Guide to the Top Digital Marketing Sites and Online Advertising Platforms

Marketers, you’ve got to be in it to win it.

Every business today must have a strong online presence to succeed.

Yet a working website, a few social media posts, and a new blog once a week are not enough.

As the online world has become more saturated, it is harder to be seen and found online. 

That’s why businesses must engage in paid advertising. But even that is getting tricker. 

With the proliferation of digital marketing and advertising platforms, the AI revolution, data-driven marketing, and changing data privacy laws (including the depreciation of third-party cookies), businesses must pinpoint the best online advertising networks and channels (or a combination of these) to boost their brand visibility and drive growth.

How much growth can you expect? Let’s explore some stats about how effective paid online advertising is. Is it worth the digital marketing investment? 

  • Small businesses traditionally invest 5-10% of revenue towards their digital marketing budget. For medium-sized businesses and enterprises, that number can climb to about 14%, and even higher for the retail industry – up to 30%. 
  • Digital marketing can increase brand awareness by 80%. Consumers are 155% more likely to look up your brand-specific terms after they’ve been exposed to advertising. This is also referred to as ‘brand lift’. 
  • When a potential customer searches for a brand after seeing a related advertisement, the likelihood of them converting is 59%.
  • According to, PPC generates double the number of website visitors than organic search.

With that being said, and so many options available for digital marketing, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. This article will explore the top digital marketing sites and online advertising platforms that can help take your business to the next level.

Key takeaways

  • Digital marketing sites and online advertising platforms are critical for businesses to establish an online presence.
  • Choosing the right platform can be overwhelming, but understanding its benefits and features can help businesses make informed decisions.
  • Outbrain’s predictive analytics enables marketers to serve ads and content that the audience is more likely to be interested in, thereby increasing engagement and results.
  • Mobile-first is not a buzzword. Mobile devices have become the primary tool for browsing the internet. Businesses must make mobile optimization a critical component of their digital strategies.
  • Measuring multi-touch influence for multiple funnels is the future of determining the ROAS (return on ad spend) of your ad campaigns. Especially with cookie depreciation on the horizon, there is a strong need to develop multi-channel attribution models that provide the full picture of all your campaigns.
  • Diversify your approach to digital advertising, and spread your budget across channels to expand your reach, gain maximum exposure, and achieve the best possible ROAS.

Outbrain – Driving Real Results through Predicting Engagement

Outbrain’s ad platform has a wide reach, with its ads appearing on premium publisher sites such as CNN, ESPN, and Fox News. Outbrain aims to engage users with relevant content, making use of predictive analytics to ensure that the right content is delivered to the right audience at the right time.

Brands such as Clarins saw twice the amount of sales on Outbrain by reaching more engaged audiences at scale, while Microsoft increased lead generation by 180% with Outbrain compared to social channels. 

Why are these results so successful? Outbrain’s platform analyzes user behavior to accurately predict their engagement with content. This ensures that only the most engaging content is shown to users, increasing the chances of conversion. Moreover, Outbrain’s algorithms optimize campaigns in real time to increase engagement, making it a valuable platform for marketers to achieve their desired outcomes.

When it comes to targeting, Outbrain provides granular targeting options, including targeting by location, device, and audience type. This allows businesses to reach their intended audience effectively, boosting their engagement with the brand. The platform also allows advertisers to run A/B tests to determine the efficacy of different campaign strategies, giving them the flexibility to refine their approach and drive optimal results.

All in all, Outbrain’s predictive technology and granular targeting options make it a powerful marketing platform. It provides value to both publishers and advertisers by connecting people with the most engaging content on the open internet.

The Dominance of Mobile in the Global Market

The use of mobile devices has surged tremendously in recent years, now accounting for around 55% of web visits globally. Mobile is fast becoming the primary means for accessing the internet. Marketers must adapt to this shift in consumer behavior and focus on optimizing their digital marketing strategies for mobile devices.

