Top 19 PPC Platforms You Should Consider in 2024
The comprehensive guide on PPC Platforms. Which ones you should use, how to pick the best one, the types of advertising campaigns you should run, and much more.
Published November 21, 2023.
Big numbers, for sure - but not at all shocking. PPC networks provide companies with a clear, measurable way to reach new audiences and showcase their products and services to them.
So it makes sense that more and more organizations want to jump on the pay-per-click train and benefit from all its perks.
What are some of the best and most popular PPC platforms out there?
Let's take a deep dive and find out more.
- Google Ads may be the most popular PPC platform in the world, but it's not the only one - and in many situations, not the most cost-effective option either
- Other popular platforms to consider include (but aren't limited to) Facebook and Instagram Ads, Pinterest Ads, Taboola, Twitter Ads, Reddit Ads, and Outbrain
- To pick the right PPC platform, you should consider factors like campaign type, your audience (which PPC ad network they're likely to be on), and your brand.
What is a PPC platform?
A PPC platform is a digital marketing channel used to create, manage, and measure pay-per-click advertising campaigns. This type of campaign allows you to target specific audiences with ads tailored to their interests and preferences.
PPC platforms provide potent tools for keyword research, ad creation, budget management and optimization, campaign analytics, and reporting. They offer an efficient way for businesses of all sizes to distribute their messages, raise awareness of their brands/products, get more traffic and increase their conversion rate.
The types of PPC platforms
There are different PPC platforms available, each with its merits and features. The most commonly used categories of PPC ad platforms offer search, display, and social media campaigns.
Search PPC platforms are used to create campaigns that target customers who search for relevant keywords or phrases on a search engine. These platforms allow you to identify and bid on relevant terms, as well as track the performance of each keyword/phrase.
This type of platform is ideal for businesses that want to drive more qualified traffic to their sites and increase conversions. For example, Google Search campaigns allow you to target customers searching for specific terms, such as "running shoes" or "sporting goods".
Display campaigns consist of ads that are shown on various websites included in the platforms' publisher network. This form of advertising is designed to increase brand awareness and engagement by targeting customers who may need to search for your products or services actively.
Display campaigns are ideal for businesses that want to reach a wider audience or drive more traffic to their sites.
For example, Google Display Network (GDN) allows you to create ads that are shown to customers who have previously visited your website and people who fit a specific demographic or interest group.
Social platforms are used for advertising on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. Social PPC campaigns can be used to increase brand awareness, build an audience, and engage with potential customers. These campaigns can be tailored to target a particular audience based on their interests, demographics, location, etc.
For example, Facebook Ads allows you to create highly targeted campaigns based on a variety of factors such as age, gender, interests, and location. You can also use this platform's audience insights tool to gain valuable insights about your target market.
Video ads are not a type PPC platform per se, as they can appear on specific platforms (like YouTube or TikTok, for example), in display ads, or in social media advertising campaigns.
However, video marketing is an important channel, as video ads can be more engaging than static ads (87% of marketers say video has helped them increase traffic).
Benefits of leveraging PPC platforms
In 2021, companies spent more than $244 billion on display ads (including video and social media) and nearly $153bn on search advertising. Those staggering numbers show marketers believe in PPC (and are ready to invest in it). Here are some of the benefits of using PPC platforms in your strategy.
1. PPC is measurable and trackable
PPC platforms come with analytics tools that allow you to track and measure the performance of your campaigns so that you can make more informed decisions.
You can virtually track users from the moment they click on your ad to when they make a purchase - thus, you can double down on what works best for your business.
2. Advanced targeting options
PPC platforms allow you to target users in various ways, such as by selecting targeting criteria based on user demographics, interests, location, and more. This means you can show your ads to the right people at the right time.
3. Retargeting existing customers
PPC platforms can help you connect with previous customers and users who have already interacted with your brand. This is a great way to keep potential customers in the loop about new products, services, or promotions, without starting from scratch each time.
4. You can start and stop at any time.
PPC campaigns have a switch on/off "button", allowing you to start and stop them whenever needed. This gives you the flexibility to adjust your budget and strategies as needed. You can't ask someone to take your billboard off a building if your contract is for two months, but you can stop a PPC campaign even if you initially intended to run it for two months.
