Paid Promotion

Defining paid promotion: Paid promotion of content involves paying for any media space or placement. Usually ads or advertorial, they're targeted toward your individual audience segmentation. Paid promotion is a great opportunity to assess whether your content is working and whether your marketing message resonates with your audience. It also allows for great scale and reach for your marketing campaigns.


What are the benefits of paid promotion?

Right audience Paid promotion ensures your content reaches the right audience at the right time by essentially making it visible in their newsfeeds.

Maximizes reach Paid promotion maximizes your reach and gets your content seen by enough people to make it worthwhile investing in and creating in the first place.

Brand visibility Paid promotion increases your brand awareness. It makes sure that people who may never have heard of your brand or business offering before are made aware of it by seeing your content boosted into their newsfeeds.

Creation versus paid support A common mistake by content marketers is investing heavily in content creation, but not necessarily putting a decent paid budget behind it. So you can have a situation where you've created a big budget piece of content, but the value of your return is quite low. Generally, if it's worth putting the investment and time into creating a piece of content, it's worth promoting. So have an adequate spend support for all of your content.

Social algorithms The social platforms are moving to introduce algorithm-based newsfeeds. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the platforms state that it will improve social-media users' experience on the platform by prioritizing the content that is relevant to them, has been peer-reviewed, and is popular within their own social circles. Secondly, the social platforms themselves can generate revenue by charging brands to get their messages seen.

The three things to be very conscious of here are:

Visibility. Visibility is lower than ever for businesses within the social newsfeed. Media networks and media publishers get higher visibility.

Budgets. Budgets need to be geared toward social investment in the same way that many businesses carve out a TV-advertising or print-advertising budget for the year.

Adapting. Make sure that you adapt your social-media advertising plan on an ongoing basis. Use formats that work for you, invest in trialing new innovations, and always make sure that you're learning from your experiences.

Auction versus fixed There are two formats in which you can place social-media advertising. One of these formats is auction-based, the other is fixed-based. Let’s look at each format under a number of different headings.

Social. In a social space, auction-based advertisements can be charged based on your cost per like, your cost per engagement, your cost per fan acquisition, or your cost per conversion. Fixed social-media advertising placements are generally around cost per impression. These are where you're charged a fixed price and you're not competing with other brands. Essentially, a fixed piece of inventory might be a banner or a home-page takeover, whereas an auction-based piece of advertising might appear in a newsfeed, but is also competing with three or four pieces of content that are all looking for that same target audience. You will achieve greater reach and better consistency for your auction-based advertising if you have direct-content copy, if you make sure that your relevancy is absolutely high-end, and that your content is perfectly produced.

Search. Search advertising is largely based on an auction system. Determining the correct keywords, ensuring that your content isn't misleading for your audiences, and that any imagery you use is well produced and looks great, will help you achieve a higher relevancy ranking with the individual search platform that you place your advertising on. Fixed formats are a little less frequent here.

Display. With display advertising, fixed items might include homepage takeovers, skyscraper ad units, banners or mid-page units. Generally, these are negotiated at a fixed rate with the media owners themselves. So, for example, if you wanted to run a home-page takeover on, you might brand either side with your individual brand and you'll be set a fixed charge for that. Whereas, if you were running a Google Display campaign, it would be based on an auction basis across a wide variety of Google-affiliate websites. So being aware of the two individual types of format buying will help you adjust your message accordingly.

Media outlets. Some individual media outlets charge in auction-based format, depending on how many sites are part of that media conglomerate. In the fixed space, native advertising is becoming increasingly popular. This is advertising which is, essentially, a digital version of the old-school advertorial-based content which sits within the newsfeed of regular content on the media site.

Bloggers and influencers. There's not really an auction-based system here; this is very much a rate card of fixed prices. Some bloggers charge maybe $200 or $300 for a tweet or an Instagram post that endorses your product. Be aware of declaration, if pursuing this particular method of paid promotion.

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