Paid media have one job: to strengthen your brand.

And as digital marketing evolves, so does your strategy.

How should you change your paid media strategy in 2021?

Here are eight changes you can make without a second thought.

1. Forward ads to convert

Ad serving is a growing sector of the paid media world.

This is evidenced by the recent evolution of Instagram roles as well as the widespread popularity of sources such as TikTok, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories.

Basically, when it goes through the user's streaming or browsing session, you can view it as a temporary ad (or passive 🙂). Up to you!

How can these types of ads pay off in the short and long term?

These types of advertising have their own playing field.

They need to be fast, relevant, and (ultimately) conversion minded.

Some specific types of ads work best here:

  • Organic looking ads are best. You want your audience to assume you are someone to follow even when they aren't. You want them to believe that this is a regular product or service offering, even when it isn't.
  • If possible, add post links or swipe up links. The easier you make it for people to find you, the better.
  • The first second is most important. Add audio if needed and get the word out about your offer. Your personality should be obvious at first glance.
  • Cross promotion. When you share a product video on Instagram Reels, upload it to your story and Your feed. If you have a TikTok, share the video there too.
  • Use them to build a remarketing audience of "viewers," "engage", and "clicks".


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2. Make core influencers a part of your business model

As a company, you don't have to do this alone.

Micro and macro influencers are a great resource for you as long as your audience adapts. Even sites with a few thousand followers can make a big difference to smaller brands looking to leg up.

Go on a hunt for the best influencers in your room. Then work out the cost per acquisition to track down each and every one of them (since you will have to bring influencers, especially the larger ones, to justice).

From there, you can build a win-win partnership that will bring you leads while the influencer makes income.

Pro tip: With the help of influencer marketing tools, you can integrate key influencers into your business model. Some of the most popular are AspireIQ, BuzzSumo, BrandSnob, and NeoReach.

Whichever choice you make, make sure the influencers you find are big enough to add real value to your brand – and that you're paying a CPA that makes sense for your budget.


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3. Better target group management on every platform

2021 is the year in which you can improve your target group management both from a holistic perspective and within each encapsulated platform. That means that you focus on each website that you post paid media advertising on and set up audience management.

The first step in the process?

Build an audience.

From there, you'll need to establish a strategy to target people at every stage of the funnel – top to bottom – and on every network.

Perhaps the most important part of this process is freshening up your audience as the year progresses. You should definitely plan to retarget and test new audiences during this time.

If you don't include this part, you run the risk of targeting the wrong people and ultimately throwing money down the proverbial drain.

However, as you realign and update your approach, you need to find a dynamic audience that correlates with your vision. In the end, audience management alone can be worth its weight in gold.

4. Much more funnel

A word:


You want to double up on creating funnels and landing pages. However, you don't want to just toss these ads into the internet abyss.

Create these funnels and landing pages:

  • By advertisement.
  • By network.
  • Step by step in the customer journey.

You can use these three correlations to find out which route users are taking to get to the purchase point. and You can determine the root of your audience's behavior.

The journeys between YouTube and Facebook can be different. This is because these platforms are not built to behave in the same way. Likewise, customers can react differently depending on the type of ad (think carousel ad or video ad).

Where you are on the customer journey also makes a big difference. Conscious consumers do not respond to a voucher in the same way as someone who is just in the buying phase.


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In short, considering nuance when developing a collection of funnels and landing pages makes all the difference.

5. More forecast by source and time with budget allocation

To stay up to date with your paid media strategy, you need to allocate your budget accurately across the board. It may sound boring, but once you get going, this process will be a natural part of your digital marketing.

The important things first: Know the cost of all of the items in your program. This could be the cost-per-clicks, subscriptions, influencer payments (as mentioned above) or a whole range of other monetary payments.

Basically you want to know What You pay and Where.

Next Up: Forecast by quarter, not just by year. This enables easier budget shifts within a year.

If you're ready to change your paid media tactics, you'd better do so. Getting the green light on executive budgets will go a lot smoother with a quarterly forecast.


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6. Go to bed more with Microsoft

Microsoft, you have outdone yourself.

The new Microsoft Advertising options are here and the platform itself is really taking off.

As a marketer, your brand will surely benefit from getting into them more by 2021.

In particular, Microsoft Advertising now offers three new targeting options:

  • Improved LinkedIn targeting: Since Microsoft took over LinkedIn in 2016, they've developed targeting for LinkedIn profiles. Now marketers can target LinkedIn audiences by job function, company, and industry. There is also the option to use modifiers for campaign bids by industry or job.

Improved LinkedIn targeting

  • In-market audience: Microsoft Advertising has expanded its in-market audience to France and Germany, which could be beneficial for some companies. Other than that, the market audience itself is very effective.
  • Dynamic remarketing for Microsoft Shopping: Microsoft Shopping is now getting dynamic remarketing. This means that ecommerce marketers can now target customers who have already interacted with them in some way (i.e. targeting consumers who have left their shopping carts).

dynamic remarketing

7. Obtaining an Acceptable CPA on YouTube and DSP Networks

Your CPA (cost-per-action) on YouTube and DSP (Demand-Side Platform) networks must be acceptable.


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Using CPA ad networks is smart for companies with a well-developed market.

You don't have to count on clicks to make money. and You can advertise based on a specific action.

It's also important to mention that you need to make these secondary.

They should come after the lower funnel networks and audience have been maximized.

If you need help capping your CPA, you should use Google's Target CPA bidding tool. It's robust on machine learning and will help you meet or fall below your target CPA.

Among other things, you can set bid limits, make adjustments to the device bid, and calculate your average target CPA.

And if you didn't know that Amazon now even has its own DSP.

8. Use machine learning to your advantage

Machine learning is getting stronger.

For marketing directors really 2021 is the time to step on the machine learning car.

It just so happens that machine learning and paid media like peanut butter and jam go together.


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Instead of using PPC managers who have to be compensated for it, you can use machine learning.

In fact, it can boost your ROI on all types of paid media campaigns (regardless of preferred channel).

Just make sure you don't sacrifice your brand's personality for a little efficiency.

One way to do this is with Google's responsive search ads.

With a combination of creativity and machine learning, your ads can go far.

You can also use Google's Target CPA, a tool we mentioned that happens to use artificial intelligence to get the job done.

Your 2021 plan doesn't have to be static

Times are changing.

Your business too.

A new year could mean a new paid media strategy.

If you consider the tips above, you are on the right track for a year of growth.

More resources:


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Photo credit

All screenshots by the author, December 2020


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