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Top 9 Advertising Alternatives to Facebook in 2021

Putting all your advertising dollars in one platform is like skating on thin ice. 

You might get lucky and hit that advertising honey hole fast or you may end up with a bunch of unsuccessful campaigns that cause your business to struggle. 

If you are sticking with Facebook solely for the advanced algorithm, targeting options, or types of ads, it may be time to start looking at other options. Facebook is not the only, easiest, or cheapest option on the market. In fact, with the steady rise in Facebook’s advertising costs, you might want to check out advertising alternatives to Facebook sooner rather than later.

In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of advertising on Facebook, what to pay attention to when choosing Facebook ads alternative, and list what those alternatives might be.  

Pros of Advertising on Facebook

Let’s take a quick look at the most popular reasons people use Facebook ads. 

  • Full-funnel Targeting. Facebook’s targeting capabilities are considered to be much more advanced than other social media platforms. If you choose the right ad type and targeting, you can reach your audience at any stage of their buying journey. You can target Facebook’s users based on their age, interests, demographics, connections, languages, or locations. You can also target people who follow your competitors’ pages. 
facebook ad targeting
Image source: Facebook Ads dashboard
  • Works for both: B2B and B2C businesses. According to Facebook, business decision-makers spend 74% more time on Facebook than other groups of people. With the right ad type, message, and targeting options you can market to consumers as well as other businesses. 
  • Advanced analytics dashboard. Facebook offers advanced performance measuring options. You can track any interaction between your ad and your audience on and off Facebook. However, you will need to install Facebook Pixel. 
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Cons of Facebook Advertising

If you’re here, chances are, there is something that you don’t like about advertising on Facebook. Here are a few of Facebook ads’ biggest pitfalls:

  • It’s only Facebook and its partner sites. Your potential buyers may hang out in other places online. Expanding beyond Facebook could easily increase your sales.
  • It’s complicated. If you’ve ever tried setting up ads on Facebook’s Business Manager, you know it’s no simple feat. It’s a lengthy and complicated process that entrepreneurs with little or no digital advertising experience often struggle to successfully navigate. Bookmark our Facebook ads glossary for a quick access to common Facebook ads terms and explanation on what they mean.
  • It’s not cheap. You can run ads on Facebook for as little as $0.97 per click. If you are lucky, you may even be able to run one or two ads with a low budget. But if you want to scale your business with Facebook ads, you have to invest heavily. 
  • Strict advertising policies. If you’ve created ads on Facebook, chances are some of them were not approved. Here are some of the reasons your ads might not have been approved: 1) restricted words were in your ad text 2) restricted items or services were promoted. Whatever the reason, it’s frustrating and time-consuming.
facebook ads desktop

Should you look beyond Facebook advertising?

Try answering these questions about your business to decide if you need to advertise on more than one platform. Your answers will also help you decide which alternative to Facebook advertising would best for your business. 

1. Who are your buyers?

When choosing an advertising platform, it’s good to know demographics such as the age and gender of your target audience. Then, you will be able to communicate a more accurate, personalized message, and find the best advertising platform for your target audience. 

 2. Where do your buyers hang out?

Knowing where your audience hangs out will help you decide which advertising platform to choose. Are they running Google searches? Or do they use Bing instead of Google? What devices do they use? Have they found you on Instagram? You can easily answer these questions with the help of Google Analytics. If a large portion of your audience isn’t using Facebook or is spending a lot of time in other places, you should probably choose a different platform for advertising. 

3. What’s your advertising budget?

Some advertising platforms are more expensive than others. Before you choose one, it’s good to think through and calculate your advertising budget. It’s usually better to run ads on a few different platforms, so if you have the budget for it— do it. If, however, your budget is tight, you should pick the advertising platform that is best for your audience. Continue reading to decide which one that may be.

