Paid media strategy: 5 crucial tips and tricks

When it comes to marketing your business, organic can only get you so far, so fast. Building keyword-optimised landing pages, growing large organic social followings, boosting brand awareness; all are worthy types of activity, but they can take a while to happen. You need results now. You need paid media.

Paid media is a way for brands to promote their content online. It can help them reach larger audiences using display ads, video ads, paid social ads, and more.

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According to HubSpot’s 2022 State of Inbound Marketing Trends report, 80% of brands use paid social media advertising, and the professionals surveyed ranked paid search and ads as the second most effective marketing channel. It’s understandable why; paid search, display ads and social accounting for 47% of all website traffic per year. Missing out on paid can leave your business with a significant blind spot.

So, how do you create a paid media strategy that delivers results, fast? Here are some top tips all marketing professionals should follow.

Define your goals and budget

The first step in crafting a paid media strategy is to understand what you want to do, and what your financial constraints are. That way, you don’t get carried away doing the wrong activity.

Whether you’re working alone or have enrolled a paid media agency to organise your activity on your behalf, ask what you want to accomplish (conversions from a certain page, for example), what metrics you want to track (clicks, conversions, reach etc.), and how much per month you’re willing to spend.

Use industry benchmarks

Next, you need to understand the yard stick you measure your activity against. Using your agency or free benchmarks from the likes of WordStream, Emplifi or Rival IQ, understand what the typical metrics are for your industry niche.

That way, when it comes to starting your paid activity, you’ll immediately have a good idea of whether your activity is on the money or underperforming.

Understand your audience

Being able to serve up ads precisely to your target audience(s) is crucial to getting click-through. Map and segment your audience depending on where they are in the purchasing funnel.

  • Top funnel is all about drawing in large audiences and boosting brand awareness, letting lots of people know the broad strokes of what you offer. Broad audiences (Facebook’s interest audiences and Google’s affinity audiences) work here.
  • In the middle funnel, users are looking for a business to go with. You need to be seen and help users consider your offering, so go with pre-made in-market audiences collated by your chosen platforms to get in front of users what want to convert.
  • Bottom funnel is all about users ready to act. Here, machine learning can be used to make audience profiles you can remarket to.

Analyse the competition

Knowing what your competitors are doing will ensure you can identify and exploit gaps in their activity. Here, a marketing agency can really help, given that they’ll likely have PPC analysis tools which can let you see competition, understand what constitutes their campaigns, and see who’s doing better than you (and, importantly, how).

Conduct quarterly reviews

Lastly, conducting quarterly reviews will help you understand broader trends and stay relevant. You can get to grips with your performance over the previous three months, see what worked and what didn’t, and then feed this into your planning for the next quarter.

Have you had success with PPC? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below.

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