How to Improve Your ROI with Paid Media: 6 Insights and Strategies

Is your marketing campaign working for you? Let’s face it: no matter which marketing efforts you launch, if they don’t deliver impressive outcomes in terms of ROI, they’re not worth it.

Paid media is no exception: it takes a substantial portion of your marketing budget to get ads in front of the right people. Evidence abounds that paid media is growing in popularity, with a 220% increase in Instagram ad spending. With paid media also becoming more expensive, it’s more important than ever before to calculate exactly how much of your business revenue is all thanks to paid media.

But how do you know the impact of paid ads on conversions? In this article, we discuss how to improve your ROI with paid media, tackling what strategies and tools are worth your time and money.

How Paid Media Works

Let’s begin at the beginning: paid media allows businesses to reach new audiences through various channels, such as websites, search engines, social media, video ads, and other advertising options that require a financial investment.

By making smart use of paid media, marketers reach audiences that may never have discovered a company on their own. For instance, a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign can target a productive demographic. Similarly, display ad campaigns can reach users of a specific mobile app. Meanwhile, branded content can deliver education that encourages consumer demand.

What is Paid Media vs. Earned Media (Free Media)?

In contrast to paid media, earned media promotes a company without the need for investment, such as online reviews and magazine articles. Paid media tends to result in new business in the shorter term, while earned media is a long-term game, resulting in seeds that germinate over many months or years.

For example, a paid media medium like pop-up ads results in clicks and purchases within minutes of appearing on a prospect’s screen. A magazine article, on the other hand, enhances brand awareness among a large number of people who may not need the product or service now, but likely will in the future.

Marketing strategies should strike a balance between paid and earned media, leveraging both for maximum advantage. Paid media brings quick results but depletes your advertising budget. Business this quarter may be the top priority, but harvesting earned media is also critical because it establishes your brand as a trustworthy stalwart of your industry.

Why Is Calculating ROI on Paid Media Important?

When a business invests money in marketing, it’s critical to determine whether the benefits justify the expense in the first place. This intel alerts management whether to continue with the initiative, cancel it, or change it so it becomes more effective. Performance marketing, such as affiliate programs, comes with regular debits from your marketing budget, so the ROI is integral to your department’s efficiency and effectiveness.

ROI measurements also contribute vital insights into the performance of marketing initiatives, including the following important questions to ask yourself:

Is It Worth the Money?

For example, you know how much you spend on your affiliate marketing program. But are the conversions resulting from affiliates bringing in more than they cost?

What Needs Improvement?

Are performance marketing programs reaching their target audiences? If not, it will all show up in the ROI, which helps you adjust your next campaign accordingly.

What’s Working?

If your performance marketing investment is doubling your website traffic, you know you are doing something right.

Is the Content Effective?

Supposing the content reaches the target audience, your ROI should be strong. If it lags, the message may need tweaking.

Are Your Offerings Priced Right?

Managing the balance between market share and per unit revenue can be challenging. However, the ROI of your performance marketing delivers valuable insight into whether your pricing is working for you or not. For example, if interest is high, but conversions are low, your pricing might need adjustment.

Insights and Strategies for How to Improve Your ROI With Paid Media

In addition to providing useful insights, paid media can boost your company’s overall marketing ROI. When you master the art of how to improve your ROI with paid media, you become a marketing rockstar. The key lies in crafting a step-by-step process that includes the following:

Step #1: Set Your Aims

Marketing campaigns have their own unique goals. For instance, content marketing may be produced to increase brand awareness, and PPC advertisements may be created to drive website traffic. However, clear objectives set the yardstick by which marketers can measure whether spending on future marketing initiatives is justified.

Step #2: Align Your Goals with KPIs

Now that you’ve identified your marketing aims, it’s time to align them with your key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs establish the benchmarks with which you track and measure success. The clearer they are, the deeper your understanding of ROI and how to improve it with paid media.    

For example, if a social media post aims to build brand authority, then the number of new followers, likes, and comments make excellent KPIs. Likewise, if a PPC campaign’s goal is driving more web traffic, the number of new visitors to the site and the landing page from the ad provide valuable insight. In addition, marketers can quantify the effectiveness of a display ad for app users by the number of conversions per mobile.  

