Paid Advertising: Everything You Should Know (And How to Do It!)

"Paid advertising" spelled out in word tiles

It’s true that authenticity sells a brand, and consumers value it like never before. However, you need more than just that.

A fine blend of organic and inorganic ways to reach your audience is a sure-shot way to drive more traffic. After all, creating and posting engaging content will make your consumers interested in your services, but would it drive conversions? Maybe not. 

Here’s when paid advertising comes into the picture. It’s worth noting that search ads increase brand awareness by as much as 80%. So you should consider ways to include paid advertising in your marketing strategy. Before doing so, there are some key factors that you must know about paid ads to maximize the benefits. 

What is paid advertising?

Paid advertising is a type of promotion used by businesses to increase their visibility and reach more potential customers. It typically involves paying for placement in search engines, social media platforms, websites, or other mediums. Paid advertisements can come in the form of text-based ads, display ads, video ads, and audio ads.

Although it can be costly, paid advertising yields higher returns than traditional marketing methods. It also allows for a more focused approach, targeting specific customers and demographics.

3 types of paid advertising you should know about

PPC advertising

Paid advertising falls under various categories, depending on the medium being used. Search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads are some of the most popular forms of paid advertising. SEM involves bidding on SEO keywords in order to place an ad on a search engine results page. Advertisers pay each time someone clicks on the ad. Google Ads, Yahoo Ads, and Microsoft Ads are some of the most common types of paid search ads.

PPC ads on a Google search for "buy dog food online" for Pedigree, Kibbles-n-Bits, Eukanuba, etc.
PPC ads that appear when someone searches “buy dog food online” on Google

Social media ads

Social media ads, such as Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and Twitter ads, are also popular forms of paid advertising. These ads appear on the social media platform as posts or sponsored content. They can be targeted to specific audiences based on interests, demographics, location, and more.

Display ads

Display advertising is another type of paid advertising where companies pay for space on websites that reach their target audience. These ads can be in the form of text, images, video, and audio. They are usually related to the content on the page they appear on, making them more engaging for viewers. For example, banner ads, which appear at the top or side of a webpage, are one type of display ad. The short (and slightly annoying) video ads you see before a Youtube video are another example of display ads.

We’ll discuss the best type of paid advertising for each use case further down in this article.

What are the benefits of paid advertising?

The main benefit of paid ads is that they can help you reach your target audience faster than organic methods. Paid search results appear higher up on the search engine results pages, making them more visible to potential customers. Paid ads also allow you to target specific keywords and demographics, making them a great way to reach out to new consumers. They can also be used to retarget customers that have previously expressed an interest in your products or services.

5 crucial paid advertising tips from our marketing experts

If you are considering using paid advertising, then you need to understand the best practices and strategies in order to get the most out of your budget. Here are five of our top tips for getting the most out of your paid advertising campaigns.

1. Pick the right platform 

Picking the right platform is the first step to ensuring the effectiveness of paid advertising. However, the decision to choose the right platform is more complex. Every forum has pros and cons, so selecting the right one depends on your business goals, domain, and budget. 

When you review several social media channels that you’d like to promote, keep the following questions in mind: 

  • What are your goals and objectives concerning paid advertising? 
  • Who is your target audience? 
  • What is your budget?

Need help defining your digital marketing strategy? Learn everything you need to know on our blog.

These questions prompt you to understand which channels are the best avenue for your business to experience better results. While choosing the right platform is essential, don’t underestimate your work at the forefront of each campaign. This will set your business apart from others. 

Here’s a quick overview of which platform is best for each case scenario:

  • Use Facebook ads if you want to target specific demographics and interests.
  • Use Instagram if you want to reach young people with visual content
  • Use Google Ads for fast, targeted search results
  • Use YouTube ads if you want to reach people with video content
  • Use LinkedIn ads for B2B campaigns
  • Use TikTok for short-form, comedic content (typically for a younger demographic) 

For instance, you’re a creative agency looking to promote your design services. In this case, going for Instagram is the best option, given the platform’s popularity. While if you own an IT agency and are willing to establish yourself in the industry, going for videos and distributing them through YouTube would be wise.

Most of the time, you will combine different advertising platforms to maximize your reach and optimize your campaigns. The key is knowing your product/service thoroughly and its target audience to make the best of paid advertising. Read more about defining your ideal target audience for a marketing campaign.

2. Paid ads are a huge investment 

While you may think generating meaningful content on social media without incorporating paid ads is more time-consuming, that’s not necessarily the case. Like all content on social media, paid social ads need as much time and effort to generate high-quality content for social media advertising as content marketing. 

Any money or resources you spend on paid advertising can significantly affect your business’s overall marketing budget. In fact, you can probably expect to spend up to 10-20% of your marketing budget on paid ads. Therefore, it’s important to understand the cost before you start, and then plan your budget accordingly. 

Especially if you’re an e-commerce merchant, you will have to pay outgoing expenses before generating any income from the profit. In such cases, managing the ecommerce working capital only becomes necessary. Using working capital management tools will ensure smooth management of your finances and increase cash flow. 

Depending on which social media platform you’re advertising on and how well you target, the budget can quickly disappear unless you add to the paid social budget. So ensure you also have a tool that manages the cash flow and helps you cover expenses, including employee salaries, vendor payments, advertising, inventory, etc. 

