Advertising Options Beyond Google & Meta

Rob Laver | 13th June 2024 | Paid Media

Spending on digital ads has soared in the UK over the past three years, reaching just shy of £30 billion in 2023:

Digital Advertising Expenditure (UK)


This trend is expected to continue over the next five years, and while the reality is that over 90% of this continues to be dominated by a combination of Google and Meta, other platforms are gradually increasing their market share.

With businesses increasingly keen to diversify their marketing, and tap into new ways of reaching their core audience, we thought it would be useful to lay out three of the best available options if you’re starting to think beyond the duopoly.

  1. TikTok

With no minimum spend and the only blocker being video content production (and if this isn’t in your plans, it should be), TikTok is a solid way to start expanding your advertising campaigns.

TikTok’s market share in the UK grew by 50% year on year 2022 to 2023, outstripping the rest of Europe by some distance, and it wouldn’t be unexpected to see similar growth again into 2024:

Source: Juni

So what’s the attraction? Well, other than pure user numbers, (23 million in the UK alone), people spend over double the amount of time using TikTok’s app than that of its nearest rival, YouTube. That doesn’t make it the biggest social platform for coverage in the UK, which still very much belongs to Meta, but it does mean that engaged users spend significantly longer interacting with it.

Additionally, TikTok is increasingly becoming a trusted platform to make purchases directly from, which makes it very attractive to the retail industry:

Source: TikTok

  1. Spotify

Unlike TikTok, where you need to have some workable assets from the off, Spotify has both video and audio ad options, with the latter creatively supported by the platform itself. There is a very small £250 minimum spend, and with some unique targeting options available, it has a lot of untapped potential, particularly for brand awareness activity.

With adverts now a part of paid for subscriptions to Spotify (via podcasts), you can reach a much broader audience than before, where in the past it could’ve been argued that free users of Spotify were only ever going to be relevant to very specific propositions.

According to Ofcom’s “Media Nations:UK 2023” report, podcast advertising grew 41% year on year, and Spotify increased its weekly reach of music streamers from 48% to 59% for the same period.

The two key ways of targeting people on Spotify are through:


Contextual Listening:

Helpfully, if you don’t have an audio advert ready to go, Spotify will use one of their own voiceover artists to produce this for you, for free. You simply add the script, give some instructions over pace, tonality etc, choose some background music, and they handle the rest.

The main drawback with Spotify is that it tends to draw less direct interaction than other platforms. That doesn’t make it less powerful, just less trackable. So if that’s a dealbreaker for you, consider whether there is value in it being a good brand awareness opportunity.

  1. Reddit

Still really in its infancy advertising wise, Reddit isn’t a platform that immediately jumps to mind when making a media plan. However, with a loyal active user base of around 4 million in the UK, and many more casual visitors simply looking for answers to questions, it has obvious potential that could put you one step ahead of your competitors.

As Reddit very astutely puts it on their advertising homepage:

There is a $5 minimum spend per day, but the infrastructure of the platform is incredibly similar to that of Facebook, which helps the optimisation process hugely.

Reddit’s main USP is the ability to refine targeting by Subreddits topics, which after a demonstration from our contact there recently, also includes a nifty tool to find the ideal cross-section of these automatically based on a set of criteria.

Just A Few Of Many More

We’ve deliberately tried to pick three quite different propositions from video, audio and display advertising to demonstrate the growing 10% of ‘Other’ out there. But there are of course many alternatives which you may be considering/wondering about, from Amazon to Pinterest, or out of home to digital TV ads. And we’d love to help guide you with that and help shape the next chapter of growth for your business.

Reach out to your account contact for more information or get in touch here to speak to a member of our team for more information.

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