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Paid Media for beginners: Learn the basics

Paid Media for B2B companies is a way of reaching potential clients that you couldn’t reach otherwise. Find out what it is and how to use it.

Paid Media for B2B Companies

Generating high-quality leads is one of the most important focuses for B2B companies. 

You need to get your brand and your offering out there. A great way to do that is by regularly publishing engaging content and developing a strategy that promotes that content. 

Paid media is the quickest way to do this. By using it you’ll be able to reach audiences that you would not have had access to without it.

What is paid media? 

Paid media is a method of digital marketing where companies can promote their content through sponsored social media posts, display ads, paid search, video ads, pop-ups, and other media. Paid media is an effective way to expand your brand’s reach, get more clicks to your website, and generate more leads.

Logos - Bing Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads

The difference between earned, owned and paid media

Combining earned, owned and paid media will result in constantly generating and closing high-quality leads.


In its simplest form, earned media is the acknowledgment you get from other people. This could be referring to word-of-mouth, press mentions, social shares, and backlinks to name a few.

Earned media could be because of an engaging blog post you published, a press release you wrote, your SEO efforts, your social media content, or any number of other reasons.

Earned media is at its core ‘free marketing’ and thanks to the boom in social media, it’s become a lot easier to get. Platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter are gold mines for journalists to gain access to your brand, who may reach out for a quote or link back to your website.

When it comes to earned media, social media is your best friend.

Example of earned media


Owned is all the media you can control. It includes all the content on your website and social profiles.

Whether it’s blog posts, videos, whitepapers or press releases, owned media serves the purpose of nurturing leads down the sales cycle. As this is the media you can control and while it’s important to not sound overly ‘selly’ it is a representation of your company.

While you’re getting traffic from earned media, owned media is a great way to warm up that traffic or generate more traffic. So it plays a crucial role and developing high-quality, educational content is essential to a content strategy’s success.

Example of owned media


Paid media is a way to amplify your owned media and is the perfect digital marketing channel for creating those high quality leads that your business thrives on. The simplest way to explain paid media is it’s all the ads you see on the internet and social media platforms.

There are many kinds of paid media, including; PPC, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads, and display ads.

Now that you know the 3 different kinds of media, let’s go over some of the channels.

Paid media channels for B2B companies

paid Media example from atlassian

Paid media channels for B2B companies


We don’t need to go over what Facebook is, everyone knows it and we’ve all seen ads on Facebook. These ads are paid media.

Facebook offers multiple different ways to advertise to your target market. It could be an image, video, carousel or a lead generation form. The point is Facebook offers a variety of ad types.

Facebook also lets you choose where to display your ads. This could be Facebook newsfeed, Facebook right sidebar, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook suggested videos.

You can also pick the type of campaign you want to run, which includes; website traffic, lead generation or conversion to suit your strategy’s goals.

With a combination of these customisations, you can create a campaign that is perfectly suited to what you want to achieve.

Social Media Facebook ad by Salesforce


LinkedIn is similar to Facebook. It’s coined ‘Facebook for professionals’ and is just that. A social media platform for professionals.

Its ad offering is similar to Facebook in that you can select a campaign type and choose what kind of content you want to promote. It’s less advanced in selecting where your ads are shown.

LinkedIn does offer a sponsored InMail feature which allows you to send sponsored messages to people. This is a great feature if you know specific people in an organisation that you want to target.

While LinkedIn does have some catching up to do with Facebook, it is one of the strongest platforms for B2B companies to be using.

The users on the platform are all working professionals and can be viewed as a digital resume with the features of Facebook. It has a newsfeed that is filled with amazing content and the users are super engaged and hungry for content. Whereas Facebook is often filled with more ‘casual’ content or people who would never be interested in your business.

LinkedIn also allows you better targeting as it allows you to target your ads at a seniority level in a company or even specific company employees. This is why so many B2B digital marketers use the platform.

Pipedrive example of linkedin ads


We want to be honest with you from a B2B company perspective, Twitter is the least powerful. People aren’t using it to buy things and they don’t want to be seeing ads.

Twitter does offer multiple different campaign types; grow your following, increase engagement, website clicks, app installs and promoting a new offer. Once you’ve picked the campaign type you want you will get prompted through who your target audience is, how much you’re willing to spend per interaction, and which tweet you’d like to promote.

Example of twitter ad by Bloomberg


PPC or Pay-Per-Click is a paid search result that will charge you when someone clicks on your ad. While there are many ways to perform PPC the most popular is Google.

These PPC ads are the first few listings you see when you search in Google. The ones with the word ‘ad’ next to them.

Examples of Google Ads

Display Ads

Paid ads are the ones you noticeably see every day when on the internet. They’re the banners, pop-ups and video ads on websites. They can be very ‘in your face’ but when done correctly they’re very successful.

Display ads can be very cheap compared to the other channels but in some cases, they don’t offer the same level of targeting.

While they might not be fantastic for generating new leads, they can work wonders for remarketing to people who have already visited your website.

There are other forms of paid media – Youtube, email marketing, and more – these are the most popular when it comes to B2B digital marketing.

Example of display ads

The difference between prospecting and remarketing campaigns 

When setting up your paid media campaigns, it’s important that you know there are 2 main types of targeting:

  • Prospecting – Prospecting is when you are targeting people who haven’t come into contact with your company yet but fit your target market. For example, if you’re a tool supplier, you might want to market your products to building companies that haven’t been made aware of your company.
  • Remarketing – Remarketing is targeting people who have already come into contact with your company. In the digital world, this often means the people who have already visited your website or have already performed an interaction with one of your ads.

A starting point for B2B businesses

Now that you know what paid media is, how can you get started?

Many business owners think they can do it and while they can set up the ads they can’t seem to get any results and end up throwing away large amounts of money with nothing to show.

Luckily, there is an endless supply of agencies that have the skills to ensure you get results from what you spend.

How much should you be spending on paid media?

There is no set guideline to follow when it comes to how much you should spend on paid media per month. 

It depends on so many different factors:

  • Industry
  • Results you want
  • Amount you need to spend per interaction
  • Competition
  • Size of the target market
  • And so many more!

Luckily, this is all things a good B2B marketer will be able to tell you.

In the paid media space, agencies are paid a monthly retainer to set up and manage your ads. This will generally lie in the price range of $2,000-$10,000 depending on how much you’ll be spending on ads and how good they are.

That’s it! You now know the basics of paid media.

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