Paid Marketing

Paid digital marketing is all about increasing traffic or visitors to your website through paid advertisements on online platforms. You can think of it like having a digital equivalent of an air traffic controller on the ground who is waving his bright orange batons in the direction of your website. He is kind of invaluable.


Paid Digital Marketing (PDM) is an enormous topic, so for the sake of brevity we are just going to cover a portion of it here, search engine and social media marketing. Paid digital marketing is like advertising in the newspaper but for the digital age – only this form of advertising is more targeted and strategic. The point of PDM is to get traffic going to your sexy and inviting website where they can become acquainted with your brand and buy what you are selling. In this day and age, instead of paying a newspaper to run your ad, you pay the digital platform ie. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing etc.

Sometimes paid marketing is easiest to think of in terms of clearly indicating a path for internet users to go to your website. They know you’re promoting your site, you know you’re promoting your site, but there’s a mutual agreement to for the visitor to click the link to view your website, assuming your ad is enticing enough.


How it Works

There are two major platforms for paid digital marketing, search engines and social media. How they work are pretty similar to each other. When you pay a search engine like Google you are paying for a high placement on the results page. This means that if someone searches “Kung Fu Ninja Website Design in Calgary” and you have paid Google to show up when someone uses the key words kung fu and web design Calgary, you will be one of the first three businesses to show up. It’s similar to the idea of having awesome names starting with lots of A’s so that you would show up first in the yellow pages. Did your mom ever use AAARdvark plumbers? Mine did. What does an aardvark have to do with plumbing? Nothing, but they got a lot of business simply by being the first plumber to show up in the phone book.


For paid social media advertising you are literally running an ad that appears on the social media users dashboard. With Facebook you have two options, an ad that runs on the right hand sidebar of the newsfeed or a bigger one that is embedded in the actual newsfeed. It is usually interactive where people can like and share the ad on the spot. Twitter ads are called sponsored tweets, and it shows up directly in the timeline with bigger writing that organic tweets. Ads on social media are labeled as sponsored so that users know that it is a paid advertisement.

Social media can be very personal and so people tend to only like or share something that speaks to them and that says something about themselves to their friends/followers. The same goes for location based, or geo-location paid marketing services. If a campaign with Calgary paid ads targets users in Calgary, it’s typically more likely to succeed. If an ad looks too much like an ad they are less likely to act on it, this is where having an expert can help. Getting professional help for your search or social campaign can help increase audience engagement.

Why It’s Effective

If you are a person floating around in the space called life it is unlikely that you can escape search engines. Can’t remember a movie name or that actress in it? Google. Have a song stuck in your head and need to know what it is called? Google. Bored and need some cat videos? Google. You can search constantly and look up videos on the go on your smartphone. That is why search engine marketing is effective. Even better, most of the time someone is using a search engine to find a product, they are doing it because they intend on buying your product or service. That something can be a new phone, a specialty food, a professional service or shoes for their cat. People use search engines the way they used the yellow pages – they have a need and they want it filled. When you show up first (or second or third) and you have a kick ass website that person will likely buy what you are selling. By researching and using the right keywords you don’t have to go out looking for the right audience, the right audience is quite literally finding you.

It pays to show up twice on the first results page of a search engine, meaning through paid advertisements and organically. Search engine marketing can take a lot of time and energy especially if you are trying to get both organic and paid placement, a professional can help with that.

Social media advertising works partially because of the sheer volume of people that use it. As of 2015 over 2 billion people have social media accounts – that’s banana pants crazy! Over 50% of the coveted 18-29 year old demographic use Instagram. When you are using a social network to advertise you don’t have to blindly stab around trying to find your demographic, they have done the work for you and put their interests out there for the world to see. You can input your target demographic and then choose a look alike audience to reach even more people with similar interests. If you get someone to ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ your page (you can run a social ad campaign to do that) they are not just a captive audience for you but it also helps to nurture brand loyalty. Social media is less about conversions and more about building brand awareness and loyalty. If you are looking to increase sales on your website social media advertising is not going to be as effective as search engine advertising.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just search and social media. Paid advertising works all over the interwebs, think of places like Yelp, Zomato, and, 4Square. It all depends on where your audience lives, and where they spend their time online. Half the job is finding out where your audience is and just showing up… with your paid marketing ads in tow!


How to Implement

We hate to sound like a broken record but we’re about to. Like any good marketing campaign, paid advertising starts with a strategy. You could fly by the seat of your pants and just start buying ads all willy nilly; however if you go that route you will likely run out of money and your audience’s goodwill very quickly. There are a few pieces of strategy that you have to have a firm grasp of before you start your paid advertising campaigns. What is your budget? What is your timeline? And the big one: what is the point aka what is this campaign supposed to achieve? How do we know what success looks like? How will we measure the ROI? These are all questions you want to have the answers for before you buy the ads.

Next you want to make sure that your website is spic and span and problem free. You wouldn’t invite people over to your house when it is a pig-sty, same idea. Don’t pay to invite people to your website and have it looking a mess. Don’t have any missing pages or error codes, clean up your copy and freshen up your pictures.

For search engine advertising Google Adwords is the most common search engine advertising platform there is. They use a pay per click model. The pay per click method is the most common digital advertising method there is. It’s just like an auction, where companies bid for ad placement and keywords. The winning bid calls shotgun and gets the highest placement on the audience’s search results page. 
The pay in the pay per click (PPC) means that every time your ad is clicked you pay the advertising platform. The beautiful thing about the PPC method is that you only pay on conversions. You only pay when your ad works and bringing people to your website. PPC is kind of like being the lonely kid on the playground buying his friends, he didn’t have any friends and now he does! Does it really matter how he got them?

For social media ads each independent platform functions a little bit differently. But each of them rely on something similar to Google ad words. You choose your total budget then you choose your bid, which is the amount you are willing to pay to have people engage with your ad.

One of the perks of social media is that you are encouraged to run a vibrant image rich ad, while search engine marketing is solely dependent on text. Social media marketing has the power to influence a consumers decision in which company to buy from, but unlike search engine marketing consumers on social media are not likely to log into a social media account with the intent to buy. That is why it is advisable to run both a social AND search advertising campaign.

While it may be the best thing to run ads in social, organic and paid settings, not all companies are in a situation to do so. One of the great things about paid marketing is that if you have a limited budget and want to see tangible results, all advertising analytics, statistics and information can be monitored, tracked and altered to get the most bang for your buck.


From strategy to bidding and deciphering the analytics to measure ROI, running a paid advertising campaign can be a daunting experience. Just like that search engine air traffic controller can guide people to your website, a marketing agency *cough* TalonX, *cough* can help direct your paid digital ad campaign and make the takeoff, the flight and the landing smooth and relatively painless. We offer a range of paid digital marketing packages that are designed to get you to the top of the list and consumers onto your site. We steer our clients in the right direction by offering expert advice, open communication and a team of dedicated professionals. We also have a bar and a little bit of a coffee addiction, so come in for a latte or a beer and see what we can do for your business.



Single stream of paid marketing setup

Weekly ad review and adjustments

Monthly reports and feedback

Strategic recommendations and structuring


Two streams of paid marketing setup and management

Weekly ad review and adjustments

Monthly reports and feedback

Strategic recommendations and structuring

Social and search best practices and updates


Up to three streams of paid marketing setup and management

Weekly ad review and adjustments

Monthly reports and feedback

Strategic recommendations and structuring

Social and search best practices and updates

Split testing, retargeting and performance analysis

SEO integration and blending

Combined campaign development and strategy




GET STARTED: 403-930-3344

*or email