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The Paid Media Forecast for 2020: How to Navigate the Storm

The Paid Media Forecast for 2020: How to Navigate the Storm

As a marketing pro or entrepreneur, you’re no stranger to the fact that a digital marketing mix is the secret sauce to driving your brand forward. Weaving earned, owned, paid and shared media together is what keeps you afloat and relevant. Even more, a well-executed multi-channel journey just feels magical. And we’re here for that. While you’re an expert on all things multi-channel synergy, the paid media game is changing daily and changing FAST. Our public relations firm will help you navigate the paid media world and give you recommendations for moving forward.

Source: Marx Communications


The price tag is always the elephant in the room, so let’s get this out of the way quickly. Paid media comes with a high price tag. Paid partnerships with media outlets can range from just a few thousand for a social media post to beyond $100k+. The cost depends on the size of the outlet and the scope of the partnership, but you can expect a hefty fee to start. The good news? Everything is negotiable. For instance, we’ve seen a contract that started at $125k for one article that ended up as an agreement for multiple articles, newsletter inclusion and several social media posts at $75k. At Konnect, we’re pros and deciphering what is worth the cost, what is not and how best to navigate these conversations.

Paid social media is also an effective channel that can net big results . To start, paid social media ads can cost as little as $1. If your brand is on a budget and a paid media article doesn’t align with that, consider starting off with social media advertising and boosting. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram all offer paid media options that are worth exploring depending on the needs and target audience of your brand.


If controlling your messaging is important to your brand, paid media is the perfect avenue. With this route, you have complete control over what is said, how it is said, how it is displayed in the partnership and the timing of everything. You also have the ability to approve all content before it is marked final, so you know exactly what is coming. Simply put: there are no surprises in paid media.

Multi-Channel Approach

We know Content is King, but what does that look like today? Media outlets love partnering with brands, like yours, because it gives them more relevant content to share with readers. Cross-promotion in a paid media partnership can include YouTube, IGTV, in-person activations, newsletters, social media channels and much more. Featuring your brand across these channels not only reaches more readers and viewers but can help your brand target and test new demographics that haven’t been tapped yet. With paid partnerships, your brand can also negotiate all the usage and exclusivity rights to promote on your own channels and repurpose the content over and over.


Media outlets pride themselves on having their own niche and personality. Because of this, they likely won’t want to use the imagery you have on hand for your website and other PR purposes. Be prepared to execute a new photoshoot that produces beautiful, clean lifestyle imagery for the sole purposes of your media partnership. Never fear, you can still use the imagery on hand for marketing and PR use after the partnership kicks off!


Leveraging display ads next to your paid content is another perk in a paid partnership. Most media outlets allow for brands to A/B test display ads to configure what works throughout the duration of the partnership and are flexible with ad size, ad quantity and using a trackable UTM link. Nothing like knocking out two birds with one stone!


At the end of the day, the partnership needs to be measured and assessed for success. Every paid partnership should culminate in a robust report that includes every metric that is important to your brand. It’s important to bring these metrics up at the beginning of partnership negotiations so priorities are aligned and the proper metrics are being focused on throughout. You can ask for daily, weekly or monthly reports to stay up to date. If something isn’t quite working, like a display ad, you can pivot and try something new.


Having an open mind is the best piece of advice we can give when it comes to kicking off a paid media partnership. Media outlets often have campaigns and ideas up their sleeve that they never share until conversations kick-off. You may find yourself coming to the table with one idea that you’re completely sold on and leaving with a totally different plan for your brand — and that’s completely normal! Paid media isn’t a one size fits all package, each campaign is specifically tailored to your brand and its needs. So stay flexible and communicate your “why” early and often.


In our experience, paid media is good for any brand whether they’re looking to keep the cadence of consumer attention for their current offerings or spread the word about a new product. However, the most successful campaigns are timely. We recommend looking into a paid media campaign when your brand is: launching a new product (flavor, packaging or updated features), expanding distribution or participating in a massive partnership like the Olympics. Having a timely hook compels consumers to view, click, search and buy more than an evergreen campaign. Additionally, when engaging in a timely paid partnership, your brand has control over the timing of the campaign’s elements, similar to the messaging component. For example, if you’re launching a new product on Monday, the campaign can tease it on Friday and launch a Facebook post, YouTube article and newsletter in the coming weeks to maintain launch momentum.

In the fast-paced world of public relations and marketing, paid media is an effective way to move your brand forward and cut through the noise your competitors are making. Engage content marketing experts, like Konnect, to find the most effective paid media strategy for your brand, help negotiate the campaign and execute the details.

-Emma Tiernon