Digital Diversity: Building an Audience with Paid Media

Digital Diversity: Building an Audience with Paid Media

Most companies understand the benefits of digital marketing and have already completed some form of organic SEO, social and content development. While organic strategies are critical to overall digital marketing success, you could be shooting yourself in the foot by putting all your eggs in one basket.

Whatever the case, if you really want to move the needle this year, it’s time to diversify with a Paid Media Strategy.

Most companies get intimidated by the initial investment of Paid Media. Not only does it require a large enough budget to stay competitive, but it also requires a steep learning curve. This dynamic often leads to what I like to call the “DIY Booby Trap,” where you turn efforts in-house. A few months and several thousands of dollars later, you’ve become discouraged and given up on Paid Media altogether.

Paid Media, like Google AdWords or Paid Social Media, can be intimidating for most companies. Yet, when it’s done right it often provides the fastest results.

Why is Paid Media Important to Digital Marketing?

The first step for successful paid media campaigns is building your audience. But, before we talk about how to build an audience with Paid Media, here are a few more points to sell you further on the strategy.


With that said, here’s a step-by-step guide to building your first audience via paid social (Facebook) and Google AdWords.

Step One: Identify a Conversion

With Paid Media, it’s essential that you’re measuring the progress of your audience by tracking how many times they convert. A conversion could be anything from a form fill to a purchase. Not only does it help you optimize your campaigns for better results, but it also helps identify which users you’ll eventually bring from Facebook to AdWords.

Perhaps you have a product for sale, free eBook, consultations or quotes. Setup a redirection for that event and send your users to a ‘Thank You page’. Now, with a little help from a Facebook pixel, you can track every event that leads to that Thank You page from your paid Facebook efforts as a conversion.

Need to learn how to set up a Facebook pixel? Review this helpful guide for more information.

Step Two: Setup Facebook Business Manager

Most likely, you already have a Facebook page and have been posting content organically for your audience. In this case, you’ll need to setup up an ads manager and a business manager account on Facebook. Typically, to set up an ads manager account, you’ll have to set up a business manager as well.

Business Manager accounts are created with your personal Facebook profile. This helps the social media giant confirm your identity. It’s like logging in with Facebook to access your other apps or services, but more secure than using just an email address and password to log in.

Business Manager by Facebook

Need a helpful guide to setting up this tool? Learn how to create a business manager.

Step Three: Build a Campaign

Ok, you didn’t come this far to complete homework assignments. Hopefully, you were able to skip steps one and two from previous Facebook promotion efforts. If not, I hope this helped you finally knock an old to-do off that post-it on your desktop.

To build a campaign, you’ll want to set up a custom conversion from the ads manager. This is an important first step, so you can tell Facebook what kind of clicks you want.


Next, simply add the URL of the Thank You page and create a name for your custom conversion.

When you create your campaign, Facebook will ask for your marketing objective. Choose ‘Conversion’ when prompted, and select the custom conversion for your Thank You page.


Step Four: Building an Audience

The next step is my favorite: building a Facebook audience. Immediately after naming your campaign, you’ll be asked to setup your first Ad Set, which is where you’ll get to utilize the intuitive power of Facebook’s audience manager.

Have you ever noticed a certain customer persona seems to buy from you more than others? Perhaps that person is a female, between the ages of 24-35, lives in Houston, makes about $100,000-$125,000 per year and has interests in hiking, animal conservation, and camping. If only you could get your brand in front of a million people just like that. Well, that’s the kind of control you get with Paid Social Media marketing.

Start by narrowing down you target locations, ages and genders. For your company, that might be just a few zip codes or the entire country.


Then, add your included interest and exclude certain personas you do not want in your campaign.


Finally, choose your ad schedule. I would recommend at least one 30-day trial to uncover as much information about your audience as possible.


Step Five: Bridge the Gap with Google AdWords

It’s easy to get discouraged if your social campaigns are not performing immediately. Yet, most people forget, it often takes more than one touch point to convert a new user. In fact, this is the biggest area of opportunity for most Social Media Marketers. In reality, you’re actually getting closer to the Lucky Charms, (or pot of gold if you’re not a cereal person).

The audience you built on Facebook is highly qualified:

  • They’ve shown interest similar to your greatest converters.
  • They’ve acted on your social media post and converted on your website.
  • They’re interested in your message and may be shopping for your product or service very soon.

You now have the opportunity to be their first option when they’re shopping online and ready to make a buying decision.

Please note: Google AdWords can be highly complex. The following steps assume you have an active AdWords account with a remarking tag installed. If you need assistance with your AdWords account, contact us today.

Step Six: Building the Google Bridge

OK, it’s been 30 days and you’ve noticed one of your ad sets is starting to convert very well. You’ve probably tried a few different audience variations and really like the engagement from the mobile audience. So, you’ve decided to retarget that audience with AdWords.

Hopefully, you remember how to build an ad after setting up your first ad set. That wasn’t too difficult, right? You might have used a single image, a headline, some descriptive text, and a link. To bridge your remarking list from Facebook to AdWords, use a special UTM parameter from your new favorite tool, Googles Campaign URL Builder.


Editing the URL is super easy. Copy and paste your ‘Thank You’ page URL from this box and bring it over to our new UTM tool.

Like the screenshot below, you’ll:

  • Fill out the URL
  • Set Campaign Source as Facebook
  • Set Campaign Medium as social
  • Set the Campaign Name (add ‘-Highest-Converters’ to the name for easy tracking)

Google will generate a new URL that you’ll put in place of your existing Facebook ad link. Feel free to use the URL shortener, it’s a great tool!


Next, open your Google Analytics account and select the cog icon in the Admin section.


Under Property, you’ll find Audience Definition, click that link and then click ‘Audiences.’ Select the red ‘New Audience’ button and under Audience Definition select ‘Create New.’ Finally, select ‘Traffic Sources’ and fill out the name of your campaign in the ‘Campaign’ field.


Save and name the Audience and include AdWords as a destination.


Now, locate your Shared Library from your Google AdWords account:


Select ‘Audiences’ and scroll through your remarketing list and verify your new Remarketing List is available for use.


Finally, after you’ve set up your campaign, go to Audiences and include your brand new highest converting Facebook audience. You’ve done it! You’ve generated a list of quality leads from Facebook and retargeted them via Google AdWords.

There you have it! You’ve expanded your marketing efforts to Paid Social Media to build an audience and gauge interest in your product or service. Now, the second your prospect searches for your product, you will be first in line, waving your hand with Google AdWords! Plus, you have the peace of mind in knowing that you’re paying for clicks that have already shown interest in your service, proving to be even more cost-effective.


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Tiger Rensch

Tiger has spent the last few years exploring all aspects of digital marketing. His experience is in programming, PPC, SEO, social media and inbound marketing. As a member of the Paid Media team, he's excited to help customers realize their business goals. His analytical mindset and marketing background is an asset to VM. Yet, his greatest contribution to the team is his ability to make the perfect PB & J, a ‘know how’ that was sorely missed before his arrival.