The Ultimate Guide to Paid Advertising: Types, Strategies, & More

Paid advertising is a powerful tool that helps businesses reach their ideal customers and increase sales. Paid advertising, like search engine advertising, social media advertising, display advertising, video advertising, and native advertising, can be a cost-effective way to build brand awareness, increase website traffic, and generate leads. In this article, we’ll talk about everything small business owners need to know about paid advertising, including the different types, how to set up a successful campaign, how to measure its success, and common mistakes to avoid. By the end of this article, you’ll know a lot about paid advertising and be well on your way to making a successful campaign for your business.

What is Paid Advertising?

Paid advertising is a type of digital marketing in which businesses pay to show their ads to people who are likely to be interested in them. Most of the time, you pay for each click, which is how pay-per-click advertising got its name. Paid advertising can come in many different forms, like search engine ads, ads on social media sites, display ads, video ads, and ads built into websites. Most of the time, the business creates and manages these ads, which users see on Google, Facebook, YouTube, and other sites that work with the advertising platforms. Paid advertising is a cheap way for businesses to reach a large audience and get conversions like website visits, phone calls, or sales.

Types of Paid Ads

Businesses can reach their target audience and get more sales by using different types of paid advertising. Each type of paid advertising has its pros and cons, depending on the campaign’s goals and the people it wants to reach. Businesses can decide which will work best for their campaign. Some of the most common paid forms of advertising are:

Search Engine Advertising

This type of online paid ads lets businesses put ads on search engine results pages for specific keywords or phrases. Google AdWords is the most popular way to advertise on search engines, but Bing and Yahoo offer similar services. Search engine advertising is a cheap way to get very specific people to visit a website.

Google search ads are one of the most lucrative paid advertising channels online

Social media ads

platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn let businesses make ads that show up in the newsfeeds or timelines of users. You can make these ads to appeal to a specific group of people based on their age, gender, interests, and even how they act.

Video Ads

Video advertising is a type of display advertising that uses video content to promote a product or service. YouTube is the most popular place for video ads, but Facebook also has video ad options.

Native advertising

This type of paid advertising is made to look like it belongs to the content of the website or platform where it is shown. It usually looks like sponsored content, ads in the feed, or promoted listings. This kind of advertising makes the user’s experience smoother and is often more effective than traditional display ads.

Benefits of Paid Advertising for Small Businesses

By taking advantage of the many benefits of paid advertising, businesses can bring in more customers, get more leads, and, in the end, make more money. Paid advertising helps businesses in several ways, such as:

Targeted reach

Paid advertising lets businesses reach people who are most likely to be interested in their products or services. They can do this by focusing on certain demographics, interests, behaviours, and locations. 

Raises brand awareness

You can raise brand awareness by putting a business’s name and message in front of many people through paid advertising.


Paid advertising can be cheaper than traditional forms of advertising because businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ad. This makes it easier to determine the return on investment (ROI).


Paid advertising can give businesses quick results because they can see an increase in website traffic and sales as soon as the ads go live.

Measurable Results

Paid advertising lets businesses track and measure the results of their campaigns in real time. This gives them valuable information about how well their ads work and lets them make decisions about future campaigns based on data.


Paid advertising can be done on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, among others. This lets businesses reach their target audience on the platforms where they spend the most time.

Increased Sales

Paid advertising can help a business make more sales and money by reaching the right people and getting them to take action.

The Most Popular Paid Advertisement Channels

Businesses can reach their target audience through a number of paid advertising channels. Some of the most common ones are:

Google AdWords

Google Adwords is a pay-per-click advertising platform that lets businesses put ads at the top of Google search results pages. Advertisers can choose keywords and groups of people to target, and they only have to pay when someone clicks on their ad. In addition, Google Ads are not limited to search results; Google display ads show millions of websites worldwide.

