Are Paid Ads Really Worth the Investment in 2020?

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Are Paid Ads Really Worth the Investment in 2020

As technology continuously evolve, so does the world of advertising. 

From the simple, old fashioned traditional ways of delivering across your message to your prospected clients to an influx of advertising channels nowadays called digital marketing, there are a lot of ways now to promote and grow your brand. One of which is called paid advertising campaign.

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You may have seen it as you scroll your feed or as you have looked for things in a search engine or even encountered it in video you were watching. Paid advertising is everywhere and as a marketer or a business owner, whether you have tried several paid ads before or thinking of trying it your for you brand, there is a question looming to be answered. Is it really worth your investment?

What is Paid Advertising?

Track Maven defined paid advertising as “any kind of advertising that you have to pay for, versus owned or earned advertising. With paid advertising, marketers pay the owner of ad space in exchange for use of that space. The price paid for the ad space is often settled through a bidding process between marketers and the ad space owner.”

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The aim for paid advertising is to generate leads and sales for your brand with reaching as many users as possible. Another aim also of paid advertising is as it reaches the maximum number of potential customers, your brand awareness also widens.

Types of Paid Advertising

  • Social Media Ads

These are advertisements placed on different social media platforms:

  • Social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+)
  • Microblogging (Twitter, Tumblr)
  • Photo sharing (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest)
  • Video sharing (YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Vimeo)

Depending on your target audience, these type of paid ads have been considered one of your wisest paid move as there about 3.5 billion people on social media in 2019.

  • Search Engine Marketing

This is one of the most effective way to promote your products and grow your business. SEM allows you to buy traffic in paid listings.

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Sponsored Search Results
  • Local SEO
  • Display Ads

Also called banner ad, it is the “box” you usually see on a website that stands out from the rest of the display and often feature a brand, product image and a call-to-action (CTA) for potential customers.

  • Native Advertising

Type of ads that has the ability to look and feel like the platform. Often seen in social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. 

Benefits of Paid Advertising

  1. Target and Reach

One of the most beneficial thing in paid advertising is its ability to precisely target your ideal audience. It is very specific and allows you to tap potential visitors who might be interested in your brand and be converted into sales. You can set the demographics of your sales personals as well.

  1. Measurable

When you run an ad in a radio station or decided to give out-of-home (OOH) campaign a try and place a billboard on the busiest street, you can never gauge how many have heard your radio advertisement or many cars have actually stopped to look at your billboard.

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With paid ads you can track your metrics. You can check impressions or how many times your was shown on the screen, you can know your click rate and click through rate or the number of people who clicked your ad to learn more and the percentage of people who were served by your ad. You can even know you conversion rate, your cost per conversion and even your quality score. These metrics are essential to know if your paid ads are effective and can be your basis for your next paid advertising campaign.

  1. Cost effective

Placing paid advertisement does not necessarily mean spending a fortune to run your campaign. Digital marketing channels lets you reach a wide audience yet you spend little or sometimes nothing at all. But if you want to reach a certain number of people at a fraction of a time, you can do so with paid online advertisement.

Depending on your objectives, you can run social media advertisement to let your content reach your target market and spend just an of average of 3$.  If your aim is to drive website traffic, you will incur a cost-per-click or CPM for impressions. Pay only when people click or watch your ad therefore no money is wasted.

  1. Retargeting Campaign

Internet technology allows you to interact with people whom you’ve previously engaged with. You can the audience who have clicked you ad and you can send them a follow up through another ad. This feature is cost efficient as you will not spend your money on consumers who aren’t interested in your products or services.

  1. Improve your performance real time

Since paid advertisement allows you to track and analyze your metrics and analytics fast and accurately, you can always have a basis on your next strategy to promote your brand. You can even edit your ads’ performance while it runs and gauge if it has been effective or not. If it is effective, you can keep it and when it is not, you can always go ahead and edit it until it turn into a powerful tool to elevate your brand.

The Downside

  1. Ignored Ads

Since customers are in control on which online ads are appealing to them, they can choose what to click and if they will respond to it. Prospect clients sometimes avert any form of online ads they encounter, bypass ads in online videos and discard pop-up advertisement as soon as they can.

  1. Technical Problems

Since online ads are technology dependent, when presented with technical issues, it fails to send their messages across the target audience. Potential sales may be lost as companies may not be able to broadcast their products or services.

If an advertisement is also not optimized to all devices, it may experience a viewing problems and will prompt the targeted market to ditch it and pay no more attention. This is also another lost opportunity.

  1. At times, it’s complicated

The different channels to place your online advertisement may be a bit confusing and complicated especially for beginners.

  1. Tight competition

With the number of people spending time on the internet every single day, you have a wide potential to reach prospects that can be converted into sales. However, there are a lot of competitors. Social media marketing has even become a battlefield nowadays and in order for your ads to survive, you need to spend more.

So, Is It Still Worth It?

Well, the answer to that is still a resounding “yes”.

Even when presented with the cons, we can still never deny the fact that online ads are one of most essential things to keep your business afloat and survive the stiff competition. Depending on your need, you can tailor fit each of your advertising tactics. You can choose the platform, the type and even the audience you wish to send your message across.  It is not an easy feat but it will be surely valuable to your business once you find the one that works for your marketing campaigns. 

General FAQs

Is paid advertising worth it?

Paid advertising might be an excellent advertising solution for many businesses, but you always need to be aware of your ROI. If you’re spending $1000 a month to make $10, then it’s probably not worth it and should look at ways you can decrease your cost per conversion.

What is paid for advertising?

Paid advertising is any kind of advertising that you have to pay for, versus owned or earned advertising. With paid advertising, marketers pay the owner of ad space in exchange for use of that space. The price paid for the ad space is often settled through a bidding process between marketers and the ad space owner.

Does pay per click advertising work?

In a PPC campaign, you pay Google however much you wish to have them list ads for your site at the top and right of the organic search listings. When someone clicks on your ad, you pay the current Cost Per Click (CPC) from your budget.


Devendra Singh

Director, Content Strategy at Digital Marketing Trends. I develop, evaluate, and improve the company's content strategies. Providing a big online presence for SMEs and StartUps.