How to Leverage Paid Marketing Campaigns for Your Brand
Whether you want to launch a new product to the public or highlight your brand story, combining organic and paid public relations and marketing campaigns can make all the difference in how much traction your efforts produce. Organic content is marketing collateral you distribute free of charge, such as free social media posts or emails sent to a mailing list you collected after a networking event. The primary benefit of organic marketing is that it’s free to distribute across your owned channels. Therefore, you can test multiple assets, graphics and copy, and use different strategies to see what works best for your audience — without spending extra marketing dollars. Additionally, organic content (and especially user-generated content) helps build a community with your customer base and increase trust for your brand.
Paid content, on the other hand, involves its own additional budget and can be worth the investment, if done correctly. Paid content helps you surpass the ever-growing limit of organic reach and allows you to connect to an audience that otherwise might not see your content. The greatest benefit of paid content is your ability to specifically target your ideal audience — with a greater likelihood of encouraging conversions.
So, what should you choose: organic or paid? You’ll likely see the best results by going with both. That’s the value of an integrated PR and marketing campaign. An organic strategy gets you some initial traction and helps you connect with your existing audience, while a paid push can supercharge your organic marketing and add an algorithmic boost to your social media content and PR messaging. The key is to ensure that all of your messaging and branding align across each of the channels you use.
The Most Common Types of Paid Campaigns
1. Paid search
If you’ve ever opened up your phone to Google the best supplement to treat a particular ailment, or went down the black hole of picking the best-of-the-best sports equipment, it’s likely you’ve never traveled past the first page of the search results. If you’re particularly observant, you may have also noticed the word “sponsored” above the top results, indicating that companies paid for their content to appear at the top of the search results.
A paid search works using a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means you don’t pay for the placement unless someone clicks on that link; it’s a great way to measure just how successful your ad is in generating traffic. Depending on the keywords you select, the industry competition you face, and the match type in use, clicks can be as cheap as two dollars or run over the hundred-dollar mark.
Benefits of PPC advertising include:
- Quick entry into the market
- Measurable results and tons of data
- Effective targeting strategy
- Useful across multiple channels
We can use this method to:
- Surpass your competitors on the results page
- Boost your sales
- Promote a new product or service
- Promote a sale or special to customers
- Solidify your brand name as a market leader
- Support a specific campaign or elevate brand awareness
2. Social media ads
Social media ads involve designating dollars to paid social media posts to expand your reach and connect to your ideal audience on a chosen social media platform. Why pay for social media posts when you can post for free? Though social media was great in its infancy for reaching people organically, the increase in users and posts and the prevalence of paid campaign options has made it nearly impossible for a business to gain traffic without investing in social media ads.
When launching a paid social media campaign, consider what social media platform(s) your target audience is most likely to use and what demographic makes the most sense to target. For example, if your product is age-restricted (such as alcohol), select the appropriate age range. Similarly, if your product meets gender-specific needs, target the gender relevant to your product.
Benefits of social media ads include:
- Increased brand awareness and loyalty
- An influx of new leads
- Increased conversion rate
- Great ROI when successful
We can use this method to:
- Reach new audiences
- Drive traffic/followers to your brand’s social pages
- Increase sales, especially for a specific demographic (such as Millennials on Instagram, single parents on Facebook, businesspeople on LinkedIn, etc.)
- Support a campaign initiative
- Boost engagement
- Drive an increase in loyalty
3. Affiliate marketing and affiliate PR
Affiliate marketing involves pitching a product or service to third-party publishers that get a cut of the sales generated from featuring your company’s content in their publication. Although this does involve a pay-to-play approach, it’s not so cut and dry; a product or service still needs to be compelling for a publisher to take it on. Otherwise, it impacts the publisher’s credibility.
With affiliate marketing, you are looking at pitching much like you would to a journalist. You want the publication to pick up the content of your product or service, and you are willing to pay the price of commissions from generated sales.
Benefits of affiliate marketing and PR include:
- Cost is performance-based (low start-up cost and high ROI)
- Increased brand awareness
- Boosts reputation
- Creates partnerships with affiliate publishers
- Provides valuable data and statistics
We can use this method to:
- Generate holiday or seasonal media coverage of a specific product
- Partner with a social media influencer to promote sales
- Attract partners such as a podcast or vlog hosts to sponsor content and promote sales
The Importance of A/B Testing
When you decide to put funds toward a marketing campaign, whether through paid search, paid social media ads, or affiliate marketing, it’s essential to keep tabs on what’s producing a good ROI and what’s tanking. If you paid for an ad that isn’t converting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people don’t want your product or service, but it does mean that your ad messaging or branding isn’t resonating with your target audience. A great way to ensure you place your best messaging out there is to run A/B testing. (This involves testing two different messages, which go to the same landing page on your website, and see which one performs best.)
If you launch a paid campaign that isn’t converting, take some time to review your metrics and make changes in line with what the data is showing. A skilled content specialist is an excellent investment to make, if you want to make the most of those marketing metrics. That’s one way we can ensure your budget is behind the strongest messaging and place ads where they have the most impact. Paid marketing campaigns are worth every dollar when done correctly.
Interested in learning how your brand could benefit from paid marketing campaigns? Reach out to us here.
Trust Relations Team