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Paid Media: Advantages / Disadvantages

Paid Media: Advantages / Disadvantages

With all the options you have available in the paid digital marketing environment, how do you select the best tool for you?

There is no ideal combination or answer to the question. Ultimately, the decision is going to be different for every online business owner. When you sit down to select your tools, remember there are many advantages and disadvantages to any paid online advertising. These include:


  • Awareness: due to the low cost and high reach of advertising online, small business is able to build awareness quickly and more cost effectively than some traditional media.
  • Complementary: paid media complements your owned and earned media.
  • Multi-purpose: Adwords, keyword incorporation and advertisements are all part of the PPC advertising formats that can be applied to your online small business.
  • Flexibility: many ad sizes, formats and cost options to suit online businesses of any size


  • Frequency: too high a frequency (number of times your audience is exposed to your message) can become a trigger to tune out resulting in the audience disregarding your messages or offering.
  • Expense: it can become expensive for smaller businesses and startups to execute due to the time and costs associated with setting the right campaign and managing the campaign to achieve maximum effectiveness.
  • Rejection: people can ignore or dismiss your advertising by believing it is not relevant to their needs
  • Competition: the display advertising and search advertising space is very cluttered with increasing number of advertisers daily. Both display and search advertising work on a bidding process, with the highest bidder winning and being exposed to the audience. This means that smaller companies often have to be clever to outperform the bidding of companies with large budgets.

Carefully research your options, adopt the right mix of tools (not one tool only), be adaptable and make adjustments if it does not work for you - these can help the success of your digital marketing campaign.

Remember - digital marketing is a ‘test and learn’ environment, so if you are not adjusting your tools, then you are likely to be doing something wrong!


Consider the advantages and disadvantages of paid media listed above. Can you think of any other advantages and disadvantages?

Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Digital Marketing for Success

RMIT University