Beyond Google & Facebook: How to Leverage Ad Networks & Niche Blogs to Reach More Customers

Ad Networks

Google and Facebook are absolutely the best places to advertise your local business since they provide all the tools necessary to hit the ground running and serve ads to your potential customers within minutes.For advanced marketers, there are quite a few additional knobs that can be pulled for more granular targeting and segmentation – but getting started on the self-serve platforms of Google and Facebook only take minutes. A few pieces of information to know before starting a self-serve campaign:

  1. The keywords your customers type in when they search for your business
  2. Where they are geographically located
  3.  What general categories they belong to (age, sex, other demographics)

These targeting parameters build a super targeted list of prospects for your business to use on Google and Facebook. From there you can always add additional parameters to exclude non-potential customers from being served your ads (this saves money).

But once you’ve really spent enough time on both Google and Facebook, and have saturated both paid search and display audiences, then it’s time to look beyond these platforms for additional paid customers that exist outside of the Google/Facebook universe.

Most new marketers think they can reach everyone on the planet with Google and Facebook – which they can – but sometimes there are other more niche websites or verticalized ad networks that can be more effective at reaching your potential customers, as those audiences are what they specialize in.

Here are some tools that can help in your evaluation process of discovering other digital and mobile advertising companies:

Thalamus

Thalamus finds brand new ad networks and even publishers by searching for a keyword that matches the audience you are looking for. For example, a search for ‘moms’ or ‘fitness’ will only pull up advertising companies that can reach those types of users, and so you can quickly narrow down the audience and type of channel (Display, Mobile, Video, Social) you’d like to reach them on.

You can also filter by “Ad Network” or “Publisher” to find aggregated, scalable audiences that Ad Networks offer, or specific websites or blogs that have those audiences.

SimilarWeb

If you already know of a website that aligns with the audience you want to reach, you can find out more information about the audience of that website by visiting SimilarWeb.

They provide data on the potential total visits on that website (so you know how many users you can reach there), and other metrics like how engaged the audience is, what countries the audience comes from, and their interests.

If it seems like there is a large enough reach on this website, you can look on the “Advertise” page to reach out directly to learn more about their ad offering. Usually these websites will have a mediakit which goes into greater detail about their audience and the types of ad packages they offer businesses like yours.

Quantcast

Quantcast provides web traffic, demographics, and site + category affinity data about millions of websites on the internet. The way they gather this information is through an inference algorithm. Basically, a pixel is placed on the website and through all the data they gather from the other millions of websites that have this same pixel, or web tag, they are able to make educated guesses about the audience on a website and their characteristics.

If a website has a Quantcast pixel embedded on their page, you can view super granular information about the demographics, shopping affinities, media affinities, geographies, general interests, and even political affinities for a website. All these data points allow you to decide whether or not advertising there would help you achieve your goal of converting more new customers.

All these tools are designed for local businesses to discover new advertising partners to work with to expand their consumer base. What other ad networks do you use to reach more customers? Let us know in the comments below. 

Garrett Gan
Garrett Gan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Thalamus, the largest research database of advertising vendors in the world. With over 50,000 ad partners and counting, Thalamus houses the most comprehensive dataset of ad partner capabilities, contacts, files, ad specs, network data, and marketer reviews for vendors across the globe.