Top 10 Underpriced Marketing Platforms [2019 Edition]
With marketing costs always increasing, what are the best platforms to focus on for the best ROI? In this article, I explore 10 options for you to shift your ad spend in 2019.
Recently, I saw an article from Gary V explaining that the clock is ticking on smaller businesses finding success with Facebook advertising.
Despite that Facebook is underpriced, apparently.
He explains that we need to be creating 20-100 pieces of content and target that towards smaller audience segments.
This is completely logical today, considering Facebook’s superior targeting capabilities and general saturation of its ad platform.
You can read the full article here. It’s a good read.
So yes, the potential for success is there. But the problem remains for small businesses: creating content is not cheap either.
When your ad budget is already small compared to larger competitors flocking to Facebook, how are you to create that much content and afford the ad spend for each segment?
It’s just not feasible.
If that’s you then don’t get upset, it’s not the end of the world. But it’s probably the end of your ability to use Facebook ads profitably.
Fortunately, there’s a myriad of platforms that don’t have the saturation problem Facebook has.
Before I get into the 10 platforms, there’s an important step to take first.
You need to know your audience intent.
Each platform differs slightly with how their users engage on the platform, why they are there, what they are looking for, if anything, and therefore how open they are to receiving your offer or whatever you have for them.
With that said, let’s take a look at these and how they could become the force behind your next successful marketing campaign.
I know, I know. Instagram is part of the Facebook platform.
But here’s the thing that keeps it underpriced (for now). There are fewer advertisers on Instagram and you get the same targeting capabilities as you still get to use the Facebook Ads manager.
So it’s kind of a win-win.
The only thing to keep in mind is your audience intent.
Instagram users are young and are on there for their hobbies and lifestyle interests. It’s a platform that feels far more personal to them.
So meet their intent by creating your campaigns that cater more to to emotional needs than logical ones.
Pinterest bills itself as the platform where people reconnect with themselves.
Like Instagram, it’s a place people go for more personal reasons.
This provides a great opportunity to connect with your target audience in a very personal way. Much more so than other social networks.
It’s also growing at a higher rate than competitors, recently reaching 250 million monthly active users.
Here’s my favorite detail: more than three quarters (78%) of people on Pinterest say content from brands is useful – which is much higher than on other platforms.
I like this stat. Firstly because it shows that as a platform it’s useful and engaging. It’s important to look for reasons behind trends.
Secondly, it shows that it’s still an emerging and underutilized platform for businesses to reach potential customers. It hasn’t reached a point of saturation yet.
Marketing success on Pinterest comes from being able to be spark excitement in your target user and inspire them to try and buy new things.
From there they will pin your content and over time, so will others.
Interested in getting started? Follow this great guide.
Perhaps one of the best platforms at the moment for B2B is Quora.
Quora is a place to gain and share knowledge, ask questions and connect with people who provide unique insights and quality answers.
It’s easy to get started. You just need to sign up, join topics of interest, and submit replies to relevant questions.
It’s a great platform, and underpriced in the sense that, if you follow a process you should be able to drive significant traffic quantities to your website.
For most marketers in the B2B space, generating qualified traffic is a real challenge.
So it’s a logical choice if you rely on web traffic to get conversions and sales.
With that said there are some pitfalls.
- Replying first requires a little bit of luck, and so
- You have to dedicate a lot of research and time to responses in order to get enough views and upvotes to be seen more. Your answers have to provide values. There’s just no way around this.
Typically you can rule out low-traffic questions and focus on formulating better quality answers to existing ones.
More views = more clicks to your site.
The benefit here is, once you have a few answers generating traffic, that becomes a stable source and you’ll build some solid backlinks in the process.
For some reason, LinkedIn has a bad reputation in the marketing community.
Maybe it’s the incessant inmail pitches we receive after each connection request.
Maybe it’s because it feels like the UX equivalent of a slow Friday afternoon where you can’t wait to leave.
I case you can’t tell, I’m not a huge fan of LinkedIn.
However I respect it as a tool to generate business, particularly in the B2B space is powerful.
Because it’s so easy to make connections, we can connect with people who we know to be in our target market. After a while you could have hundreds, even thousands of people who would be your ideal customer.
That’s where you start producing and posting content that will really benefit them.
Think of it like a Facebook feed, but instead of friends it’s full of business people who could be your client or customer.
Suddenly you gain an appreciation for just how useful LinkedIn can be.
It’s free for organic reach.
Or pay to target even more precisely.
Here’s a great guide to learn about types of advertising on LinkedIn.
ProductHunt is a curation platform to discover (or rather “hunt”) the world’s newest products.
It’s very popular for startup launches. If you have an online venture selling products or services, it’s a great platform to use to promote a launch.