5. Get access to new audiences.
PPC platforms grant you access to new audiences that would be difficult to reach otherwise. This is especially useful for companies looking to expand their customer base and increase their market share.
It's like you had a magic map pointing to where everyone is - you can't see the entire map, but if you use the right "spells" (i.e., targeting), you can uncover new ideal target audiences online and show them your product.
Top PPC Platforms to Consider
Alright, now that we've covered the basics, let's look at some of the most popular PPC platforms you should consider.
They have the largest search network in the world and a more than impressive display network, making it easy for advertisers to find new audiences and target them correctly.
Google Ads can mainly appear in search (i.e., target specific search queries on Google), on Google AdSense websites, and on YouTube (as well as other Search Partner networks).
Google Ads also offers mobile-specific campaigns so that you can target users on their smartphones and tablets.
Google Ads allows advertisers to choose different ad formats for their campaigns. It offers a wide variety of ad types such as text-based search ads for relevant keywords, images, video ads, app install ads, and more.
The pricing for Google Ads depends on many factors, such as your industry, the type of ads you're running, and other considerations. The average CPC for search ads ranges between $2 and $4, whereas the average CPC for ads on the Display Network stands at an average of $1.
Microsoft Ads (Bing Ads) continues to be one of the most popular platforms, especially with some market segments. For example, people over 50 are more likely to use Bing to search the web, making this platform an interesting option to reach those specific demographics.
Microsoft Ads appear on the Bing platform, Yahoo (once a separate advertiser platform), and its Search Partner Network.
Microsoft Ads also offer mobile-specific campaigns so that you can target users on their smartphones and tablets.
Like in the case of Google AdWords, Microsoft Ads allows advertisers to choose from different formats, such as dynamic search ads, image and video ads, app ads, and so on.
Bing Ads comes with a CPC of $1.54 across all industries. Some industries tend to be less expensive than this (such as Careers & Employment or Apparel & Accessories), while others are slightly more expensive. The industries with the highest CPC on Bing Ads include Education, Real Estate, and Home Improvement & Repair).
As the PPC platform fuelling the world's most popular social media site, Facebook Ads continue to be an excellent choice for marketers. In 2021, they recorded a total advertising revenue of nearly $115 billion, showing they're still popular among advertisers.
Facebook Ads allows you to place ads in the Facebook News Feed, on Facebook Marketplace, and even within Facebook Groups or in the Messenger inbox. The placements available depend on your goal for your Facebook Ads campaign.
Facebook also enables you to target specific devices (such as mobile devices). You can do this from the ad settings (under the "Detailed Targeting" option).
Facebook Ads come in many formats, such as carousel ads, video ads, image ads, lead ads, Instant Experience Ads, and more.
The average cost per click on Facebook Ads is $0.94, which makes ads on Facebook less expensive than ads on other social media networks (such as LinkedIn, Instagram, or YouTube, for example).
Instagram Ads are a great way to reach and engage with new audiences, build brand awareness, and drive sales. Studies estimate that 1.44 billion people use Instagram, making it an essential platform for many marketers, particularly those in specific niches (such as Fashion, Fitness, or Lifestyle), but not exclusively.
Instagram Ads are mainly placed in the Instagram News Feed (as sponsored posts) and in Stories. You can also use ads to promote content on IGTV.
Same as Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads can be configured to target specific devices, such as mobile phones or tablets.
Instagram Ads come in various formats, including photo, video, carousel, and story ads.
According to recent data, Instagram ads average $0.40 - $0.90 per engagement (clicks, comments, or likes). Furthermore, the average CPC on Instagram Ads is between $0.5 and $0.95.
YouTube Ads is a solid advertising channel every marketer should consider, as they have a massive audience you could be tapping into. For instance, there are more than 368.7 million 18 to 24 olds using YouTube on a regular basis.
YouTube Ads come in many placement options: in-stream (skippable or non-skippable), in-feed, bumper, outstream, and masthead.
YouTube Ads are mobile-friendly, and you can target users on their smartphones or tablets.
You could use different types of YouTube Ads, such as video discovery ads, bumper ads, and even overlay ads (which appear on top of YouTube videos).
