What is Paid Acquisition?

What Is Paid Acquisition

One of the best ways to gain visibility, leads, and customers is through paid acquisition. So, what exactly is paid acquisition?

Types of Paid Acquisition

According to NGData, customer acquisition “refers to gaining new consumers.” They go on to say that “Acquiring new customers involves persuading consumers to purchase a company’s products and/or services.” What are you paying for in order to persuade your customers to purchase? Advertisements, right?

The key difference is that you’re paying to gain new consumers, leads, customers, instead of it coming organically. Organically would be through social media, an unpaid referral, or a search on the SERPs. Paid acquisition means paid digital ads and placement on social media, Google, Amazon or other shopping platforms, and other websites related to our product or services. We’ll also define what PPC (pay-per-click), Paid Search, and Display Ads mean, and what geotagged ads are.

Quick Tip: in every type of paid acquisition, it’s important to use keywords that draw your user in while enhancing your ranking on search engines. Check out our recent article about product copy to learn more about what language you should be using and how to write the copy effectively.

Social Media

Social media is a great way to get more brand awareness and acquire leads and customers. One aspect that is growing is the “story” ad. When you’re looking through all of your friends’ stories, up pops an advertisement like it could be any other story you’re watching. Other formats include ads in the newsfeed feature, video advertisements before or during a YouTube video, or in the scrolling videos on Facebook or TikTok, along with influencer ads. With social media, the idea is to lean more towards that organic feel, although in the end this is a cost to your company – that hopefully pays off!


Amazon has a large portion of the paid acquisition efforts in marketing today considering it’s the top avenue for purchases right now. Consumers go to Amazon for product ideas, price comparisons, and find items. You’ll see paid acquisition here in the form of sponsored results at the top of the search results or in the middle of the page. If someone searches for your product, you can pay to have yours be at the top of the list.


Similar to Amazon, Google is a huge space for advertising on search engine result pages (SERPs). Your ad will show as a sponsored result either at the top of the page or along the side of it, depending on if the customer is using the “shopping” function of google searches or if they’re on the regular search page. You can ensure that your ad shows up when someone searches something similar or exactly like what you’re selling. Plus, you can tell Google what words you do not want to show up for.

Display Ads

Display ads may make me think of billboards, but in this context it’s actually those banner ads you see on websites you visit. These are different from search results and social media, obviously. These are the ones you get after you’ve visited a certain website and think, how did they know I wanted that? For instance, maybe you looked at a pair of shoes and then the next site you’re on there’s an ad for those shoes. Or, you’ve visited sites similar to a certain store, like Macy’s, and so you see an ad for another department store. While there is a change to cookies coming (see our post on the End of Cookies), this is still a viable option for now.  

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

Pay-per-click is a way of payment for your advertisements, as in you pay per each click your ad receives. If no one clicks on your ad on Amazon, then you don’t owe much to Amazon for them displaying your ad. However, if someone does click on it, or multiple people do, then the price starts to add up.

Paid Search

Paid search simply means that a customer is accessing your site via a search result that you’ve paid to have appear on the page, like we mentioned before with Google or Amazon. This can be on other search engines such as YouTube, Yahoo, Bing, and the like.

Geotagged Ads

In every one of these types of paid advertising, you can target specific geographies. This could be all of a certain county, or all USA. This may not be a useful metric all of the time, unless you are a brick and mortar store trying to drive customers into the physical location. Then going broad geographically with your ad would not help your goal much!

What’s important


Whenever you’re running advertisements or even engaging in marketing efforts in general, it’s key to look at what’s working and what isn’t. It’s something we mention over and over here at Firon Marketing. Once you know that an advertisement is getting pricey for the number of clicks it’s receiving or if there’s a huge bounce rate when someone does get to your website, it’s time to improve your advertisement, your site, or whatever part of the funnel where the customer may be losing interest. You have to keep track of the necessary data with your paid acquisition strategy in order to see what you need to be improving on, and what you can learn from.


Those display ads mentioned earlier come in to play here. With the use of cookies, you can follow a customer from your site, from where they bounced, onto another website and display your ad there. This is actually retargeting someone who had seemed interested in your products or services and for some reason didn’t make it to purchase.

Truth be told, there’s a lot that goes into paid acquisition. If you’re reading this and just not getting it, or need help with execution, feel free to reach out to us and we can help. We also offer free marketing audits to determine where your company currently stands and what needs to be improved.

Alex Jordan
Alexander Jordan
Alex has experience with digital customer acquisition in almost every industry.