Paid Media

Manuel Barrios Carrasco

Written by Manuel Barrios Carrasco

What is paid media?

Paid Media is any external, third-party channel or media that brands pay for in order to advertise or achieve their objectives, complementing their owned or earned media.

Types of paid media

The main paid media are:

  • PPC search ads.
  • Display ads.
  • Social Ads (Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, etc.)
  • Mobile ads.
  • Ads in mobile applications.
  • Affiliation or affiliate marketing.
  • eMail Marketing, when it is necessary to buy databases.
  • Various sponsorships, either through publications, posts or sponsored communications.

The use of paid media has as its main objective to increase the relationships and interactions previously achieved by the brand’s own media in order to grow the earned media.

They also help to achieve brand objectives in a controlled and faster way. Thanks to them we manage to reach users in the selected environment, either, for example, through ads in search engine search results, or with banners. o displays located in the preferred channels and sites for our audience, segmenting and connecting with them in the precise channel for the target, using advertising in the different social networks, or defining specific channels relevant to the type of ad or campaign using mobile or app ads, email marketing or the different possible sponsorships that give voice and popularity to our brand.

They are usually very conversion oriented media oriented to the achievement of objectives in a faster, more effective and direct way.

What paid media brings: benefits

Normally, the great benefit of using paid media is that we have control over the investment in them, having enough tools to analyze the results of such investment and being able to know the return on investment obtained with it. The budget in these paid media can be selected, conditioned to the demand and study its profitability, as for example in paid ads in Google search results, where we determine how much we want to spend on our campaign, what price to bid for specific search terms or set in which geographic space to publish our ads.

Likewise, in these paid media, the segmentation of the target audience will be much more precise, being able to choose the perfect channel, the communication adapted to it and the ideal geographic, temporal and content scope. For example, in social media ads we can specify age segments, tastes, hobbies, time, etc. to determine when our ads should be shown and to which users. We can also filter by email marketing to which specific users we want to send each campaign or determine with the display in which media frequented by our target audience we want our display ads to appear and even give them a frequency of impacts and specific exposures.

The other major benefit will be speed of action and immediacy. While owned media need a longer journey to begin to bear fruit, paid media can achieve results immediately. With them we can guarantee a specific number of visits, impacts, impressions or interactions in a specific period of time and the customer conversion process is usually much faster, in addition to being able to adjust the investment in them to the existing demand.

Disadvantages of paid media

Among the disadvantages that we can find in them, they need the existence and development of their own media to be used, they are a complement and a push to these in order to achieve the objectives of the brand. That is, we need a website, the development of social profiles, a mobile application or a blog, to be able to advertise products contained in them, seek visits to the website, get interactions on social networks or target conversions and sales. They are therefore a fundamental complement and driver of the company’s own resources.

It is also necessary to mention that you need a good economic lung to undertake these paid media and that they are scalable, as you can increase the investment, with a good work on them, the growth of the results and the fulfillment and surpassing of the objectives usually grows exponentially. Because of this, the profitability of these, at low investments, is much lower and they are more useful for established brands or those with adequate economic support. The usability for small brands is quite limited when it comes to getting a return on that small investment. The more resources are available, the more campaigns can be conducted, the more experience can be assimilated and the better good practices can be identified, improving results.

They therefore require greater specialization and, in the vast majority of cases, qualified professionals are needed to ensure the successful use of paid media.

In general, they tend to be used in a somewhat isolated and uncoordinated manner, so that their credibility is not excessive and thus the response rate to them is really low. We can check this by analyzing the CTR, email open rates, % of conversions, the quality of traffic without a good previous segmentation, etc.

Finally, although we have the great advantage of being able to measure the results of our investments in these paid media, it often has problems when third parties enter, as may be the case of affiliation. However, better and better tools are being developed and a culture of data measurement is helping to turn the problem into an advantage.

In the end, paid media are very interesting, necessary and should not be understood in isolation but should converge in use with own and earned media. so that they are understood as a whole to achieve the objectives of the brand and that each one can supply or help cover the shortcomings of the others, achieving with a coordinated and optimal use, the success of your online marketing.

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Former SEO consultant at Human Level. Graduated in Law. He later completed a Master's Degree in Online Marketing Techniques and obtained the Certification of Pedagogical Aptitude. Specialist in SEO and digital marketing.

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