With a user base consisting mostly of founders, marketers and developers, it provides a great community to engage with.
For me, I like to use it to discover alternative tools that could achieve what I need, at what is likely a better cost or value. Or just handy tools that are helpful
Since these are newly launched businesses, the opportunity to help them develop their offering while getting in on their launch specials or early pricing makes it a win-win.
Amazon consistently ranks amongst the biggest companies in the world.
So maybe it’s a bit surprising to find it on this list.
For the purpose of this article I’ll be focusing on their ecommerce businesses. Which means if you want to sell physical products online, there is a huge opportunity to leverage Amazon’s platform to help you grow.
Use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) to list, sell and ship items, in conjunction with a PPC campaign.
This is much quicker way to set up than to attempt to create all the aspects of fulfillment on your own.
Obviously this is a simplified explanation and it’s always important to conduct a lot of research into what platform you want and how it meets your requirements.
If you choose to run an Amazon store, keep in mind it’s a closed ecosystem. You effectively are running a whole separate operation to that of your own website, for example.
In my opinion however, for local businesses looking to expand this is a must.
Sponsored content is a great way to get traffic to your site from high-traffic websites, in particular major news and media publications.
What might come to mind first is being on the receiving end of these can be quite annoying.
But you’ll be pleased to hear that a lot of work goes in to providing a balanced user experience. This is thanks to the content guidelines they set out for publishers.
So it’s not going to be detrimental to your brand to promote content on Outbrain.
But it is important to pay extra care to who your audience is when promoting content this way.
You’ll notice most headlines need to be very engaging. You’re competing against clickbait headlines, so if that’s okay with you, or can work for your business, go ahead.
Otherwise it might not be the best option.
With that in mind, the CPC is at 15-20c per click, even in tier 1 countries (USA, UK, Australia, Canada, NZ) which is decent.
Content promotion is super important when it comes to marketing in 2019. Therefore I rank Outbrain as a solid underpriced option to consider.
8. Quuu Promote
Social sharing is one of the best ways to get your content seen.
That’s why I put Quuu Promote on this list.
As a platform it connects content promoters with curators who need content to share.
The best part is, sharing by nature has a snowball effect. It’s a powerful way to generate traffic.
They too have content guidelines to maintain quality. This is not overly stringent if you intend to use it as a bona fide content promotion strategy. The main rules to keep in mind is to avoid “any content that promotes a product or service”.
I actually like this. Content has to be helpful not salesy.
In other words, promotions should be top of funnel content.
Follow the rules and you will see a steady stream of shares and clicks.
Related: Quuu specifies image when you go to setup promotions. If you need graphics created for your content, check out this design outsourcing guide.
9. Tidio Chat
My favorite chat provider at the moment is Tidio Chat.
One of the reasons is the extensive features available with the free version.
The paid plans offer great value as well. With bots, automations and integrations that allow you to direct enquiries and learn about why they’re visiting.
The bot setup can be tricky to figure out for novices. In that case be sure to checkout their training videos on Youtube. This one should help get you started.
The lead generation automation is a must-use feature on the paid version.
You can automate messages to find out why first-time users are visiting, and point them to the right content, as well as have separate automation campaigns for returning visitors. This is a great opportunity to offer today-only discounts, for example. They already are familiar with your brand – so it’s a good time to encourage a first transaction.
My team set this up with Unlimitly.
As you can see this way we get to understand a bit about their intent. Are they looking for help with graphic design, do they already have some options lined up to compare, or are they potentially ready to join after a few questions?
This is very useful to provide a customizable experience, so we can ensure we can be as helpful as possible.
Overall a great tool platform to use in conjunction with your greater marketing efforts.
Video marketing is quickly becoming the best way to deliver content to your audience.
That means if you intend to do this yourself, or keep development in-house then video editing software is must, and Filmora by Wondershare is the best value tool on the market right now.
Why? Because in the world of the subscription based model, you still have the option to buy a lifetime license.
I know there are a lot more factors than just the cost, and you do need to check to ensure the features will satisfy your editing requirements.
For basic marketing videos, it’s going to be a very handy and versatile editing tool.
I hope you discovered a new tool or learnt something new about using them.
In the end it’s about finding what works best for you. Marketing tools are the foundation of your business growth. But they can easily become a wasted expense if not setup or utilized effectively.
They can also start out a good fit, and become a bad fit over time as circumstances change.
It’s important to keep track of ROI and record how well they are contributing to respective outcomes. Research thoroughly. Look for alternatives and comparisons, read reviews and ratings to decide what to pursue then have a plan in place to reach a target.
If it doesn’t work, try something else. Success comes from perseverance.