Facebook’s Audience

Here are some stats about Facebook’s audience which may help you decide whether or not to continue advertising on Facebook:

  • 72.8% of Facebook’s users are between 18-44 years old. 
  • 18.8% of Facebook’s users are 25-34-year-old males and 12.8% are females in the same age range.
  • 98.3% of Facebook users access the platform via mobile devices.
  • â…” of all Facebook users worldwide visit Facebook pages for local businesses.
  • Advertising costs: the average CPM (cost-per-thousand) is $5.31 and the average CPC (cost-per-click) is $1.72.
  • The average CTR (click-through-rate) is 3.41%.
  • The average ROAS (return-on-ad-spend) is 6-10X.

If you’ve answered the questions above and realize that your target audience doesn’t line up with Facebook’s audience or advertising insights it’s time to think about expanding your advertising channels. 

So, what options are out there?

Advertising Alternatives to Facebook

#1 sixads

sixads

The first option on our list is sixads. Technically, it’s not an advertising platform. It’s a Shopify app that helps you run ads on the three most popular advertising platforms - Google, Instagram, and Facebook. 

sixads is great if you want to continue or start running ads on Facebook, Google, and Instagram. With sixads, you can start advertising on all three platforms in just 2 minutes, as the setup is easy and you don’t need any advertising experience. 

Features:

  • Easy to set up.
  • Three different advertising platforms - one dashboard.
  • Your ads are optimized to reach people who want to buy your products.
  • No complicated digital advertising lingo.
  • Automatically syncs with your product pages.
  • Advertise to three different audiences at once.

Best for:

  • Businesses that don’t want multiple advertising accounts.
  • Businesses with little or no advertising experience (although, advertising experts also find the app useful).
  • Businesses on a small budget.

#2 LinkedIn Ads

linkedin

LinkedIn is a popular social media platform dedicated to networking, education, and business promotion. LinkedIn is a great alternative to Facebook ads if you’re in the B2B sector or sell SaaS rather than tangible products. 

The platform is great if you’re looking for new leads, want to communicate your business’s mission and vision, or if you are looking to ditch cold calling for highly targeted inmailing. 

Features:

  • Reach 690 million professionals.
  • Advanced targeting options. Target prospects based on their job title (copywriters, programmers, CEOs, CFOs, etc.), their interests, or demographics.
  • Send inmails. Instead of news feed ads that get lost among other content, you can send a message directly to a prospect’s inbox.
  • Create ads across all devices. LinkedIn ads are available on desktop, mobile, or tablet devices.
  • The average CPC is $5.26. Facebook’s average CPC is $1.72.

Best for:

  • Businesses in the B2B sector.
  • Businesses selling SaaS.
  • Self-promotion and event advertising.

#3 TikTok Ads

tiktok ads

TikTok is a newer social media platform. Released in 2019, it went to the top quickly and is now the 6th most popular app in the world. 

The app has more than 800 million active monthly users, some of which are likely your target audience. While more than 60% of those users reside in China, there are still around 300 million monthly users outside of China. 300 million is still a huge number and could very well contain your target audience! 

TikTok offers video ads and a few other original advertising options: 

  • In-feed. Your ad is shown as a part of the user’s feed.
  • Brand takeover. Your ad is shown right after the app is launched, but before the user is taken to the news feed.
  • Branded AR content. A brand can create branded stickers, filters, lenses, or other AR content for users to use on their videos.  
  • Influencer ads. An ad created by a TikTok user with influence in your field.
  • Hashtag challenges. The ad appears on the Discover page.

Features:

Best for:

  • Businesses with the target audience mainly in China.
  • Businesses with high advertising budgets.
  • Business with audiences between 18 and 34 years old.

#4 Instagram Advertising

instagram ads

Instagram is owned by Facebook but has different audiences, advertising options, and prices, so it might be worth considering it as a Facebook advertising alternative. You can advertise on Instagram straight from the app. However, you can only boost posts by using Instagram’s app. If you want more advanced advertising options, you’ll have to create ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager. 

According to sproutsocial, 75% of Instagram’s audience is between the ages of 18 and 24, and most of the app’s users are located in the USA and India. 

Features:

  • Instagram ad formats: stories, photos, videos, carousels, collection ads as well as ads on Instagram Explore, IGTV, and Instagram Shopping.
  • You can advertise to people that aren’t your followers
  • The average CPC is $0.50 - $1.00. Facebook’s average CPC is $1.72.

