How to Select the Right Media Channel For Your Online Advertisement Campaigns


One of the questions we get a lot is “what is the best digital advertising channel right now that we should invest in?”

And my answer is “there isn’t one”.

The definition of “good marketing” is having the “Right Message, At the Right Time, to the Right Person”. 

This means that the right channel for one business may be the completely wrong channel for another.

Each digital advertising channel has its pros and cons and which one should you invest in will heavily depend on your market, your target market, your marketing strategy, your budget, etc…

But first, let me break down some of the bigger digital advertising channels we know of.

Channel Breakdown

Here I’m going to break down the top 10 channels you can advertise through on the internet. There are more but they are much less popular and it’s impossible to include everything here. All channels listed below are not ranked or ordered in any particular way.

Google Search Ads

Google search is ads are ads that show up on the Google search results usually above the organic results but they’re marked as ads. Google search ads are probably one of the most popular ads on the internet because it is very high intent as your ads are only shown to people who are actively searching for a “specific keyword” but it is also very expensive.

High Intent. High Conversion. Easy to Management. Ad Copies Are SimpleExpensive Not Very Scalable. Very Competitive. Race to the BottomText-Only Ads

Bind Search Ads

Bind search ads are just like Google search ads expect it’s on Bind. Bind is a less popular search engine with less than 1.41% of the total market share. However, some people argue search engines like Yahoo and Bind would have a slightly different market compared to Google.

High Intent.High Conversion. Easy to Management. Ad Copies Are SimpleLow Volume. Not Very Scalable. Race to the BottomText-Only Ads

Facebook & Instagram Ads

The reason I put Facebook and Instagram ads here in the same section is that they both run through Facebook ads manager and usually run together due to how Facebook set up their ads platform. However, advanced media buyers know and will separate the platform to see which performs better.

Overall Facebook & Instagram ads are probably the second or the most popular digital ads platform due to their low barrier of entry. It is slightly harder to get Facebook/Instagram ads going compared to Google Search ads which are only text base but it’s much cheaper and very scalable. The downside, however, is the quality of leads well massively varies depending on your creatives, message, and strategy.

Extremely scalable
Good conversion If you know what you’re doing
Relatively easy to manage Very flexible
Low intent.
Low barrier of entry.
It will require a good strategy and have a good sales process.
Requires a good amount of testing to get started.
Very strict ad approval process.

YouTube Ads

YouTube ads are currently my personal favorite digital channel for advertising for a few reasons. For one it is not as strict compared to Facebook/Instagram getting your ads approved and you don’t get randomly banned for no reason. 

Apart from that many consider YouTube to be the next raising platform for digital ads. However, the adoption has still been slow. The reason is and the same reason I separated YouTube from Google Search ads even though they’re both under the same Google Ads Manager like Facebook/Instagram but YouTube ads are drastically different compared to Google Search ads.

YouTube ads are great but it is definitely harder to get started and that’s why most business still has not adopted them. You’ll have to make a video, and you’ll need to know how to write a script but once you get it working you’re golden. 

Extremely scalable
Good Conversion If you know what you’re doing
Relatively easy to manage 
Ad Copies Are Simple
Low intent.
Not Very Scalable
High barrier of entry.
High production cost

Linkedin Ads

Linkedin ads are very similar to Facebook ads, it does have a few types of ads that Facebook doesn’t such as being able to run a message ad (no it’s not the same as Facebook Messenger ads). 

The challenge with Linkedin ads is that it has a terrible ads manager and most businesses avoid it as it is more of a B2B platform. However, Linkedin ads are great if you’re looking for higher quality leads but Linkedin ads will definitely be more expensive.

Good Conversion If you know what you’re doing.
Relatively easy to manage 
Ad Copies Are Simple
Low intent
Usually higher CPM (More expensive)

Google Display Network

I’m separating Google Display Network ads from search ads as well because again it is very different. Google Display Network is essentially Google’s programmatic display network (or Native Ads). Basically, it is a combination of websites and apps that allows you to place image banners, video banners, or interactive banners as ads.

