The Impact of Paid Media in Your Marketing Mix

PPC will remain important

Gianpaolo Lorusso emphasizes the enduring relevance of the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model in businesses' marketing strategies. When utilized adeptly, paid media offers a crucial avenue to promote content and cultivate the creation of earned media.

Today, digital marketing has evolved into a multifaceted approach, encompassing various channels to promote products and services. Familiar with the “digital marketing tripod,” consisting of earned, owned, and paid media, marketers recognize the significance of each element in crafting successful online strategies.

In this discussion, we delve deeper into the paid aspect of the paid-owned-earned (POE) media model. Paid media involves compensating third parties to promote company content, thereby enhancing exposure. In a recent SEMrush Chat, we explored the role of paid media in marketing mix, featuring Gianpaolo Lorusso, a PPC expert and organizer of the ADworld Experience conference.

Paid media has evolved significantly from traditional push-style advertising. Modern marketers seamlessly integrate paid channels into comprehensive campaigns, leveraging them to increase content visibility and drive traffic to owned media platforms.

Our guest highlighted the growing importance of paid media, attributing it to the diminishing organic visibility, exemplified by the decline in Facebook organic reach since 2014. Social networks like Facebook have shifted towards paid marketing platforms.

Moreover, audience targeting has vastly improved, with ads becoming more personalized and tailored to specific demographics. Marketers now have greater segmentation capabilities, enabling them to reach potential customers more effectively.

New features and options, such as dynamic search ads and dynamic snippets, offer advertisers expanded opportunities to optimize campaigns. While the fundamentals remain unchanged, the evolving landscape empowers marketers to achieve more with their ads.

In addition, changes in search engine result pages (SERPs) and advancements in Google AdWords and Bing Ads extensions have altered ad placement dynamics, providing avenues for enhanced information dissemination.

Furthermore, Google’s introduction of expanded text ads underscores the continuous evolution of paid media, which has become increasingly targeted, data-driven, and competitive. Smart marketers adeptly integrate paid media into their strategies to amplify earned media outcomes.

As trends in the industry fluctuate, marketers must stay vigilant and adapt to emerging paid media trends. Here are some key trends to consider when formulating paid media strategies:

[Next section: Key paid media trends for marketers to consider]

PPC will remain important

Gianpaolo Lorusso asserts that the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model will continue to hold significance within businesses’ marketing strategies. When harnessed effectively, paid media presents an invaluable opportunity to promote content and foster the generation of earned media.

Personalized ads

Several chat participants emphasized the necessity for businesses to personalize their PPC campaigns to effectively compete with online rivals. Marketers must prioritize reaching the appropriate audience and aligning their messaging with the interests of their target demographic.

Customers first

As previously discussed, improved audience segmentation, incorporating factors such as demographics and interests, empowers marketers to tailor messages to their audience effectively. Strategic utilization of this data enables companies to align their messaging with user behaviors, intent, and needs. Jacques Bouchard underscores the significance of personas in this regard, highlighting their continued dominance as companies invest in social and search to gain deeper insights into user profiles.

Less text, more video

Today, video is experiencing a surge in popularity, emerging as a potent marketing tool for conveying a brand’s narrative, articulating its value proposition, and fostering lasting connections with clients. Annaliese Henwood observes that video and image-based media are now eclipsing text-based ads, noting a shift in trends away from extensive textual content.

Google’s integration of TrueView ads into the AdWords interface reflects efforts to streamline the management of video campaigns, indicating that video ads could become a prominent ad format featured on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Shift towards mobile

With the steady rise in the number of mobile users, numerous companies are proactively launching content tailored for the mobile-first world to maintain a competitive edge and meet user demands effectively. However, it’s crucial not only to optimize mobile ads but also to ensure a seamless mobile experience. Many companies have recognized the significance of incorporating mobile-friendly websites as a foundational element of their broader digital marketing endeavors.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become the norm

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are rapidly becoming essential components of marketing strategies. Dawn Anderson highlights that machine learning and AI are poised to become commonplace in marketing practices. By leveraging these technologies, advertisers can gain deeper insights into consumer behavior and enhance the effectiveness of their advertisements.

AI-powered systems are expected to revolutionize data analysis, particularly in extracting insights from online interactions and social media. This advancement will facilitate superior audience segmentation, enabling advertisers to precisely target their desired demographics with tailored messages.

Moreover, the integration of AI, machine learning, and programmatic advertising across various channels, including email, is anticipated to result in an “omni-paid” approach, characterized by pervasive retargeting and personalized campaigns.

Now that we’ve identified key trends for advertisers, let’s explore how paid media can be seamlessly integrated into overall marketing campaigns.

At the outset of our discussion, we highlighted how paid media can significantly amplify earned media. Our guests have shared invaluable insights and best practices for harmonizing these two types of media to craft a well-rounded marketing mix.