Best for:

  • Businesses with audiences between 18 and 24 years old.
  • Visual storytellers.
  • Businesses with audiences mostly in the USA and/or India.

#5 Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords)

google ads

Google is not a social media platform, but it is the most popular search engine in the world. The site sees over 3.5 billion searches per day.

Almost everyone in the world uses Google which means advertising on Google, its Display Network, or associated apps can be quite profitable. 

So, where are Google ads be displayed? After going through a rigorous review and approval process, your ads will be displayed on Google search results pages, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Google Display Network (Youtube, Gmail, Blogger, and thousands of partner websites), as well as Google’s other websites and tools. 

Features:

  • Hard-to-crack interface. Google Ads is not meant to be used by people that are just beginning to advertise digitally.
  • Your customers might visit other places online. While Google’s advertising network can reach a huge audience, your potential customers likely frequent other places on the Internet. Like Facebook or Bing.
  • Advertising on Google’s app store. With Google Ads, you can run ads in the Google app store, but people spend more money on Apple’s App Store.
  • Google Display network’s average CPC is $0.63, whereas Facebook’s CPC is $1.72.

Best for:

  • Businesses with previous digital advertising experience.
  • Small merchants and local stores. 

#6 Twitter Ads

twitter ads

Twitter Ads are perfect if you are looking for a more affordable option that is similar to TikTok or Instagram. Twitter has 340 million users. Although more than 80% of the users are outside of the US, users located in the US are considered to be the most active.

It has also been noted that more than 80% of Twitter users are 50 or younger and 62% of the total users are males. So, if these numbers are what you were looking for — it’s time to give Twitter Ads a go!

On Twitter’s advertising platform, you can promote your tweets and business or personal account, get your business in front of potential buyers by targeting popular hashtags and trending topics, and promote stories. 

If you’re new to advertising, you can also run automated ads and let Twitter automatically promote your tweets and business to your selected audience. This feature will cost you $99 a month.  

Features:

  • Twitter Ads offer a wide variety of objectives to choose from to reach your business goals.
  • No minimum ad spend.
  • A wide variety of targeting options: target based on location, language, demographics, device, or even the type of mobile network. 
  • Twitter’s median CPC as of the last quarter of 2019 is $0.33 compared to Facebook’s average CPC of $1.72.

Best for:

  • Businesses with tight budgets.
  • Businesses with little or no advertising experience.
  • Businesses aiming to advertise in the US.

#7 Quora Ads

quora ads

Quora is a Q&A forum, where users ask and provide insightful and sometimes even data-driven questions and answers. 

Advertising on Quora can help you build your brand’s credibility in the eyes of a potential customer during their research phase, get high-quality, targeted traffic, and gain more insights about your target audience. 

According to Foundationinc, Quora has over 300 million active monthly users, Âľ of which use Quora on their mobile devices. 34% of Quora’s users reside in the United States, which makes it a great advertising platform for businesses operating in the US. 

Quora’s ads appear in topic feeds, user feeds, and on question pages. Quora also offers 4 types of targeting: contextual, audience, behavioral, and broad targeting. These targeting options can allow you to reach your website’s audience, people who ask or search certain questions or keywords, and Quora users based on interests. 

Features:

  • You can achieve 5 business goals with Quora Ads: conversions, app installs, traffic, awareness, and lead generation.
  • Quora offers 3 types of ads: text, image, or promoted answers. 
  • Quora charges you for ads only when you reach certain spending thresholds. The first threshold is $25, then $50, $250, $500 and $750. 

Best for:

  • Businesses that produce high-volume, high-quality content.
  • Businesses that are new to digital advertising.

#8 Reddit Ads

reddit ads

Reddit is another forum-based social media platform. The platform has over 100k communities, based around a vast range of interests, which means, the forum covers almost every topic out there. 

It’s a great advertising platform for businesses in any niche. However, to get the results you want, you have to be strategic. Reddit takes pride in its opinionated and vocal users, most of which are not going to like brands pushing their products or services. So if you’re there to do just that — you might fail quicker than you think. 

