For the roughly 6 million companies who advertise on Facebook, mostly small businesses, launching an advertising campaign may seem as easy as “click and go,” with ads launching as swiftly as you can upload them. However, whether your brand is a massive, household name or a small player in its niche, creating a truly effective campaign is much more complicated, resulting in an industry employing hundreds of thousands of advertising professionals across the US.

Paid media is more than just buying advertising space and creating an ad with some clever copy and graphics. That’s the reason hundreds of thousands of advertising professionals are employed in the U.S. alone. A research-backed, creative, and effective advertising campaign can help your brand achieve specific business outcomes, connect with your audience, grow sales, and even guide business decisions. But, before you turn on your paid media, keep these five imperatives in mind.

  1. Improve in real-time

For many businesses, the days of spending months crafting the perfect ad are over. Today, data-driven iteration is the key to success. Measuring results and continually optimizing your campaign for greater effectiveness allows you to improve in the moment. Whether your business is affected by marketplace dynamics, consumer perception, competitive positioning, economics, seasonality, or media opportunities, you can adapt and see the results of your efforts in real-time. As the circumstances affecting your business change, so do the creative messaging and targeted delivery.

  1. Look for patterns

Paid media is a real-time focus group that paints a picture of your audience’s interests. Expect your results to reflect the products, pricing, messaging, and offers that buyers are most interested in. By analyzing the ads users click on, you can see first-hand what resonates most with your customers. As you continue to analyze users’ paths to purchase and buying habits over time, you will spot the most effective messages, media vehicles, product pricing, and other elements of your campaigns.

  1. Get clear about your goals

To achieve business outcomes with paid media, it’s critical to have clear goals. Define your definition of campaign “success.” These factors will be your key performance indicators (KPIs). Choose media based on their likelihood to deliver these KPIs.

While creating your campaign, you may need to adapt to nuances in your goal or external factors.  For example, a goal of getting more visitors to your site is often contrary to the goal of achieving sales. When examining analytics, we often see lower click-through rates when sales are directly measured. Thus, focusing on sales may result in fewer clicks and more transactions. It’s counterintuitive, but this type of guidance from an experienced advertising media team is invaluable.

  1. Find gold in digital attribution

Most paid media, especially digital, can be tracked, allowing marketers to understand the channels, formats, ad sizes, and creative assets that best achieve your KPIs. The user’s devices may be visible when actions are taken on a website, in an app, or in real life. This is a powerful measurement tool because you know when an ad resulted in someone walking into your store, for example. Paired with average customer value, paid media provides return on investment tied to conversions.

Omni-channel media, including connected TV ads, digital out-of-home, and digital audio ads can be tracked back to website activities, proving the effectiveness of these media. You know that the new sale made on your website is because a user saw your ad on Roku. So, any digital ad, even those not on mobile or desktop devices, can be measured with the same accuracy as banners and social media messaging.

  1. Rely on media Sherpas

One-off campaigns can serve specific purposes and drive home a particular message or offer. However, a strong media team helps guide clients through the rough terrain of ad campaign raw data. A seasoned team can interpret and contextualize the data to ensure the ad buyer’s insights are shared with the advertiser. This stewardship informs future ad buys, helps frame your business outcomes, and even allows you to better understand your consumer.

Consider your paid advertising a constant work-in-progress. By regularly reviewing results, analytics, and other factors, you have the ability to track what’s working-;and what’s not-;to optimize your campaign. And when you work with a seasoned media team, you have experienced guides to help you spot opportunities and paths you may not have seen otherwise.


Robert is the CEO of, author of the essential Recession Marketing Guide, and host of the LA Business Podcast. Robert’s philosophy on success in business and in life is not about always having the right answer, but rather having a testing framework that leads to the right answer.