It’s not that complicated, we promise!

To increase your brand’s visibility online, you need a sound digital marketing strategy that includes organic and paid media. While organic media is free and should be taken full advantage of, most social media sites and search platforms require adspend in the form of paid media and adwords. Apart from having a solid content strategy, paid media is necessary to fully expand your reach and target the most relevant potential consumers.

What is paid media?

Paid media is a content marketing tactic involving the purchase of sponsored social media posts, display ads, paid search results, and other paid-for digital advertising to promote a brand. Paid media focuses on advertising to new potential consumers.

On the contrary, organic media uses the free tools provided by a platform to generate content and marketing. It focuses on nurturing the brand’s relationship with existing customers and solidifying its online presence.

How does this work, and what is ad targeting?

How paid media works specifically depends on the platform where the media is displayed on and the format it is presented in. However, in general, paid media works by displaying advertisements to potential audiences which may not have otherwise come across your brand. This includes individuals who are not currently following your company’s social media profile or have not explicitly searched for your company using a search engine.

The majority of paid media includes targeted advertisements. With social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can choose the potential customers your sponsored posts are shown to. You select refined demographic information, behaviours, interests, and connections. You can also adjust your targeting settings to experiment with your reach. If done well, your targeted ad-viewers will likely be interested in your brand as you have chosen them based on how relevant your business may be to them. For example, if your business offers very trendy clothes, you can target your ads towards a younger demographic who has indicated fashion as one of their interests.

In terms of search engines such as Google, paid media displays your business in search results when people search for information related to your business. For instance, if you own a local restaurant and a potential customer in your area searches for “restaurants near me”, your restaurant will be displayed.

Why Use Paid Media?

There are three main reasons to consider using paid media. Firstly, paid advertisements can reach people who would not have found your business in another way. This boosts your overall reach and showcases your brand to a broader audience.

Secondly, targeted advertising will increase your targeted followers and improve your click-through rate. Ad-viewers are more likely to engage with your brand if it is relevant to them. Targeting maximizes the effectiveness of your campaign.

Thirdly, you gain insight into your industry and audience as most paid media providers offer real-time, analytical information on how your ad is doing. With this information, you can compare how different ads do and improve your targeting going forward.

Potential Drawbacks of Paid Media

Depending on your budget, paid media can quickly become expensive for a small business looking to fund an extensive campaign. Luckily you can choose to spend what you have available and experiment with different sites and their offers.

What you need to know about the top five paid media platforms

Facebook (approx. $1.72 per click)

With over 2.7 billion active users, Facebook is the largest social media platform with the broadest reach. Facebook ads work with any budget size, has comprehensive insights, and allows for extensive targeting due to the amount of data Facebook collects. There is a low click-through rate, however, and ongoing changes to Facebook’s privacy policies can affect targeting. Facebook’s targeted advertising is more effective for B2C than B2B.

Instagram (approx. $6.70 per 1,000 impressions)

Instagram ads offer a lot of personalized options and can help strengthen your brand image. They tend to be more expensive and have lower click-through rates. The platform is great for B2C and lifestyle brands.

Twitter (approx. $2-4 per follower)

Twitter is highly user-friendly and easy to use. It allows for keyword targeting and lets you retarget consumers who have already had contact with your business. Costs are per completed objective only. It can be challenging to time campaigns due to the fleeting nature of a Twitter feed. Another factor to consider is the fact that Twitter has become a platform for polarising debate. On Twitter, brands and reputations are attacked regularly – especially when South African users are involved. This is why, at IndieContent, we always proceed with caution when pursuing Twitter advertising strategies.

LinkedIn (approx. $6.59 per 1000 impressions)

LinkedIn ads target a high-value audience of professionals. They tend to be more expensive, don’t offer video ads, and the LinkedIn demographic tends to be highly qualified or experienced, or both. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for B2B marketing and to establish your brand as a thought leader.

Google Adwords (approx. $1-2 per click)

Google dominates the search engine market share at 92.3%. It has a high click-through rate and works with any size budget (although some insights are only available to higher-paying customers). Google has a user-friendly interface, full marketing control, and availability of various insights. Figuring out all aspects and details can be time-consuming and difficult.

At IndieContent, we like to use paid media as part of a content marketing strategy that leads new customers to a brand’s content. Which paid media we choose depends on the industry and the type of content we create. We also build all our communication on a solid brand strategy so that the brand is differentiated and speaks with a consistent voice. If you would like us to help you do the same, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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