In this day and age, effective online advertising can be the difference between surviving and thriving for small businesses. With the sheer number of people that use the internet and the tools available to target them by factors like age, interests, location, and more, businesses that don’t pay much attention to advertising online risk severely limiting their growth.


As a business owner who probably doesn’t have much experience running ad campaigns online, where do you start? One recommendation that you will get from just about every blog and self-proclaimed ad guru is Facebook Ads.


It’s not a bad recommendation. With more than a billion users across the globe, Facebook dominates the online advertising landscape. Millions of businesses rely on Facebook to generate leads and increase sales. The company offers exceptional targeting features and related ad tools that help advertisers create powerful campaigns.


However, advertising costs on Facebook have continued to rise over the years. Recent surveys have shown that many marketers are now worried that they could ultimately be priced out of Facebook Ads.


Many small businesses operate on a shoestring budget as it is, so it becomes difficult for them to risk a substantial amount on expensive ads. The key to a profitable campaign is to test as many variations of the ad as possible to gather data and then optimize to scale up.


This economies of scale model won’t work for businesses that only have a limited budget to spend on one single campaign.


Fortunately, there are many other advertising networks that can be just as suitable for a small business. Here are five such Facebook Ads alternatives that you should consider.

#1 BuySellAds


BuySellAds is a great ad network for small businesses. It offers a variety of placements and channels including but not limited to native ads, sponsored content, podcasts, and email placements.


Display banner ads is what BuySellAds is really known for. Advertisers can access a roster of over 12,000 premium publishers, utilize targeting tools and pay a fixed CPM to launch effective campaigns. The network’s publisher marketplace lists high-quality websites in a variety of niches, particularly trending niches like cryptocurrency and technology.

#2 Pinterest

Pinterest is a particularly great Facebook Ads alternative for ecommerce businesses. Users on the image-based social network already have a higher purchase intent compared to other ad networks.


Pinners, that’s what the company calls its users, predominantly use the platform to shop and plan. They’re actively looking for new products to acquire. With more than 150 million active users that spend 50% more on average compared to shopping through other social channels, Pinterest can be a great source of affordable yet high quality traffic.

#3 Microsoft Advertising


Formerly known as Bing Ads, Microsoft Advertising commands over 37.5% of the US desktop search market. It provides advertisers with access to an untapped audience with powerful tracking and targeting tools that enable them to get the most out of their campaigns.


With 138 million desktop searchers and over 7.3 billion monthly desktop searches across the Microsoft Search Network, which includes inventory from Yahoo and AOL too, this is one network that always seems to fly under the radar.

#4 Snapchat

Snapchat remains one of the best advertising networks to reach the younger demographic, particularly Generation Z and Millennials. Regarded as one of the world’s leading social networks, Snapchat has over 265 million users across the globe that are highly engaged.


Snapchat users spend over 30 minutes on the app every single day on average. It caters to small businesses by enabling them to advertise with as little as $5 per day so that they can test and optimize their campaigns without blowing through their marketing budget.

#5 TikTok


TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular media platforms in the world with more than 1.5 billion users. Generation Z makes up over 60% of its entire user base with engagement rates that other platforms can truly be envious of.


Its advertising platform is available in over 20 markets across the globe. Advertisers can create campaigns with ads in different formats and utilize the platform’s unique engagement solutions to connect with their audiences.

Drop the one-size-fits-all approach

Many small businesses make the mistake of believing that the digital advertising world starts and ends with Facebook. Even these 5 Facebook Ads alternatives barely scratch the surface of what’s out there.

The best strategy is always to integrate more platforms in your marketing efforts. The one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the best way to go about digital marketing.


You’ll often surprise yourself by finding exactly the kind of audience that your business needs on a platform you didn’t plan to spend your marketing dollars on.