PPC agency Liverpool Reckless

What is paid media?

By Martyna Karpinska, Paid Media Specialist at Reckless

Simply put, paid media is where you pay (no surprise) to advertise products or services on channels like social media, search engines and e-commerce marketplaces. Done right, it can be a great digital marketing tactic to increase reach, drive website traffic and conversions.

To track the success of a paid media campaign, establish clear goals and what a ‘conversion’ looks like beforehand. As a result, you’ll know which metrics to measure (sales, click-throughs, subscribers) so you can demonstrate your return on investment (ROI). You can then learn and harness this data further, using it to optimise future paid media campaigns and ad spend accordingly.

What are some examples of paid media?

Paid Search and Shopping
Paid search is a form of online advertising where you bid on specific keywords or phrases, and your ads are displayed prominently in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for those keywords. The good news is you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so it’s a cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website.

Shopping however, is a type of paid search advertising that focuses on promoting products for online retailers. These ads showcase product images and prices within search engine results, allowing users to easily compare what they’re looking for. Like paid search, you only pay when a user clicks on your listing, so again, it’s an effective way to attract potential customers and drive sales.

Social Media Advertising
Exactly what it says on the tin. Social media advertising is where you pay to promote a post or advert on channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. It enables you to reach a large audience, and the cost is determined by your ad quality and estimated action rates, as well as your campaign objectives and bids.  

Online Marketplaces
Selling through third-party marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy is really competitive. Sponsoring your marketplace listings however improves the visibility of your organic listings and helps provide a competitive edge. Sponsored ads also provide valuable data on keyword performance which can then feed into your organic search strategy.

Mysa Flowers on Etsy

Display Advertising
You’ll see display ads online everyday, even if you don’t realise it. Their appearance depends on the website or app you’re paying to promote them on – they could be an eye-catching static banner image or an interactive video advert. Either way, their job is to reach a wide audience if you’re doing prospecting, or to keep your brand in people’s minds while they’re browsing the web if it’s retargeting.

These four examples of paid media can all be set up using the PPC model. PPC stands for pay-per-click, so you only pay when a user clicks your ad. Your cost-per-click (CPC) is determined by your ad rank, which is calculated from your bid amount, quality scores and competition at the time of the auction. Let’s dive into PPC a little deeper.

What is PPC management?

Effective PPC management is time consuming, but super important. There’s no point spending money if you’re not using the right types of media, marketing channels or optimising campaigns suitably because you won’t see any return. 

Here are some examples of what’s involved in PPC management, and how to action them so your ads are set up, tracked and scaled correctly. 

Choosing the right channels
Identify which channel to run your PPC advertising campaign on. Do you have a product to promote through Google Shopping? Or a service you’d like to advertise through Google Ads? Do you want to sell more through online marketplaces like Amazon Ads? Choose the paid media platform most relevant to your audience, run tests, and see where you get the best return.

Market research
Before setting up your PPC ad campaign, do your research. Start with your target audience and look at their shopping behaviours. Find out what they buy, what they like and dislike, and what platforms they use. This will make sure you’re refining and targeting effectively, using the right channels.

Then look at your competition,  see what keywords they’re bidding on and how much they’re spending. There’s lots of free and paid software out there, like Google Keyword Planner, to help you out. By doing so you’ll be able to make an informed decision on how to allocate your PPC budget and ensure your ads perform.  

Landing page optimisation
When we talk about our paid strategy as well, we don’t just mean our keywords, ad copy or campaign structure. We mean the landing page on your website that your ad links to. 

Focus on conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and user experience (UX), make sure your copy is clear, well-written and reflects exactly what your ad says. Look at other landing pages and compare them to yours – what does the design look like? What’s the tone of voice like? How are they capturing sales? The buying process has to be easy and fast to convert.

Website built by by web development agency in Chester, Reckless

Split testing
Consistently A/B test different variations of your PPC adverts. Regular testing is vital for ad success as it enables data-driven decision making, optimisation, and cost-efficiency. By comparing different ad elements or strategies, advertisers can identify what resonates best with their audience, leading to improved ad performance. It helps continuously improve ad campaigns, understand audience preferences, and adapt to platform changes. By avoiding assumptions and relying on real performance data, split testing empowers advertisers to achieve better results and make informed decisions in their digital advertising efforts.

Good planning, continuous tracking and optimisation are the drivers of every successful paid media campaign. Spend time setting your campaigns up properly, set realistic goals and truly understand how you’re going to track and report on them. Ultimately it’s about being able to say that by spending X amount of money you gained X amount of sales – so you need a robust paid media strategy in place.

If you’re looking for a PPC agency, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can support with paid media strategy and managing PPC campaigns on social media, Google Ads, Google Shopping and online marketplaces.

Let’s talk

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