6 Places to Buy Cheap Ads Online (That You Haven’t Thought Of Yet)


Everybody knows about Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ads. But are there overlooked places online to buy inexpensive ads?

In 1905, a pharmacist by the name of Claud A. Hatcher worked late into the night on his new formula for a sweet, bubbly liquid. Soon, grocery stores around the world would be selling this new trendy cola. Hatcher came up with a name for his cola—and if you shouted Coca Cola, you would be wrong. He invented RC Cola, the much cheaper and far less famous version of Coca Cola.

In this article, I’ll present you the RC Cola of online advertising options. They might not have the brand power of Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube ads—but they’re a little cheaper and still get the job done.

Use these advertising options to boost your content, impress clients with a cheap media buy, and experiment with your paid media strategy.

My criteria for picking these advertising sites:

Hootsuite wasn’t paid to mention any of these advertising options. I selected these sites based on two criteria.

  1. They weren’t well-known. For example, everyone knows that Reddit offers cheap advertising. Or that Pinterest advertising works really well for certain products. Or that Snapchat geofilters are wonderfully inexpensive. I don’t go into those sites.
  2. They weren’t super obscure. You might recognize a few of the brands here. I didn’t want to go too niche. They needed to be broad enough to work for most businesses.

1. Rent someone’s land

With Syndicateads you can buy ad space, rent email lists, and gain social media promotion from industry publications such as Search Engine Journal, CodePen, and LaughingSquid, as well as social reading sites like Digg and Pocket.

How much will it cost?

Prices range from $350 to $4,500 for different campaigns.

Interested? You can browse their directory of sites. You’ll need to create a free account before you can view the list.

Here are a few examples of how far your money will go. I’ll move from most expensive to dirt cheap.


Pocket is a popular app where 18 million users share and save articles they find online. I personally love and use Pocket every day. For $3,750 you can buy placement on Pocket’s popular “Weekly Hits Newsletter”—reaching 1 million email addresses. You can increase your send (for more money, of course).

  • Option 1: Send to 1 million for $3,750
  • Option 2: Send to 1.5 million for $5,500
  • Option 3: Send to 2 million for $6,950
  • Option 4: Send to 3 million for $10,250
  • Option 5: Send to 4 million for $13,500

According to Pocket, these paid promotions deliver a seven percent open rate, 21 percent click rate, 4.4 percent clickthrough rate, and “dramatic increase in engagement even if original content might not have significant organic traction.”

Brands like Squarespace, Hipchat, Asana, and Docusign have used Pocket’s campaigns. You can see examples on their website (you’ll need to create a free account to view).

Search Engine Journal

For $1,200 you can get a sponsored post on Search Engine Journal including prominent placement in their weekly newsletter sent to 31,000 subscribers. This includes social promotion to their 270,000 followers via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook (with mentions of your social handles).

The LaughingSquid

The LaughingSquid is a popular blog with 2.6 million page views per month and a large presence on social media (600,000 Twitter followers and 589,000 Facebook fans). For $800, you can purchase a sponsored blog post. Your post will also be promoted on their social channels.

Startup Curated

You could promote your new app for $575 by partnering with Startup Curated, the startup community’s newsletter with the best content from and for founders, which goes out to more than 20,000 subscribers every week.

2. Reach ‘real’ people

Targeting Facebook and LinkedIn groups is a common strategy for marketers. But these groups are often resistant to sales pitches and expensive to reach via social media advertising. This is where advertising on Meetup.com can help.

In the old days, social media involved “meeting” people and shaking hands and making eye contact. People still do this—and they use Meetup.com to organize their groups. From local entrepreneur meetings to drunken knitting groups, Meetup.com offers you direct access to about every buyer persona you could ever possibly conceive of.

How to buy advertising with Meetup.com

You can’t directly buy advertising on the site. But you can sponsor a local group. For example, your new productivity software tool could sponsor a popular small business meet-up group in San Francisco.