3. Your ad buys must be diverse 

Social media presents an enormous number of options if only you know how to take advantage of them. As the saying goes, do not put all your eggs in one basket. That is, don’t refrain from diversifying when buying your ads.

For example, on Facebook alone, you can buy ads on users’ news feeds, on a right-hand bar, or on mobile devices. Also, platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are apt for paid promotion since these platforms also keep rolling out new ad features from time to time.

We recommend that you use a combination of different ad spend from various platforms, including search engine marketing (SEM), display ads, and retargeting. It’s important to try out different advertising methods to understand which ones can garner the most success for your company. Make sure you’re doing A/B testing and closely monitoring results.

Those new to advertising usually can’t go wrong with focusing on the major players like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But remember to also consider other platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram before you decide which channels to use.

4. Analytics, SEO, and paid ads go hand in hand

laptop with marketing analytics pulled up

Paid advertising is nothing without analytics. Paid ads can only be effective when you’re able to target the right people, and they give the response you need. The only way to know this is to perform detailed analytics around your marketing campaign. Read more on the benefits of data analytics in your business and marketing efforts.

You can start with Google Analytics. It’s a powerful tool that provides in-depth insights into your website’s performance and engagement. Plus, it’s free!

Google Analytics provides invaluable information that can help you refine and optimize your paid advertising campaigns. It also helps track the amount of organic traffic on your website, the keywords, and phrases used by visitors to find your website, and who’s visiting your site. All of these insights can help you determine which ad campaigns are performing the best and which ones need improvement.

Additionally, it’s always important to keep SEO in mind when you’re creating your ad campaigns. SEO helps draw organic traffic to your site, and also helps with ranking in search engine results. Want to know the difference between direct traffic and organic traffic? Read our summary here.

Paid ads are effective for driving short-term traffic, but SEO will help with long-term success. Overall, analytics, SEO, and paid ads are interconnected and should be used in unison to get the best results. Focusing on these three points will help you create successful paid ad campaigns and get the most out of your marketing efforts.

5. Monitor campaigns and make adjustments

Monitoring the performance of your campaigns is essential for success. You need to know what’s working and what’s not. This is the only way to adjust and refine your strategy for better results. Analytics provide vital information about customer behavior, ad performance, and ROI. Learn how to use this data to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

You may also want to test out different ad formats, placements, and targeting options to see which ones get the best results. Finally, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends in paid social media advertising. The evolution of platforms such as Facebook and Google Ads has opened up a world of possibilities for advertisers. Constantly staying on top of industry developments will help you stay ahead of the competition and maximize your return on investment.

Okay, that’s good info…but how do I actually create an effective advertisement?

Creating a successful paid ad campaign starts with understanding your audience and creating an effective message. Research the platforms you choose to use, and create persuasive messaging that resonates with your target audience.

The best ads are often the ones that tell a story or create an emotional connection with potential customers. They are almost always succinct, direct, and tailored to the platform. Make sure your ad copy is clear and that you are using visually engaging images or videos. Rule of thumb: keep copy short and sweet, but make sure you’re including a call to action and a clear message about what sets your product apart from the competition.

When you’re crafting your ad copy, be sure to appeal to a pain point or desire of your target audience. For example, a dog food company might put out a Facebook ad with an image of a dog happily eating from his own bowl while a family sits down for dinner. It might have a text overlay saying, “You couldn’t pay our dogs to beg for human food.” This ad speaks directly to a desire that pet owners want – a peaceful mealtime free of begging.

Once you’ve crafted your advertisement, it’s time to launch it. Monitor the performance using the top industry KPIs, measure your ad across all platforms, and make adjustments as needed. This will help ensure that you’re getting the most out of your budget and reaching the right people with your message.

Getting your ad campaign set up per platform

Now, the fun part. Once you’ve done all the research and development, it’s time to set up your Paid Ads Campaign. Each social platform will have its own particular setup process, so be sure to follow the instructions closely.

Social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn all have their own specific ad manager platform that you’ll use to launch your campaigns. Here, you’ll be able to create detailed objectives, target markets, and track performance data. Just type in “[Social Media Platform] ads” into your search engine to get started.

Google Ads and Microsoft’s Bing Ads are a little different in that they reach users on the web instead of on social networks. To launch campaigns, you’ll use the platforms’ respective ad managers. They have their own set-up processes as well, but be sure to do your research first since there may be some differences in how they operate.

No matter which platform you choose, take the time to set up your campaigns correctly. This will ensure that you’re getting maximum exposure and reaching the right people with your message. With a well-crafted ad campaign, you can create a successful paid social media strategy that will reach your desired demographic and achieve the results you need.

It’s time to devise your strategy 

While the article enlists a few essential things about paid advertising, devising a strategy is necessary. Ensure you’re aware of who your target audience is so that you spend on showing ads to the relevant audience. You don’t want to invest money only to find out the ads aren’t showing to the interested to-be consumers. 

Every business has different social media goals. While each needs to be entirely visible on social media, they need a strategy that works specifically for them. Spend enough time knowing your audience, identifying social media platforms, and choosing a platform for paid advertising. Good luck! 

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