What is Paid Media Marketing?

In order to make your brand more visible online you can make two choices, you can either grow organically or paid. Growing organically means getting higher visibility of your brand by improving the quality of your website, for example by creating backlinks to your website. Every brand prefers to grow only organically but to get their message to their potential clients, paid media advertising is a must. In this blog, we will tell you all about how you can grow your brand visibility by paying into different advertising platforms.

What is Paid Media Advertising

Paid Media Advertising is a form of marketing and advertising which requires a brand to purchase ad space to spread their message to a larger audience. By paying for the promotion of their content, the brand will have the possibility to show their ads to a specifically chosen target group. Paid media is an essential part of the marketing strategy of every company to improve brand awareness and revenue growth by increasing traffic, sales and interaction through clicks.

The different platforms to advertise on

As said before, Paid Media Advertising is a very important part of marketing, but where can you advertise online, and which platforms are popular now? For social media and search engines, different advertising platforms are used, below we will sum up the most used advertising platforms of this moment. These advertising platforms are all “Pay per Click” (PPC) based, known as the most common type of paid media advertising, which means that a brand pays every single time when someone clicks on their ad.

Social Media Advertising Platforms:

Facebook Business Manager

This advertising platform is used for advertising on both Facebook and Instagram. Login in through your own personal Facebook account and create an ad account for every Facebook page you’re managing. Connect the platform to your Instagram account to post your ads automatically on both channels.

Facebook Business Manager

An overview of the marketing objectives which can be reached by using Facebook Business Manager

What can you do with Facebook Business Manager?

  1. Grow Brand Awareness and Reach
  2. Increase Traffic and Engagement
  3. Push Conversions and Upsell

Which ad formats are available?

  • Boosted posts- Promote an existing post to get more people to see it.
  • Carousel ads- Use multiple pictures in creative short video formats to show multiple products in one ad.
  • Video ads- Use a video to promote your product(s) and/or brand.
  • Domain ads- A simple ad that will appear on the right side next to the newsfeed. This kind of ad contains a simple text and a link to a website.
  • App ads- Ad to push downloads of an app
  • Event ads- Ad to promote an event, Facebook users can already see who of their friends will go to the event.
  • Page likes- A simple ad placed on the right side of the newsfeed to show a user which pages were liked by their friends in order to push page likes.

Twitter Ads

This advertising platform is like Facebook Business Manager but can only be used exclusively for advertising on Twitter. They both have a dashboard, giving brands an overview of the results of their current and previous ads on the platform. Twitter Ads serves for the same purpose as Facebook Business Manager and can create similar advertising in the form of “cards” which can be placed within a tweet.

The main difference between the Twitter and Facebook ad platform is the possibility to save pieces of information from previous campaigns. As soon as your campaign in Twitter Ads reaches the pre-set end date or budget you need to start all over again with a new campaign. Facebook Business Manager allows you to restart your campaign, save your manually created target groups and transfers data from old campaigns into new campaigns automatically.

Other Social Media Ad Platforms:

Other popular Social Media Platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat don’t have their own ad platforms but have the option to create a business account to promote your brand content as well. Please note that within these social media channels it’s not possible to specify your preferred target group as much as on Facebook Business Manager or Twitter Ads.

Search Engine Advertising Platforms:

When using Search Engine Advertising Platforms your ads will be visible in search engine machine pages instead of social media pages. Also, the style of advertising is different, in search engines advertising platforms keywords are used to gain reach and brand awareness.

Google Ads (AdWords)

AdWords has the same type of possibilities to customize an ad for a certain target group as social media advertising platforms. The difference between Social Media Advertising Platforms and Search Engine Advertising Platforms is their way of advertising. In Search Engine Advertising, advertising is based on keywords, besides the quality of the content. The bought keywords are important for the success of an ad, these keywords can be very expensive depending on the bidding competition.

The platform works with a Click Through Rate (CTR) a combination of the keyword relevancy and the interaction of Google users with an ad. The CTR decides the quality of the ad in the end. The CTR is also used to calculate the cost per click (CPC) of the ad. This basically means the price that needs to be paid by a brand every time someone clicks on the ad of this brand. Based on the CTR and the bidding on the keywords done by your competition, the final price of the keywords will be decided. Besides buying the keywords, also a daily budget for every ad should be assigned.

To create an ad campaign in Google AdWords your brand needs to select a campaign goal and pick one of the 5 campaign types:

  • Search Ads, text ads that will be displayed in search results pages of Google.
  • Display Ads, image-based ads that will be displayed on web pages connected to Google Display Network.
  • Video Ads, video-based ads that will be displayed on YouTube.
  • Shopping, in order to be able to use Shopping ads your brand needs to submit a feed of your products to Google Merchant Centre. Set a daily budget and CPC bid to make your products appear in the Google Shopping platform.
  • Universal App, ads to push the download of a mobile application.

If you are new to AdWords it’s also possible to select the campaign goal first and let the system recommend you which type of campaign can suit your goal the best. When you are already using AdWords you can also choose to create a campaign without guidance on your goal and go straight to picking a campaign type.

As said before, you will be able to target the right people for your brand as specific as in the Social Media Advertising platforms. Besides this, you will need to pick the language, the location (where the add should be seen), plan your end and begin dates, budget and a bidding strategy for your keywords. This bidding can be done manually, but also automatically. When bidding automatically choose your focus: Conversion, Clicks, Impressions or View/Interactions. Depending on your chosen focus, Google AdWords automatically will decide how to best spend your budget. If you choose clicks as focus the system will use a max. CPC bid limit, if the focus is maximum conversations a max cost per action will be used. You can also set a maximum amount per action, CPC bid and all other automatic bidding focus options.

