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Top 20 Ad Platforms E-commerce Sellers Should be Testing

Top 20 Ad Platforms E-commerce Sellers Should be Testing

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Whiteboard sessions. My name is Andrew Maff. I'm the founder and CEO of BlueTuskr, a full-service digital marketing agency for e-commerce sellers, and today I'm going to go through my top 20 different channels and platforms for you to start and run your digital advertising campaigns specifically for e-commerce sellers. Now, when I refer to digital advertising, for those of you who may not know I'm referring to you spending your money currently, and immediately seeing results right away.

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I'm not talking about long-term things like SEO or anything like that, we're going to go strictly through the different advertising channels, and we're going to go through four different ones. So we're going to go through four different areas. We're going to do Social, which is obvious, we're going to do Search, we're going to do what I refer to as Traditional Digital, and then we're also going to do some Other stuff that I think a lot of people miss out on.




So social, this one's really obvious.


Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp

So we're gonna go through technically. This three, however, it's all on one platform. I guess that kind of doesn't count, but I'm counting it as three. We're talking about the big guys of Facebook and Instagram, which also include WhatsApp. It also includes Facebook Messenger, but to me, that's still Facebook, so I'm not going to count that one. But these three, we all know that guys, right? These are the main ones he doesn't want everyone to go to. And the reason we wanted to do this whole video was mainly because of these, because I see a lot of sellers who say we're doing advertising on Facebook and Instagram, and we are doing Google ads. And now that's it. We've basically hit the end of our realm here of what we can do, which is not true. So already knew here's basically we got Facebook, Instagram WhatsApp, right, so these are your first main big three. So we got those out of the way.




So then you have your next which is Pinterest. You shouldn't be. But Pinterest, I believe is severely underrated. It has so much search volume. And the best part about the way that people use Pinterest is that they're looking for a solution. They're looking for a product or looking for an idea, but they rarely if ever search for a specific brand name. So it's a great opportunity to find someone who's not really sure who they want to shop with just yet.




Then of course we have Twitter, which you know, teaches own on how well that does. And it's got a very specific audience, but Twitter's definitely another big one. It still does very well. It's great. Basically, everything I list here is a bare minimum you should be retargeting on but you definitely should be testing different audiences and prospecting here.




Then we have Snapchat, right? So Snapchat, pretty obvious, slightly younger market from what you're used to. And then obviously, the way that you're kind of sending creative to Snapchat is obviously a little bit different than you would with Facebook or Instagram. But Snapchat is another great one that can do really well in terms of prospecting.




And of course, I can't mention Snapchat without mentioning Tiktok. So Tiktok. I don't need to tell you Tiktok is exploding. And it's getting to the point now where although it is in majority of a younger audience, the audience is so large now that you are starting to see slightly older people I'm on TikTok. I know I have people in their 40s and 50s I'm aware of that have Tiktok like it's definitely a growing platform. So TikTok right now, in my opinion, is where Instagram was, you know, years ago, it's where Facebook obviously started. So it's definitely starting to take off. This is another great area to start testing out doing ads. In e-commerce, they have some issues with tracking conversion value that I've had problems with, but they do track conversions. So if you focus on CPA, it's not that big of a deal. However, they are working on it. So I'm sure by the time maybe even this video comes out, it might be solved.




So another one we have is LinkedIn, which I know you're thinking it's e-commerce why LinkedIn. However, there's a lot of sellers out there that can benefit from this. You know, even if you're just retargeting but also if you're doing prospecting for office supplies, or customized apparel where you can add your logo to it, or really anything along that line where you can even kind of spin it to be tied towards something specific to that platform, which obviously is a little bit more business-related. But LinkedIn is not something that I usually tell people to forget. Because sometimes LinkedIn can do very well specifically for e-commerce.




When you're talking about Reddit. I do like Reddit, that's a date. I do like Reddit, it has a specific audience. You gotta be really careful with how you run ads on there because people on Reddit are diehard fans of certain things. And they're also really mean about other things. So be careful with how you run ads on Reddit. But It can definitely be a great area to do specific ads specifically, like if you're prospecting another one here.




So if you're not familiar with Quora. Quora is a social media platform where essentially you can ask questions and you can answer questions. And it's basically an area for a lot of people to just learn about a lot of stuff. There are different groups and things like that, that you can join. But it's a great area for you to basically be able to learn certain things and ask certain things and kind of build a community there. It's very specific to a b2b side, but I have seen b2c leverage it very well when you get specific into an industry. So if you're a company that sells surf wax, and you're on there constantly asking questions or answering questions about surfing, it's going to start to build your name, it's going to be a personal name, not a brand name, but it's going to do well regardless and you can run ads on here, that's great. So people are asking about how much wax Do I need to use for your surfboard, then all of a sudden, you're running ads in front of them.