Find out more about sponsoring Meetup Groups on Meetup’s website.

How much will it cost?

Totally depends. Make an offer to the group’s organizer. I suggest low-balling.

3. Feed a starving artist on Instagram

“I always had the show. But it took me a while to learn the business,” says Snoop Dogg. If you scroll through Instagram, you’ll see that musicians, independent bands, and authors are good at creating content that attracts huge audiences. But do you know what they’re bad at? Figuring out how to monetize those audiences. This is where your opportunity lies.

It’s a common strategy to approach popular celebrities or industry influencers for advertising partnerships. But fewer businesses approach independent artists and musicians—even though these artists have sizable audiences.

How to buy ads from Instagram influencers

Look for moderately famous musicians, authors, and independent artists with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. Approach these influencers with a direct message (DM) and get them to promote your product for a fee.

In particular, focus on personalities that are better at building audiences than building their business (such as musicians) as these will be cheaper than celebrities or industry influencers. Getting started with influencer marketing? We’ve written a concise guide.

Tools to help find the right Instagram influencers

Use TrendSpottr to find the best Instagram influencers for your products or services.

We’ve also created a popular toolkit for building your influencer marketing strategy. In this free toolkit, you’ll get a guide and spreadsheet to help you specifically target influencers who can influence the decision-making process of your customers.

4.Get creative with Dribbble

Skip this one if you’re not trying to reach creative professionals. Dribbble is a popular community for designers (and people looking to hire designers). It gets millions of views per month and offers access to some of the world’s top design influencers and talent.

There are a few ways to advertise on Dribbble.

  • Buy an ad unit. Promote your products to millions of creative professionals. Your ads will show up across Dribbble’s website.
  • Email sponsorship. Dribbble sends a weekly email to their community with around 220,000 subscribers. If you have a new design tool or offer for creative professionals, this is a good channel.
  • Podcast and meetup sponsorship. You can create a 30-second spot on Dribbble’s bi-weekly podcast. You can also sponsor one of the 150 Dribbble Meetups that take place every year in cities around the globe.

How much will it cost?

Traditional options (display ads, email sponsorship, podcast sponsorship) are in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. You can also buy high-quality, community-focused sponsorships (contests and events) that start in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.

You can place an order or ask for more details on Dribbble’s website.

5. ROI = Radio On the Internet

You’ve probably heard: podcasts are really hot right now. Hootsuite has one. Snoop Dogg has one (82 episodes and counting). Even Shaq—known for his quick mind and elocution—has one.

Podcasts are easy to create. But hard to monetize. That means there are lots of cheap advertising options out there. And who knows, you might land a sleeper hit like our friends, MailShrimp.

How to advertise on podcasts

Sites like Advertisecast help you find popular podcasts to advertise on. Search for a podcast, check out their audience, and then make a deal. Ask the podcast to throw in promotion on their social media accounts. With Advertisecast, you can search the results with a filter. Select “YouTube”—this means you can buy advertising on YouTube shows as well as podcasts.

6. Make your logo bigger

This final one isn’t a social media ad platform. But it’s still cool. The company is called MilkMoney. They offer heavily discounted billboards.

According to their site, thousands of incredible billboards go unsold every day. MilkMoney sends you these last-minute opportunities, offering billboard advertising at “highly discounted prices.”

They also take care of the printing and installation. You can sign up on their website.

Manage your social ads campaigns with Hootsuite

Hootsuite acquired Adespresso—the world’s most popular tool for managing Facebook and Instagram campaigns. Now, it’s really easy to target your Facebook and Instagram ads, run A/B tests, and optimize your ad campaigns with Hootsuite.

