Your Best 14 Paid Media Tools for Affiliate Marketing

Oleksandr Rohovnin
15 minutes read
Oleksandr Rohovnin
15 minutes read

Important: this article is a part of our affiliate martech stack series, where we shed light on the most effective tools for affiliate marketing.

In the ever-evolving affiliate marketing world, paid media tools are extremely effective in generating and converting referrals at scale, especially if you are an affiliate or affiliate network. Advanced paid media tools can turn your marketing campaigns on a dime, paving the way to increased reach and profits.


In affiliate marketing, you can’t only advertise using earned media because you don’t own enough to reach all potential customers. And even if your media stack is truly powerful, you will always look for expansion, won’t you?

Paid media tools can help you plan, execute, and evaluate your paid advertising campaigns, whether you promote through social media, programmatic, or native advertising.

We’ve compiled a list of the best paid media tools for affiliate marketing, but before digging into it, let’s categorise and explain paid media advertising types so you can understand what opportunities you have when it comes to affiliate marketing paid media.

Paid Media Types

Paid Media Type Payment Model Where To Advertise
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads

You pay for ad clicks

Search engines: paid ads appear at the top of search results

Social media ads

You pay for impressions, clicks, views, or conversions

Social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Display ads

You pay for an ad display (an impression)

Third-party websites and blogs

Native ads

You pay for impressions, clicks, views, or conversions

Platforms relevant by meaning and style

Video ads

You pay for ad views, impressions, or engagement

Video platforms: YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Programmatic ads

You pay for impressions, clicks, views, or target actions

Platforms that match your ad placement criteria

And now to the paid media tools themselves!

TOP 14 Best Paid Media Tools for Affiliate Marketers

Google Ads

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
65,442,619 10 624 0.31 81.93% 12.65% 0.56% 2.25% 2.44% 0.17%

 

For anyone familiar with paid media tools, Google Ads needs no introduction. Drawing billions and billions of revenues from their ads in the United States alone, Google provides auction-based paid advertising opportunities on Google Display Network, YouTube, and countless partners.

Google’s Paid Media Tools

 

Display Network

Uniting over two million websites, Google Display Network shows text, image, and video ads based on specific keywords, demographics, or targets previously engaged users or selected websites.

YouTube

Part of Google Ads, YouTube ads include skippable and non-skippable ads, overlay ads, sponsored cards, and more. Targeting-wise, you can select demographics, interests, keywords, and placements.

Search Network

Search Network is a library of websites, blogs, and apps that displays ads below and above search results for specific keywords, including advertising on Google Maps and Google Shopping.

Keyword Planner

With Keyword Planner, you can display your ads based on selected keywords and investigate competitor keywords and bidding strategies.

You can ensure the most comprehensive targeting by combining different advertising media and the right set of paid media tools. For example, you can target proactive users with Search Network while leveraging demographic or behaviour-based targeting with  Display Network.

Meta Ads

Uniting Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger under one roof, Meta offers limitless cross-platform advertising opportunities through Ads Manager.  The Android- and iOS-compatible media toolkit allows you to create and track ads on the go, knowing which ads fulfill your marketing objectives and why they perform better.

Meta Paid Ad Tools

 

Facebook Ads: photos, videos, carousels, slideshow, storeys, etc.

Like all other Meta ads, Facebook ads operate on a bidding system, where you set your preferences and bid for your ads to show, with the bigger bid size increasing the chance your ad will be shown.

Instagram Ads: Photo, video, carousel, storey, and collection ads

Instagram ads have a heavy visual focus, represented mostly by engaging and interactive creatives.

WhatsApp: CTA buttons on other platforms redirecting users to WhatsApp

While not providing traditional ads, WhatsApp allows you to redirect users from Instagram or Facebook to your chat. Besides, you can get some extra exposure by creating a Business profile.

Messenger Ads: Inbox, Click-to-Messenger, Sponsored, and Storeys

Messenger Ads are text and visual CTA-rich ads that drive customers to a website or engage them to start a conversation with a target business.

With around 3.88 billion people using Meta products, Meta paid media tools are an extremely effective marketing weapon, spanning popular social media and messengers. Unlimited reach and targeting variations allow you to hit the right referral with the right ad at the right time while staying cost-effective.

LinkedIn Ads

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
8,190,779 2 38 0.76 25.38% 49.39% 1.23% 20.91% 1.34% 1.75%

 

LinkedIn Ads connect you to almost a billion professionals, including those looking for job opportunities and possessing unparallelled skills. With twice the buying power of regular web leads, the LinkedIn audience is one of the best referrals to tap into.

