services started out remarketing for Google and then Bing and now have a strong focus on retargeting pixels for Facebook ads, Twitter and a number of other social media platforms. If you like running ads on Facebook and need a deeper analysis on your pixel performance then this runs right up your street.
Google reported that 85% of all online search traffic now comes from mobile phones. Airpush has established itself as one of the top mobile traffic marketing advertising networks. It has a wide range of advertising formats, a great support team, in-depth tracking and analysis, a good user graphic interface for you to interact with setting up your ad mobile traffic ad campaigns.
3. Amazon Search
Believe it or not, I wasn't quite aware that Amazon has a fully operational search engine. Amazon A9 has thrown Google product search out of business and is now the number 1 go-to search engine for buyers searching for products online. Google has seen a significant drop in its buyers' search traffic and is struggling for dear life to meet the demand of advertisers who are unhappy with the mediocre results from product search traffic lately.
When online users search for product information online they head straight to Amazon's A9, and most products that are trending on Amazon have that one vital aspect everyone is looking forward to which is, reviews by buyers and users.
Many among us need a first or second opinion on a product, even if we have no intention of buying right away. I might decide what I want to buy based on the reviews gleaned so far but may not make that purchase until three months' time. Buyer's reviews help in filtering the thought process making the buying decision a bit easier.
For advertisers interested in advertising on Amazon, there is a $50 first-time user coupon available once you decide to promote a sponsored or related product on Amazon.
This advertising platform is known as the Chinese Google of the Asian continent. This is Asia's number 1 giant search engine, from which Alibaba and AliExpress became popular household names before they became popular on Google itself.
If you wish to market on the Asian continent, Baidu would be the search engine and paid traffic source of choice. I suspect that Baida also parses through Google's huge database as well, as I have seen instances of visits coming through from this search network inside my Google analytics reports.
As I'm practically new to Baidu for paid traffic campaigns, I am unable to offer an opinion about the economy, effectiveness and efficiency of their keyword bidding process. Where a value-for-money assessment is required I would have to do further research, as I'm not even sure what form of payment they accept to promote an ad campaign on this network.
I will be testing the Baidu system in comparison to Bing and Google and offer feedback soon.
Epom does most of its marketing and advertising by collaborating with other ad serving networks such as Millennial Media, AdMob and InMobi. This gives the platform extended ability allowing it to connect to a wider network of users. They offer you a free 14-day trial for up to 30 million impressions, giving you a chance to evaluate their offering before you make any financial commitment.
On this cross-channel ad serving platform, prices range from $250 per month for the Basic package, $1000 per month for the Standard Package, and $2500 per month for the Advanced Package. The Basic Package offers 5 million display impressions served for the month, the Standard Package 30 million impressions monthly, and the Advanced Package will deliver 100 million impressions monthly.
You will also receive millions of mobile and video impressions for any of the packages that you select to do your ad campaigns. It also provides 24-hour support and a host of media assets you can choose from.
Outbrain, I would say, is the king of native advertising platforms. It uses targeted advertising to recommend articles, slideshows, blog posts, photos or videos to a reader. When you advertise your sites you pay Outbrain a cost-per-click advertising cost, and Outbrain will pay the publisher generating clicks to your ads from the sites on which your links appear.
If you're thinking of joining them as a publisher, you must note that their publisher admission policies are very stringent. They claim that over 90% of publishers are rejected due to their strict vetting policies.
Wikipedia describes Outbrain's business model as follows:
Outbrain pays publishers to put its links on their sites. They employ a network of external sites that employ the traffic acquisition service pay on a daily pay-per-click or cost-per-click basis with links to third-party content appearing as recommendations alongside editorial content from the web's biggest publishers. Approximately half of that revenue is paid to the site which presented the Outbrain link.
Brands and publishers, for example, Newsmedia websites, are able to engage their audience on-site by surfacing their own editorial content that they have published in the past, displayed conspicuously as "You May Also Like..." or "We Recommend" often leading unsuspecting users into thinking of click-bait advertisements as original editorial content.
These take the form of tracked links that are routed through Outbrain's servers. The Outbrain "From Around the Web" tool also provides a way for publishers to buy and sell traffic by providing third-party links to remotely relevant and unverified content.
It has been reported that 54% of Reddit users are based in the United States. Reddit ad campaigns allow you to target your advertising by device and also have quite flexible user settings.
It has been said that "there's a subreddit for practically everything," from earth to the moon. Whatever the niche you're promoting, you'll bet your obscure dollar that there is an audience you can get your message out to.
