Marketing Strategy

How to Incorporate Paid Media into Your eCommerce Marketing Strategy

by Gooten Editorial Team on Oct. 15, 2020


There are plenty of ways to market your eCommerce offerings for free, but investing in paid media can help you reach new audiences and drive more sales along with your free marketing efforts. We know, we’re talking about spending more money. The secret of paid media? You don’t have to spend a lot to see results. Below we show you how to use paid media at every budget

What Types of Paid Media Are There?

There are four options when it comes to paid digital media.

1. Display

Display ads are what you probably think of when you picture digital advertising. Some examples include wallpaper ads, banners, and pop-ups. You typically purchase display ads through ad networks, such as Google Display Network, which allows your ads to be seen across multiple websites. eCommerce businesses show off products to potential customers and retarget customers with abandoned carts. While display ads can be cost-efficient, it’s important to note that they are more likely to be blocked by ad-extensions.

2. Video

Video ads can be a great way to get your video content in front of an audience. When purchasing video ads from YouTube, you have two options:

  • Discovery ads: These appear as promoted videos at the top of a user’s search results or as promoted videos on a user’s homepage
  • In-stream ads: These videos appear before a viewer watches their selected video. You can opt for these videos to be skippable or non-skippable, but you only pay for what users watch.

Video advertising can be inexpensive, but only if you already have video content. If not, you’ll have to invest your time and money into making a video yourself or paying a video agency.

3. Search

Often called Search PPC, or Search Pay-Per-Click, search ads appear at the top of relevant keyword searches, and you only pay for customers who click on your ad. Because you get to choose which keywords you bid on, you can get as specific as you want to target customers with high intent. For example, if you sell t-shirts with your plant illustrations, you can bid on keywords around t-shirts, t-shirts with plant illustrations, or even t-shirts with an illustrated cactus. The best part? You don’t need a lot of money to see results.

4. Social

Social media ads are a great way to target your ideal customers. You can promote your organic posts, or build out specific ads. Depending on the platform, you can get extremely specific with your customer targeting, and even retarget if customers abandon. Below is an overview of each platform’s capabilities

  • Facebook: Facebook allows you to advertise across all of its mediums, from promoted organic posts to videos, and even shopping posts. With Facebook, you choose a specific objective, such as reach, or conversions, and narrow your audience down by demographics, interests, and website activity.
  • Twitter: Twitter lets you seamlessly incorporate promoted tweets, promoted accounts, or promoted trends in users’ feeds. You can target your audience based on demographics and interests.
  • Instagram: In recent years, Instagram has invested heavily in supporting eCommerce companies. Instagram Shopping offers some of the most robust free and paid eCommerce advertising opportunities, allowing you to get exposure to audiences when they’re at point-of-purchase. You can target based on demographics, specific product searches, Instagram activity, and web traffic.
  • TikTok: Looking to target a younger demographic? TikTok may be the social platform for you. You can create in-feed videos, brand takeovers, branded AR content, and even work with TikTok to create an influencer marketing campaign.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat is another way to reach a younger demographic. With Snapchat, you can advertise beyond videos or photos; you can create your own lenses and filters. It’s important to note, however, that out of all of the paid social platforms, Snapchat can get expensive very quickly. For example, sponsored lenses can cost $600,000-$750,000 for a single day.
  • LinkedIn: If your product benefits businesses or business-minded individuals, LinkedIn may be the way to go. Similar to Facebook, you can promote an organic post or create a specific ad. With LinkedIn, you can also target by business demographics, such as industry, title, company size, and more.

No matter what advertising channel you choose, you’ll want to use best practices to maximize conversions. Be prepared to create specific landing pages that match the language and/or products described in each of your ads. Don’t forget to add UTM tags to your ad links so you can see where purchases are coming from. Most importantly, remember that the best marketing for your brand is a moving target. Don’t be afraid to test everything and optimize where you can increase conversion. If you’re going to spend money on paid media, you may as well make the most of it.

How to Incorporate Paid Media on Any Budget

Below are recommendations for paid media spend by low, medium, and large budgets.

Paid Media on a Low Budget

If you have a low budget, you can still make paid media work for you, but you should be prepared to invest some of your time. According to 2020 Hubspot statistics, the paid channels with the highest ROI are Facebook and Google Search (PPC), so try focusing on these channels first.

Google Search: Google has plenty of tools to help you set up your first paid search campaigns even if you have no previous paid search experience.

  • Use Google Search Console to find keywords with high search volume. You want to find the sweet spot of high search volume but not so high that you’re going to be competing out of your league and spending too much money. Consider long-tail keywords, such as “t-shirts with cactus illustrations.” As you do your own keyword research, don’t forget about your competitors. Research keywords your competitors are using to get more inspiration.
  • Build out your campaigns in Google AdWords. Google AdWords has tools for advertisers of all skill levels to help set up campaigns. Don’t forget that your ad copy should match the search terms you’re bidding on.

Paid Social: Your investment in paid social doesn’t have to just rely on Facebook. Instagram performs extremely well for eCommerce businesses. You can create highly targeted shopping ads and boosted posts on a low budget.

Paid Media on a Medium Budget

With a medium budget, you have a few options. You can add budget to what you’re already doing, experiment with other channels, such as other social platforms or video, or consider investing in a freelancer to manage your paid campaigns for you. Depending on how much you pay a freelancer, they can monitor your campaigns or set everything up for you. With the latter, you typically provide them with assets such as ad copy, landing pages, or videos, and they do the rest. They can even advise you in testing other channels such as display and video advertising.

Paid Media on a Large Budget

At the end of the day, you’re running a business, and if you have the funds, hire someone else to think about your paid media. With a larger budget, consider using an agency. An agency can set up and monitor all of your paid campaigns, and some agencies will even help you on the creative side. They can experiment across channels and help optimize your ads to meet your goals.


Regardless of your budget, paid media can be a valuable investment for your business. Start small, and don’t forget to experiment and test, so you can find the channel and creative mix that works for your business. You may find that paid advertising opens the door to new audiences and conversions that you never would have expected.