How To Decide What Digital Platforms You Should Advertise On

Aug 2020

decide_where_to_advertiseAs a small business, you may ask yourself, “Everyone seems to be advertising on Facebook, should I be doing it too?” In today’s day and age, many companies who are new to digital advertising see Facebook as the “default” social platform for ads. It’s true, Facebook is a powerhouse and has the potential to deliver strong brand reach and conversions, but depending on your industry and company size, there may be options out there that will be more effective for you. Here are some easy ways to decide what platforms you should advertise on:

Study the Purpose of the Platform

Before deciding to advertise your product or service on a particular social media channel, consider the purpose of that platform. Is it meant to maintain connections with friends and family? Share fun and lighthearted visuals? Or answer questions? Understanding the purpose and use of each platform will give you better insight into your fit as an advertiser, and guide the type of ads you should be running. Just because a platform has a large audience does not necessarily mean that audience is looking for what you’re selling. Make sure that when people use your chosen platform, they are in a headspace where they may be interested in what you have to offer.

Seek Out Your Target Audience

Define the age, income range, interests, and other demographic information of your target audience before deciding where to advertise. Each social platform has a different demographic range, and you want to ensure that you’re targeting people in the right place. For example, if you are an arthritis cream, advertising on Instagram will likely deliver subpar results because the audience is too young. Your product won’t resonate with them. Understanding who your target audience is and where they spend their time is essential to correctly identifying the advertising platforms that will deliver the best results. 

Get Clear on Your Goals

What is the end goal for your ad? Are you looking for increased brand awareness or sales? While most platforms offer a wide variety of ad objectives, some are more effective than others at completing each objective. After you identify your target audience and the platform they would like to see you on, take a minute to think about the effectiveness of your CTA there. Getting people to fill out a lead form for a new job listing will be much easier on LinkedIn compared to Facebook; a video ad may perform better on YouTube than on Pinterest. Understanding these differences can help you choose platforms that align with your ad’s needs.

Confirm Your Available Budget

Budget is a strong determining factor in platform choice. Some social media channels value their clicks higher than others, so advertising may be more expensive in those places. Daily spend recommendations typically range from $75-$300 and vary depending on the industry. Facebook is known for getting reach with smaller budgets, but the hits may not be as high-quality. LinkedIn, on the other hand, has a more expensive cost per click, but the hits are usually more valuable than Facebook leads. If possible, build your budget around market recommendations for the specific channel, and your specific industry.


Global social media advertising spending increased by 32% in 2018.

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