Kicking things off with LinkedIn ads involves four simple steps:

  1. Choosing your campaign objectives: increasing awareness, drawing referrals to a website, boosting engagement, generating leads, and more.
  2. Selecting your target criteria: the audience you want to display your ads to. For the selected target audience, you will see the total audience size, the expected CTR rate, the 30-day spend for the ads you run, and the number of clicks you are expected to get.
  3. Choosing one of the four ad formats: Text Ads, Messages Ads, Dynamic Ads, Sponsored Content, or you can mix several ad formats.
  4. Select your budget and display schedule: your daily ad budget, campaign timeline, and bidding strategy.

Once your LinkedIn advertising campaign is up, you can access one of the best paid media analytics tools to measure impressions, clicks, social actions, spending, and more success metrics.

LinkedIn Ad Types

 

Sponsored Content

Native ads that appear in the feed, including single image, document, video, carousel, event, and thought leader ads

Sponsored Messaging

Message Ads and Conversation Ads to send personal messages and start conversations with your referrals

Text Ads

Trackable PPC ads displayed to a target audience

Dynamic Ads

Personalised ads that feature individual information when displayed to a user (company name, job title, etc.).

One big advantage of LinkedIn paid media tools is that they enable company targeting alongside contact targeting and retargeting, allowing you to reach the B2B referrals you seek. Likewise, the diverse targeting options can easily cover your affiliate marketing needs.

Twitter Ads (now X Ads)

 

With over 1.7 million monthly visits, Twitter Ads can help you achieve multiple affiliate campaign goals, such as driving traffic to a website, promoting by certain keywords or a specific social media account, and more.

Twitter Ad Types

 

Promoted Ads

Displayed at the top of search results, in Trend Takeover search results, on user profiles, on user home timelines, and through X’s clients

Follower Ads

Displayed in the “Who to follow” section, user timelines, and search results

Trend Takeover

Displayed alongside trending topics

 

Twitter ads are quite diverse and complex to understand, but there’s an X Ads Manager to help you set up and run your advertising campaigns. The Manager describes everything you need to know, including ad campaign structure, metrics, filters, activity, audience details, etc.

SEMrush

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
13,773,682 6 398 0.36 62.89% 28.55% 2.25% 1.52% 1.81% 2.97%

 

The all-in-one digital marketing software suite is mostly regarded as SEO-focused, but it provides quite a few paid media tools to reckon with (note, however, that SEMrush isn’t an ad placement tool):

  • Display advertising tools for competitor research
  • PPC keyword tool to optimise your keyword placement, including AdWords campaigns
  • Ad builder to drag-and-drop or create compelling ads

Among many other things, the advertising toolkit from SEMrush allows you to monitor competitor ads, analyse Google Shopping ad campaigns, optimise your ad spend, and leverage your social media presence through content scheduling and ad performance tracking.

WordStream

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
2,491,377 2 98 0.67 23.05% 73.37% 0.03% 1.35% 1.25% 0.95%

 

WordStream is an absolutely stunning suite of paid media tracking tools for evaluating and improving your PPC campaigns across popular platforms like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Bing Ads, and more.

The platform’s paid media toolkit includes Google Ads Performance Grader, Website Grader, Free Keyword Tool, Facebook Ads Performance Grader, and Free Business Listings Grader, all designed for tracking and optimising your paid ad campaigns. The paid social media analytics tools from WordStream are among the strongest on the market.

Google Ads Performance Grader

Google Ads Performance Grader analyses 17 key factors like quality score, CTR rate, or wasted spend that shape your paid ad campaigns. The analysis is complemented by actionable insights on improving your paid ads performance.

Website Grader

Website Grader analyses your content, images, mobile optimisation, loading speed, links, and other ranking factors, helping you climb the search ladder by targeting keywords and relevant searches.

Free Keyword Tool

Free Keyword Tool unlocks the most profitable keywords for your PPC and SEO campaigns, issuing tailored keyword suggestions.

Facebook Ads Performance Grader

Facebook Ads Performance Grader evaluates your advertising campaigns to improve ad placement, targeting, and cost-effectiveness.

Free Business Listings Grader

Free Business Listings Grader helps you streamline your listing info across dozens of business directories for information consistency.

WordStream is a comprehensive yet very intuitive paid media tool that can revolutionise your marketing campaigns. Moreover, some functionality is free, so you can get the hang of this paid monitoring tool without premature financial commitment.

