An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Paid Advertising

Paid advertising has been around ever since the birth of mass media channels such as newspapers, radio, and TV. The emergence of the World Wide Web further revolutionized the world of advertising giving rise to plenty of advertising channels that we know today. With the advent of Facebook ads, the social media advertising era kicked off in full steam followed by the likes of Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tik Tok. Today, an hour doesn’t go by when we come across some form of advertising.

October 31, 2022

Here’s a truth bomb for you: today's marketing reality is a harsh one.  As newer opportunities, channels, and platforms arise, so does market competitiveness. As a result, it is becoming extremely hard to rely only on organic forms of traffic. If businesses want to survive this fast-changing, tech-focused environment, they’ve been under pressure to buy into paid advertising. As it turns out, even the top slot of the Google search result is reserved for paid advertising and not organic as the platform is widely known for. 

Since this is the reality of the current market, businesses need to find a way to embrace paid advertising in their marketing approach.

Now it doesn’t mean that you have to fork out a hefty sum of money on paid ads. They can quickly turn into an expensive affair if you aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of this advertising channel.

In this blog post, we’ll give you a rundown on how paid advertising works and how you can leverage them to get the word out about your brand, and how to profit while doing so.

What is Paid Advertising?

Paid advertising is an online advertising channel where advertisers rent a piece of ad real estate on relevant platforms in order to place ads in front of their target audience. Paid ads are available for use in various channels such as social media, podcasts, search engines, blogs, and other online publishing sites.

However broadly they are classified into:

Search Engine Advertising

Search engine advertising is when ads are placed on a search engine. This type of advertising primarily uses a PPC or pay-per-click approach wherein you pay a fee for each ad that gets clicked on. 

Google AdWords is a PPC advertising platform where advertisers bid on specific keywords based on relevance to their business offering. Based on the advertiser's bid and Google quality score, the algorithm determines the ad and ad placement. 

Social Media Advertising

Today, nearly all social media platforms have their own distinguished advertising guidelines. Social media ads are known to be the most popular and versatile in terms of ad targeting whether it is format availability, content types, visuals, or targeted audiences. Some of the widely used ones are:

  • Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are the oldest and one of the most widely used social media ad platforms. Advertising on Facebook is done mainly through boosting organic posts. It possesses hyper-focused targeting capabilities based on their interests, pages, groups they follow, and various other data that they collect from users.

  • Instagram Ads

Even though Instagram has now become a part of Facebook, the way brands advertise and consumers interact on the platform is vastly different. The go-to ad formats are heavy on visuals and stories, audience targeting is varied, and Instagram’s engagement rate is 13.5x higher than their Facebook counterparts.

  • Tik Tok Ads

With 1 billion monthly active users, Tik Tok has been the latest platform to jump on the paid ads bandwagon. TikTok ads have been a great supplement to improve brand awareness for e-commerce businesses, and personal brands such as influencers and content creators. 

Native advertising

Native advertising refers to the type of ads that are found on the open web. These are primarily articles, graphics, or videos that look like native pieces of content on the platform. Native ads are so-called because the intent of such ads is to seamlessly match the nuances of the platform where they appear. 

Display advertising

This is an advertising channel where advertisers display ads on third party websites and publisher sites. These ads could be either static with text, and images, or dynamic with multiple images, video, or changing text. The downside with display advertising is that display ads can cost a lot of money because of its lack of audience targeting capabilities. Plus, they stand out as a sore thumb as they disrupt the user's interaction with the page.

Why should you invest in paid advertising?

1. Swift Results 

The most notable advantage of paid advertising is that paid ads provide you with the opportunity to witness campaign results almost instantaneously. For instance, if you're running a lead gen campaign to a landing page, you can expect to garner swift results as prospects start trickling into your funnel, thus allowing you to further optimize based on performance. However, the same rapid outcomes cannot be associated with organic methods as they usually take a gradual time for the results to bear fruit.

2. Scalable and Controlled

Paid ads are an excellent scalable channel. That means as much as your budget allows, there’s absolutely no limit on how many ads you run and how many people you can reach. Plus they give you a controlling steer to set budget limits on ad spend, monitor money spent, and thus prevent excessive and unnecessary spending.