Also, Google is the parent company of YouTube; therefore, you can set up YouTube ads on your Google Adwords dashboard. Businesses can make video ads that play before, during, or after a YouTube video with YouTube Ads. Advertisers can target specific demographics, interests, and behaviours and only have to pay when someone clicks on their ad.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is a platform that lets businesses make ads that show up in the newsfeeds or on the timelines of Facebook users. For example, you can create ads to reach a specific group of people based on their age, gender, interests, and even how they act. Facebook Ads also lets you choose from different types of ads, such as images, videos, carousels, and more. Facebook ads are also made to show on Instagram feeds, stories, and explore. While you can set up Instagram ads from the app, you should set it up on Facebook desktop for better results.

How Facebook ads look

Twitter Ads

With Twitter Ads, businesses can create promoted tweets and promoted accounts that show up in the timelines and search results of Twitter users. In addition, advertisers can reach the people they want to by using specific keywords, demographics, and interests.

Twitter ad for a video game

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn Ads is a platform that lets businesses make ads that appear in the news feeds or on the profiles of LinkedIn users. Ads can reach a specific business audience based on job title, industry, company size, and location.

LinkedIn ads target professionals

How to Develop Your Paid Advertising Strategy Step-by-Step

By following the steps below, small businesses can make a complete and effective paid advertising strategy that helps them reach their target audience, drive conversions, and reach their marketing goals. Creating a paid advertising plan involves many steps, such as:

1. Set the goals and objectives of a campaign

Make sure you know exactly what you want from your paid advertising campaign. This could mean getting more people to visit your website, getting more leads, or making more sales. Your goals will help you figure out the rest of your strategy and measure how well your campaign did.

2. Choose the best platform(s) for your goals

Choose the platform(s) that will help you reach your target audience the best. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are two of the most popular platforms, but you may also find success with Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, depending on who you want to reach.

3. Research your audience and focus on them

Think about things like demographics, interests, and behaviours to figure out who your target audience is. Use this information to make ads that are most relevant to them and will catch their attention. Use the platform’s targeting options to reach the people you want to reach.

4. Create content for your paid ads

Make interesting ads to get your target audience’s attention and get them to act. Use catchy headlines, high-quality images or videos, and clear calls to action.

5. Set budget and bid strategy

Find out how much you are willing to spend on your campaign and divide your budget accordingly. Then, set a bidding strategy that fits your goals and budget.

6. Take measurements and review the results

Use analytics tools to track things like clicks, impressions, and conversion rates to measure how well your ads are doing. Analyze the results and make any necessary changes to your campaign to make it work better.

7. Improve your ads

A/B test different ad creatives, targeting options, bid strategies, and landing pages to find the best combination that gets the best results.

Read also: How to create successful paid ads on social media

Alternatives to Paid Ads

Paid advertising can be an excellent way to reach a specific audience and get people to buy, but businesses also have these other options:

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is the process of making a website visible in search engine results. Businesses can improve their website’s ranking and visibility in search results by optimizing the website’s layout content and technical parts. This makes it more likely that users will find the website when searching for relevant keywords. SEO is to make the website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing involves making and sharing content on social media platforms to raise brand awareness and get customers involved. This can include making posts, running social media campaigns, and joining online communities to build customer relationships and promote products or services.

Content marketing

Content marketing involves making and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and keep the attention of a specific target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and other content that gives the user something of value.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a way for businesses to promote their products or services by working with people who have a lot of followers on social media. These “influencers” have built up a large group of active followers who trust their opinions and suggestions. Businesses can use the trust and reach of influencers to spread the word about their products or services to a broader audience by forming partnerships with them.

Referral marketing

Referral marketing is a strategy in which current customers are given the incentive to tell their friends about the business. You can do this with referral codes or discounts for both the existing customer and the person who was referred. This builds trust and loyalty.

Email marketing

Email marketing involves sending promotional or informative emails to a list of people who have signed up for them. This can include newsletters, special offers, product updates, and more. Email marketing can be an excellent way to keep in touch with customers and get them to buy.

