5 Channels to Diversify Your Digital Ad Spend
The great thing about the internet and how we consume content is that it’s constantly changing. This gives us growth marketers a perfect chance to test new channels and tactics regularly and make sure that we’re exploring new ways to use our digital ad spend. If you’re already running paid ads and are looking for ways to improve your channel diversification, you’ve come to the right place.
It can be daunting to start fresh on a brand new platform, especially if you’ve had success on traditional digital channels such as Google and Meta (Facebook and Instagram). Different platforms and tactics are constantly emerging, and provide great options for your advertising efforts, depending on your goals, budget, and target audience.
At Tuff, we’ve been able to drive incredible results for our partners on TikTok. While B2C opportunities on the platform are well known, we’ve also explored the ever-expanding B2B targeting options when applicable.
Since TikTok is a video platform, it provides a great space to break out the creative chops and showcase your brand in a native storytelling format. Plus, since the majority of videos on TikTok are relatively low-fi, it’s easy to create new assets to test on the reg. If you’re wanting to take some of your Facebook digital ad spend and put it to a new channel, Tik Tok is perfect for you.
Plus, did you know that TikTok is the most popular website in the world as of 2021? If you’ve been putting off testing it for your advertising efforts – you should give it a spin.
Pros: Huge audience of daily users, lots of targeting options, fun way to engage users
Cons: Clunky ad manager, ad disapprovals
Perfect For: Businesses trying to generate demand via storytelling
“Programmatic” has been a buzzword for a while and we’ve certainly been hearing more and more partners who are interested in testing it out as of late.
In essence, programmatic advertising allows advertisers to reach very specific audiences outside of Google and Facebook/Instagram. Notable programmatic platforms include StackAdapt, The Trade Desk, and Criteo, though there are many others.
Ad types include standard display, video, CTV, audio, and native display, making it easy to repurpose assets used on other channels before investing into platform-specific creatives. Using benchmark data from legacy platforms will help inform early optimizations and the overall effectiveness of the strategy. If you’re looking to tap into a platform that can massively scale your digital ad spend, programmatic may be just the thing for you.
Pros: Variety of ad formats, lots of creative options, massive reach of users, effective targeting options.
Cons: Easy to get lost in the weeds, easy to overspend on ineffective placements and channels.
Perfect For: A business in scaleup mode trying to diversify from the “major” players.
Nextdoor advertising has become an attractive option for many advertisers, with 1-in–3 of US households being present on the platform. Data indicates that these users make 90% of their purchases within 15 miles of their work or home, and predominantly from local businesses.
When Tuff works with partners that have more of a local target audience, Nextdoor is one of the first non-traditional PPC tactics we explore.
While Nextdoor is a great emerging channel for diversifying your digital ad spend, we do run the disclaimer that it likely won’t be a major part of your media budget. With limited placements and a growing userbase, it’s hard to spend a large amount of money on Nextdoor in any given month – although this could change in the near future as they continue to grow.
Pros: Hyperlocal targeting, affordable CPMs, engaged local audiences
Cons: Smaller userbase, limited placements
Perfect For: Businesses with local presences
Pinterest can be a great option for advertisers, especially for ones that already possess a strong paid search strategy. This is because the Pinterest platform allows you to use keyword targeting. Since Pinterest is used as a search engine, this makes sense and can allow for incredibly targeted advertising.
The platform also has other traditional targeting methods that mirror Facebook, Instagram, and Google audience targeting, such as interest-based targeting.
Pinterest is a largely untapped platform, especially for ecommerce brands and service businesses. Since Pinterest users are planners, we recommend using their larger attribution windows (30 / 30 / 30) and using it as a mid-funnel tactic to increase consideration for your brand, and having it be a smaller part of your digital ad spend.
Pros: Visually appealing ad formats, very active userbase, lots of targeting options (intent + demographic)
Cons: Low last-click activity, longer attribution windows
Perfect For: Businesses trying to reach users in the consideration stage of the funnel
Spotify should definitely be considered when attempting to diversify ad spend and reach new audiences. As one of the largest podcast and music streaming services in the world, the reach is massive and the audio ad-format adds another method of communicating with your target audience.
However, the targeting on Spotify can seem somewhat limited when compared to other platforms. Though reduced targeting options may cause an advertiser to shy away from the platform, it is still worth testing as a top-of-funnel awareness play due to its tremendous reach.
Pros: Good ad formats, affordable CPMs
Cons: Limited targeting options, secondary platform
Perfect For: Businesses trying to scale top of funnel reach
Things to Avoid While Diversifying Digital Ad Spend
While testing new channels and tactics for your digital ad spend, it’s important to remember that channel diversification can take many forms and isn’t a one-size fits all. It’s also not a panacea – testing a new channel and finding a strategy that works for you will take time. You shouldn’t expect to see immediate results on a new channel by copying the strategy you have on one of your primary channels – it will take testing, learning, and refining to find the right tactic for you.
Here are some common mistakes we see in digital ad spend diversification that you should try to mitigate:
It takes time to optimize
Most tests and experiments on new channels don’t work in the sense that they are a completely new tactic, and take time to master. Don’t try to diversify ad spend and expect to get the same results you’re seeing on other channels in week, or even month one.
Don’t forget to account for extra management
Adding new channels can increase the complexity of reporting, optimization, and overall management. Instead of checking Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Google Analytics, for example, now you’ve got to learn how to incorporate new channels’ data and reporting dashboards into your existing systems and processes.
While diversification of spend and strategy is a great idea, over-diversification is a thing and can present issues of its own. If spend is spread too thinly across multiple new channels or platforms (or even multiple campaigns or ad creatives in one platform), it will take longer to gather actionable data and will be much more difficult to gauge the effectiveness of.
Want to Diversify Your Digital Ad Spend?
Tuff has managed ads on just about every platform imaginable, with budgets from partners ranging from a few thousand dollars, to one million-plus a month. Whether you’re in scale-up mode and wanting to try some new tactics or channels, or you want to optimize your advertising efforts on your existing channels, we can help. Let’s talk!