Use Analytics Like a Pro

What’s the simplest way to determine how to improve your ROI with paid media? Set up tracking with Google Analytics (GA). Since you’ve already figured out your marketing goals and KPIs, setting up your conversion goals in GA is easy.

GA is a marketer’s godsend because it automates the tracking of KPI data that is too vast for manual measurement. To set up GA effectively, first integrate UTM parameters so that GA can distinguish between different campaigns. Then use the data import tool to upload your cost data, which allows you to calculate ROI.

Test It Out

Without testing your campaign, you take a shot in the dark. Whether the campaign is a massive success or totally falls short, without testing, the reasons behind campaign results remain murky. The following tests provide the data you need:

A/B Testing

A/B testing allows you to see which variants of an ad have the most significant impact. For example, tweaking headings, CTAs, and ad copy are excellent ways to determine the most effective approach for each campaign, audience, and platform. In addition, A/B tests offer tons of insights that have utility in broader contexts, like the quality of user experience on your site.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate tests allow you to compare different possibilities. For example, you can test 2 versions of an ad’s headline and two iterations of its copy and mix and match them to create 4 versions. This method increases possible comparisons, allowing you to focus your paid media content more narrowly.

Content Testing

For content to achieve marketing objectives, such as conversions and brand recognition, it needs to speak to the right audience. For example, a company selling toys wants its content to appeal to parents with children in the relevant age group. The message should be geared toward their concerns, emphasizing safety, educational benefits, and affordability. Because this target market is diverse, the content’s readability and style should match and appeal to a general adult audience.

Accurate content testing requires a well-planned process that begins with establishing the campaign goals, such as evaluating how well viewers understand the product’s benefits. With the purpose clearly defined, the test can be thoughtfully designed, accurately monitored, and analyzed against productive objectives.

Leverage Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing consists of a brand-encompassing plan that unifies and coordinates marketing initiatives across all channels. Instead of existing in isolation, each marketing component works together to achieve the overall objective: increasing sales!

Some components may lead directly to sales, while others contribute indirectly through achievements like brand recognition. Here are the most relevant examples:


A regular blog improves search engine results, positions your brand as a thought leader, and educates readers about your company and offerings. As a result, your website receives more traffic, your brand establishes credibility, and conversions increase.


People love YouTube videos. Creating a video on a subject related to your business enhances brand recognition. For example, a travel company might post videos featuring exotic locations while a mobile app development company might post short tutorials.


Do people have questions that your company is uniquely qualified to answer? For example, a law firm might answer questions on Quora related to DUI laws in a certain state, while a beauty consultant might help folks find the best sunscreen. This participation increases brand recognition and establishes credibility.

With integrated marketing, these 3 channels work in coordination, establishing a consistent and recognizable brand identity. Over time, as more people read the blogs, subscribe to the YouTube Channel, and upvote answers on Quora, they become advocates for your business, helping to spread the word about the excellent products or services you provide.

Collaborate with Experts

Working with a seasoned marketing team ensures a significant boost in paid media ROI. Marketing experts understand which platforms work best for their clients, how to craft messages that speak to the target audiences, and know all about the process that drives conversions through a multi-pronged but cohesive marketing blitz.

The top benefits of collaborating with an expert paid media team are:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Reliability
  • Measurable results
  • Brand ambassadorship
  • Peace of mind

Learning How to Improve Your ROI With Paid Media Doesn’t Have to Be Hard!

Like many facets of running a successful business, an intelligent and measurable marketing strategy yields superior results. By creating a reliable method of measuring paid media ROI, a company ensures its dollars are spent wisely. Meanwhile, brand recognition grows, target markets understand the value proposition, and conversions increase with each passing quarter.

Paid media marketing campaigns that work in conjunction with other promotional content are the recipe for profitability and success. The experts at Marketify know how to leverage resources to maximize benefits because we have been on the other side of Google’s search engine and we understand exactly how it works. Let’s build your next campaign together!

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