Paid Media: It Has Not Died Out


If you have been following my blog you will notice my posts lately have talking about utilizing owned and earned media. These types of media are essential to the success of your business but you should not stop there.  As a business you should still be utilizing paid media.  As you can see in the above image, by utilizing earned, owned, AND paid media you will create a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Paid media directs traffic to your owned media and promotes the content in order to gain generated earned media.  What is great about paid media is that it guarantees immediacy, has control and scale.  Granted you have to spend money but the amount you spend, if done right, will be nothing compared to how much you will make. Since social media is so popular it has given businesses another chance to promote or sponsor their ads on sites, like Facebook and Twitter. HubSpot, below, is a good example of paid media.


An interesting form of paid media that is extremely beneficial is Native Advertising, which the HubSpot ad above is one of.  This is where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience,  in which it is posted. The goal is to not disrupt the user experience. The advertisers want to offer information that is helpful and similar to the other information on the site, so that the content is engaged and has a higher rate. Currently 62% of publishers and media companies offer some kind of native advertising program and the most popular forms of native advertising are sponsored blogs, sponsored articles and Facebook sponsored updates.

Cracked is a great example of  what good native advertising looks like. Brands work directly with  Cracked to create sponsored content. Currently fifth on the Native Advertising Leader board ( is their story 5 Real-Life Stories of Twins Creepier Than Any Horror Movie. As you can see Cracked is known for writing funny and engaging material that is written in the same tone as a non-sponsored article.

Forbes is also doing very well in the native advertising land. They have decided to name their native advertising product  BrandVoice.  They do not want it to represent an ad but  leadership. To be authentic is their goal. They want to “foster an environment in which journalists, marketers, and audience could exchange ideas with one another.” Below is a graph representing the growing numbers that Forbes has had in their partners, posts, and page views since joining with SAP and creating their native advertising program.


As you can see Forbes’s digital partnership has been growing and still will be. Like I have been saying content is everything and that is what drives native advertising. Also being transparent is a key player in being successful.  Since native advertising is a form of paid advertising this strengthens my point that paid media is not dead. Paid media is evolving and journalists should make sure to do the same. You should not cross paid or native advertising  out of your marketing strategy and if you haven’t yet started native advertising you should do it now.

Moving on to my last topic of paid media, a quickly growing sector,  is programmatic ad buying. Programmatic ad buying is as simple as it sounds. Businesses buy ads, like you would buy products on Amazon.  This type of buying is of action form and is in real-time.


The only difference is the computer does all the work for you. It is like when you do your taxes on Turbo Tax, a few clicks and your ads are bought and you can go on your merry way.   What is great is that the advertisers buy ads individually so that a consumer is presented an ad tailored specifically to them.  You are enriching the consumer experience with tailored content and it is way easier than the traditional ways of buying ads because it is so quick and easy. You don’t have to buy ads that are tailored to a large segment of individuals with the hopes that some of them will respond and react.

This software does the work that humans just can’t do. This may sound scary because it seems that once again computers and software are replacing the jobs for humans, but that isn’t the case.  Computers can’t run all by themselves. The media buyers will still have jobs but instead of making calls between the buyer and seller they will be analyzing data on a computer screen. This will require that people learn more skills and I know that change is hard but it is essential. People need to be willing to change and learn new tricks. Programmatic ad buying is going to make their jobs easier, once they learn all the skills.

Not only is programmatic ad buying thriving on in the internet but it is moving to television.  This is going to help advertisers avoid the issues of the DVR. Soon ads will be so targeted to the viewers that they won’t want to change the channel.  There are still many bugs that need to be fixed before this becomes reality. Also the ad buying will most likely not be real-time, like it is now, but it will be way quicker.  I’m excited to see how this all turns out.

Below are some links that provide more information on the topics I discussed in today’s blog.


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