Businesses must ensure their website is mobile responsive and can adjust to various screen sizes seamlessly. Such a website can help capture the attention of potential customers, leading to higher engagement and sales.

As mobile usage continues to dominate the global market, marketers have no choice but to turn their focus to mobile to engage with their target audience. This means they must make mobile optimization a key component of all their digital marketing strategies to drive business growth.

The Power of Advertisements in Purchasing Decisions

Advertisements have always been a powerful tool in marketing, and they are equally powerful in the digital marketing landscape. A US study showed that nearly 22% of shoppers were influenced by online ads in the electronics category, and over 18% in the apparel category.

Ads can contribute to creating brand awareness and influencing brand perception among the target audience. Advertising also helps consumers make informed and confident purchasing decisions by providing them with product information and the value proposition.

Businesses can now use data and analytics to identify their target audience and tailor their online ad campaigns to reach them effectively. This has made ads even more impactful in driving purchasing decisions and boosting brand visibility.

Facebook – A Key Player in Digital Marketing

Facebook is a staggeringly popular online advertising site, with 89% of B2B and B2C marketers using the platform for marketing purposes. Its wide reach and diverse user base make it a crucial option for businesses of all sizes to connect with customers, build brand visibility, and drive growth.

With over 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers businesses the ability to reach a massive audience through various ad formats, including image, video, carousel, and stories. It also provides advanced targeting options based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more, allowing marketers to create highly personalized campaigns that resonate with their audience.

Cookie depreciation will have a significant impact on Facebook Advertiser results. The Facebook tracking pixel will become less effective as it loses the ability to track the type of data that was previously available. Not to mention the subscription model experiment for a paid version of Facebook with no ads – assuming of course that those with disposable income to purchase the subscription are higher-value customers (not necessarily true).

Attribution and ROAS – The New Challenge

In the future of digital marketing, the key to understanding ROAS (return on ad spend) from your campaigns will be to break free from pure channel or platform-based reporting and to find an attribution measurement that can provide insights into multi-channel campaigns and your marketing strategy as a whole. This approach to attribution will not rely on third-party cookies and can measure multi-touch influence at different stages in the funnel. 

Case studies at Outbrain show that brand reputation (often in the form of reviews) will play a crucial part in the consideration part of a buyer’s journey. It can contribute significant uplifts in mid-funnel conversion rates. 

One such example is with Outbrain, the travel reservation website saw a significant improvement in the number of users completing 25% of the sign-up funnel, as well as users who succeeded in completing the registration process and listing their property. Clearly, when native-based landing pages tell a compelling story in context, this increases consideration and intent.

Google Ads – Reaching a Wider Audience

Not surprisingly, Google Ads is a primary tool for marketers who want to boost their brand’s visibility and reach a wider audience. With over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google, the platform offers an unprecedented and vast audience that businesses can tap into to promote their products or services.

Google Ads allows marketers to create targeted campaigns that reach potential customers at the precise moment they are searching for products or services related to their business. This means that businesses can connect with their target audience, deliver their message, and drive valuable leads to their website.

As the most popular search engine by far, Google brings together a massive and diverse audience from around the world. With Google Ads, businesses can expand their reach beyond their immediate market and capture the attention of prospective customers globally.

Moreover, Google Ads is a highly effective platform for monitoring campaign performance and making data-driven decisions. With robust tracking and analysis tools, businesses can gain insights into how their campaigns are performing, optimize their strategies, and achieve better results over time. (formerly Twitter) – Real-Time Marketing and Engagement’s focus on real-time updates and engagement makes it a valuable platform for marketers. The real-time nature of X allows businesses to connect with their audience in real time, making it an ideal platform for real-time marketing strategies.

With over 192 million daily active users, X offers a vast audience to target. The platform allows businesses to interact with their audience directly, increasing engagement and building brand loyalty.

