Digital Marketing

The Top 8 PPC Advertising Platforms

With so many ad networks available today, it has become harder than ever to decide which one to choose. However, one must keep in mind that no two platforms are exactly the same ever. When it comes to advertising, deciding where to invest can rely on a number of factors like:

  • Budget
  • The user base of the platform
  • Creative opportunities
  • Volume for ad serving

This lets the advertisers obtain immense reach to prospects across audiences and online behaviors.

So that brings us back to our main question – which PPC ad network is ideal for your business?

Most probably, your business will surely benefit from a number of ad networks that we are going to discuss in this blog.

This post will talk about the top eight PPC advertising platforms that are as follows:

  • Google Ads
  • Microsoft Ads
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

#1 Google Ads

Google Ads is the most widely used advertising platform worldwide because of the massive reach of ads in bulks of searches performed in Google and the hundreds of thousands of websites on GDN (Google Display Network).

Users carry out billions of searches on the Google search engine every single day.

According to Google, Google Adwords Display Ads show up on more than two million websites and in about 650,000 apps, meaning your ads can pop up wherever your target audience is. Targeting on the GDN comprises remarketing, in-market audiences, similar audiences, etc.

Both display and search campaigns allow demographic targeting in age, gender, household income, parental/marital status, etc. While adding in demographic targeting shrinks the available reach for your ads, it also makes your targeting more relevant, ensuring your ad reaches the ideal audience.

Ad Placements: Google SERPs, Google Display Network, YouTube, mobile sites, and apps.

Ad Formats: Text, image, video, responsive, app promotion ads

Pricing: CPC (Cost-Per-Click) model based on the ad quality and competition, Google Display Network allows CPM (Cost-Per-Mille or Cost Per Thousand impressions).

Pro Tip: Advertisers should note that CPCs vary from industry to industry on Google Ads. So you might find a higher CPC for specific keywords. It’s time to get a little creative. Try out a highly relevant display network campaign or simply shift to one of the other ad networks.

#2 Microsoft Ads

Microsoft Search Network enjoys billions of PC searches every month.

Microsoft Ads provides advertisers with tools that allow them to directly import their ad campaigns from Google Ads, thus making it easier for users to get started with it.

There are multiple benefits of using Microsoft Ads as Microsoft serves Yahoo search traffic exclusively, powers various digital assistant voice searches, and provides the advertisers with the ability to target searchers with LinkedIn profile data like industry, job title, company, etc.

As per Microsoft, Microsoft Ads is the only digital advertising network that offers LinkedIn Profile Targeting aside from LinkedIn itself.

Ad Placements: Search engines, LinkedIn, Microsoft Audience Network including placements on, MSN, the Edge browser, and other partner sites.

Ad Formats: Text ads for search and responsive ads for native placements. LinkedIn serves Dynamic Search Ads, text ads, and shopping campaigns.

Pricing: CPC (cost per click) model based on the ad quality and competition

Pro Tip: Even though Microsoft Ads lets advertisers import their campaigns from Google Ads directly, keeping the same exact copy and not optimizing your ads for the Microsoft Ads network could be a huge mistake. Therefore, make sure you modify your bids (usually bid it down), match types, and add any ad extensions.

#3 Facebook

Being the top social media platform, Facebook boasts over 2.6 billion monthly active users globally.

User targeting can get very granular with interests, demographics, behavior, and much more. Facebook allows retargeting through user activity on and off the platform via Facebook pixel data of advertisers and customer lists’ upload.

Ad Placements: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook Audience Network

Ad Formats: Image, Video, Carousel, Instant Experience, and Collection Ads. Facebook Audience Network on Mobile allows a range of video and display ad formats like a native, rewarded, interstitial, and in-stream video.

Pricing: Cost per the desired action pricing model based on the ad quality, bid, and estimated action rates.

Pro Tip: Facebook Ad network is best to target granular audiences via detailed demographics since this targeting level isn’t achieved easily on other platforms such as Google and Bing.

#4 YouTube

The popular video streaming platform, YouTube, enjoys over two billion active users per month worldwide. So, undoubtedly this platform provides the advertisers with an incredible opportunity to reach their target audience.

While building and managing campaigns are done through the Google Ads platform only, advertisers can get in-depth insights into their audience engagement and demographics using YouTube Analytics in their YouTube account.

