Paid media is a form of digital marketing you pay for – which, of course, is an oversimplification, but you see where we’re going with this. Think of it as the opposite of organic reach; it involves paid content promotion.
More importantly, it’s a way for your business to get noticed online – and fast.
Today, we’ll explore some common trends in paid media in 2021, the benefits of incorporating it into your marketing strategy – and the best practices for getting the most out of your investment!
What Is Paid Media?
One could define paid media as those marketing efforts that require you to pay to leverage specific channels and purchase ad space to promote your business at scale.
That’s an oversimplification, but the point remains. You pay to display ads and sponsored content – regardless of the format – to target new customers. It acts as a primary catalyst for brands to amplify awareness – and, hopefully, generate revenue while doing so.
What Are Some Examples Of Paid Media?
Here are some paid media opportunities you should be exploring as a business:
- Display ads
- Paid search
- Sponsored ads
- Social Media Ads
- Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)
- Google AdWords
- Paid retargeting campaigns
- Sponsored content
- Influencer marketing
Although seemingly different, these are all examples of paid media.
Businesses of all sizes utilize these platforms to create and manage relevant, eye-catching, and keyword-focused online ads and get their brand’s name in front of the right target audience.
What Are The Benefits Of Paid Media?
There are over 4.6 billion Internet users in the world today; that’s more than half of the world’s population. Content is generated at a neck-breaking pace. Likes, shares, tweets, and swipes – the digital world is in full-on overdrive mode, and marketing needs to keep up. Paid media is but a fragment of the enormous amount of content published daily. Still, it can cut through the noise and reach your target audience – even in a heavily saturated environment. Beyond that, there are many benefits to using paid media as a part of your digital marketing strategy.
- Paid Media Gives You Fast Results – It’s arguably one of the fastest ways for businesses to drive traffic and boost brand awareness. Organic reach is on a slow but steady decline on social media; reaching your target audience has become a bit of statistical improbability. Paid media ensures a spot in the users’ feeds and gives your brand instant visibility.
- Flexibility That Fits Any Budget – Yes, paid media costs money, but the road to success doesn’t necessarily need to be a budget-draining one. Paid media can be a flexible and cost-effective way to promote your business, especially with a Pay-per-Click (PPC) model.
- Highly Specific & Granular Targeting – Each platform will offer you a broad range of targeting parameters, including age range, location, interests, and hobbies, to name a few.
- You Get Measurable Results – Paid media gives you insights into the various KPIs, such as impressions and engagement, click-through rates, and website traffic. You’ll know where every marketing dollar is going ROI-wise. That, in turn, allows you to assess the performance of your campaigns and fine-tune them as needed.
Incorporating Paid Media Into Your Social Media Strategy: Best Practices
Paid media will take on various forms across different social media platforms, and your strategy for each network will look a bit different, too. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter lead the way as top-performing channels for paid media – but platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok aren’t too far behind.
Paid Media On Facebook
Facebook’s organic reach took a bit of a nosedive, but when it comes to paid media, Facebook is still king. The social media giant offers granular, in-depth ad targeting, a broad range of paid promotional options, including carousel ads, Dynamic Product Ads (DPA), remarketing ads, and Facebook Offer.
Paid Media On Instagram
Instagram advertising is managed through Facebook Ads Manager, so your ads can automatically run on Instagram, too, depending on the chosen objective. If you’re focusing on Instagram-only ads, keep an eye on Instagram Stories. With roughly 500 million active daily users and full-screen format, IG Story ads are a great way to reach a mobile audience. (The 10k followers gateway won’t be a problem.) Instagram is preparing for in-app purchases within the platform, which is a great way to promote your products easily and on a budget.
Paid Media On Twitter
Facebook and Instagram already offer a wide array of tools and vast amounts of data to marketers, but it’s important not to overlook other platforms, like Twitter. Twitter ads provide businesses with three different categories of paid media:
- Promoted accounts
- Promoted trends
- Promoted tweets
Paid Media On LinkedIn
LinkedIn ads can be a powerful ally for reaching people in your industry on the world’s largest professional network. LinkedIn offers you several ad formats and placements, including:
- Sponsored content
- Sponsored InMail
- Pay-per-Click (PPC) text ads and dynamic ads
The Future Of Paid Media Trends: 2021 & Beyond
An effective digital marketing strategy should always be built on several tactics, paid media – a powerful way to reach the right target audience at the right time – being one of them. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few trends that are shaping the future of paid media and the way you can use them to reach your goals:
- Growing Use Of Paid Media Automation – Automation is slowly becoming an integral part of paid media; roughly 92% of marketing agencies are already investing in marketing automation integration. We expect to see automation and AI as vital factors in paid media campaigns and account management.
- Social Media Ad Spend Is On The Rise – Global social media ad spend saw a considerable spike of more than 50% during the last quarter of 2020. And as social media networks continue to improve their advertising platforms, social ad budgets will continue to grow, as well.
- Embracing Video Content – Considering that video traffic already accounts for 81% of global Internet traffic, we advise you to start experimenting with branded video content and see how you can best use videos as a marketing tool.
- The Rise Of Stories Ads – Stories have become a dominant trend on social media platforms, and brands are quickly expanding their paid media efforts into this format, too. Most brands these days are using story ads to engage customers and forge natural interactions.
Cutting through all the noise and getting through to customers can be a challenge in today’s marketing climate. The digital landscape is taking on a pay-to-play format, highlighting paid media as an integral part of successful digital marketing strategies. To overlook this is to overlook a vital component of digital marketing and pass up on the chance to reach your audiences where they’re most receptive.