The average cost per view on YouTube Ads is $0.010 – $0.030 and it generally costs about $2,000 to reach 100,000 viewers.
Pinterest Ads allows you to place your ads in organic search results/ as related Pins or as people browse through Pinterest.
Pinterest Ads are mobile-friendly, and you can target people on their smartphones or tablets.
Pinterest offers a wide range of ad formats, such as standard, carousel, video, shopping, or app install ads.
Pinterest Ads pricing depends quite a lot on your goal. For instance, if you want to drive engagement, you should expect to spend $0.10-$1.50 per click. For driving brand awareness, you should expect to spend $2-$5 per thousand impressions. And for quality traffic to your site, you should pay $0.10-$1.50/ click.
Twitter Ads are a good choice if you want to reach your target audience quickly and straightforwardly. Twitter has 450 million active users worldwide, making it an excellent choice, especially for some industries (such as B2B, technology, or media).
Twitter Ads appear in feeds, but you can also use them in the "Who to Follow" section or search results, promoted accounts.
Twitter allows you to create mobile-specific ads and target people on their smartphones or tablets.
Twitter Ads come in several formats, such as text, image, video, carousel, Live, or "Moment" Ads (which allow you to show a collection of Tweets you want to promote).
The median cost per click (CPC) on Twitter Ads is around $0.33, but it can also vary depending on your industry, the type of ad you're creating, and your audience.
LinkedIn Ads is a great way to reach professionals and decision-makers. It's estimated that the platform has around 875 million users in total, making LinkedIn a great option, especially for B2B online advertising.
LinkedIn Ads appear in the home feeds of those you target with your campaigns.
LinkedIn Ads can be shown on most mobile devices.
The platform offers a variety of ad formats, including single-image, carousel, video, text, dynamic, and even sponsored message ads.
LinkedIn is a more expensive digital advertising option, as the average CPC on the platform is around $5.39. However, it is worth it if you want to reach decision-makers and high-level professionals.
Amazon Ads has grown in popularity in the past few years, as it is arguably one of the best options for targeting eCommerce shoppers on Amazon.
Amazon ads can be placed on the Amazon home page, in search, on the product detail pages, on Twitch, or on third-party websites and apps from select marketplaces.
If your goal is to reach mobile users, Amazon Ads can be an excellent choice.
Amazon Ads come in several formats, such as product display ads, Sponsored Product Ads, video ads, and more.
The average CPC for Amazon Ads in the United States is $0.89 (according to 2022 data).
TikTok for Business
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, with over 1 billion active users in more than 150 countries. It also has an impressive engagement rate, making it an excellent option for advertisers.
TikTok Ads can be placed as people scroll through the "For You" page or your brand's profile page.
Since TikTok is a platform primarily built for mobiles, it's a great choice if you are looking to reach smartphone and tablet users.
TikTok Ads come in several formats, such as in-feed video ads, branded lenses, filters, and hashtag challenges.
As TikTok is a fairly new participant in the global ad space, the data on how much TikTok ads cost is still disparate. However, according to most sources, the average CPC on TikTok ranges between $0.19 and $1 per click.
Snapchat for Business
Snapchat may not be in its heyday anymore, but it's still an excellent choice for advertisers looking to reach a younger demographic.
Snapchat Ads can be placed in the Discover section, as well as in people's Stories and Snaps.
Since Snapchat is built primarily for mobile devices, it allows you to target smartphone and tablet users.
Snapchat Ads come in several formats, such as video ads, sponsored lenses, filters, and branded geo-filters.
Snapchat Ads cost about $2.95 per thousand impressions on average but like with other ads, their actual pricing depends on your content, targeting, and audience. It’s best to talk to a Snapchat marketer to set up a winning strategy for your ads.
Reddit is an excellent platform for reaching a highly engaged audience, and it's estimated that the social network had around 1.5-1.6 billion visits consistently throughout 2022.
Reddit Ads appear in SubReddits (which are like narrow sub-threads in a traditional online forum).
Yes, you can show Reddit Ads to mobile audiences.
The platform offers three main types of ads: promoted posts, videos, and carousels,
Reddit offers a lower CPC than most other platforms, at an average of $0.44/click.
