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Paid media services – definition, types, and examples

paid media servicesDid you know that 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021 alone? With so many businesses sprouting up annually, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with growing your business. How can you make your company stand out amongst millions of competitors?

One of the best ways to help your company shine is with paid media services. But what is paid media, and how does this sort of external marketing help?

If you’re curious about the different types of paid media, we’re happy to help. Read on to learn more about paid media ads and how they can help you grow your company.

What is Paid Media?

Before we delve into the different types of paid media, we need to define the term. What is paid media, and how is it different from other forms of advertisements?

Paid media is content that one promotes through paid placements. These paid placements can take many different forms and will accomplish different goals.

A paid media campaign will help offer instant access to larger markets. You can quickly generate leads, grow your company’s brand, and encourage engagement with the audience. In most cases, the goal of a paid media advertisement is to grow revenue.

Paid media is something that you’ve undoubtedly interacted with before even if the term is unfamiliar. Commercials, pre-video ads, pop-up ads, and other things that fill ad space are all examples. However, the way that these interact with the customer can all be categorized differently.

Types of Paid Media

With a better understanding of the subject, we can look at some of the many types of paid media. Here are the four most common categories for paid media advertisements.

Pay Per Click

Pay per click advertisements are often called PPC for short. As the name suggests, these are advertisements that generate revenue for every click.

The payment depends on which side of the advertisement you’re on. If you’re paying to place the advertisement, you’ll be charged by the click. If you’re the company that placed the advertisement for a client, you’re paid each time a consumer clicks the advertisement.

These are ideal for most companies for several effective benefits. One great perk is that they can generate interest and brand awareness without cost. Customers may see the ad and everything associated with it without clicking.

On the other hand, the same effect makes them good for a lower-cost advertisement. You won’t need to spend a premium on a pop-up that customers aren’t engaging with. Instead, you’re only paying for the customers that interact with your advertisement.

Advertisements and Video Advertisements

More simple and traditional are the basic advertisement formats. Video advertisements typically play before video media. If you’ve used YouTube without an adblocker, you’ve almost definitely encountered a video advertisement.

Video advertisements are more involved as you’ll need to design and develop a video. These could be live-action videos of you or employees discussing the company. Some companies use simple animations or easy-to-understand graphics and play music behind them while the video rolls.

More common are the basic still advertisements. These include images in the ad space of a social media site or a paid social media post. There are many types of advertisements to familiarize yourself with, as the category is exceptionally broad.

Display Ads

The Display Ads category fits multiple types of advertisements. The most common sort is the pop-up ad.

Pop-up ads are typically disliked, as they disrupt the viewer and force their attention. These advertisements can dim a browser page and force the consumer to close them or otherwise interact.

For many consumers, these advertisements are a formidable annoyance. Some will download software specifically to stop these ads from appearing. As such, it’s strongly recommended that you not rely on them for the bulk of your marketing.

If you employ pop-up ads, we suggest using them on your website. It’s less disruptive if the advertisement appears while someone is already browsing the products. These ads can show sales, promotions, and more.

Another common form is the banner ad. Banner ads are traditionally at the top of the page as a banner would sit. They’re wide horizontally but short vertically and provide a wealth of information.

Due to their size, they can function similarly to a billboard. A wealth of information can fill part of the ad, but due to not being tall, they don’t disrupt the viewer. They’re great for building brand awareness while also driving attention toward limited services.

Sponsored Media Posts

Finally, sponsored media posts are most common on social media sites. A sponsored media post is when a company pays another platform to post or promote their product.

These include sponsorships through content creators on social media, such as YouTubers. It’s also common for influencers on other social media platforms to promote a product.

These sponsorships usually come with some form of compensation. Influencers are typically given a financial payment for promoting the product.

Another method is to reward the influencer or advertising group with a strong discount on the product. In most cases, the company advertising will give the sponsored platform the product for free.

Such promotions are exceptionally common amongst all forms of media. You’ll find sponsored media posts in any industry and on most platforms. They’re incredibly effective for reaching new audiences and raising brand awareness while using the audience a trusted group has already built.

Different Types of Media

Now that we know the many categories of paid media services, what are the different types of media? There are more categories than the four we’ve discussed.

