8 paid media features you should
know about

With each platform constantly scrambling to outdo its competitors’ latest marketing tools, we’re noticing that social media is starting to become less about being ‘social’ and more about advertising. While we aren’t complaining – after all, advertising on social is what our Digital & Social team does – we aren’t here for taking a hard-sales/promotional approach with every post.

Why? Because we know the value of authentic social media marketing and what needs to be done to guide our clients through the minefield of updates – all to help create first-class paid strategies and programmes.

So, what updates are getting us excited? Which features are we eager to see fixed? And what does everything mean for our clients, current and future? Keep reading to find out…

1. LinkedIn’s new influencer offering

It’s no secret that LinkedIn’s advertising offering is one of the strongest of all social platforms. It’s got great targeting options and is constantly rolling out innovative new ad formats. But, with the rise of LinkedIn influencers, we knew there would be more to come.

Enter LinkedIn’s new Thought Leader Ads, which are completing the puzzle. Marketers will soon be able to run paid adverts from verified LinkedIn members – or ‘LinkedIn Influencers’ – a great way to build their credibility through trusted voices. Safe to say this is something we can’t wait to test to bring our clients even more value on LinkedIn.

2. Popular platforms are increasing audience data

TikTok’s still fairly new to the advertising game, so – up until recently – it lacked data. This meant that its strategies were missing key insights and involved some (educated) guesswork.

But things are looking up, since it released an audience insights dashboard. This is a very welcome update, as it gives us useful audience data, including interests, age, market and more. With this feature, we’ll finally have some well-needed clarity on exactly who’s interacting with our TikTok ads, which will only add to its strategic potential.

3. There’s a new way to reach premium Spotify users

In an interesting turn of events, the music listening platform has begun rolling out mid-episode podcast ads for its premium users – despite them paying for an ad-free membership. Our approach to make the most of this update? We’ll be advising clients to lead with creativity, to help cut through the abundance of ads that will likely launch.

So, although premium Spotify users may despair at having to listen to ads again, this opens great possibilities for brands to get in front of engaged listeners… but only if the ads hit the creative spot.

4. The uncertainty that surrounds Twitter ads continues…

It’s safe to say that Twitter’s changed – and with that, advertising on the platform has become a lot less safe, due to its lack of investment in content moderators. Unfortunately, we aren’t coming with the great news that this has moved on at all, but we’ve found a way around to help our clients get the same audience reach that Twitter once had. How? By turning to the likes of Instagram, Reddit and YouTube.

5. Greater conversions on awareness channels

It can be a struggle getting conversions on channels that are typically used to create brand awareness, like Twitter. So, in an attempt to keep advertisers on the platform, Twitter’s launched an advanced conversion optimisation ad, which drives people to buy instead of creating brand awareness. Whether this will entice marketers and brands back onto the platform or not is another question, with concerns over brand safety still seeing some advertisers stay away from the platform. Our position? We’re proceeding with caution on a client-by-client basis, making sure that every step we take is tailored to each.

6. Data privacy’s making targeting difficult

Targeting has become more and more difficult as social platforms adhere to data privacy laws, reminding us of the importance of strong creatives and copy. Thankfully, we know how to make the most of the tried-and-true ‘Conversions API’ and ‘Aggregated event measurement’ on Meta, which lets advertisers track actions users take on their website, without relying on cookies.

7. Could advertising accessibility be improving for smaller businesses?

Running paid campaigns can be a challenge for businesses with small budgets. But there’s hope on the horizon: following the launch of Google Ads Max performance campaigns and the automated options on Meta and LinkedIn, we expect to see platforms being more inclusive by making it easier for small businesses to advertise.

8. A new way to navigate YouTube’s enormous audience

YouTube’s great for reaching almost anyone. The problem? The audience targeting can be too broad and, with the removal of ‘similar audiences’ due to increased privacy legislation, this looks set to continue. To combat this, we’re focusing on developing cut-through assets and sequencing them to appear in a defined order to help brands tell a story, while capitalising on retargeting options to build continued awareness.

It’s clear that a lot’s changing in the paid social media space (and quickly), but we’ve always got our eyes open to make sure every client’s paid strategy is tailored, on trend (when it makes sense), and smart.