In terms of exposure, it is one of the biggest networks of digital ads inventory available however like any type of display or programmatic advertising, it is best for mass media marketing rather than conversion or direct response marketing.

Extremely scalable.
Very cheap (CPM)
Massive inventory
Great for retargeting or remarketing
Very low intent.
Not great for conversion.
Has many restrictions.

Native Ads (DSP)

Native Ads is just like Google Display Ads, a network of websites, apps, and streaming services that you can buy advertisement spots in through a Native Ads exchange like Adroll, Outbrain, etc…

Again the same pros and cons apply to Native Ads (DSP) as it would apply to Google Display Network because it is the same. One may choose to work with a different DSP because of different inventory (placements), price, or restrictions. For example, it is very difficult and nearly impossible to get certain medical ads to be approved on Google Display Network but not so much on Adroll.

Extremely scalable.
Very cheap (CPM)
Massive inventory
Great for retargeting
Very low intent.
Not great for conversion

TikTok Ads

We don’t have much experience with TikTok ads but it is the fastest-growing network right now. We have our concerns of what of the audiences available on TikTok as it is built on short videos. Typically the audiences on Tiktok will be younger millennials and will have a short tension span which means you’ll have to be able to grab their attention that much quicker.

Overall I’m not a big fan of TikTok as a platform but that shouldn’t deter you from using it as a business driver if it works for you.

Extremely scalable.
Very very cheap (CPM)
Very new platform 
Good for organic lead generation
Younger audiences only.
Usually poor lead quality
It’s cheap for clicks, conversion is not so great.

Twitter Ads

Relatively cheap (CPM)
Good for advertorial type of ads

It’s losing its user base.
the interface is not great
Not so great for direct conversion type of ads

Pinterest Ads

Pinterest ads is not a medium that most digital media buyers would go to at least not at first but 

Very cheap (CPM)
Mostly female audiences only (can be a positive)
Usually better e-commerce.

Other Ads

Above are all digital advertising channels that we are aware of and use, however, there are certain other channels that we may not be aware of. 

Selecting the Right Digital Advertising Channel

As mentioned above, the “best marketing” is having the “Right Message, At the Right Time, to the Right Person”. So, there isn’t a one-size fit all digital advertising channel that is right for every company but there are, however here are a few criteria to consider when selecting a digital advertising channel.

What Is Your Budget

Your budget will be a big factor when it comes to choosing a digital advertising channel. The reason is if you have a very large budget for example $50,000+ then you can afford to be a multiple channels 2 – 3 channels depending on your industry.

But if your budget is below $10,000 then we highly recommend you stick to one channel first before expanding. The reason is, it does take a considerable amount of time, resources, and ad spending to master one platform and with a small budget, you simply won’t be able to get the most out of any platform if you spread it out too thin.

However, if you have a large budget then the best thing to do is to strategically on as many channels as possible. Some will have a smaller budget compared to others.

What Is Goals

Knowing your goal will also determine which channel you will choose. If you’re strictly looking to gain exposure for your brand and business and not too worry about a conversion or generating leads/sales then channels such as Native ads, DSP, Google Display Network, and even YouTube may be more ideal for you.

But if getting leads and conversion is your goal then you probably don’t want to be using Google Display Network, DSPs, etc… Instead, you would want to be on Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, and YouTube Ads.

Know Thy Audience

Lastly is target market/audience will also heavily determine which digital advertisement you should choose. For example, channels such as Pinterest and Instagram will generally have a bigger female audience where Pinterest will gear towards mothers, and people who like to DIY. 

On the flip side channels like TikTok, Snapchat will appear to a much younger audience and Linkedin will generally appear to professionals and business executives.

This is not to say you cannot find business executives, young professionals, or mothers on Facebook or YouTube, you absolutely can but you’ll be looking for a needle in a much larger haystack.


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