Estimate your resources and pay attention to your results

It’s essential to establish an advertising budget to prevent exhausting it within a short timeframe. Additionally, continuous evaluation of results is paramount. Understanding which paid media strategies are driving website visits and sales is crucial for effective allocation of resources. Without this insight, there’s a risk of expending a significant portion of the ad budget without yielding conversions.

Keep track of what is being said about you

Earned media stands out as a highly valuable form of exposure due to its extensive reach and inherent credibility. However, acquiring it can be challenging. The trust invested in online reviews and recommendations is substantial.

It’s imperative to monitor online mentions diligently, encompassing both positive and negative comments and reviews. In the event of encountering a negative comment, swift response and resolution are essential to mitigate any adverse effects.

Consider Google Display Network’s targeting options

The primary objective of the Google Display Network (GDN) is to effectively deliver your message to the appropriate audience. GDN offers two key types of tools: contextual and audience-targeting tools. Contextual targeting tools align your ads with relevant webpages, while audience-targeting tools match your ads with users who exhibit interest in your offerings.

Kirk Williams suggests leveraging geo-targeting to enhance your earned media strategy. Geographic and language targeting options present excellent opportunities to display your ads based on specific regions, languages, or even postal codes. This targeted approach ensures that your message reaches the most relevant audience, maximizing the impact of your advertising efforts.

Use LSI keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) constitutes a crucial component of Google’s algorithm, tasked with recognizing semantically related terms. By interpreting users’ queries, LSI facilitates the ranking of the most pertinent websites. In crafting your PPC campaign and conducting keyword research, it’s imperative to explore beyond the primary variations of your keywords. Augmenting your PPC endeavors with LSI keywords enhances the effectiveness of your campaign, ensuring alignment with user intent and improving overall performance.

Promote your content

Promoting your best content is crucial for a successful marketing campaign, as highlighted by Pat Whalen and Larry Kim. Larry Kim’s organic and paid social network sharing and posting pyramid scheme emphasizes the importance of selectively promoting top-performing content, often referred to as “unicorns.”

For businesses with limited budgets, Google AdWords and Facebook ads are viable options, according to Gianpaolo Lorusso and other chat participants. These platforms offer targeting options that can maximize the impact of small budgets. Additionally, vouchers for new users provided by Google AdWords and Bing Ads can help offset initial costs.

Choosing the right advertising channel depends on the business’s objectives and target audience. Lawrence Jones suggests using search advertising and Reddit for conversion-focused objectives, while Google Display Network and Facebook may be better suited for traffic generation.

Understanding your audience is key. Vince Giglotti advises using Facebook for B2C and LinkedIn for B2B, while ThinkTank recommends experimenting with Snapchat and Instagram for engaging millennials.

Reddit is highlighted as an effective platform for reaching opinionated users, particularly those who may not align with mainstream audiences. Furthermore, targeting niche keywords can yield cost-effective results, as suggested by Miles Technologies.

In summary, social media emerges as a top choice for small businesses due to its cost-effectiveness and broad audience reach. Leveraging paid media to promote content can generate earned media and amplify brand visibility. Ultimately, understanding the target audience and selecting the appropriate channels are crucial for achieving marketing goals.

Image and video-based content

Visual content holds significant appeal for people, as it is often more effectively absorbed than text-based information—a phenomenon known as visual information processing or visual perception. Our visual reasoning ability enables us to interpret and process visual information received through our eyes.

According to Traffic Jam Media, visual elements such as images and videos are particularly beloved by audiences. Additionally, content that provides value, such as informative guides, tends to be highly shareable.

Content tailored to your target audience

Creating content that is both relevant and engaging is pivotal for retaining current readers and enticing new subscribers. To achieve this, it’s imperative to have a deep understanding of your audience and deliver content that resonates with their interests and needs. Tailoring content to your audience and emphasizing how it can genuinely benefit them is key.

Medium Blue underscores the importance of letting the audience dictate the content’s direction, recommending research into popular content types and the preferences of organic audiences. By listening to their feedback and observing their interactions, businesses can glean valuable insights that inform content creation strategies and foster stronger audience engagement.

Transactional content

The aim of transactional content lies in persuading individuals to engage in specific transactions or guiding them through the conversion funnel. Bill Slawski advises leveraging paid media to amplify the visibility of transactional pages. It’s crucial to craft strategic content that aligns with a defined marketing objective.

Content that offers value

If you’re considering investing in social ads, ensure your offer provides genuine value. Annaliese Henwood recommends incorporating downloads or discounts, among other valuable content types. Adding social proof to your ads can demonstrate customer satisfaction. However, maintain honesty throughout.

Robert von Heeren refers to these as “digital takeaways,” which could include informative downloads, introductory articles, or blog posts for upcoming webinars or industry events.