What are paid ads and media buying? You might have come across these buzzwords before. In the business world, advertising and marketing is a crucial part of a company’s success. Think about it, you might have a great product and service but without the ability to actually get it out there in front of people who are interested in it, it might as well not exist.

Since the internet was launched, online advertising has made changes in the marketing industry and the effects are there to stay. No longer are your advertisements restricted to still photos on billboards and newspapers.

But now, they can be customized to appeal to individuals on a personal level. Meaning, you are able to target locations and specific preferences based on their interests that can greatly improve your campaign’s effectiveness in real-time!

So if you are planning to enter the world of online advertising, then you have probably stumbled across the term “Paid Ads” and “Media Buying”.

While you can do digital marketing without forking out too much money, sometimes, a little investment is needed if you want good results. For new and small businesses, we understand that it is often a tough decision especially when we have little to no experience with paid advertising.

Just what is it, you may ask. And is it really worth it? Why should you pay when you can do some online campaigns for free?

These are questions you may be asking yourself and they are good queries. Spending money on paid ads is a very big decision and it needs to be studied in order to be 100% certain that they are the right thing for you.

To help you come to a decision, the right one at that. Let’s take a detailed look at how useful paid ads and media buying is.

Take the time to research it, as this could be one of the best decisions you can make for your business.

What are Paid Ads?

Paid Ads come in different forms online. The main categories include: 

  • Pay per click
  • Pay per install
  • Pay per view
  • Pay per download
  • Pay per acquisition
  • Display ads
  • Video ads

If you’ve noticed, there is a vast range of different paid advertising options available. Some  are more effective, suitable and cheaper for your industry than others.

The most common method of paid ads by far is pay-per-click (PPC). This type of advertising was made popular by networks such as Google Ads which has allowed businesses to “pay per click” they receive on their ads.

But what does a pay-per-click ad look like? Take a look at the photo below:

The paid ads are shown on top of organic (unpaid) results on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). They are a great way to get your product and service in front of potential customers.

How Does Pay-Per-Click Advertising Work?

In essence, your PPC agent or digital marketing agency would research the best keyword (phrases or words used by search engine users to locate your specific service) and plan the best time and instance to show the results in front of your potential client.

However, advertisers cannot simply pay more in order to show their ads prominently than their competitor’s ads. Instead, they’ll be subjected to what is known as the Ad Auction which is an entirely automated process which Google and other major search engines use in order to determine the relevance and the validity of the advertisements that appear on SERPs.

How Keywords Work in Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

As the name implies, Ad Auction is a bidding system. Which means that your advertisers or Google Ads Experts must bid on terms that they want in order to trigger and display your ads on a specific keyword. 

To elaborate, if your business specializes in camping gears. And a search engine user wants to purchase a tent, a sleeping bag, or a portable stove. They might enter the keyword “camping equipment” into your search engine to find stores that offer these items.

And the moment the user submits their search query, the search engine performs the complex algorithm calculations that Ad Auction is based on. This will determine the ads are displayed, down to the order it appears and by which advertiser.

Since you have to pay for each click on your ads, it is important that your advertiser bids only on keywords relevant to your business. This is to ensure that you can get ROI from your ad spend.

To do their research, your advertiser will usually do a keyword research using keyword tools that can help your brand find the right keywords to use that will drive sales and conversions which will require less expense on your side.

But other than PPC, there are plenty of less popular models of paid advertisements including pay per download, install, and acquisition. 

While we understand picking the right method can be tricky since different paid ads models perform better for specific industries. 

How About I Skip Paid Ads and Strive For Organic Results Instead?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not always guaranteed and there is no actual way of knowing how high you’ll rank since search engines such as Google tend to keep their algorithm confidential in order to avoid spams, to promote fair play and to avoid giving out results that are completely irrelevant to a search engine user’s query.

But, this doesn’t mean SEO is a guessing game. There are SEO experts who have measured and reverse engineered it in order to rank in the SERPS. 

However, it will take time and results will not be as instantaneous as paid advertising. So you do have a choice, do you have time and money to spend months on SEO?

Or boost your content and offers within the first hour of starting your campaign? Which means you can swiftly establish if you are spending money on the right advertising channel without having to wait for months.