Real-time marketing on X allows businesses to leverage current events and trending topics to promote their brand, with opportunities for quick virality that cannot be found elsewhere. This type of marketing strategy can increase engagement and brand awareness, leading to higher conversion rates.

Overall, X’s focus on real-time updates and engagement provides unique digital marketing opportunities that should not be overlooked.

YouTube – Harnessing the Power of Video Marketing

YouTube is the largest video-sharing platform in the world, and it has over 2 billion active monthly users. With that kind of audience, it’s no surprise that YouTube is a powerful tool for video marketing, offering numerous advantages for businesses looking to reach their target audience.

Firstly, YouTube provides a platform to showcase products and services through video content. This is particularly useful for businesses selling physical products, as video demonstrations can be more effective in conveying product features and benefits than text or images alone. Video content on YouTube also often appears in Google search results, increasing a business’s online visibility and driving traffic to its website.

Furthermore, YouTube’s wide range of customization options allows businesses to tailor their branding and messaging to their audience. Customization options include the ability to create a branded channel and add clickable links to other websites, such as an e-commerce site or social media pages, in the video descriptions. YouTube also provides audience analytics to track engagement and demographic data, enabling businesses to refine their video marketing strategy and campaigns.

Finally, perhaps the most significant advantage of YouTube for video marketing is its potential for virality. Entertaining, informative, or engaging videos on YouTube can quickly gain millions of views through social sharing and recommendations. Businesses can capitalize on this potential by creating engaging content that resonates with their audience and encourages social sharing.

Instagram – Visual Storytelling for Brands

Instagram is a powerful digital marketing tool that enables businesses to create and share visual content with their audience. With over one billion active users, Instagram provides a massive potential customer base for brands to reach.

The platform’s emphasis on visual storytelling makes it perfect for businesses that want to showcase their products and services in a creative and engaging way. Instagram’s features, such as Stories, Reels, and IGTV, allow businesses to experiment with different types of visual content and leverage them to create an emotional connection with their audience.

Marketers can also use Instagram’s advertising tools to reach a more targeted audience. Instagram’s targeting options, including demographics, interests, and behaviors, allow businesses to ensure that their ads are seen by the right people, increasing the chances of conversion and ROI.

Moreover, Instagram’s shoppable posts and tags feature enable businesses to sell their products directly to their audience without having to redirect them to their website. This feature has revolutionized the e-commerce industry by creating a seamless shopping experience on the platform.

Amazon Advertising – Targeted Marketing for E-commerce

When it comes to e-commerce, Amazon is undoubtedly one of the key players in the global market. With Amazon Advertising, the platform offers targeted marketing opportunities that allow businesses to reach potential customers. Amazon Advertising leverages data on customer search and purchase history to serve ads to those who are most likely to be interested in the products or services offered by the business.

With targeting features such as product or category targeting, automatic targeting, and search and browse remarketing, businesses can reach their desired audience with greater precision. Moreover, Amazon Advertising offers various ad formats, including Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display ads, providing flexibility in ad creation and placement.

The targeted marketing capabilities of Amazon Advertising can translate to higher conversion rates, increased sales, and a better ROI for e-commerce businesses. By utilizing Amazon’s extensive reach and data-driven approach, businesses can effectively promote their offerings and achieve their marketing goals.

The Power of Many

The digital marketing landscape presents numerous opportunities for businesses to increase their online presence and drive growth. 

These include a range of online advertising platforms, from Google to Outbrain, Facebook to X, Instagram to Amazon, and several more. 

Each has different features and benefits, and varying potential to reach and convert your particular audience.

A recommended strategy for digital advertising comes from the famous adage: don’t put your eggs in one basket.

In other words, diversify your channels. Spread your digital advertising budget across various platforms, so you can increase your exposure, maximize your potential conversions, and get the best possible ROAS.

Adapt and optimize your campaigns for each platform, each audience, and each campaign goal. And don’t forget to test, test, test – and optimize again.

This is the golden rule to make the most of the top digital marketing sites and online advertising platforms today.

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