Keyhole

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
146,906 4 208 0.61 33.13% 60.66% 0 4.98% 1.18% 0.05%

 

Keyhole is a paid social media marketing tool that helps analyse and improve your social media presence in real-time and strategically, including influencer campaigns. With Keyhole, you can optimise post times, visualise your social media strategy, and improve the collaboration between your marketing team members.

Hootsuite

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
6,318,972 3 157 0.58 40.05% 54.65% 0.06% 1.21% 2.02% 2.00%

 

Hootsuite is a social media management platform with paid social media tools to unfold, track, and analyze paid posts from one place. The service works with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram paid ads, helping you to manage heterogeneous paid social media campaigns from a single user-friendly dashboard.

With Hootsuite, you can:

  • Target ads based on location and demographics
  • Optimise ad spend
  • Increase engagement on social media
  • Synergise your paid and organic social media campaigns
  • Integrate other paid media tools and platforms like HubSpot, MailChimp, or Salesforce

Above all, Hootsuite makes it easier to reach and engage social media audiences by allowing you to turn your best social media posts into ads, displaying them to more high-intent customers.

Optmyzr

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
81,066 4 275 0.48 45.01% 40.66% 0.13% 2.02% 3.00% 9.18%

 

Optmyzr is a comprehensive PPC management software with paid media tools for creating, tracking, and optimising your paid marketing campaigns. From performance insights to strategic gaps to expansion opportunities, Optmyzr covers it all with three proprietary products for paid media: Optmyzr Core, Campaign Automator, and Optmyzr for Amazon Ads.

Optmyzr Paid Media Tools

 

Optmyzr Core

The core Optmyzr PPC software suite addresses every aspect of PPC campaigns, unlocking the best promotion platforms, features, and reporting.

Campaign Automator

Campaign Automator interprets your business data into effective paid media ads. You can choose a relevant ad template and customise it however you see fit in just a few minutes before exposing an ad to your target audience.

Optmyzr for Amazon Ads

Optmyzr for Amazon Ads issues suggestions across four marketing dimensions – keywords, bids, budgets, and reports – allowing you to draw more referrals from your Amazon PPC ads.

Acquisio

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate
47,117 1 35 0.74

 

One of the best suites of paid media tools for affiliate marketing, Acquisio runs AI-powered PPC management software and Acquisio Turing software for paid search ad campaigns:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Software: SEM software and tools for paid search ad campaigns can help you set up, track, and analyse your campaigns across Google and Bing while optimising your spending and effectively replacing manual work.
    • Campaign automation based on product feeds
    • Customisable marketing templates
    • Instant campaign copying from Google Ads to Bing Ads
    • Built-in KPI tracker and cross-channel reporting
    • Self-improving AI for real-time and strategic campaign optimisation
  • Acquisio Turing: Powered by Machine Learning (ML), Acquisio Turing software can improve your bid and budget management to draw and convert more quality referrals at a lower cost.

You can scale your affiliate campaigns without losing quality and safely predict outcomes to choose the best marketing strategy for specific business objectives. Likewise, you can track your campaigns in real-time and update them on the fly as new referral data arrives in the system.

Taboola

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
527,349,399 1 43 0.46 17.29% 3.75% 9.62% 63.34% 0.52% 5.48%

 

As an affiliate marketer, you might know where some of the sponsored content at the bottom of articles comes from — Taboola. The world’s leading native advertising platform effectively connects affiliates and advertisers, allowing you to draw referrals to merchants through promoted and sponsored content.

Taboola offers the following paid media tools:

  • Taboola Feed – a scrolling content feed at the end of articles
  • Taboola Pixel – referral and affiliate tracking functionality
  • Creative Insights – insights into content performance like engagement and conversions

Taboola also allows exchanging traffic with third-party websites and using its content marketplace. Whether you are an affiliate, advertiser, or affiliate network, Taboola can give you a head start in the fight for referral attention.

HubSpot

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
42,463,250 13 793 0.36 57.14% 28.09% 0.20% 2.94% 1.62% 10.01%

 

While HubSpot isn’t particularly known for its paid media tools, it does provide some for managing paid media campaigns, including:

  • Ads software to create personalised advertising campaigns
  • Ad tracking software to auto-track paid ads on social media

With HubSpot, you can choose what happens after a referral clicks on your ad. You can auto-save contacts of users who have interacted with your ads, send an internal notification to your sales team, or add potential customers to a specific contact list based on their interaction.