3. Expand your reach

Unlike the scattered approach of organic marketing, paid ads give you the freedom and option to precisely target your desired customer segments and even expand into newer customer verticals. This ensures that the people you reach are more likely to convert into customers. 

4. Easily Trackable

Nearly all ad platforms today come armed with native analytics to help you measure and monitor your campaigns. You can track how many people have engaged with your ads, your ad spend, your click-through rate, your conversion rate, and lots more, with just a few clicks. This allows you to further modify and optimize your campaign based on effectiveness. With the help of these robust analytics, you can even retarget prospects and gently nudge them down the buyer’s journey.

6 Steps To Build A Paid Advertising Strategy

1. Determine Your Goals

This may seem obvious but as with everything in marketing, you need to first identify the goals that you want to achieve. Ask yourself what is the purpose of your campaign. Who are you trying to reach and what exactly do you hope to achieve as an end result?

Is it to generate awareness by educating the audience? Is it to create leads through a freebie or is it to generate sales?


Ultimately, your goals will determine your ad platform, budget, and metrics.

2. Know Your Audience

With your goals set in place, it’s next time to understand who you are targeting and this involves some research on your part. Getting to know your audience inside out is essential to building successful ad campaigns. You can do this by trawling through places such as forums, discussion boards, social media groups, and comments.

Another option is to create detailed customer personas by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. You will be better equipped to craft relevant ads only when you know their needs, desires, and wants. It also helps to further validate which platforms to advertise on and which ones to avoid. 

3. Determine Your Budget

Next, it’s time to calculate your ad budget. Just determining a round figure for your budget isn’t enough. You’ll also need to allocate them accordingly. You could perhaps distribute a portion of it for long steady growth such as awareness ads and the rest for swift turn-around campaigns such as lead-gen ads.

The biggest blunder that most businesses make is that they place their foot on multiple platforms and campaigns at the same time. As a result, their budgeting takes a hit and ad effectiveness drops. Instead, it is better to target one platform and fully commit to it.

Pro-Tip:  Most advertising platforms have the built-in ability to give you estimates on your advertising, beforehand. While they are not exactly to the point, they do a pretty good job at estimations based on campaign, format, and targeting options. 

4. Craft your ads

To build a standout campaign, you need a potent combination of both copy and creative. In order for consumers to engage and read your ad, you need great graphics and compelling copy that appeal to the target audience. Craft multiple campaigns and further create ad subsets within the campaign. Also, don’t forget to test the variations until you have a winner.

Pro Tip: While you’re at this stage, make sure to also build a well-converting landing page that is primed to receive traffic from the ad.

5. Audience Targeting

With your copy and creatives finalized, it’s time to look into your targeting options. This step is a crucial lynchpin of the process as the success of your ad strategy depends on the audience that comes across it.  The more relevant the audience targeting, the better leads, engagement, and conversions you score. Begin with targeting a narrow audience at first and then gradually cast a wider net over larger audiences, if and when the campaigns show signs of success.

6. Measure and Optimize

While your ads are running, you need to actively track and analyze them in order to determine the success of your campaign. This is where your initial goals and objectives come into play. Pay close attention to the KPIs and metrics that relate to your objectives.

For example: If your goal was to get conversions, you should be focusing on clickthrough rates and conversion rates. If your goal was to build awareness then look into the engagement metrics such as likes, shares, and comments. If you have low click-through rates then you may need to revisit your ads. If you’ve been getting high click-through rates but no conversions then there could be issues with your landing page.

Most advertising platforms today boast robust tracking features which you can use to extract invaluable data about ad performance. You can even integrate the platform data into your main analytics platforms such as Google Analytics or Hubspot for a streamlined process.


Even though the paid advertising space has matured, it still continues to evolve at warp speed as more and more platforms seize this golden opportunity. In the future, we can expect a lot more upgrades, additions, automation, and diversification in this medium. 

If you’re looking to start or scale a paid advertising strategy but don’t have the bandwidth to do it all by yourself, then reach out to Growthhub.

At Growthhub, we’re obsessed with helping businesses like yours get the growth it deserves. 

Get in touch with us and we can match you with full-stack marketers and media buyers in as little as 24 hrs. We screen and pre-vet the marketers on our platform, so you don’t have to. Book a call with us today!