Paid media is everywhere — that LinkedIn ad in your feed, that ad at the top of your Google search results, that display ad in your favorite industry newsletter. There’s no shortage of businesses that are trying to build awareness and drive conversions with it, which is why you need to raise your paid media game.

Unfortunately, in my decade-plus of experience, I’ve seen brands make major mistakes. Some dip their toe into the water and head back to dry land when they see the ever-changing algorithms, privacy updates, attribution models, dynamic creative, and programmatic media buying. Others dive right into the deep end of the pool, building campaigns here, there, and everywhere, without a strategy behind any of them.

The truth is, paid media is a combination of art and science, and as such, requires very distinct marketing skills. You need to know which foundations are needed, which best practices should be leveraged, and how to handle ongoing optimizations.

Sounds complicated, right? In all honesty, it can be if you don’t have an expert running the ship. But there’s a clear path to success that isn’t as complicated as you might think. Here’s what it entails:

1. Set a clear business objective

Define the impact you want to see on your business as a whole. If you want paid media to be a revenue driver, stick to that. Too often, organizations will hyper-focus on impressions, clicks, or even downloads. While yes, those metrics are important, they’re not necessarily going to grow your revenue. I would rather run a campaign that drives ten downloads and five of those become MQLs than a campaign that drives 100 downloads with only two MQLs. 

2. Define and track against your goals

This is the most common misstep I see organizations of all sizes make. Not taking advantage of an analytics platform like Google Analytics to track key metrics and, in particular, goals hurts your ability to truly understand your paid media performance. Google Analytics goals are limited in number per account and should be reserved for those actions that are most important to understanding the valuable actions users are taking on your site.

For example, if your ultimate goal is more closed-won deals, there are certain interactions that have to take place and specific goals you have to reach (and track in Google Analytics) to get there. Let’s work backwards: 

    • Closed Won
    • Sales Call
    • Demo 
    • Sign up for a Demo (Goal) 
    • Engage with Sales pages on your site 
    • Received an email from Sales 
    • Becomes an MQL 
    • Downloads a Sales One Pager Resource (Goal) 
    • Engages with product information on your site 
    • Downloads an infographic that is not gated (Goal) 
    • Views your blog 
    • Clicks an ad showcasing our latest blog post
    • Served an impression from an ad showcasing your latest blog post

3. Define your customer experience and align it with your marketing activities

You’ve worked through your end goal and you’ve got the necessary tracking in place. Now how do you get there?

Think about your target audience. What is their world like right now? What problems or challenges are they facing? What might lead them to want to switch to your product or add your product to their existing tool set? Who is influencing them? What is the first step they take to research? By defining this consumer journey, you can outline what’s needed at each stage so you can insert yourself into the conversation in a way that is valuable for everyone involved.

Let’s put this into practice. Maybe your audience simply isn’t aware of your solution to their problem. Having a paid awareness campaign that focuses on click traffic to ungated content will go a long way towards building that awareness and establishing a valuable initial engagement. (This is why great paid media strategies and full-funnel content journeys go hand-in-hand!)

4. Reach the right audience in the right place with the right message 

From Google Ads to LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, there is no shortage of B2B paid media channels. I recommend testing channels to see what works best for your brand, audience, and goals, but that’s not always feasible with a smaller budget or limited personpower.

As a general rule of thumb, Google Ads work well for people who already have some knowledge of your brand, or for people who are actively searching for a solution to their problem but don’t know who YOU are yet. LinkedIn and Twitter can be used for general awareness or remarketing, and YouTube is typically best for building awareness. And while many B2B marketers cringe at the thought of Facebook ads, they can be a valuable remarketing channel due to lower costs. Think about the purpose and value each channel can have on your marketing plan and how your audiences are using those channels. That will tell you how to apply them (or not apply them) to your marketing roadmap.

5. Prioritize

Ultimately, your paid media success comes down to prioritization. Understanding the lead time needed for more advanced projects like establishing a multi-touch attribution model or building dynamic ad creative and high-impact (but short shelf life) content is critical to answering the question “Is it worth it right now?”

Everything you set out to do early on with paid advertising should provide you with information you can leverage to better your business. Starting with campaigns that drive the most value or fastest insights will give you data to make your next big marketing decision.

Bottom line — each of these five insights will make your efforts more efficient, and efficiency is key to a valuable paid media investment. So set your goals, ensure you’re tracking them, become intimately familiar with your customer journey experience, prioritize paid channels to align with that experience, and spend your energy creating foundational content and resources as a starting point. That’s how you raise your paid media game.

Before you go:
The Inbox Battle: Crafting Compelling Subject Lines

Compelling subject lines act as beacons, cutting through the clutter of mundane emails with a magnetic allure. It's not just Read more

Unlocking Success in Startup Marketing: Segmentation Strategies for Targeting the Right Audience

In the realm of startup marketing, sending generic campaigns is a perilous misstep. The solution? Segmentation strategies. Dive into our Read more

Unleashing the Power of Demand Generation in Startup Marketing

Mastering the art of demand generation is not just a choice, but a necessity for carving your startup’s path to Read more

Remarketing – An Often Overlooked Opportunity to Continue Your Brand’s Conversation

Remarketing ad campaigns target audiences that have already interacted with your brand — making them a faster, cheaper lead generator Read more

Comments are closed.