Influencers. So this is where we get a little bit specific about what I was referring to in this whole video. So basically, I'm talking about what can you spend your money on right now, that will show you results right away, if you think about SEO, so you're cleaning up your technical SEO, you're doing off-page, your backlinking, and things like that, that takes some time. If you're doing email marketing is a little bit straightforward, but you're not really, if you already have the software platform, you're not spending anything to send out an email. So I'm talking about what can you spend money on that will show you immediate results. And so an influencer is obviously a great way to do this. And influencers there's a ton of different ways to do it, you can go through different platforms, I'm going to try not to list any third-party vendors here too, so I'm not catering to anyone. But you can obviously go through those you can build your own, which is an easier way to do it. If you want to save some money, which is you just go out and start outreaching to influencers yourself and start negotiating with them. But another way that we like doing influencers is if you're releasing a new product or new product line, or you have a theme, you have some sale coming out or something like that, as you collect the beholdest influencers. And then you basically just do an email blast to them, saying, Hey, we're willing to pay x for you to post about our new product coming out in October, your post needs to be out in November, then all of a sudden, all these influencer posts about you in one month, and it can really snowball effect. So that's definitely another way. And I've kind of coupled this with social because most of the time, that's the route, they're gonna end up going, although that's not always the case.

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YouTube and Google Ads

So now we have one that kind of borders the two, right, which will be YouTube. And I'm obviously going to couple this one in with Google ads, right. So Google Ads is obviously your largest one, like one of the larger search platforms, you have YouTube, I had this statistic. And now I can't remember, it's like the second or third largest searched site next to Google ads. And I believe next to Facebook. If not, YouTube's actually bigger than Facebook. I'm not 100% on that one yet. However, YouTube's massive run through the Google Ads platform. So although these are the same platform, I still kind of them as two because they're two different channels, Google ads, very self-explanatory, your shopping ads, your search ads, your display ads, and then obviously, your YouTube ads, there's so much you can do through Google. But it's the largest search engine out there. So it'd be dumb for you not to do it. But like I mentioned, basically, everyone does these two, and then gives up when it's all of these other ones we're going to talk about today that you need to remember.




So the other one is actually it would be the search engine Bing. They're called Microsoft ads now. But that is also for those of you who don't know, and if you haven't started to see this creep up in your Google Analytics.




There is also DuckDuckGo. So DuckDuckGo is another search engine where basically, it looks very similar to being in Google and they act kind of the same with the exclusion that doesn't track anything that you're doing. So it doesn't start to care what you're seeing based on what you've searched before, which is what being in Google does. Basically, what you do is when you search for something, the results that show up are the exact same results that someone else is going to get, which as I said, is not the same for Google and Bing. So they're kind of preaching to the privacy side. And they have started to grow extremely fast, especially over the past year or two. And all of your ads on DuckDuckGo currently are done through Microsoft ads, which is also for Bing. By the time this video comes out, who knows, maybe they'll change maybe they'll have their own advertising platform.

So those are pretty much the two major search ones, they do kind of cover a couple of different places.

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Traditional Digital

This is where I like to kind of play around, it gets a little interesting. So I refer to this as traditional digital. And the only reason I call it that is because it kind of sounds cool. And it's kind of like the traditional advertising done through digital. So if you think of radio advertising, you're typically referring to that as like a DTC, right where you're kind of doing direct consumer through some kind of Dr. TV kind of thing. or however, you want direct response kind of stuff. But the nice thing about doing it digitally is obviously, you can track a little bit more.




So one of the best ways to do that, at least for us personally, what I like to do is Spotify. Spotify has its own self-serve platform. So you can actually upload your own radio spot, or if you want to call it a radio spot, you upload your own audio, and you're able to run ads that way, and you can track how many people have listened to it. And depending on if you're providing a coupon code or anything like that, obviously, people get it for free. There's a paid version of Spotify similar to like Netflix or something like that. And if they have that they don't hear ads. But if they're paying for taking the free version, they're going to get your ads to Spotify in a really interesting way. And I've seen it work really well. And it's great for brand awareness, but it's obviously awesome as well for prospecting, especially around heightened times.

So to give you guys an example of that, something we've done before the couple clients, you know, we'll do YouTube ad and then maybe some display ads to a warm audience for like a campaign. So let's say we're doing like a big Black Friday deal or something like that, we'll do a warm audience, your YouTube will do a warm audience and display ads for Google ads. And then we'll just hit like almost all of these for the most part. And we'll do a big splash for that entire month on Spotify. So basically, just everywhere we can possibly be to our warm audience because I don't know where all of our customers are at all times. So I'd like to make sure that I can cover my bases. Spotify is a great one that I think is really underrated right now. And it's probably going to get slammed after a while.