That said, committing to HubSpot for paid media tools alone might not be as good a choice as if you’re already using the platform. Speaking of which, if you already use HubSpot CRM, you can use it to create audiences for your paid ad campaigns.

StackAdapt

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
2,977,324 2 79 0.76 59.72% 22.32% 0.22% 8.94% 1.01% 7.79%

 

StackAdapt is a self-programmatic advertising platform that provides programmatic ad solutions for B2B, finance, government, healthcare, retail, and travel. The unique suite of paid media tools spans from digital to traditional advertising, covering your affiliate marketing from A to Z.

Programmatic Paid Media Tools with StackAdapt

 

Native Advertising

In-feed native ads, in-ad native ads, and content recommendations

Display Advertising

In-banner video ads, scratch-and-reveal ads, and hover integration ads

Video Advertising

Native video, native outstream video, in-stream video, and interstitial video

Connected TV

Live streaming ads, on-demand streaming ads, and CTV inventory

Audio Advertising

Podcasts, audiobooks, and streaming playlists

In-Game Advertising

Blended (not clickable) in-game ads on mobile and desktop

Out-of-Home Advertising

Outdoor digital advertising (for example, digital billboards)

 

TheTradeDesk

Monthly Visits Page Per Visit Time On Site Bounce Rate Direct Traffic Search Traffic Paid Referral Traffic Referral Traffic Social Traffic Mail Traffic
1,071,085 6 374 0.48 72.69% 14.62% 0.38% 3.14% 4.31% 4.87%

 

TheTradeDesk is a media buying platform where advertisers can run digital ad campaigns, including programmatic ad campaigns. Among the paid media tools you can get are tools for real-time bidding, advanced data management, cross-device campaign tracking, and reporting.

Overall, TheTradeDesk is designed for big market players who manage complex campaigns across multiple marketing avenues, channels, and locations. However, even smaller affiliates may use the media buying opportunities to generate and sell traffic to merchants.

One Software Suite To Rule Them All

Whether you are an affiliate, advertiser, or affiliate network, you can close the loop between leads, clicks, and revenues with a unique marketing software suite from Phonexa. Uniting eight proprietary partner and performance marketing solutions, including paid media tools for affiliate marketing, Phonexa unlocks actionable referral insights, issues payouts, and so much more.

Phonexa’s software package includes (everything at only $100 a month):

  • Lynx – affiliate marketing and click tracking software
  • HitMetrix – user behaviour recording and analytics software
  • LMS Sync – lead tracking and distribution software
  • Call Logic – call tracking and distribution software
  • E-Delivery – email and SMS marketing software
  • Cloud PBX – cloud phone system
  • Opt-Intel – suppression list management software
  • Books360 – automated accounting software

Explore the subscription plans now, or schedule a free consultation to learn more about how Phonexa can elevate your affiliate marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are paid media tools?

Paid media tools are software, platforms, and services that help marketers – including affiliates, advertisers, and affiliate networks – automate and improve paid advertising campaigns.

There are around a dozen types of paid media tools for various aspects of marketing. For example, paid social media monitoring tools – or paid media tracking tools – are used to track and improve ad performance on social media platforms; reporting tools for paid media provide real-time and historical social media ad performance reports; and so on.

The good news is that some platforms provide a comprehensive suite of paid media tools, so you don’t have to juggle around. Explore the top media tools on this webpage to make up your winning paid media toolkit.

What are paid social media tools?

Paid social media tools are software, platforms, and services that help marketers manage their social media marketing campaigns, including affiliate campaigns. With the right paid social media tools, you can draw more referrals from social media while tracking the customer journey for unmistakable attribution and constant campaign improvement.

Among the best paid social media tools are Emplifi, Keyhole, and Hootsuite. Likewise, you can set up paid media campaigns on social media through Google Ads and Meta Ads.

True or False: Paid social media monitoring tools are not any more effective than free tools?

False. Paid social media monitoring tools are more effective than free tools because they provide advanced tracking and analytics features. However, free social media tracking tools can also be helpful for smaller campaigns or less demanding marketers.

Got Questions?

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Oleksandr Rohovnin avatar
Oleksandr Rohovnin
Oleksandr Rohovnin is a copywriter at Phonexa. His passion is digital marketing, innovative technologies, and – above all – distilling vast amounts of complex information into engrossing narratives anyone can relate to. At Phonexa, Oleksandr stokes passion for marketing automation and lead generation in every story he curates.
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