How to Tell if a Paid Advertising Campaign Worked

Measuring the success of a paid advertising campaign is vital for understanding how well the campaign worked and making decisions about future campaigns that are based on data. By measuring the success of a paid advertising campaign, businesses can figure out how well their ads work and look for ways to make them better. In addition, you can use this information to improve future advertising campaigns and make advertising strategy decisions based on data. Also, measuring the success of a campaign lets businesses track the return on investment (ROI) of their advertising efforts, which is a key metric for figuring out how well the campaigns are working. To figure out how well a paid advertising campaign did, you need to:

Figuring out what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are: Find the most important metrics to use to measure the success of your campaign. These can include clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and revenue.

Tracking and analyzing data: Use analytics tools to measure the KPIs and track how well your ads are doing. These tools will give you essential information about how your ads are doing and how they affect your business goals.

Putting results next to goals: Compare how your campaign did to the goals and objectives you set up front. This will help you figure out if the campaign is living up to your hopes and where it could be better.

Optimizing for better performance: Use what you learned from the analysis to improve the performance of your campaign. This can involve A/B testing different ad creatives, targeting options, bid strategies, and landing pages and making changes to the campaign as needed.

Monitor your campaigns continuously: Keep an eye on how well your campaign is doing and make changes as needed. A campaign’s success depends on how often it is checked on and improved.

Common problems with paid advertising

Paid advertising can be an excellent way to reach your target audience and get people to buy, but there are some common mistakes you should avoid if you want to get the most out of your advertising budget. These things are:

Targeting too many people

If you try to reach too many people, you might get low engagement and a high cost per click. So instead, make sure to use the platform’s targeting options to get your message to the people you want to reach.

Not enough testing and tweaking

If you don’t test and tweak your ads, they might not work well and give you a low return on investment. Test and improve your ads often to make them work better.

Not making the next steps clear

If your ads have a clear call-to-action, it can be easier for users to figure out what they should do. But unfortunately, this can lead to low conversions.

Not tracking and analyzing campaign performance

If you don’t keep an eye on how your campaign is doing and look at the data, it can be hard to know if your ads are working and where they could be better.

Poor allocation of ad budget

If money isn’t put where it needs to go, it can lead to bad performance and a low return on investment. So make sure that how you spend your money fits with your goals and bid strategy.

Not trying out different types of ads

If you don’t try out different ad formats, you might miss out on the best ones.

How to Choose the Right Platform for Paid Ads

Choosing the right paid advertising platform for your business can be challenging since each has its own features, targeting options, and audience demographics. However, by thinking about these things, you can choose the right paid advertising platform for your business and create a successful advertising campaign that reaches your target audience and drives conversions. Consider the following things to choose the right platform for your business:

Target Audience

Think about where your audience spends the most time online and choose a platform that reaches them. For example, running ads on Facebook would be a good choice if most of the people you want to reach are on Facebook.

Features of the Platform

Each platform has its own set of features and ways to reach the right people. Make sure to look into what each platform has to offer and choose the one that fits your advertising goals and budget the best.

Ad formats

Different platforms offer different ad formats, so you should think about which formats work best for your business and goals. For instance, if you want to run video ads, you could use YouTube.


Think about how much it will cost you to advertise on each platform and pick the one that fits your budget. Some platforms, such as Google AdWords, can cost more than others, such as Facebook Ads.

Analytics and tracking

Some platforms are better than others at analytics and tracking. Make sure the platform you choose has the analytics and tracking tools you need to see how well your campaign is doing.


Think about how well the platform works with your website, CRM, and other marketing tools. If it does, it will be easier to track how well your campaigns are doing and make decisions based on data.

Hire a Paid Ads Expert in Nigeria

If you’re looking for a paid online advertising expert in Nigeria, you’re at the right place. I have over 5 years of experience with B2C and B2B paid ads in the Nigerian market. Whether with Google or Meta Ads, I can help you plan and execute unique adverts that boost your business. I’ll also advise you on how to measure and improve your campaigns.

Feel free to contact me about online paid ads and take the first step toward a successful paid advertising campaign.