5 Low-Cost Alternatives to Facebook Ads

Marketing 10 minute read 04 January 2021

Don’t worry, most businesses have, at some stage, thrown money at Facebook advertising, only to watch it disappear into a black hole. So, you’re not alone if you’ve reached this blog post in despair.

This is because Facebook makes it very easy for business owners to spend money. If your business has a Facebook page, you’ll have probably been presented with various prompts to boost your posts, or even talk to an account executive about advertising options. But successfully targeting the right customers from an audience of millions and getting them to convert is a much more complex process.

Successfully advertising on Facebook takes a lot of trial and error, knowledge, and size of marketing budget few people have at the moment. That’s not to say that Facebook isn’t the right platform for your business, but it’s worth thinking further afield.

So, what are the alternatives? With 50% of the world’s population now using social media and everyone seemingly glued to their phones, where else can you maximise the marketing budget you have available?

Why you shouldn’t completely ignore Facebook Ads

5 low cost alternatives to facebook

Before we get started, it’s important to note that we’re not dismissing Facebook Ads entirely. We just think there are some more cost-effective options out there which demand exploring.

The average cost-per-click (CPC) for Facebook Ads across all industries sits at around $1.86, and the average click-through rate (CTR) is just 0.89%. We think those figures neatly illustrate why you need serious chops in that area if you want to avoid wasting your budget.

So, let’s look at some alternatives.

Why look beyond Facebook?

If you’re wondering why you’d turn your attentions away from Facebook when it comes to targeted advertising, remember that the average person has 7.6 social media accounts.

Relying too much on one marketing channel in hospitality is dangerous, and it also means you’re missing out on lots of potential business elsewhere. Spreading your wings further online brings diversity to your marketing and avoids you being left in the lurch if one of those platforms lets you down.

Here are five alternatives to Facebook Ads which demand your attention.

5 low cost alternatives to facebook Infographic

Facebook Ads alternative 1: Google Ads

The average CTR for Google Ads in the hospitality industry is around 4.68%. What’s more, the cost-per-click has increased very little over the years, compared to Facebook.

This is where it gets interesting, because while the average CPC for hospitality search ads on Google is $1.53, it falls to just $0.44 for display ads. The latter is the big differentiator for Google’s advertising platform, and one that’s hard to ignore.

Unlike Facebook Ads, Google Ads is capable of infiltrating your audience’s general web browsing activities. Therefore, get it right, and your business could appear in front of them at just the right time, no matter what website they’re on.

Here are some of the benefits Google Ads offers which makes it more cost-effective than Facebook Ads:

  • tighter budget control;
  • remarketing you simply can’t achieve anywhere else;
  • fast results (remember, Google processes 87,000 search queries every second); and
  • a wealth of reporting, thanks to Google Analytics integration.

Facebook Ads alternative 2: Pinterest

It’s so easy to look past Pinterest. For many people, the only task it performs is that of a virtual pinboard for their next home improvement task.

But it’s so much more than that, and for marketers - particularly in hospitality - it hides a potential goldmine of business.

There are over 300 million active users on Pinterest now, and with 78% of them happy to view content from brands, you’d be letting your business down if you didn’t at least try it.

Pinterest offers three types of ads: promoted pins, video pins and promoted app pins. You can then run campaigns based on building awareness, increasing traffic to your website or raising engagement with your content.

Pretty standard stuff, but because Pinterest is so visual, it relates perfectly to the hospitality industry, which is blessed with beautiful imagery. For instance, if you’re running a restaurant, why not use Pinterest to build awareness of your brand by regularly posting photos of your best-selling dishes?

Facebook Ads alternative 3: YouTube

It’s often noted that YouTube is actually the world’s second-largest search engine, and that means it’s certainly worth considering from a marketing perspective.

The average YouTube user spends around 12 minutes on the platform each day. So, once you get them, you really get their attention.

The video network also grabs a huge share of Google search traffic, and if you spend enough time on it, the prospect of building your presence on YouTube with a channel for your business can yield fantastic organic results.

There are some ads you can try out too, which range from sponsored ad cards (those which appear at the bottom of videos), to more intrusive spots which precede videos and appear ‘mid-roll’, part way through.

YouTube’s advertising platform certainly isn’t any cheaper than Facebook’s but its audience is far more niche and engaged when you get it right, and that means far more bang for buck.

Facebook Ads alternative 4: Twitter

Twitter’s growth has plateaued a little over the years, but if your target audience is millennials, it’s worth experimenting with from an advertising perspective.

Promoted tweets are a good way to dip your toes in without spending too much, but you can run full-blown Twitter Ad campaigns if you want to get creative and feel you have enough inspiration for short-form content that’ll chime with your audience.

Facebook Ads alternative 5: Instagram (yeah, we know it’s owned by Facebook!)

Despite its ownership structure, Instagram is very much its own beast when it comes to PPC advertising.

It also features a ‘Like’ button which is hit, on average, 4.2 billion times per day.

That’s a huge amount of engagement - particularly when you consider how prevalent ads are on the platform these days. That means Instagram’s users are likely benefitting from a very smart algorithm, which is what you need to rely on as an advertiser.

If your content is spot-on, and your audience targeting is as well-researched and narrow as it needs to be, the money you spend on Instagram Ads will pay back handsomely in brand engagement.

It’s thought that Instagram users have higher levels of disposable income than on many other platforms, so it really is a rich hunting ground if Facebook is proving too costly for you.

The cost of Facebook Ads has been increasing for some time now. With that in mind, we hope our tips above give you plenty of reason to look a little further beyond the world’s largest social media platform.

Before you go, make sure you check out this awesome related read.

5 Reasons to Know Your Customers


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