Learn More

The post 6 Places to Buy Cheap Ads Online (That You Haven’t Thought Of Yet) appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

April 13, 2017 at 06:22PM


from James Mulvey


The 6 Sweetest Facebook Advertising Features Right Now


The 6 Sweetest Facebook Advertising Features Right Now

With new platform updates being rolled out seemingly everyday, a common question among online marketers is, “So what’s the one thing that’s totally crushing it on Facebook ads right now?” Here’s the annoying truth: The answer is always changing, and even more annoyingly, the answer depends on whom you’re asking.

For example, “totally crushing it” means different things to different people. For direct-response advertisers and e-commerce business owners, it’s likely whatever tactic drives the most high-quality conversions, clicks, engagements, and ultimately, sales. Furthermore, Facebook has dozens of ad unit types and audience combinations, so drilling down to “one thing” that suits all advertisers is nearly impossible.

Running effective campaigns will continue to be challenging and competitive for Facebook and Instagram advertisers, both in ad cost and inventory, and it’s very clear that marketers must iterate and innovate at a rapid scale. It’s important to remember that Facebook truly wants its advertisers to succeed, though, because the company’s recurring annual revenue depends on robust advertising. As a result, the company routinely tries (sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully) to provide a glimpse into the new ad units they want advertisers to run, the creative assets they want marketers to focus on, and the strategies they encourage folks to try.

So let’s dive into the Super Sweet Six: Facebook’s best features right now. All of these features are still relatively new, but they have also been around long enough to be tried and tested by advertisers big and small, which is roughly three months. Here’s an important note for non-U.S. advertisers: Some of these features may not have launched in your area yet, but hopefully will soon.

With Facebook ads, drilling down to one thing that suits all advertisers is nearly impossible.
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1. Engagement Custom Audiences

Here advertisers can target users who have taken previous actions on an ad, page, or Facebook-created asset within a certain period of time. This targeting option includes people who’ve interacted in any way with your Facebook page, people who’ve opened but not filled out a lead generation form, people who’ve opened a Canvas, and people who’ve watched a certain percentage of one or a combination of Facebook videos you’ve launched.

From these Engagement Custom Audiences, you can then create and launch ads at lookalike audiences as well. For example, some of the most successful top-of-funnel audiences for direct response over the past three months have been a lookalike audience of those people that have engaged with my Facebook page or sent me a message in the last 365 days. (I wouldn’t have previously guessed that these would be the top performers, but because they are dynamic and constantly updating, I think that’s why they are outperforming other audiences.)

2. Time On Site Custom Audiences

Here you can create an audience of people who’ve come to your site and spent the most time on your website within a certain timeframe. This feature includes the ability to gather top website visitors into your best five, 10, and 25 percents. It’s a very powerful tool because it utilizes the power of the Facebook pixel by enabling the platform to know who is spending the most time on your website.

The most important thing to remember with Time On Site Custom Audiences is that this feature now functions differently than just a few months ago. Before, if a user visited your website once, or a user visited your website dozens of times, Facebook still considered those users in pretty much the same vein, even though their online habits denoted different interest levels, purchasing history, a website’s “stickiness” factor, etc. Now they can be segmented and targeted into unique groupings.

3. Custom Combination Website Custom Audiences

These audiences live within the Website Custom Audiences creation area of the ads manager. It’s a fantastic new feature because it allows advertisers to create an audience based on actions taken with a URL or event as tied to the Facebook pixel and the number of times people have visited that URL or activated that event within a certain amount of time.

For example, let’s say you want to target people that have visited your home page or your blog page three times over the last 60 days. Let’s say you also wanted to combine that audience with people who have visited your “contact us” page at least once in the last 60 days. Combining these two audiences allows you to create a more encompassing, more powerful targeting tool.

Side note: One of my personal favorite uses of Custom Combination Website Custom Audiences for direct-response e-commerce is if a user has added certain items to a cart or initiated a checkout at least two times within the last 30 days. This signifies how truly valuable that user is because one, they have already initiated the checkout, and two, they haven’t completed it and still need to convert.