This next one is really interesting, I like this one if you have an e-commerce website, but also if you have a brick and mortar, and that would be Billboards. Now I know what you're thinking. That's not digital, but it is. So there are actually several companies out there. Again, I'm not going to list anyone specifically, so I'm not favoring anyone. But there are companies out there where you can upload your information, your creatives to their website, and pay for views a day on one billboard off i95. In which case, that billboard is a giant digital billboard, and it rotates every five seconds or something like that. And basically, you can actually run ads on a billboard. And you can basically do it just like it's a giant TV screen outside. So it's really cool, it can work really well. I'm a big fan of it for people that have a brick-and-mortar. So we'll run that same ad in brick and mortar so that their website can also benefit from it. But doing e-commerce on a billboard in a state or a city that you're not in can sometimes be rough, depending on what you're selling. So if you're doing, (I use surfing before, as an example) Miami, California, you know, those kinds of places where you have a heavy surfing population, billboards wouldn't be a bad idea, regardless, because people may still want to shop online.




Then we have the other stuff. So this is kind of like the basics where sometimes we'll speak to someone and they'll know, okay, these are good. And then every now and then, you know, we'll throw this one out there. And we're like, okay, I didn't think about that. And then this one is kind of where you got to get a little creative.



Website Real Estate

So what I'm referring to is basically Website Real Estate. So website real estate, what I'm referring to is basically finding a website out there that is mainly on a media side, or maybe it's a blog or something like that. And yeah, you can do the influencer route, if they're a blogger, or you know, you can ask them to post or whatever, and they can build an article. But the other thing that a lot of people don't think about is what's on someone else's website that you can also leverage. So think about banners or pop-ups, right. So if they have a banner up at the top of their homepage, or ideally in the header that goes throughout the whole site, or maybe on the homepage, they have a little display side. So obviously, they might have AdSense set up where the display ads may run on their site. But you might be able to strike a deal with them where you can own that spot for a month and go and surpass Google. Because in Google's situation, they're kind of like the wholesaler. But if you can, if you're the manufacturer of the creative, you can go straight to the person you want to run the ad on, skip over Google and see if you can get a discount because you're guaranteeing someone a certain amount of money. So banners and then pop-ups, right? Like it will pop up show up on someone's site, and it's currently offering, you know, 10% off to your website. That's fantastic. So it's a great way for you to leverage that if you're able to find and strike deals with someone who's in media or bloggers or really any other company that's just willing to go this route with you. You can partner with People who have like-minded stuff, I don't know why I'm talking about surfing so much. I'm not a surfer. But like I said, before you sell surf wax, talk to a surf company and be like, Hey, we're willing to give all of your customers 15% off in exchange for X amount of money, or maybe you give them a percentage, and it's affiliate fee or something like that. But this is essentially like a sponsorship. Right? So we're kind of talking about, like sponsoring a certain area.




So the other thing is Newsletters. So yeah, you could do the same concept here. So you could find a company that has their own newsletter and sponsor the newsletter as well. Or you can look out to some of those companies where their whole company is a newsletter. So you think about, getting those big ones out there, like The Skim, The Click, Morning Brew, Daily Carnage, etc. And like all these other newsletters, which I'm sure I'll end up doing a video on one day too. But all of those you can sponsor an area on those newsletters, and some of those newsletters have millions of subscribers when in which case, you're spending a lot less money for something that's direct. And we all know how well newsletters do for ourselves. So imagine hopping on someone else's newsletter, I'm not talking about buying email addresses, I'm talking about Sponsoring a Spot on Someone Else's Newsletter. The other side of that too, which kind of ties into here is like I mentioned with partnering with a surfboard company, if you're selling surf wax, then you can actually sponsor a certain area on that surfboard company's newsletter, all you have to do is reach out to these companies and start this conversation. So if you have someone internally, that's maybe your, you know, basically, your soul paid media buyer, this is the area where they're doing all their negotiations, because this stuff, you know, obviously once you optimize, it can run itself for a little while.




And then outside of this last one, I have which we all know which by the way, if you haven't heard ours yet, tune in to the Podcast. So reaching out to podcast, again, not sure why I keep going the surfing route. But there are a ton of podcasts out there about surfing and you know, different times it's great to go surfing certain areas and certain like states to go surfing and or certain countries. So being able to sponsor somewhere where you know, your community is constantly listening. Yes, you can go to the Spotify route where you're basically paying for commercials time, but in this spot, you're paying for specific airtime to specific show that they're watching. So it's almost like think of it as like product placement during the show as if you were watching TV, right?

So these are all 20 of my top 20 for digital advertising to where you can take your money right now, put it into one of these channels or platforms or strategies, and immediately start seeing a return upon its launch. I'm sure there's a ton more and I'm going to bet that someone comments and tells me about all the other stuff that I missed out on however, feel free. Let's do another video. Let's do another one where I say like here's 10 more or something like that.

But if you think of anything else that's not on this list, feel free to comment and let me know which channels you think we're missing out on or which platforms are specifically for digital advertising. And then obviously there's a video that you want us to do another time Feel free to comment but otherwise, appreciate you watching the rate review, subscribe, all that fun stuff and I will see you next time.


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