Ad Placements: YouTube

Ad Formats: Video Discovery Ads (formerly called in-display ads), Skippable in-stream ads, Non-skippable in-stream ads (that includes bumper ads), Overlays Ads, Sponsored Cards, and Masthead Ads.

Pricing: CPV (cost per view) and CPM (cost per mille) model

Pro Tip: Advertisers can reach prospects with the same targeting available for GDN.

#5 Instagram

As one of the most popular social networking platforms, Instagram boasts more than 1 billion active users comprising younger people mostly.

Since Instagram is a Facebook-owned platform, building and managing campaigns is done through Facebook Ads only. While Facebook recommends advertisers to use Automatic Placements (which places an ad on all placements available for the advertiser’s settings on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Audience Network), you can set it to any placement you like easily.

Ad Placements: Instagram Feed, Stories, and Explore, you can also combine it with any Facebook placements.

Ad Formats: Images, Videos, Carousel, and Instagram Stories

Pricing: Same as Facebook – cost per the desired action pricing model based on the ad quality, bid, and estimated action rates.

Pro Tip: Instagram users tend to be younger than Facebook audiences and have a little less volume.

#6 Twitter

This social networking site cum microblogging platform enjoys more than 300 million monthly active users. Twitter provides the advertisers with multiple options to reach users on the platform.

As opposed to numerous other advertising platforms, Twitter ads are wholly contained within the Twitter platform without any network partners.

Promoted tweets are arguably one of the most flexible ad formats since they can comprise any mixture of text and other media as long as they are in compliance with Twitter policies.

Ad Placements: Twitter website and app

Ad Formats: Promoted tweets (consisting of text, images, videos, GIFs), promoted trends, and promoted accounts

Pricing: Promoted tweets and promoted accounts follow a cost per click (CPC) pricing model, whereas a Twitter sales executive handles promoted trends.

Pro Tip: Running your ads on Twitter should be accompanied by a powerful Twitter engagement strategy. Promoting an account on Twitter can indeed bring in new followers, but having solid tweet content will help produce the best results.

#7 LinkedIn

Microsoft now owns LinkedIn, which is undoubtedly an abundance of information and audiences for advertisers to target.

LinkedIn is often referred to as a professional networking site. The platform’s user base comprises more than 500 million professionals. Advertisers can target this audience base by professional criteria, including company, industry, job title, seniority, and so on.

Ad Placements: LinkedIn, LinkedIn Audience Network, which includes tens of thousands of third-party apps, websites, and ad exchanges.

Ad Formats: Text and image ads on LinkedIn, native ads on LinkedIn Audience Network apps and sites.

Pricing: CPM (cost per mille), CPS (cost per send), and CPC (cost per click) model based on ad relevance and competition.

Pro Tip: Offering useful tips, whitepapers, or other content related to the audience’s industry is a smart tactic that yields valuable results on LinkedIn.

#8 Pinterest

Being one of the most popular social networking platforms, Pinterest sees more than 300 million active users per month worldwide. These users are actively researching products, ideas, and trends, with a lot of them considering making a purchase.

Females dominate the Pinterest user base as reportedly 71% of pinners are women.

Ad Placements: Pinterest app and website

Ad Formats: Promoted pins, promoted video pins, promoted app pins, one-tap promoted pins, and cinematic pins

Pricing: CPC (cost per click) pricing model for promoted pins and app installs, CPM (cost per mille) for promoted video pins.

Pro Tip: Search queries tend to be more general on Pinterest compared to Google. Therefore, make sure you perform in-depth keyword research before getting started with Pinterest advertising. Having a powerful presence on Pinterest will yield even better results since saves and shares on the platform stick around and cost nothing to the advertiser.

Wrapping It Up

PPC advertising is undoubtedly one of the most efficient tools to place your business in front of your target audience for as little as a couple of bucks. It does an excellent job at making your potential customers familiar with your brand. Today there are so many PPC advertising networks in the market, and it isn’t possible or smart to run your ads on all of them as you’ll be too torn between them – jumping from one platform to another. So it is crucial to invest some time into thinking which platform would work best for your business. Consider the audience base of the different PPC ad networks, your target audience, your overall advertising budget, and other crucial factors to find the ideal platform for your unique business. And we hope you have got it all figured out by now. These were the top eight PPC advertising platforms with their unique sets of features and capabilities. Do some more research if you like, and get started with your chosen platform right away.

Happy advertising!