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Paid Social and Inbound: What you Have to Know

Emilio Garcia

The importance of Paid Social for Successful Inbound Marketing Campaigns

Why Integrate Paid Social and Inbound?

It is widely agreed that paid social tools are a great way to add value to an Inbound Marketing campaign and securing its future success.

Many marketers have concluded that these social tools generate massive exposure for the businesses under these campaigns, which are a logical step when dealing with new players or relatively unknown products or services. Compared to other options, these methods reliably offer a cost-effective solution with good returns.

Once your buyer personas are well defined, you can easily select the portions of your audience that will be available to target on social media networks. This additional help to lead generation will usually mean you’ll have to find the right channel to reach them.

This is where Paid Social comes into play: as you create targeted social ads, you’re helping achieve brand awareness -while also improving overall site traffic-, which is an overall boost to your campaign.

Paid social is currently among the top 5 most used advertising methods by marketers with 45 percent of them using them. Moreover, it’s still growing strong: according to the data, its industry is expected to increase by more than 194 percent, reaching 15 billion dollars during 2018.

What can I expect from social ads?

Marketing in social media is undoubtedly an essential element for assuring a good performance in any kind of digital marketing, so there’s always the potential for massive growth using these platforms.

As stated before, it’s one of the most cost-efficient methods used to gain exposure, syndicate content created on other platforms and extend your brand’s reach.

Because of all these reasons, creating a paid social campaign to your inbound marketing campaign will significantly increase your brand’s recognition since you’ll be getting to a broader audience of future consumers of your products or services.

Establishing interactions with your future audiences is key to the success of these paid campaigns. Getting users to like and share the content you have created under your inbound strategy will draw awareness and surely help build your reputation as a business, a critical step if you’re a new player in your industry or seeking to recover previously missed leads.

This future leads will present as your paid content -if efficiently developed- will be shared by other users sharing the same interests or needs of your defined buying personas, leading to more potential customers and eventual conversions. This way, paid social tools will hugely benefit your business.

Regular use of these channels can help expand your audience even more than with just a conventional inbound strategy, and that’s where both ways converge.

What’s an optimal use of Paid Social with Inbound Marketing?

One of the best options to include when thinking of paid social options to use with Inbound Marketing campaigns is retargeting.

This way, you can increase leverage in all parts of your website according to browsing history and triggers taken by the visitors of your inbound site’s content.

This kind of approach can also be integrated with email marketing if you’re looking to work with that as well.

In Facebook Ads, for example, the Facebook Pixel tool will allow you to target users who have previously shown interest in your business, using paid social ads to encourage them to finish and eventually purchase or become a solid lead for your inbound campaign, depending on what you’re offering.

Customer Lifecycle Phases

Another thing that’s very important to have in mind when combining paid social and inbound is the customer lifecycle: acquisition, retention, and re-engagement.

It’s essential for you to plan these part of the strategy according to and to create both content and paid social ads that are relevant for each stage of the funnel, according to the Inbound Marketing methodology.

Just like in the basics of Inbound, you shouldn’t think that “bigger is better” when planning reach for ad campaigns on social media. Just like you created buyer personas for your Inbound campaign, you’ll have to find their equivalents on the social network you’re planning to position your paid ads.

In most cases, you’ll be using Facebook and its Ad Manager to create, control and edit these different audiences according to the personas you have developed, helping to drive engagement and generate better results while defining your audiences to a smaller and more precise level.

Following your campaign’s performance

After your audiences have been well defined and are working according to your inbound plan’s buyer personas, it’s time to follow your campaign’s performance.

Thankfully, many of the paid social tools are incredibly flexible when it comes to selecting your targets or creating new ads, allowing you to experiment with different approaches to reach your desired customers.

Testing and optimizing your campaigns on the fly should be a main priority for the best results, as it’s the only way to see what’s working efficiently, which audiences are responding in the way you planned and how to improve or remove the ones that are performing poorly.

It’s essential to learn how to analyze the crucial data generated by your social network of choice, which can be used not only to improve your current campaign but also as vital information for the ones to come.


Without the help that social media marketing represents, your inbound traffic is just limited to your current clients. Using social media to connect with those not in your range will quickly help you in getting noticed more outside of your circuit.

One meaningful way of learning from social paid campaigns is knowing what your demographic needs and how they engage with these products or services, not only yours but also including your main competitors. These valuable insights can generate relevant data for future business developments as well.

Another extremely relevant role of paid social in the world of inbound marketing comes with the motivation of leads to close. Generating a fast action through a social ad will put an additional layer of constraint on the interested lead, which can result in more sales and eventual success for your brand.

You can always go the extra mile and pamper them with additional content to save the lead for later; in these cases, free eBooks, white papers or another piece of content could help your audiences make that final decision.

Originally published August 4, 2018, updated May 4, 2019.

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