Last week’s episode of Optily Radio led us down the path less traveled in eCommerce advertising–Quora, Reddit, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube ads. Joe Martinez, PPC expert and international speaker, caught up with our own Brendan Hughes to talk about the untapped potential of these less popular platforms.
Long story short: if you haven’t looked into any of these channels, you’re probably missing out. As Joe pointed out several times, “Your audience, I can guarantee, visits more sites than just Google and Facebook.”
The big-ticket items we discussed during this episode were:
- Building audiences off YouTube TrueView ads
- Low-cost advertising options on Hulu, Quora, and Pinterest
- Avoiding the pitfalls of advertising on Reddit
Who are Joe and Brendan?
Known in the Twitterverse as @MilwaukeePPC, Joe Martinez is a veteran of the pay-per-click world, having been named among the Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts by PPC Hero three years in a row. He’s a regular columnist on Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and WordStream, along with being a frequent contributor to many other digital marketing online publications. He’s also spoken at some of the industry’s largest conferences and co-founded the Paid Media Pros Youtube channel.
Brendan Hughes is a regular on our show and is the CEO here at Optily. He’s got decades of experience creating and implementing digital marketing and eCommerce strategies, both on the ad buying and ad selling sides of the industry. Earlier this year, he came out with a practical guidebook for scaling eCommerce businesses through online ads, Accelerate eCommerce Growth–available as a free eBook download.
YouTube TrueView discovery ads
Joe isn’t a fan of running unskippable 6-second or 15-second ads as the first touchpoint on YouTube. If no one knows about your brand, he doesn’t think they should be forced to watch an ad just yet. However, YouTube has discovery ads that only charge you if people watch 30 seconds of your video, or the whole thing if it’s shorter than that. This means, if you have all your branding in the first 5 seconds, someone can watch the first bit and then skip, still remember your brand, but you don’t get charged.
Joe has had great success in using this type of ad to built audiences off of too. He makes these videos private, so they can’t be searched. meaning the only people who would’ve seen these videos are those who saw them as ads. If people have watched them as ads, then they’re clearly interested in the products. He then uses the viewers to build audiences for search and remarketing across the Google search and display networks.
Saving ad dollars and niche targeting on alternative platforms
A lot of the appeal of the less-used platforms is that the costs are much lower since there’s typically less competition. Joe is a big fan of Hulu’s TV spot-style ads and Quora since they’re especially budget-friendly options.
Beyond just the cost-saving element, the targeting these other channels have makes them each stand out in their own way. On Reddit, users segment themselves by interests on the sub-Reddits. On Quora, people are curious about learning and seeing answers to interesting questions. TikTok, Snapchat, and Spotify all have their own ways of reaching audiences that simply can’t be duplicated across other channels.
Being genuine on Reddit
Reddit is a unique platform, riddled with trolls, memes, and niche lingo–making it quite the snakepit for brands. Coming off too “salesy”, disingenuous, or intrusive doesn’t go over well here. eCommerce brands need to really spend time in the sub-Reddit communities that are relevant to their audiences and soak it all in. Learn how the community speaks, what kinds of topics they discuss, and use the insider knowledge to make your brand fun.
Don’t directly sell, but be helpful and playful. Launch a meme campaign on Reddit. This might not work for other channels, but on Reddit, it could really shine. Redditors don’t like being sold to and will retaliate harshly if they don’t like your brand, so be careful. That being said, this is the front page of the internet and is a huge audience that would be beneficial to tap into.