Media comes in three dominant types: earned, paid, and owned. Here are the differences between the three types of paid media.

Earned Media

Earned media is the organic advertisement your company produces. The best way to remember this category is that your company has earned the media being discussed.

Most often, this category includes content that other people produce about your company. For example, a review of your product is considered earned media. Social media shares or public press regarding your brand are other examples.

However, it’s important to note that these examples must not be paid to be considered earned media. If you pay someone to review or cover your product, it no longer was earned.

Paid Media

When you pay someone to promote your product, the advertisement is officially paid media. These include the four types discussed above as well as many others. Paid email campaigns, social media influencers, and search engine optimization promotion are all paid media.

Paid media is effective for increasing awareness toward the “top of the funnel.” You also can use paid media to help encourage sales.

Paid media is risky, as it can be a costly endeavor. If an advertisement is expensive but doesn’t generate revenue, it can often cause significant financial losses.

In contrast, they’re also exceptionally rewarding when successful. An advertisement can raise brand awareness, generate leads and revenue, and grow your audience. Due to the “high risk, high reward” nature, it’s best to design an advertising strategy before you begin advertising.

Owned Media

Finally, owned media is content that your company owns and produces. A common modern example is a social media account that produces advertisements and content for your audience.

A YouTube channel is a common form of owned media. If your company has a social media department that runs its various platforms, all content on these pages is owned media.

Owned media is integral for generating organic traffic and promoting engagement. You can design owned media to give the audience a deeper, more personal look. By doing so, you can build more confidence, reputability, and loyalty in your brand.

Benefits of Paid Media

Why use paid media over organic earned media or professionally owned media? The simplest answer is that you don’t use it over these other types. Instead, you use it in conjunction with other types of media.

Focusing on a single strategy will make your marketing narrow and single-tracked. As a result, your audience will grow slower and your brand awareness will suffer.

You also run the risk of having worse results. If you rely solely on a single type of advertisement, that advertisement failing will mean all of your marketing has failed. Many consider this a good example of “putting all your eggs in one basket.”

That said, there are several reasons to focus on paid media over other types. Here are some of the many benefits of using paid media services for your external marketing.

Better Advertising

Earned media is wonderful for being free and often popular. Most earned media is done by reviewers or influencers with a built platform and audience.

That said, it’s also uncontrollable and free of any bias. If a reviewer with a dedicated and loyal audience gives your product a negative review, it can be incredibly damaging to your image and sales.

On the contrary, you can also find that some earned media is generated to a small and irrelevant audience. What’s the use of earned media that targets a demographic entirely separate from your company’s main audience?

Paid media lets you have better control over the message and what demographic you reach. As such, the advertisement is more effective and can cause less damage.

Stronger Branding

Another benefit of being able to control your advertising is the ability to focus your brand. If someone else is generating your advertisement, you have no control over how they present you.

As a result, they may present you without your common branding strategies. These can cause the advertisement to fail to promote your company properly.

Owned media doesn’t have this issue, as your company has full control over owned media. Paid media, therefore, is able to take owned media and pay to have it presented. These are great ways to capture both forms of marketing without much of a sacrifice in either direction.

Hands-Off Work

Owned media is a stellar way to build a brand and present yourself in the best light. However, you often need to rely on people organically seeking out the media.

There are many companies that have accomplished this, but they typically had an audience built. Owned media is most successful when you can guarantee a bulk of your audience will seek out the advertisement.

If you can’t make this guarantee, you’re building content without an audience. Since you may not pay to promote this content, you’ve spent time and money developing media that you can’t properly use.

Paid media services will put your advertisement in front of an audience. Consider who will be viewing your ads before you dedicate your resources toward developing them.

Diverse Approaches

Finally, paid media services provide several ways to diversify your approach. If you rely on a single method of advertisement, your audience will begin to stagnate.

Paid advertisements can take many forms, such as video content, social media posts, and brand awareness strategies. By diversifying your content, you can attract a larger, more diverse audience.

Enhancing Your Paid Media Services

Paid media services are an excellent way to grow your audience and get your advertisements in front of a larger crowd. You can use these external marketing tactics to promote your company and develop stronger brand awareness.


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