What is paid media and how to use It

A rundown of Paid media with tips on how to get people talking about your brand online.

3 ways to promote your content

It is often stated that content is king, and there are few brands that need convincing of the significance content marketing can have on their company. Many large corporations, SMEs and small, independent and local businesses are committed to creating informative and engaging content that builds their brand. Meaning attracting new customers and boosting their digital profile and presence. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that 60% of B2C marketers are planning on increasing their content marketing budget spend this year.

It is not difficult to source umpteen guides outlining the type of content businesses and service providers should be creating to boost their digital presence. Although it is important to remember that whilst creative, engaging and innovative content creation is a must, without the appropriate promotion, even the best content can be lost amongst the competition on the big world wide web.

A robust content promotion plan will help prevent you from falling adrift. A simple, incoherent promotion is a one-way ticket to a poor return on investment. Instead, honing your content marketing and promotion strategy is perfectly achievable with the right guidance at hand.

This part one article will cover the ways to boost your content’s promotion via Paid media.

Paid media: Investing in promotion and attention

There are still a number of marketers out there who believe that content marketing is free. Despite paying for content to be produced in the first place, getting content to earn for you requires promotion, and promotion requires investment.

Promotion to a large audience isn’t all about getting an ad out on Google AdWords – it can include reaching specific audiences on certain platforms to grow your business. 

Let’s take a look at example that will help to put paid promotion and its benefits into context. Take Florist A. Florist A wants to boost the numbers in their social media community…how should they do it?

A paid promotion in the guise of a competition. A paid and promoted competition is much more likely to grab attention than, say, a weekly ‘bouquet of the week’ picture, and crucially will invite user engagement. 

The brand ‘Funny how flowers do that’ have taken this initiative, paying to promote a competition where Facebook users could win a bouquet:

The really interesting bit for marketers is that in order for the competition entrants to get more information, they actively have to click through to Funny how flowers do that’s Facebook page. The social boost happens when users must ‘Like’ the page in order to enter the competition. This is usually a very successful method of promotion because it encourages likes, shares, comments (as well as competition entrants) – you’ll see how many people liked this post and the added bonus is that they are all likely in the target demographic group too. 

LinkedIn Ads, Facebook posts and Sponsored Tweets

With the above forms of paid promotion, it’s about finding the appropriate ad for the appropriate audience. For instance, a post about vintage-inspired handmade crafts may not garner much attention from LinkedIn users, but is likely to achieve much more successful engagement on Facebook and Twitter. 

Targeting your posts to the most appropriate group or demographic is vital, and thankfully social networks allow for targeting to your chosen (most relevant) audience. You can divide your audience by age, gender, location or even by the device they are using and there is also scope to upload the email addresses of those subscribed to your newsletter for extra punch.

The National Gallery are one such brand that invests in promoted Tweets for their followers:


Perhaps a lesser-known promotional tool is Outbrain, a content promotion network. It essentially operates in two core ways: amplifying content and pushing traffic through recommendations to quality publishing websites, and engaging users and boosting your revenue with the addition of content from third parties on your blog(s).

The way it works is both intelligent and efficient. Outbrain only pushes articles that its algorithm deems relevant based on the content the user has previously read. This is a great engagement method because it enables more of your branded content to be targeted to optimised groups, and lengthens visitor times on your site too. Installing the widget is simple and straightforward and is priced reasonably, with a feature that lets you set your Cost per Click budget limits on a daily basis.


This feature allows you to reach users who have already visited your site once before. It serves up the most appropriate ads relating to your services or products as users are browsing the web, encouraging repeat visits and purchases on your site. One example of retargeting might be if you have previously had a user visit your shoe site, and look at a pair of boots, put them in the shopping cart but not follow through with the purchase. Retargeted ads showcasing your shoes and other similar products in the range will then show as they browse the web – hours or even days after they initially visited your site – encouraging a purchase and providing a reminder of their past browsing. 

Here’s another example of retargeting on a display network, with ModCloth:

You’ll see that the ad links back to their shop – just one click and users are back on their site once again.

Paid promotion is well worth the investment, and by exploring you will undoubtedly find out which types of content and which methods work best for your brand - it's also a fantastic way to enhance your digital campaigns, providing targeted advertising to help boost revenue, sales or just general interest in your product or services.

Now that we’ve covered Paid media, check out Part 2 for an insight into: Earned and Owned Media. Including tips that will help you towards an upward trend in the number of people talking about your brand online, and potentially offline - you’ll then be able to combine all three promotional elements and create a stronger overall strategy.

Find out more about how to promote your content:

3 ways to promote content Part 2: Owned and earned media