It seems like these days everyone is running Google AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns. Those networks are great at producing results, but they aren’t the only good digital ad networks available.
Related: 5 Winning Digital Ad Strategies Every Small Business Can Afford
Below are three other types of ads also highly effective for many companies. If you aren’t already using these platforms to increase brand awareness and sales, you might want to change that right away.
1. Reddit ads
Reddit is a conversation platform that allows people with similar interests to find one other.
The site has forums for people who love everything from sports to pets and even adult products. Users share stories, swap tips and link to news. Currently, Reddit contains over 50,000 different communities, meaning that most brands can find their own target audience on the site.
Reddit ads, moreover, are inexpensive. You can start a campaign for just $5 per day and cancel at any time.
Setting up a Reddit ad can be done in minutes and is nearly foolproof. You simply select the interests that you believe your target audience is likely to be interested in, or select specific sub-Reddit forums to place your ads on.
You then set your budget, add your copy and images and start the campaign!
If you decide after a day or two that the ads aren’t generating the results you’d hoped for, you can always stop the campaign and try one of the other options mentioned in this post.
2. Stack Adapt
Have you ever found yourself reading an article on a popular website like CNN, then being presented with recommended articles at the end of the post? Those recommended posts take you to a third-party site where you can read another post related to the headline you clicked on.
These articles get placed through a native advertising exchange like Outbrain or Taboola. A native advertising exchange is a platform that places sponsored content on popular websites. It’s different from a regular ad network because you’re placing blog posts and articles inside of banner or text-only ads.
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The advantage of native advertising is that to the viewer, the ad doesn’t look or feel like one. It seems to be just another interesting article. Why interesting? Well, you write an article on a topic your target audience is interested in; then the ad exchange shows the article only to people who would be interested in reading it. You can tell the exchange you want to target by gender, location, interest or other factors.
In this category, Taboola has a minimum commitment of at least $5,000, but Outbrain has a more small-business friendly option, where you set your own budget.
When using one of these tools, you’ll gain trust and credibility by associating your brand with sites like CNN, Reuters, USA Today, Popular Science and the many other reputable sites the networks can place your sponsored content on.
Additionally you’ll reach people in your target audience, offering friendly, helpful content rather than a cold sales pitch. Many people don’t like feeling targeted by ads, but most people do like helpful content.
3. Sponsored blog posts
In addition to creating content that can be shared on ad exchanges, you might also create posts that you pitch to an influential blog or business magazines. For example, the supplement and exercise equipment company Vanna Belt frequently buys sponsored placements on health and fitness blogs.
This allows Vanna Belt to reach her target audience in a natural way. The company showcases the high quality of the products and how easy they fit into anyone’s daily lifestyle. This helps to sell the products without requiring the company to buy pay-per-click ads.
The fee for a sponsored post of this type is usually a flat rate paid to the blogger based on how many visits the site gets per month. Expect to pay between $50 and $5,000 per sponsored post.
If you don’t want to write and pitch content to popular blogs, you could pay them to write about you. In this case you’ll likely pay a higher flat rate fee to the blogger since he or she will have to write, edit and shoot photos for the post.
The primary benefit of this type of sponsored post, despite its higher cost, is that the post comes off as a recommendation from the blogger. Since bloggers are influential with their audiences, this may help you increase the ROI from your sponsorship, since readers will be more likely to trust that your product is good, thanks to the review and recommendation.
Related: 3 Signs It’s Time to Get Help With Your Digital Advertising
All of the non-traditional ad types listed here can be launched relatively quickly. The only thing holding you back is yourself. So, head on over to Reddit or Outbrain today and get started setting up your first campaign.