Paid promotion is a very valuable tool for digital marketing. It is offered through social media sites and search engines, and ads can be formatted in a variety of ways such as video, text and photos. Paying for ads is a great way to reach new audiences and potential customers, and ads can be targeted to specific demographics.
Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is Google’s advertising platform that lets businesses advertise and promote their products and services to users who search for relevant keywords. When users search for a key word, they will see the results of their search on a search engine results page. Google Ads appear at the top of the results page and look nearly identical to the organic search results, ensuring the ad is seen by people who are searching what the business is offering.
People use Google to search 3.5 billion times a day, so Google Ads are opening businesses up to a very large potential audience. Google Ads can be formatted as search ads, YouTube video ads, Google shopping or display campaigns, depending on your business’ preference and style.
There are three options for payment with Google Ads:
- CPC: Cost per click means you pay per user clicking on the ad.
- CPM: Cost per mille means you pay per 1000 ad impressions.
- CPE: Cost per engagement means you pay when a customer performs an action on your ad.
Facebook offers paid advertisement options to show a business’ post in more people’s newsfeeds, potentially gaining a new audience. The Facebook Ads manager allows users to choose an objective such as brand awareness, engagement or lead generation. Users then select the audience by age, gender, location or language and decide where to run the ad, budget and format. Facebook ads can be run across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger and are useful to increase brand awareness and reach.
Paid Instagram ads will drive awareness, increase customers and share your posts to a highly engaged audience. Instagram ads can be formatted as stories, videos, carousels or slideshows and explore page ads. According to Instagram, the easiest way to run an ad is to promote the posts you have just shared. These ads will drive awareness of your business and increase conversion through product sales, app downloads and even visitors to your shop. To create Instagram ads all you need to do is create a business profile, setup the ad in ad manager, determine your budget and publish.
Twitter offers three types of paid advertisements; promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends. It also allows a range of different campaigns where users can easily select campaign objectives and goals, whether that is building awareness, driving consideration, or getting people to convert or take action. Users can also choose the dates the ad will run, the budget, campaign targets and whether it will include photos or videos. Twitter also allows users to view in depth analytics on the performance of the ad.
Whether posting free or paid content on social media, it is going to be a key way of interacting with customers where they already are and boosting brand awareness. The best platforms for your business will depend on your target market, but a great starting point for every type of business is to have a Facebook and Instagram account, and use Google Ads if your budget allows.
|· Facebook is the preferred social media platform of 56% of Australians.
· It is most used by ages 18-54, and the older generation are starting to use it more than the younger.
|· Can reach a very wide range of people as it is the main platform people are using.
· Used by a wide range of ages.
|· Ads may be oversaturated due to its popularity.
|· Instagram’s largest user group in Australia is women aged 25-34. 31% of Australians use Instagram .
· 56% of these users are female 
|· Has a lot of users so can extend the reach of a business
· Great for targeting women in their 20s and 30s.
|· The amount of ads may be oversaturated due to popularity.
· Image based platform might not suit every business.
|· Twitter has 4.6 million active users in Australia. The highest amount is 36% of them being 18-29.
· 53% of twitter users are men. 
|· Great for posting text ads.
|· Less of the population are on Twitter compared to other platforms.
|· 6.4 million active Australian users.
· Has an estimated 5% share of the Australian social media marketplace.
|· Snapchat is ranked 2nd worldwide in app usage.
· Perfect for targeting the younger audience.
|· Is not accessible to older audience.
· Posts disappear after 24 hours.
|· Google has a 94% market share of search engines in Australia. 
· You can target specific demographics on Google Ads which will be accurate as most of the population is using Google.
|· Massive market share so more people will see the ad.
· Their targeting is very in depth due to such wide user range.
|· There is a lot of competition for ad space
· Users need to search keywords for your ad to appear in search ads.
Statista, Australia Social Media Penetration, https://www.statista.com/statistics/680201/australia-social-media-penetration/, 2020.
Pokrop, J. Instagram Users in Australia, Napoleon Cat, https://napoleoncat.com/blog/instagram-users-in-australia/, 2020.
Fiber, Social Media Statistics Worldwide: Australia, https://www.fiber.com.au/post/social-media-statistics-worldwide-australia, 2020.
Genroe, Social Media Statistics Australia, https://www.genroe.com/blog/social-media-statistics-australia/13492#Key-Australian-Snapchat-Advertising-Statistics, 2020.
Global Stats, Search Engine Market Share Australia Oct 2019-2020, https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/australia, 2020.