How to Get the Most Out of Paid Media on Social Networks

Few things are more exciting for a marketing team than that first social media post. After the hard work of creating a brand voice, honing in on your target audience, and planning out your posts with a comprehensive content calendar, your social marketing channels are off to the races.  

But this only marks the beginning of the journey. You can make the most relatable, intriguing content in the world, but if people can’t find you or have no idea that your content exists, you won’t get the engagement needed to achieve your ROI. While marketing campaigns often focus on organic social, there’s another type that’s critical to getting more eyeballs on your content right away: paid media. 

Paid ads can increase brand awareness by 80%—so whether you’re first starting out, switching up your strategy, or have a campaign coming up that you want some extra views on, paid media is an important tool for delivering ROI in your marketing.  

What is paid media? 

Paid media is content that your company pays to promote on the social feeds of people who don’t already follow you.  

Common types of paid media on social media networks include: 

  • Sponsored posts 
  • Display ads 
  • Video ads 
  • Any promoted multimedia 

The role of paid media is to shepherd people to your existing content, like your social media channels or website, or encourage them to make a purchase. 

Why paid media should be in your marketing plan 

Paid media can be tricky, and shouldn’t be relied upon as your only tactic. Instead, paid media works best as a complement to a robust organic social plan. If you have a big sale going on, for example, then you may want to pay for a few ads to entice people to try out some of your products. If you gain new followers from that paid post, you’ll also boost your chances of getting more engagement on subsequent organic posts.  

The main goal of paid media is to get a lot of views on your content all at once. If you’re just starting out and your organic posts aren’t bringing in the engagement you were hoping for, purchase a few paid posts to help get the word out about your company. This can help you achieve your marketing KPIs and secure ROI.  

How to get the best results from paid media 

The biggest disadvantage of paid media is that, well… you have to pay for it. The spend for paid media is high, so you need to ensure that you’re doing your paid media the right way to get the most bang for your buck.  

Follow these paid media best practices to ensure you don’t overspend. 

  1. Always check in with your KPIs

Before you shell out for paid social posts, review your KPIs and plan out how paid media will help you achieve these goals. For example, if you need more engagement, set a benchmark for how many views you want per post. You want to ensure that you’ll get the right ROI for the amount you’re spending.  

When paying for ads, check your metrics daily to see if you’re hitting your targets. If you’re not, then consider pulling your ads and going back to the drawing board.   

  1. Pay for ads on the platform that your target audience enjoys most

Be strategic about the platforms that you choose to advertise on. If you have multiple social media channels, don’t create the same advertisements for each one. Look at your metrics and see where your organic content already performs best with your target audience, and pay for ads on that platform. 

Pro tip: the best ads on social media are the ones that don’t look like ads. Native ads are the types that blend into people’s content. Get them hooked on your ad before they even realize they’re watching something from an account they don’t follow. To do this, you need to spend time on the platform you’re advertising on to learn verbiage and trends so that you can mimic other creators’ content.  

  1. Decide if you need promoted content or an ad campaign

Paying for promoted content on Twitter or LinkedIn can be a great way to simply get more views on the organic social content that you worked so hard on. If you’re already creating content for your target audience, this is an excellent way for them to find your brand.  

If you’d rather create more of a commercial that wouldn’t have a permanent place on your website or social platforms, then consider an ad campaign. This is separate from your company’s profile and typically encourages users to make a direct action, like getting 50% off their first purchase.  

Paid media vs. earned media: when to use each 

There are three types of media: paid, owned, and earned media—and we’ve just discussed paid media. How does it compare to the other types? 

Owned media consists of everything from your organic social content—you create it. Earned media happens when someone else creates content about your company or brand online (think reviews, video tutorials with one of your products, or employee advocacy).  

Earned media is thought of as the “holy grail” of social media marketing because you’re essentially getting free advertising from consumers to boost your brand. However, earned media is the hardest of the three to control—you can’t force someone to write about your brand, and you also can’t control what they say.  

What you can do is pay for ads to spread the word about your company. If you offer a great, helpful product that solves a problem for your customers, the earned media is more likely to follow. 

Using paid media to better measure earned media value 

Paid media can be a huge help when measuring the value of earned media. Earned media can be difficult to measure, and you actually have to use stats from your paid media to do so properly.  

The standard earned media value (EMV) formula is:   

EMV = Impressions x CPM x Adjustment Factor  

The CPM means “cost per 1,000 impressions.” To truly know how the cost of 1,000 impressions, you need to look at data from previous paid media campaigns. This data will help you better understand how to measure the power of your company’s earned media later on. 

Maximize your ROI in paid media with Clearview Social 

Before you begin any paid social campaigns, you want systems in place to track your metrics and make the most of your money. Clearview Social’s social media analytics features give you in-depth stats about your paid content like clicks, the value of your content, and who is clicking on your posts. 

With Clearview Social, you can also start creating earned media faster through the power of employee advocacy. Our earned media software makes sharing company content quick and easy for your employees, so you can expand your reach authentically and quickly.  

If you’re ready to max out your ROI and give your social media marketing strategy a major boost, Get A Free Demo with Clearview Social today.