Mastering Paid Media: Best Practices Backed by Compelling Examples

Paid media is a commonly used method in which companies spend money to ramp up their digital reach in an attempt to get their product or brand in front of as many customers as possible.

4 mins to read

As the digital marketing landscape gets increasingly competitive, it is important to have a firm understanding of the different options and tools available that can be leveraged to help your brand stand out amongst the endless, constantly growing sea of competition.

Paid media is a commonly used method in which companies spend money to ramp up their digital reach in an attempt to get their product or brand in front of as many potential customers as possible. This is often used as a foil to more long-term focused marketing efforts such as organic social and SEO and is expected to provide a much quicker return on investment (ROI).

In today’s article, we will examine paid media best practices and how to create a successful strategy tailored to your brand and products regardless of your size and industry.

What Are the Different Types of Paid Media?

As the name suggests, paid media refers to any type of advertisement piece of media that you pay for rather than create in-house or gain organically. This includes traditional media outlets such as television, radio, and billboard ads, as well as modern marketing channels such as Facebook and Google Ads. In a well-rounded marketing plan, paid media operates next to organic methods to create a holistic strategy.

This classification can further be broken into three categories of media: earned, owned, and paid media. Earned refers to media that is posted about your products and brand without you seeking it out or asking. A great example of this is unsolicited customer reviews. Owned media, on the other hand, is all the media produced in-house, while paid media refers to everything created by outsiders that you pay for their services, such as agencies or influencers.

Paid Media Strategy: 3 Best Practices

Paid media is one of the most complex areas of marketing due to its wide variety of potential channels and the skill sets needed to properly utilize them. For example, what works well on Google Ads is much different than what works well for a television commercial, though both are examples of paid media.

That being said, there are still a few key digital paid media best practices that marketers would be well served to consider when crafting a winning paid media strategy or looking for external partners.

1. Invest Appropriately in the Proper Channels

While this is true for all marketing efforts, it is especially true for paid campaigns, as the cost can really begin to add up without a noticeable ROI if you are not deliberate and thoughtful about the marketing channels you choose to invest in.

The key to getting this right is to dig deep into your targeted customer and think critically about where they are most likely to spend their time on the internet. As such, it’s crucial to have a thorough understanding of the “who” behind the people you’re selling to. This free eBook created by HubSpot is an excellent resource for those struggling to articulate who their ideal customer is.

For example, if you are trying to market to gamers, allocating a significant percentage of your paid media budget to Twitch influencers makes perfect sense, as there is a significant overlap between their audience and your target market. Other demographics, however, might not even know what that platform is and would be unlikely to generate a positive ROI for a campaign regardless of its quality.

2. Create Personalized, Relatable, and Relevant Content

Once you have decided what channel your target audience spends the majority of their time on, it’s time to take things one step further and hone in on how you are going to package your message in a way that reaches them in a meaningful way without pushing too hard for the direct sale.

The most efficient and effective way to do this is to make the content personalized, relatable, and relevant to them. Think not only about what your ideal customer wants and desires from a product but also why they want and desire those things.

This is what you should be focusing on when building out the creatives for your ad campaigns. Focus on telling stories that target the underlying desires and internal pain points of your customers. Do this well, and the sales will come naturally without much resistance.

3. Implement Data-Driven Decision Making

After the campaign is launched and live, you should begin to see data coming in. This can be used to make real-time decisions to tweak and fine-tune the weak points of your campaign and double down on the things that are working as you iterate forward.

This is an area where you can really begin to pull away from the competition. Far too many marketers simply launch a campaign and let it continue uninterrupted for its entire life cycle. If you see an obvious trend emerging or a certain creative dominating the others in the ad set, don’t hesitate to put more money into it and ramp things up. The ROI benefits of quick execution can be significant when done at the right time.

However, the sample size is just one thing to be aware of when making tweaks and adjustments to a live campaign. Make sure that the data set you are using to make changes is big enough to be useful. Rash decision-making before a lot of data has come in can hurt you far more than it helps. Give the campaign a little time to breathe, but once the data comes in, don’t be afraid to act.

Schedule a Free Marketing Consultation With Alan and Company

Alan and Co. is a full-service digital marketing agency in the US with decades of experience creating individualized marketing plans for businesses of all sizes across various industries. 

If you are looking to explore whether paid media or organic content is best for you and your business’s needs, don’t hesitate to reach out today and schedule a free 45-minute consultation with Alan and Co. Marketing.

For additional free resources on digital marketing best practices and to get a better idea of new strategies you could implement to take your business’s marketing strategy to the next level, check out our blog filled with hundreds of free informational articles just like this one.

May 3, 2024

Jackie Rosu


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