Reddit seems to attract more millennial gamers that any other niche and so if you're looking for an active daily audience, there you have it.
Your Reddit ads are usually placed atop of the feeds of the subreddits in which you will select from to display your ads, so ensure you find subreddits targeted to your niche with a high number of daily active users as a rule of thumb.
Revcontent appears to have a traffic network that has huge buyers' potential for various niches, especially in the area of physical products in the health, fitness and wellness niche.
Promoting your product with short and to-the-point unboxing or demonstration videos seems to have incredible potential for delivering higher-than-average buyer interaction from users. RevContent has a simple, easy-to-use, user-friendly interface so you can set up your ads as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
This network has been growing at a tremendous rate over the last few years and allows your ads to be displayed on top-notch sites including the likes of Forbes. If you want millions of targeted users viewing your content, then this is a prime choice for advertisers.
Snapchat is a micro posting platform that allows you to post videos to your contacts in short-form video formats. Not intending to insult anyone, it has been said that the average human (these days) has the attention span of a goldfish, so tools like these come in handy for short quick messages without the need for details.
If you're promoting a brand that caters mainly to the teenage millennial demographic, then your branding campaigns will get needed attention using Snapchat. This platform now has over 200 million users logging in each day. If you want to market to a global network of young mobile users, it's a one-stop-shop.
Snapchat is available only as a mobile app, so it won't be possible to target users on desktops and laptops. Instead, you will cater to users on smartphones and tablets.
What is Spotify? Spotify is an audio streaming service streaming music worldwide with a global database of approximately 250 million users.
Spotify is a great paid traffic source service that you can use to target a wide range of niches and not only music lovers. Since a huge percentage of users of Spotify are active daily users with free accounts, you should be able to offer related products and services tuned to the needs of the various niches.
Although being one of the newest platforms in this lineup this means there's a limited range of ad formats for the time being, with the growing popularity of the platform it is safe to predict that this will improve in short order to meet the growing needs of advertisers.
Here ia a platform with a marketing and advertising system that has been developed particularly with product vendors and affiliate marketers in mind. TapJoy is a joy and a Godsend for promoters of the various niches in internet and affiliate marketing. So far there has been all positive feedback for this advertising and mobile marketing platform.
TapJoy has similarities to Google's own Admob as it allows publishers to monetize traffic through their mobile apps by installing offerwalls, playables, video rewards and mobile video interstitials.
With a user demand numbering well over 500 million users, Tapjoy's penetration, flexibility, and range of functions are highly recommended as a feasible option for mobile advertising.
12. Vibrant Media
Vibrant Media has in its arsenal a smaller network of publishers in comparison to the others on this list but a number of users have been singing praises for this network. They seem to be running a very tidy shop. They are meeting the expectations of both publishers and advertisers and have been delivering above-average results for the users of this network.
Vibrant Media is considered a quality network that gives the advertiser the opportunity to advertise across more than six thousand publisher partner sites online. This paid traffic advertising network offers real-time targeting, native ad placement, and a slew of advertising options with a range of formats including mosaic, storyboard, and lightbox popups similar to interstitials.
Vibrant Media focuses mainly on getting your content to the optimal targeted prospects, therefore increasing the chances of laser-focused viewer engagement.
Last but not least among all comers is Yandex, a technology and Internet services company originating from and based in Russia. Yandex is similar to China's Baidu and is now the most popular website and search engine in Russia, with search engine traffic running close to or surpassing Google search.
Yandex started as a Russian search program for MS-DOS called Arkadia, written by Arkady Volozh and Arkady Borkovsky. Obviously this search engine will offer pay-per-click bidding for advertising campaigns to your target demographics in Russia.
Yandex search traffic keyword advertising has low competition for very popular keywords and keyword phrases and provides a much cheaper alternative to other paid advertising if you plan to advertise your product or service in Russia.
Here's hoping you'll have a better experience going outside the box by using newer and less saturated networks for your advertising initiatives.
All you need to do is provide quality ad copy, including graphics and video, with strong and compelling CTA's, offering a solution to the challenges your targeted prospects face from time to time.
Have you been using any of the networks mentioned above? If so, please feel free to leave your feedback in the comment section below. Your comments, questions and opinions are welcome.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2019 Royan Shaw
Post Your Comments Below
Stacey Blankenship from Fort Wayne on September 21, 2019:
Good Information and very useful.
Vance Biggs on September 20, 2019:
Very interesting and informative article. I have been looking for other platforms to boost my advertising spend and I'm I found this article. Great job keep up the good work.