Twitch is a live-streaming video platform owned by Amazon, with an estimated 140 million users. It provides a great opportunity for gamers, gaming companies, and any brand looking to target a younger audience with related products and services.
Twitch Ads can appear on the homepage, in streams, as well as in channels and videos. One important thing to note is that Twitch ads do not interrupt the streamers or their content.
Twitch allows you to create and target ads for users who use the Twitch app on a mobile device.
Some of the main types of ads available on Twitch include carousel ads, image ads, and video ads.
There's no conclusive data on the average cost of running ads on Twitch. However, as with other platforms, Twitch Ads will depend on the type of campaign and your targeting and audience.
Taboola is a PPC platform that helps you to reach audiences across the web. According to the company, they can help you get to more than 500 million users daily.
Taboola Ads are placed on blogs or websites with the Taboola content recommendation widget installed on them. The ads either appear within the blog post or at the top, bottom, or side of the blog page.
Taboola allows PPC marketers to target their ads on mobile devices, using their Native Advertising system.
Taboola is focused on image ads in different formats (such as banners, for example).
The price you pay for one click on Taboola will depend on a lot of factors, but some sources say the average CPC can be as low as $0.02- $0.05.
Outbrain is a visual content recommendation platform that helps you to reach a broader audience through the power of native ads.
Outbrain Ads are placed on websites and blogs that have the Outbrain content recommendation widget installed.
Outbrain Ads can be targeted to mobile devices using the Outbrain Native Ads system.
Outbrain uses a variety of ad formats, including banners and native ads.
Outbrain CPC depends on your industry and ad targeting, but, on average, you should expect to pay between $0.10 and $1.5 for every click.
AdRoll is another digital advertising platform that allows you to create ads and display them on the websites part of their network.
AdRoll Ads are placed on websites and blogs that have the AdRoll content recommendation widget installed, as well as on apps, Facebook, Instagram, and through emails.
Like other similar PPC platforms, AdRoll allows you to target ads on mobile devices.
AdRoll ads are available in a variety of formats, native and dynamic banners, for example.
AdRoll recommends its users specific advertising budget ranges, depending on their goals. For instance, if you want to attract between 10,000 and 25,000 visitors to your website, you should have a $55-110 daily budget.
RevContent is a programmatic advertising platform that helps you reach targeted users across the web, using personalized ads.
RevAds promises to use an AI/ machine learning algorithm to find the proper placement and the right timing for your ads (to make it more likely your ad is displayed when customers are ready to buy)
RevContent also allows you to target mobile and desktop users through their audience targeting platform.
RevContent Ads are usually displayed as native ads that blend in with the website's content.
RevContent pricing varies, depending on your targeting and audience.
Apple Search Ads
Apple Search Ads is Apple's platform for PPC advertisers who want to reach targeted users on their App Store.
Apple Search Ads are placed in the App Store.
If you want to use this PPC platform to reach mobile users, you can do it.
Apple Search Ads appear as text and image ads in the App store.
The average cost per tap (CPT) for Apple Search Ads is $0.84.
Spotify Ads is an audio advertising platform that helps you reach millions of Spotify users.
Spotify Ads are played on Spotify for members who do not have a paid Spotify subscription.
You can place Spotify Ads in between tracks, during podcasts, or even within a song.
You can use Spotify Ads to reach mobile users and desktop users alike.
There are a few ad formats you can choose from on Spotify: audio, video, podcast, or custom experiences.
Generally, the average price you'll pay for 1,000 impressions on Spotify Ads ranges between $10 and $25.
There are many different PPC platforms you can use for your advertising campaigns. Each of them offers unique advantages, and ultimately the one you should pick depends on your brand, your product, and where your audience hangs out the most.
Fitness buffs and fashionistas might do well on Instagram, while gamers and tech enthusiasts should look into Google Ads, Apple Search Ads, and Twitch. Bloggers and influencers could benefit from using Outbrain and RevContent, while Bing Ads might be better for an older audience.
Once you've tested different platforms and seen what they can offer, all you have to do is double down on your winners and keep testing until you find that perfect combination of ad platform and audience.