4. Reach Objective for Low Funnel

Not all Facebook ad objectives are created equal. The majority of direct-response advertisers use a combination of Conversion, Traffic, or Video Views as the main objective for their ads. However, last year Facebook privately shared with their top spending advertisers the fact that up to 60 to 70 percent of users “don’t lie within an action-based objective.” This means targeting those users for Conversions, Traffic, or Video Views might not be the most cost-effective way to spend your ad dollars. That said, advertisers can still successfully target these hard-to-find users with the new Reach objective, which is optimized to show the ad to as many people as possible.

Here I must credit Antonio Callero, a good friend of mine who’s a guru at AdEspresso. He and I recently discussed the Reach objective, along with the Brand Awareness objective, because over the holidays we experimented with using Brand Awareness and Impression bidding to successfully stay in front of our lower-funnel audiences. This strategy worked very well because there is so much competition for the other objectives during that time.

5. Messenger Ads

You can now send ads to users who’ve sent your Facebook page a message within a certain time window. You can show an ad to people who have sent you a message in the last 30, 90, or even 365 days. This powerful new ad unit is undoubtedly going to expand as time goes on and News Feed competition increases.

I recently launched Messenger Ads on behalf of a client to follow up with and thank previous customers who had sent a message in the last 60 days, many of which were mainly complaints about a shipping error or delay. We provided a discount code in the ad, which was redeemed by nearly 70 percent of all message recipients. In this test, the cost per acquisition (CPA) was as much as 60 to 80 percent less than that of a traditional mobile News Feed ad. At this point, however, Messenger Ads don’t scale as much as other ad units, due to being limited to those who have previously messaged you, but they are a great feature to test and add to your Facebook marketing mix.

6. Collections, an Extension of Dynamic Product Ads

Collections are ads that feature different items within your e-commerce product catalog. They signal Facebook’s ongoing effort to keep users engaged and shopping directly on their platform, and not let users leave Facebook if they don’t have to. One of Facebook’s key numbers that has been increasing in recent years is the average time a user spends on the platform per day. This up-tick is due to more engrossing ad units, instant articles, and other immersive experiences, such as Canvas. Although the Collections ad unit is still in beta and is a bit complex for advertisers who haven’t yet set up a product catalog, it gives a glimpse into where Facebook is headed with online shopping.

Get a weekly dose of the trends and insights you need to keep you ON top, from the strategy team at Convince & Convert. Sign up for the Convince & Convert ON email newsletter.

April 13, 2017 at 06:13PM


from Andrew Foxwell


‘Game of Thrones’ actor Lena Headey opens up about mental health on Twitter



When you’re so used to seeing actors dressed up and in character, it’s sometimes easy to forget that they’re real people too.

Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones, has always been very honest and open on Twitter.

On Thursday, one of her fans asked Headey a question about insecurity.

@IAMLenaHeadey Do you get insecure Lena? ❤

— Juan dela Cruz (@JDC2K13) April 13, 2017

Her response came three minutes later.

I overthink for sure. I am familiar with depression. I get HUGE anxiety (always fun 😫) Insecure, not reallyhttps://t.co/5dwrO4ByYz

— lena headey (@IAMLenaHeadey) April 13, 2017 Read more…

More about Game Of Thrones, Uk, Twitter, Anxiety, and Depression

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April 13, 2017 at 06:05PM


from Sam Haysom


Is Instagram Advertising The Right Social Media Platform For Your Brand?

Instagram is one the most popular digital advertising platforms now. By looking at costs, ad formats and targeting options, and learning a bit more about the Instagram user-base, it’s possible for you to come to an informed conclusion about whether the platform is one that will work for your brand.

April 13, 2017 at 04:04PM


from Gabriel Shaoolian, Contributor


Does Social Media Influence Millennials’ Healthcare Decisions?

There’s no point in denying that millennials are influenced by opinions posted on social media. But does the influence of social media expand to include health care decisions?

April 13, 2017 at 04:04PM


from Jimmy Rohampton, Under 30