Reddit is one of the 20 top websites in the world with 430 million active monthly users, so there’s no doubt that a part of that audience is your potential customers.  But before you start putting your money in Reddit Ads, you have to gain trust and become an authority for your target audience on Reddit. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting money

If you think investing money as well as time to gain authority on Reddit is worth it, give it a go. You can create two types of CPC ads on Reddit: promoted posts and video ads. In those ads, you can target people based on device, interests, community, location, etc. Your ads will be available on all devices. 

Features of Reddit Ads:

  • Highly-engaging, opinionated audience. If you don’t have any authority among your target audience, your ads will most likely be unsuccessful. On the other hand, when done correctly you could make $28K from a single, non-boosted post.
  • Reddit users spend around 34 minutes per day on the app. 
  • 58% of Reddit’s audience is between 18 and 34 years old
  • The minimum ad spend is $5.

Best for:

  • Businesses with a presence on Reddit.
  • Businesses with experience in digital advertising.
  • Businesses that produce high-quality, informative content.

#9 Amazon Ads

amazon ads

Amazon Ads is a great alternative for both Google Shopping ads and Facebook Shopping Ads. In some ways, it’s even better. 

Amazon’s users usually search for particular products on Amazon after they have already done their research. They come to the site with a product in mind. At that point, they are looking for the best price and buy a product, unlike, Google and Facebook where most people aren’t looking to buy immediately. 

Amazon ads are perfect for online businesses that sell tangible goods. On this advertising platform, you can create ads that will show up on top of results pages, audio, and video ads. You can also promote your brand and your Amazon shop page. The ads reach your audience on or off Amazon: on Amazon TV, IMDB, IMDB TV, Amazon Music, or even Alexa.  

Features:

  • Showcase individual products or your whole store.
  • Create a store on Amazon.
  • The CPC is around $0.35. Facebook’s is $1.72.

Best for:

  • B2C businesses.
  • Businesses that are already on Amazon.

To sum up: Best Advertising Alternatives to Facebook

Nailing digital advertising can take a toll on your business if you aren’t careful. But when done right, it can take your business to the next level. 

Stop wasting money on non-profitable advertising platforms and choose the best advertising alternatives to Facebook for your business!  

Here is a quick recap:

  • Advertising alternatives to Facebook for small businesses: sixads, Instagram, Twitter Ads, Quora Ads, Google Ads.
  • Advertising alternatives to Facebook for e-commerce businesses: sixads, Amazon ads, Google Ads, Instagram ads.
  • Advertising alternatives to Facebook for B2B businesses: LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, Twitter Ads.
  • Advertising alternatives to Facebook for businesses with small budgets: sixads, Instagram Ads, Quora Ads, Google Ads.

FAQ

Where can I advertise instead of Facebook?

Some popular advertising options instead of Facebook include Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, TikTok Ads, and Amazon Ads.

Can you promote without Facebook?

Certainly! All advertising platforms allow you to promote your content without a Facebook Business Manager Account.

The one platform that needed a Facebook Business Manager account was Instagram. However, now you can boost your Instagram posts straight through that platform, without a Facebook account.

What is the best alternative to Facebook?

The best alternative to Facebook depends on your business goals and what you want to achieve with digital advertising.
Google Ads has a bigger variety of ads (shopping, display, photo, video ads, etc.) but if you’re selling SaaS or want to generate B2B leads, LinkedIn may be the best for you.

How do I get followers on Facebook without ads?

In theory, it is possible to get Facebook followers without advertising, but in reality, it’s highly unlikely.

Facebook’s algorithms are designed to only show your unpromoted content to your current followers. So unless you ask your friends and family to share your content, you’ll likely have to grow your fan base through paid advertising.

Do I need a Facebook Business Manager account to advertise on Facebook?

Yes. However, if you don’t have one or have trouble setting one up, sixads can help you create and manage your advertising accounts on Facebook, Google, and Instagram. Also, read this helpful guide to setting up Facebook Business Manager and Ad accounts.