Finally, the actual ad needs to be written. The ad has 3 elements:

  1. The headline, name the brand and the main service of your brand (30 Characters)
  2. Description, Short description of what the brand offers (90 Characters)
  3. Final URL (URL of your landing page)

What is Paid Media Advertising

An example of how to write an ad in Google AdWords

To improve your ad and improve the interaction you can add Ad Extensions, they’re free and deliver on average 15% more interaction on your ad. These extensions can be divided into five categories:

  1. Sitelink Extensions, add links to specific parts of your website to stand out.
  2. Call Extensions, add a phone number to let potential customers reach out to you.
  3. Location Extensions, add a location to your ad to be visible on google maps.
  4. Offer Extensions, add an offer to your ad (In the case you’re running a current offer).
  5. App Extensions, add a link to download your app within the ad.

Ad Site Link Extension

An example of a Sitelink extension

Bing Ads

Depending on your audience, you can also decide to advertise on the search engine Bing with Bing Ads. This ad platform offers the same possibilities in terms of advertising and works with a bidding system for keywords as well. Google is the top player of the Search Engine Advertising without any doubt, but if you are willing to advertise in other countries such as the United States, it can be useful to also start advertising on Bing. Recent research has confirmed that within the United States around 33% of the people also use Bing besides Google. As said before, when you know who to target start researching their favourite search engine page and advertise there as well.

Tips to get started with paid media

When you first start with Paid Media Advertising it’s important to have a clear idea about your brand. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who is my target group (age, interest, location, budget)
  2. How can I best reach them (Used social media channels, search engine, time online)

Make sure the answers to these questions are integrated into your advertising strategy. Especially in the beginning, it’s important to spend extra time on this strategy. When you have everything in place it’s time to start playing. As you can imagine not everything will work online, the internet and social media algorithms are changing very frequently. For this reason, it’s important to do A/B Testing. Try out different strategies and types of ads, also keep changing your style of advertising. Success with your ad today doesn’t automatically mean that you will have the same success tomorrow.

Paid media is always trackable, be sure to use the available data to improve your ads where needed. Be prepared to spend money on your ad campaigns, investing will help you to become a real ad master. Stay positive, even if you don’t see the results you hoped for during the first months of trying out advertising platforms.

Paid Media Best Practices

To make sure your ads perform well, there are a couple of things you can consider doing. Your ads need to make you stand out from the crowd and perform better than the ads of the direct competition. For this reason, it’s important to optimize your ads.

What can you do to improve your ads?

  • Engaging content, use creative and interactive content to attract potential customers to look longer at the ad with the possibility of possible interaction with the ad.
  • Call to actions, use clickable buttons within your ads to stimulate interaction. Buttons as click here for more information, book now and get your voucher will increase the interaction with potential customers and make the ad perform better.
  • Ad text, keep the text used in the ad and its title as short and sweet as possible. Longer and complicated texts will make adds perform less.
  • Relevant, when choosing content or text for your ads keep the subject as relevant as possible. Think about a recent project or a connection between your brand and recent news facts.
  • Consistent, be sure to keep pushing new ads to make sure more people will see your ads and consider buying your product or service. Also, this is a great way to improve your Paid Media Management skills over time.
  • High-Quality Content, when making an ad think about the content you want to use. High-resolution pictures and videos are preferred in ads and will score higher engagement online. Also, think about the usage of language. Errors in grammar or punctuation will drop the quality of an add.

What to watch out for in PPC

PPC advertising isn’t easy to understand and needs to be practised regularly to see results. What are the traps in PPC advertising?

  • Keep an eye on your ads; are they running out of budget? How are they performing overall? Without this focus on your ads, you can easily lose money and be less effective.
  • Divide your ads into ad groups, different ads for the same product, seasonal offers and so on can be placed in an ad group to keep a clear overview of all the running ads. This can also help to manage your keywords and is useful to build a strong account structure.
    Keep your ad title and description short and clear. Your potential customer should understand what you offer in just a couple of seconds. Remember that your ad is shown on a search engine page with many other results.
  • Use the Ad extensions, it can make you stand out from the competition on the search engine page. Nowadays, search engine users want their search to be as quick and practical as possible, add that phone number or offer to push them to contact you or buy directly from you without considering other brands that also have their ads on the same page.

Paid Media Management tips

The management of paid media isn’t easy, you need to be prepared to study and play with the different ad platforms to improve your paid media strategy. It’s important to not give up and keep trying harder even when the results sometimes will not be as great as you imagined them to be on the forehand. Create a solid base for tracking and improving your ads and keep trying, you will get results.

Create a base for your paid advertising strategy and management:

  1. Track your ads, connect your ad platform with your website and analytics platform (ex. Google analytics). Be sure that you always know what the latest performance of your ad is to improve its quality when needed.
  2. Keep an eye on your budget and how to best spend this. Within the different platforms, there are diverse options for paying per click, conversion or based on a solid budget a week and so on.
  3. Save your ad settings, by saving your audiences and keywords, you will save yourself a lot of time. In this way, you don’t need to start from scratch again when creating a new ad.
  4. Use scheduling tools, on the ad platforms you can use the scheduling tool to release an ad in a later moment. Use this tool to schedule an ad and post it when your target group is most active online.

Good luck playing with all options of Paid Media Advertising, if you would like to have more information on other subjects regarding Digital Advertising and SEO have a look on our blog, we have articles about almost every subject.

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Having been established in 2005, in Cape Town, South Africa, Elemental is primarily focused on providing web development services and digital marketing campaigns.