2021 Ad Platforms Marketing

Unsure Which Ad Platform Is Best For You? We Review Them All [2021]

Unsure Which Ad Platform Is Best For Your Business? We Review Them All [Updated For 2021]


You can be forgiven for not keeping up with every social media platform and digital advertising platform that exists in the world – I work in this industry, and even I find that it evolves and changes at the speed of light. 


My goal here is to provide a comprehensive overview of every major ad platform available (As of this current writing, May 2021), that details out exactly the platform is and who is it ideal for. Specifically we’ll be reviewing for each ad network:


  • What the platform excels at
  • What the platform struggles with
  • Cost of advertising (CPM, CPC)
  • Beginner Friendliness
  • What You Need To Get Started
  • Order To Start In


Defining Our Terms:


Before we get into it, let’s define a few important marketing terms first:


  • Impression – an impression is served any time your ad ad appears on someone’s page, feed or video. 
  • CPM – Cost Per Mille – this is the cost to serve 1,000 impressions (hence, mille).
  • CPC – Cost Per Click – the amount you pay for each click
  • Beginner Friendliess – this is the scoring of how easy it is for a beginner to get started on this ad platform. Easy means anyone can do it, with very little creative or tech, medium means it takes a bid more work, and hard means that you need significant amount of creative, copy and tech to pull it off
  • What You Need To Get Started – these are the essential pieces you need to start, of course you can go above and beyond these requirements
  • Order To Start In – this is our recommended order to start in if you’re brand new and just starting your advertising journey. However, don’t treat these numbers as gospel – if you’ve already done your homework and you know that say, TikTok is absolutely where your target market is, then jump right in to TikTok. 


All Ad Platforms At A Glance:


Platform:Cost Of Advertising: CPM and CPCBeginner FriendlinessWhat You Need To Get StartedOrder To Start In
Facebook Lead Gen$14.95/CPM and $1.68/ClickEasyPhoto, Description & Headline#1
Facebook Conversion Ad$14.95/CPM and $1.68/ClickMediumLanding Page, eCommerce Site, Conversion Events, Photo, Description & Headline#2


Facebook Lead Ads:


There’s a reason that we ranked Facebook Leads Ads as #1 on the list to get started with: very beginner friendly. 


What makes the Facebook Lead ads so beginner friendly? 


Lead ads don’t require a landing page. Meaning you can get started right out of the gate. Many business owners struggle to set up a good landing page (how to design it, what to say, what to offer, improve UI/UX, and maximize page speed). Facebook Lead Ads allow you to run ads and collect leads without wasting time on a landing page. 


Effectively, you can collect users information (name, email, phone number), natively from the Facebook platform, in a form that auto-populates and loads instantly, and doesn’t require the user to leave Facebook – further annoying them and disrupting their experience. 


Have we sold you yet? 


If not, here are 67+ more reasons to check out Facebook Ads


Now there are a few pieces to setup a successful Facebook Lead Ad Campaign:


  • Require a photo (could be a stock photo), and video is optional (but recommended)
  • Require a description – could be 20 words or 2,000 words – but you’ll need a few words to explain who your offering is for, and why they might want it. 
  • Require a headline – about 6 words to incentivise action
  • Require a lead form – these are natively built into the Facebook platform. Specify some intro text, your form fields to populate, your privacy policy and a quick thank-you message and you’re set!


Optional Advanced Extras:


Now for more advanced users who are pros with advertising platforms, or maybe have some extra creative lying around – here are the (optional) advanced extras we recommend:


  • Use video. If you have video or can easily create some (a smartphone is more than good enough, don’t overcomplicate this). We generally recommend a mix of photo and video – some users prefer looking at photos, and others prefer watching video – by having both you can appeal to all user groups
  • Use automation tools like Zapier. As a personal recommendation, I use an automation tool called Zapier (About $30/month). This tool is not necessary, but can make your life feel like a magical fairyland. For example – I setup an automation where every time I get a new lead from Facebook – they receive an automated email to say thank you and that I’ll be in touch soon, I receive an automated email to tell me that I have a new lead waiting to hear from me, they automatically get added to my Mailchimp subscriber list, the get added to my spreadsheet backup system, AND they automatically get added as a contact in my phone, so I can reach out to them the moment I receive their information. And all of this happens magically behind the scenes without me having to lift a finger. Welcome to the future. 
  • Asking more detailed questions in your lead form. The basics are Name/Email/Phone – however you can also ask for job title, company name, address, city, country, or even make custom questions asking what specifically they’re looking help for with. 


Facebook Conversion Ads:


Facebook Conversion Ads are our #2 recommendation for beginners to get started on, as the Facebook platform in general is very user friendly. 


The benefit of conversion ads is right there in the name – conversions. 


If you run an eCommerce store and you’re looking to generate more sales, or even if you don’t, but you’re just looking to get more newsletter signups (also counts as a conversion), then conversion ads will help your business grow. 


The obvious immediate benefit of conversion ads is the heavy focus on sales. 


By helping you to make more sales, Facebook is helping you to run a more successful business. By helping you be successful, they know that you’ll enjoy to keep using the platform. 


And that actually brings up an important point: Facebook Conversion Ads are driven by their Machine Learning Algorithm. 


There is a tremendous amount of data and number crunching going on behind the scenes – and Facebook is specifically on the hunt for those people who are looking to buy something (hence, conversion). 


Facebook will specifically show your ads to the types of people who are likely to actually follow through with and make the purchase – which means your budget is not being wasted. 


Now, running a Facebook Conversion Ad, does require some extra steps to get up and running. Namely:


  • Require a landing page – you need to have somewhere to send your users.
  • Require an eCommerce store (or if not a store, to have specific non-financial transactions to track, ie: newsletter signups, specific page views, form submissions, button clicks.
  • Require conversion events – now setting up conversions is a little more advanced, but not to worry! This video by Social Media Examiner details exactly how to get your Facebook Conversion Events up and running
  • Require Photo and video recommended
  • Require a description – could be 20 words or 2,000 words – but you’ll need a few words to explain who your offering is for, and why they might want it. 
  • Require a headline – about 6 words to incentivise action


Optional Advanced Extras:


For more advanced users feeling daring – here are (optional) advanced extras we recommend to take your conversion campaigns to the next level:


  • Track several different conversion events – ideally you’re tracking sales, but also track every other significant event on your site. Could include: newsletter signups, watching a specific video, visiting a specific blog post, users who spend at least 3 minutes on your page, users who book a free demo, users who schedule an appointment, or users who share your post to social media.
  • Track purchase price – if you run an eCommerce store, it is likely that you sell products at different price points – by setting up conversion tracking to include prices, you’re able to get a better sense of how much revenue you’re bringing in
  • iOS 14 updates – Yes the Apple iOS 14 update is causing havoc with Facebook ad conversion tracking. However, this video by Peng Joon details exactly how to get your account back into good standing so the iOS 14 changes and updates have minimal impact on your and your business


Google Search:


Google Display:






























Plenty Of Fish:


Traffic Junky:


If that wasn’t enough, this article by SingleGrain outlines 54 more alternative ad networks, and this article by BusinessOfApps outlines mobile specific ad networks


Conclusion: Which Ad Platform Is Best For Your Business?

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