Are you looking to generate more leads and clients for your business with paid advertising, but you’re not sure what is the best paid advertising platform for your business?

With so many digital advertising channels available today, knowing which ad platform will work best can be challenging.

That’s why I’ve already done the testing for you!

After spending thousands of dollars on running ads for my business and clients on multiple ad channels, here are the top paid advertising channels if your goal is to generate more leads, sales appointments, and clients.

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Quick Summary

If you’re short on time, here’s an overview of the top paid advertising platforms:

  • TikTok ads (Best overall)
  • Meta’s Facebook & Instagram ads (Best for image & text ads)
  • YouTube (Best for long video ads)
  • LinkedIn (Best for targeting by job title)
  • Adroll (Best for retargeting)

But wait!

It doesn’t matter which channel you use to generate leads if your strategy isn’t right. Without the right strategy, you won’t get any quality leads.

So, what is the best strategy to get leads with ANY advertising channel? Watch my free 5-Step Masterclass training, which explains the best strategy to get quality leads and appointments each month in your business (pay special attention to ‘step 2’!)

What are the best paid platforms for social media lead generation?

1. TikTok Ads 

Best overall

Person seeing an ad on TikTok

With over 2 billion downloads as of mid-2020, TikTok has steadily risen to become the most downloaded app on the Apple Store. 

But I know what you’re thinking…

“Isn’t TikTok just for teenagers and young people?!”


TikTok Ads has millions of active users over the age of 35, 45, and even 55.

The platform also has countless active users who are business owners or belong to high-income families.

Yep, that’s right, you can even target people by INCOME on TikTok.

We’ve run ads for both B2B and B2C clients on TikTok, and we’ve seen TikTok repeatedly deliver a better cost per lead, cost per appointment, and cost per acquisition compared to all these other channels. 

In our tests, we’ve seen TikTok ads perform 2-5x better than other ad platforms such as Facebook ads.

Pros of TikTok ads

  • Powerful algorithm. Ads can reach a more targeted audience due to TikTok’s impressive algorithm
  • Leads cost less. TikTok has less advertising competition, which means you can generate more leads for less money.
  • Fewer restrictions. Your ads and TikTok account are less likely to be restricted compared to running ads on Facebook
  • Build trust faster. Because all ads must be in a video format, you’ll likely build trust quicker with people compared to image and text ads only.
  • Easy to set up. You don’t need a personal TikTok account to run TikTok business ads.

Cons of TikTok ads

  • Requires video recording. You need to create a video ad which may be difficult for some people.
  • Audience isn’t as large as other advertising platforms (but it is growing rapidly!)

Want to learn more about running TikTok ads?

Watch my free Masterclass training for more information on how to use TikTok to generate leads, appointments and clients each month in your business.

2. Facebook and Instagram Ads

Best for image and text ads

Facebook Ads

Despite the emergence of new players in the social media field, Facebook remains a household name with a vast reach. 

In fact, Facebook’s combined platforms still make it the largest social media advertising platform for your business. There are about 2.17 billion Facebook users, amounting to about 30% of the world’s population.


No other channel has an audience as large as Facebook & Instagram.

Also, Facebook’s algorithm is very advanced and makes it easy for business owners and advertisers to create profitable ads without a lot of input needed on your end.

With Facebook ad campaigns, you can target people by:

  • Location

  • Interests

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Language

And more!

Unlike TikTok, Facebook ads manager supports both text and image ads as well as video ads. TikTok only lets you do video ads.

Consequently, creating ads on Facebook, in some cases, can be easier.

Here’s an example of an image and text paid ad on Facebook advertising a new AI fitness app:

And here’s another example of an accountant generating leads with Facebook ads:

Example accounting Facebook Ads

Like Facebook, Instagram is used by over 1 billion users worldwide but is geared towards photo and video sharing. 

To place an advert on Instagram, you don’t necessarily need to set up an Instagram account. You can activate the ad campaign on both platforms from your Facebook ads manager.

Instagram also supports various ad formats, with ads that can be placed on users’ IG stories, explore pages, and in their direct feeds. 

Pros of FB & IG ads

  • Facebook & Instagram combined make it the largest social media advertising platform
  • Great for targeting an older age group, for example, if generating medicare leads
  • Create ads with long text copy for direct advertising
  • Use text, image and video ads
  • In many cases, it’s cheaper than Google Ads

Cons of FB & IG ads

  • Typically not as cheap as TikTok ads right now
  • Facebook has strict guidelines and policies that must be followed to make the most of the platform
  • You need a personal Facebook account to run Facebook and Instagram ads

Want to learn more about running Facebook & Instagram ads?

Watch my free Masterclass training for more information on how to use Facebook ads to generate leads, appointments and clients each month in your business (pay special attention to ‘Step 4’!).

3. YouTube Ads

Best for long video ads

YouTube VSL

YouTube ads have revolutionized the advertising space.  

With over 2 billion monthly users, the cost-effectiveness and profitability of placing long-form video ad campaigns on YouTube cannot be over-emphasized. 

YouTube’s advanced audience targeting allows you to reach your intended target audience using their location, search and watch history.

This is a feature they do not share with most social media platforms which typically target users based on interest and demographic information only.

That’s not all…

The placement targeting option lets you specify the category of YouTube videos you want your ad to appear on. 

This attribute enables you to ensure that it is primarily visible to the relevant audience.

However, as great as YouTube is, in my experience, the cost is more or less the same as Facebook ads. However, the advantage of Facebook ads is that it’s much easier to create ads there. With YouTube, you need to create a video ad. Whereas with Facebook, you only need to create text and image ads.

