Paid Advertising


As consultants, it is our job to advise our clients about the best strategies and tactics to accomplish their business objectives. Sometimes this includes paid advertising.

Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and other paid online advertising are very effective ways to get in front of an audience.  There’s no denying this.

However, ads are a quick fix, and only one part of a solid mix of marketing activities.  Typically, we look at ads as a support mechanism to prop up other marketing activities.

We create content and then use ads to boost it, not the other way around.

Our motive is simple: “we’ve put substantial time and effort into this content, let’s make sure people have the opportunity to see it.”

But not everyone sees it that way…

The problem on social media, as I see it, is that too many agencies, marketers and brands are doing things backwards.

Marketing today doesn’t start with reach and impressions.  It doesn’t start with campaign-based thinking.

It starts with customer-centric, value-based thinking.  It’s long term.

As a marketer, the thinking shouldn’t be “we can reach all of these people, what should we tell them?”

Instead it’s “what is the most important and valuable content we can give to the people we’re trying to reach?”

And then “how can we best reach them?”

Substance Over Style

Advertising is fleeting, where content has longevity.

The minute you stop paying for an ad, the campaign is over, the moment has passed, the attention is lost.

When designing your marketing strategy, ensure that you have the substance part figured out first.  This means having a content strategy tailored the wants, needs, hopes, dreams, curiosity, interests, and fears of your target audience.

If you’re just making content on a daily basis, chasing engagement metrics, without a clear sense of why you’re doing it in the first place, then you’re setting yourself up for mediocrity, confusion and disappointment.

Do the Work

If you haven’t done the work: the research, the due diligence, and the planning…then you either simply don’t know, or simply don’t care and as a result, your ads will fall flat, or worse, irritate the audience.

Caring about your audience means not throwing things against the wall to see if it sticks.

Social Media is not for brands, it’s for people, and ads are nothing more than a necessary evil that users accept.  They either accept these ads begrudgingly or apathetically. Either way, it’s important to recognize that you are fighting an uphill battle with your ads in the first place.

You can’t buy your way into the cool kids club, you’ve got to earn your way in.

Ads are important, but it’s about time that the advertising-based thinking, that has permeated marketers’ brains for decades, is laid to rest.