Danny Shepherd

CO-CEO, Intero Digital

Danny Shepherd, CO-CEO of Intero Digital, has over 15 years of experience in the digital marketing space, with a desire to “crush it” for our clients. Danny is an integrator, disruptor, and a leader, with a passion to push beyond the possible, thriving on uncovering the potential in any opportunity.

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Paid Media Playbook: Tools to Improve CPA Marketing Strategy

Paid Media Playbook: Tools to Improve CPA Marketing Strategy

Danny Shepherd, Co-CEO • Intero Digital • August 31, 2023

Digital marketer using laptop to view the Paid Media Playbook

Understanding paid media and its evolving role in digital marketing is crucial to any successful marketing strategy mix, and it’s increasingly evident that a well-planned, paid media strategy is critical for brands to amplify their visibility and approach their target audience effectively.

In simple terms, paid media is any form of advertising or promotion you pay to have displayed, while earned media is the organic exposure gained through positive customer experiences, social media shares, mentions in articles, or word of mouth. However, understanding these differences isn’t what makes an effective strategy; it is how the differences work together. The core of a strategic paid media campaign recognizes that earned and paid media, while two distinct marketing strategies, complement each other and enhance overall marketing results when used cohesively.

What Are the Benefits of Paid Media?

Think of paid media like a faucet. Just like water trickling out slowly or gushing in torrents, paid advertising and promotional activities can also be scaled up or down to manage the flow and impact of audience reach and engagement. Just as a faucet regulates the flow of water, paid media empowers businesses to regulate the volume and effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

However, the regulatory nature of paid media is not its only advantage. In fact, paid media has numerous benefits that positively impact businesses and marketing teams when used effectively, including:

Precise Control Over Audience Reach: Paid media encompasses diverse channels, including search engine advertising, social media ads, display ads, sponsored content, and more. Through investments in these channels, businesses can precisely reach their target audience. The intensity of advertising can be fine-tuned by allocating more or fewer resources to these channels, thus affording control over the reach of the marketing campaign.

Budget Allocation Flexibility: One of the key advantages of paid media lies in its flexibility regarding budget allocation. Businesses have the flexibility to allocate more funds to paid advertising when they seek heightened visibility, lead generation, or sales stimulation. Conversely, if desired outcomes have been achieved or there’s a need to economize, the budget can be adjusted accordingly. This capacity to regulate the intensity of advertising spend enables businesses to optimize their marketing efforts in alignment with their objectives and financial resources.

Real-Time Performance Monitoring: Paid media offers the valuable capability of tracking and measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns in real time. Businesses can analyze essential performance indicators, such as impressions, clicks, conversions, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to evaluate the success of their paid media activities. Positive outcomes and alignment with intended goals may prompt an increase in advertising intensity to capitalize on momentum. Conversely, if results fall short, adjustments can be made or intensity can be reduced to optimize resources and enhance return on investment.

A/B Testing and Optimization: Paid media also empowers businesses to conduct A/B testing and optimization strategies. By creating multiple variations of ads, landing pages, or campaign elements, businesses can experiment with different approaches to determine the most effective ones. This iterative process enables them to refine their advertising strategy and improve campaign effectiveness. Drawing insights from A/B testing, businesses can then adjust the intensity of their advertising to focus on the most successful elements while eliminating underperforming ones.

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What Do Most Brands Continue to Get Wrong With Their Paid Media Spend?

Effective paid media should ideally attract potential customers’ attention and convince them to use your product. Regardless of the manner, your advertising must be clear and consistent in reflecting your company’s unique positioning statement. However, it may seem like your CPA marketing strategy might not be generating the results you want due to some factors:

Lack of clear, measurable goals: Many organizations fail to set specific goals for their paid media programs. It’s difficult to track success or make data-driven optimizations without clear objectives.

Inadequate audience targeting: Targeting the incorrect audience or utilizing broad targeting can waste advertising dollars. To reach the correct audience, brands must invest time in researching their target market and employ granular targeting tools accessible on various platforms.

Ignoring data analysis: Brands frequently neglect the significance of campaign data analysis. Monitoring key indicators and conducting regular performance appraisals are critical for determining what is and is not working. Brands miss out on the potential for optimization and increased ROI by ignoring data analysis.

Poor ad creative and messaging: Ad creative and messaging must be compelling to capture attention and drive conversions. Many brands fail to invest in generating interesting, relevant, and visually appealing advertisements that speak to their target demographic.

Overemphasis on click-through rates (CTR): While CTR is an important indicator, it should not be the primary focus of a campaign. High CTR is frequently prioritized over key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rate or return on ad spend. It is critical to match advertising goals with relevant KPIs.

Ineffective landing pages: Poorly designed, confusing, or irrelevant landing pages can result in wasted ad spend and lost conversions. Landing pages should be optimized for conversions and give a consistent user experience.

Inadequate testing and optimization: Successful paid media programs call for ongoing testing and optimization. Brands frequently fail to experiment with various ad formats, placements, targeting options, and bidding tactics. A/B testing and data-driven optimization are essential for increasing campaign performance.

Neglecting the mobile experience: Ads and landing pages must be mobile-friendly and offer a consistent user experience across devices and screen sizes.

Inconsistent branding and messaging: Brands that fail to maintain consistency in their branding and messaging across numerous paid media channels might confuse and disengage their consumers. A consistent brand identity and message strategy aid in brand recall and trust building.

Unrealistic expectations and short-term thinking: Brands may expect immediate and unrealistic outcomes from their paid advertising operations. Paid media initiatives take time and dedication to optimize, tweak, and achieve targeted results. Short-term thinking can result in rash decisions, inefficient strategy, and squandered resources.

Unlock Marketing Synergy With the Power of Paid and Earned Media

In today’s dynamic and fast-paced digital landscape, effectively leveraging both paid and earned media holds the key to unlocking marketing success. Additionally, by harnessing the power of paid media’s precision targeting, real-time monitoring, and data-driven insights, your brand can optimize these strategies for maximum impact.

Understanding the nuanced interplay between paid and earned media is essential to creating a holistic marketing approach that resonates with your target audience. From precise audience segmentation and tailored messaging to effective retargeting and strategic content distribution, the potential for growth is endless when paid and earned media are strategically aligned.

If you’re ready to take your marketing efforts to the next level, we invite you to delve deeper into our comprehensive whitepaper, “The Paid Media Playbook: Strategies for Success.” This resource further explores actionable tactics, real-world case studies, and expert insights that can elevate your paid media campaigns and drive tangible results.

Download your copy of the Paid Media Playbook.

Danny Shepherd

CO-CEO, Intero Digital

Danny Shepherd, CO-CEO of Intero Digital, has over 15 years of experience in the digital marketing space, with a desire to “crush it” for our clients. Danny is an integrator, disruptor, and a leader, with a passion to push beyond the possible, thriving on uncovering the potential in any opportunity.

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