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What is Paid Social Media

what is paid social media

It’s no secret that social media is a focus for advertisers everywhere – but what exactly is it? This blog post will address the ins and outs of paid social media so that you can better understand how to leverage it in your business. 

Every business needs to stay on top of these trends to stay competitive, and we are here to help. We will define paid social media, review some of the most common types of ads, and discuss the benefits of using them. Let’s dive in!

Paid Social Media: The Basics

If you made it this far, there’s a good chance you are looking for the answer to the question at hand: what is paid social media?

Paid social media refers to a marketing strategy that involves sharing ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. Rather than relying on organic content or free posts, this strategy uses paid advertising to boost engagement, increase their following, and drive sales. 

This digital marketing strategy is used alongside organic posts and free media efforts. However, many marketers pay for social media ads to better target their ideal audience. The platform can identify users’ locations, interests, demographics, and more so that brands can make sure that their content reaches the right people. 

Types of Paid Social Media Advertising

Now that you understand what paid social media is, let’s review some of the most common types of ads. These ads can include everything from pay-per-click ads and boosted posts to embedded ads and influencer marketing. 

Every business has unique marketing needs, and understanding the different options available can help you make the right choice from this broad range of paid social media ads. 

Pay Per Click Ads

The most popular type of paid social media marketing is PPC ads. PPC stands for pay per click, and they work exactly as they sound: each time a user clicks on an ad, the brand will pay the platform a fee. 

Some marketers call these ads display ads, as they appear on the sides of your Facebook or LinkedIn feed. Other platforms show pay-per-click ads a bit differently through a discovery page. However, the term display ads are generally used to refer to the content promoted on search engine results pages. 

The goal of a PPC ad is to grab viewers’ attention and encourage them to click on it – then they are redirected to another landing page. As a result, they tend to be simpler than other types of paid social media. 

Pay per click ads

Promoted and Boosted Posts

Boosted posts are another type. This strategy combines organic posting and paid ads, as it involves paying the platform to boost the reach of original content. 

Brands select a budget to apply to the organic post, and that will determine how many new users it will reach. Although this strategy can be beneficial, it does not provide as wide of a reach as some other paid social media ads. 

The best practice is to boost posts that have already done well organically, as those are most likely to do well with new audiences too. Additionally, they work best for simple goals like increasing brand awareness. 

promoted and boosted ads

Embedded Ads

An embedded ad looks like any other post on the social media platform. Whether it is a video on your Facebook feed or a carousel ad on your Instagram, embedded ads can sometimes be hard to stop. The goal is to provide a seamless interface and deliver content that does not interrupt the user’s experience. 

Embedded ads

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a unique type of paid social media because the content does not come directly from the brand. Instead, businesses partner with influencers with large followings on a particular platform – and they post content on behalf of the organization. 

Even though the post looks organic when shared by the influencer, it is paid because the brand is paying them in cash or with products. The idea is that their followers will respond better to organic content from the influencer than a traditional pay-per-click ad, so it builds trust and credibility for the product. 

Note that most influencers will use hashtags like #sponsored or #ad to indicate that they have been compensated to post about a certain brand or product. Companies will often give influencers a discount code to share with their followers too, which further encourages them to make a purchase. 

The Benefits

So, what are the benefits ? Why is it essential to incorporate ads into your marketing strategy

Paid advertising on social media allows you to reach new users and break away from the standard organic algorithms. You can leverage them to achieve your marketing goals like page views, video engagement, link clicks, and more. 

Simply put, paid social media allows you to find customers instead of hoping that they will engage with your page on the platform!