This makes creating ads a lot easier. Furthermore, with image and text ads, there are fewer variables. You can focus more on your message (how you help clients) rather than your message and video delivery (tone of voice, appearance, etc).

YouTube ad Pros

  • Target people by search intent
  • Show ads on specific YouTube videos or channels
  • Video builds trust faster than text or images ads alone
  • Get access to a huge audience (YouTube is the worlds 2nd largest search engine)
  • Product Pro 5

YouTube ad Cons

  • Some ads prevents viewers from accessing their videos while it plays. This might make them hostile to the ad. 
  • Not as cheap as running TikTok ads

Want to be see the best strategy to generate leads with YouTube ads (or ANY other advertising channel?) If so, watch my free 5-Step Masterclass training, which explains the best strategy to get quality leads and appointments each month in your business.

4. LinkedIn Ads

Best for professional services

LinkedIn Lead Generation

If you’re over 30, you’d likely recall LinkedIn as an employment-based social media platform intended to replace the traditional printed resume. 

Professionals have used it since 2003 to connect with others on a work or business-related basis.

Now, LinkedIn has evolved into a powerful marketing tool for B2C and B2B companies, helping users build an online presence and grow professionally. 

The BIG advantage LinkedIn ads has over other advertising platforms is its B2B user data.

For example, you can target people by job title, company size, seniority level and more.

For the right type of business, LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool.

The only downside is that LinkedIn is significantly more expensive than all the other advertising channels on this list.

As a result, many business owners have found it’s more profitable to use LinkedIn outreach strategies with AI lead generation tools rather than run LinkedIn ads.

With LinkedIn outreach strategies you can reach the same people as you would through LinkedIn ads, but at a fraction of the cost.

Oh and with LinkedIn automation tools, you can even automate your whole LinkedIn outreach strategy so it works in the background on autopilot.

Pros of LinkedIn ads

  • Target people by job title, industry and company size
  • Great for targeting very specific types of professionals

Cons of LinkedIn ads

  • LinkedIn’s audience size is much smaller compared to other platforms
  • Ads are more expensive compared to other ad platforms
  • In many cases it’s more cost-effective to do LinkedIn outreach rather than run LinkedIn ads

Want to learn how to use Linkedin organically to generate leads each month without needing to spend a penny on paid ads? If so, check out ‘Step 4’ in my free Masterclass training.

5. Google Ads

Best for targeting people on search ads

Google gets billions of searches per day, thus offering an audience reach that broadly surpasses other platforms. 

On top of that, because Google is a search engine, you can target people who are specifically searching for your services!

However, Google ads are not just for targeting people on search engines such as Google or YouTube.

Google ads are of two broad categories. 

These include the search ads network and the Google display network.

The search ads network displays related content to users who search for similar products or services before the search results. 

It features strategic ad placement at the top of the search results page, grabbing viewers’ immediate attention and convincing them to follow through to the linked website. 

On the other hand, the Google display network involves more visual and dynamic search ads, such as banner ads displayed on client websites.  

The only major con to using Google Ads is that it is highly competitive. Therefore, the more people use Google Ads, the more expensive it gets to place an ad. 

Google ad pros

  • Target people based on search queries
  • Pay per click model. You only pay if someone clicks on your ad (PPC ads).

Google ad cons

  • It’s usually the most expensive advertising channel due to high competition

6. Adroll Ads

Best for retargeting

Retarget website visitors

Adroll is a commercial, marketing, and ad platform that allows emerging organizations to connect with their customers via ads. 

With Adroll, you can identify and categorize your known and anonymous audience based on their behavior and ad engagement.

Adroll partners with platforms like AdThrive, eBay, and Microsoft Advertising Exchange.

This platform helps build brand visibility by ensuring competitors’ ad content does not drown your online ads.

In addition, Adroll is well-known for its proficiency in retargeting.

Usually, when a user visits a site for the first time, there is a high probability that they will skim through its content without making any purchases. 

By retargeting, Adroll sends a reminder in the form of codes at intervals to “visitors” who have shown interest in your product.

Furthermore, as a subscriber, you can seamlessly connect your social media platforms to Adroll to optimize your ads and build long-term brand recognition.

This platform also provides creative ad templates and various placement and format opportunities, especially for display, text, banner, and email ads. 

It helps you design suitable adverts for your products – free or paid. 

This makes optimizing all your marketing efforts in one central location easier.

However, a downside to Adroll is that you cannot display its ads on Google-integrated networks such as YouTube. 

Adroll Pros

  • Get your brand seen on thousands of websites such as Yahoo, Forbes, MSN, etc
  • Excellent for brand awareness
  • Great at converting leads into customers
  • Very cost effective
  • Great way to retarget your website traffic

Adroll Cons

  • Not great at generating NEW leads (best used for retargeting ads)
  • It does not display ads on Google-integrated networks. 

Want to learn more about Adroll? We use Adroll as part of our lead generation & lead conversion strategy for clients. Watch this video to learn how it all works.

The Bottom Line

Generating leads on any of the ad platforms above can work.

However, in my experience, TikTok ads is currently the best digital advertising platform right now because of how cost-effective it is to run ads

My second choice would be Facebook ads and/or Instagram ads.

And finally, I’d use Adroll to run retargeting ads to increase the chances that leads will convert into clients.

If you’d like to learn how to run ads profitably on the digital advertising platforms mentioned above, watch my FREE masterclass training here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)