In my humble opinion it’s always a good practice to start with the major PPC networks and work your way from there. If you are new to PPC it gives you a clearer understanding of how straightforward paid traffic actually can be. It also allows you to have a mindset to venture into a new level of paid traffic since you are over the initial sticker shock. Regardless of where you begin or add-on to your paid traffic endeavors there are a few good PPC networks that are not Google or Bing. I will say that many small PPC or paid networks are wonky at best, so don’t be lured in by low cost traffic. There are some well known networks listed but also some small boutique paid traffic networks that have yet to cross your path.
Like I mentioned above, there are many paid options to try out but each have their own pros & cons. I will discuss some of those network but first let’s talk penny arcades.
All This For Just A Penny
Marketing is a fun and a beautiful gizmo that delights and entertains the masses while blinding lights and cheap giveaways fill their eyes. It’s like going to a penny arcade and none of the machines take pennies, what the heck man! This is total false advertising but hey my kids still love spending my money because every machine cost a minimum of $0.25 or more, ha ha!
So what does a penny arcade have to do with PPC or paid traffic networks? Well for one thing there are a plethora of PPC networks that you can get penny clicks from and many of them are cut from the same mold. Meaning they all follow the same technique to get that traffic. The overwhelming issue with these smaller networks that you will find is the quality of the traffic. The traffic sources tend to be so diverse you can end up with the most unqualified leads ever in the history of unqualified leads.
Vertical specific paid networks
The exception to the rule is, unless you are targeting a product or service that works best within that particular PPC network. Yes there are networks that have a base of traffic targeted towards certain verticals, like games or free wallpapers. What you may get is a lot of junk but sometimes that is what you may be looking for, not sure why your company would want low quality traffic but it takes all sorts to make up the world of marketing. It’s typical and should be noted again and again, traffic that coincides with the smaller networks is by definition cheaper. Though an advantage is this; you will pay a lot less per visitor and get much needed eyeballs to your product or service, after all we are not talking huge dollars to do so.
Note: Share the wealth and divide your budget up, this way you find what paid networks actually work. Though if you cannot afford to experiment in this manner and have a very strict marketing budget, stay on the main path (Google AdWords or Bing Ads).
We get emails from companies that have been down the clicks for pennies road. It all seems to start with the same lead in, they got an email or saw an ad and it read something like this “that they should not be paying more than a $.05 per click for PPC”. Many companies that sell cheap clicks and traffic will elude to the fact that AdWords and PPC networks like Bing are a rip off. Regardless no matter what you chose to do, make sure you invested the time and reach your own educated conclusions, forget the hyperbole.
Why do you need an alternative?
Is your budget not sufficient enough to pay the hefty cost-per-click (CPC) pricing of the big networks or are you looking to experiment and expand your reach using cheaper alternatives. Whatever the reason it’s still easy to burn through time and money and walk away without one lead to show for it. Some of these smaller to mid sized networks have huge traffic, very unqualified traffic. Just remember if you think the big paid networks are costly, these cheaper networks can serve up your ads extremely quick and blow your budget in a snap. So weigh your options carefully.
Even though this article is about alternative PPC networks keep in mind the low end of the market, that is the $0.05 a click networks. They can add a whole new sense of campaign management to your day. We do need options but let’s not go bananas hoping we can get something for nothing.
Keep an eye on your analytics & metrics data
My warning with low end penny click PPC networks is real and you should watch your analytics like a hawk and invest in a solid real-time metrics solution. Because not all clicks are created equal. Some of those clicks can come from countries that you are not targeting or from a bad partner source (third-party website in the paid network) and the paid networks may not have the technology or platform to provide you with tools to block unwanted traffic.
Basically when it comes to PPC, you can stick with the main PPC networks or possibly venture out into one of the networks listed below. Below is not an exhaustive list of alternative paid networks but my goal for this post is to get your gears turning. Try one of these alternatives out on a very limited basis and see how your offer converts before dedicating to many dollars of your paid marketing budget.
Note: A strong landing page, tracking and reporting are the key foundations that will help you know the best network for your product or service.
Now let’s get onto the list
Facebook is really considered a big paid network in today’s landscape of marketing but for many verticals it can provide your company with cheaper converting traffic. I do not expect this trend to last long as Facebook’s prices have been on the rise due to competition entering the marketplace.
Facebook provides many solutions to it’s advertisers mainly CPC, CPM, OCPM and Likes, but we will focus on their PPC/CPC model. I have used their PPC model in the past, it’s fairly decent and will generate traffic and leads the fastest. It may end up costing you close to what you pay in Bing for the lead or more. Though if you want to expand your reach quickly, it’s a great place to start.
7Search will work for many different verticals but not all will work and produce solid results. Much of it’s traffic comes from partner websites, much like AdSense with Google. From my experience they do bring in a cheaper cost per lead. The caveat we found is that the leads you get from this network may not convert into sales at a healthy enough percentage, but only your company knows that number, so do the math to see if it makes sense to your goals.
As mentioned above, the main 7Search PPC model provides search results that are based on their niche website partners. The traffic comes from visitors searching for the target keywords you define on these partner websites. Always be on the lookout for a bad partner source and if you find a bad source you can block that site from serving your results. A plus with 7Search is they have a decent customer service and 7Search will help your company to expand it’s reach and goals.
They claim 4 Billion Untapped Monthly Searches on their Network outside of Google
Keywords on the LookSmart search engine. Comparing their typical CPC, $0.05 versus $10 on Google. It may be worth a try, I will interject and say I used this network 15 years ago and it was very lucrative but the cookie crumbled with them and their company hit some rough sports. So I moved on after their traffic just refused to convert into leads. Maybe after all these years their back.
Contextual PPC advertising network that serves ads across websites that are relevant to your companies offerings. Clicksor ensures advertisers that the right ads are delivered to the right audience at the right time. They claim high click through rates, higher conversions and maximized ROI. Serving 3 billion ad impression per month and CPC starting at $0.05.
Reach your audience based on their recent search activity, data is taken from the top search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. High quality traffic of the tier one search engines for a fraction of their CPC rates. DynamicOxygen has anti-fraud filters and a minimum bid starting at $0.03 CPC.
IndustryBrains reach is over 200 million users and your pay-per-click and display ads will appear in front of interested buyers alongside targeted, relevant content (placed inside site content). They service national and local sites only.
International network with 20 billion impressions per month. CPC ROI-based advertising that covers all verticals. Click and impression-fraud monitoring included along with a dedicated account manager. TLVMedia boast you can reach 90% of internet users using their real-time bidding.
So that we are very clear with our readers, we are not receiving any type of compensation to share these networks with you. Our goal is to provide you with information that you can reference and investigate on your own. We ask that you always do your own due diligence in finding the best options for your PPC and paid marketing needs.