The Benefits of working with Paid Media Buyers

If you've got big goals for your paid advertising, and you're eager to learn how to use paid media buyers, this blog should have all the information you need to get started.

Squaredance team

August 29, 2023

Squaredance is Your Ticket to Better Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising

For business owners that are new to affiliate marketing, or those that have only ever worked with affiliate partners like publishers, influencers or coupon/discount sites before, knowing how to effectively use paid media buyers may be a challenge.

The fact of the matter is that paid media buyers are the most popular and beneficial form of affiliate partner for a reason. They can bring incredible value to your business, as well as support massive growth through paid advertising campaigns.

But what are paid media buyers? How do they differ from other types of affiliate partners? How does media buying for DTC brands actually work?

If you've got big goals for your paid advertising, and you're eager to learn how to use paid media buyers, this blog should have all the information you need to get started.

What are Paid Media Buyers?

Paid media buyers do exactly as their name suggests, they handle media buying for DTC brands. More specifically, they work alongside your marketing team to purchase advertising space for your ads.

One of the best ways to think about paid media buyers is to think about them as experts or specialists in their respective marketing channels.

Although you likely have internal marketing efforts happening in tandem with your paid media campaigns, that doesn’t mean that you have someone on your team that specializes in every channel you want to utilize.

You may want to try a new social media strategy (i.e., Tiktok, Meta, Instagram, etc.), but since you’ve never used it before, you wouldn’t want to hire for that skillset, until you know that it’s a viable channel for your brand.

So, you freelance the job out to a paid media buyer, and you get the chance to see if the channel works for you - without having to put up any of your own spend!

You still have a say in everything that your paid media buyers do, but they handle the brunt of the work to make sure your ads are as engaging and cost effective as possible.

How are Paid Media Buyers Different from Other Affiliate Partners?

There are four other types of affiliates that you can access through marketing partner platforms like Squaredance: agencies, publishers, email marketers, and creators.


Agencies are experienced partners that will help you develop, oversee, and even manage entire marketing campaigns on your behalf. These are perfect for small brands without the resources to manage an affiliate marketing platform campaign on their own.


These are usually review sites, SEO bloggers, and online publications (i.e., Buzzfeed), which you can partner with to promote your brand on their site or within their own content. They can help you reach target demographics outside your current network.

Email Marketers

Adapting email marketing to fit with modern trends, these affiliate partners build promotional links for your company into their email campaigns. They can help create widespread targeted promotions, which expand the reach of your brand and grow your customer base with their extensive email lists.


These are the content creators and social media influencers that have already built a following. They can bring authenticity and a fresh perspective to affiliate marketing for DTC brands, while also helping to showcase your brand in real settings that make product benefits more tangible for consumers.

You can learn more about the different types of affiliates, and their individual benefits here.

The Benefits of Media Buying for DTC Brands

There's a reason that paid media buyers are the most popular form of affiliate partner, and that's because they can help brands generate massive growth.

They give you the freedom to scale your affiliate marketing program very quickly, depending on what your goals are. These partners can buy large amounts of traffic in short periods of time, which can generate immediate sales and revenue.

Another major benefit of media buying for DTC brands is that paid media buyers will use their own resources to fund your campaigns. This means there's no added costs for your brand to do things like ad testing with new audiences or trying different marketing strategies.

Paid media buyers want to generate as much money for you, as efficiently as they can, so when your ads exceed expectations, they benefit alongside you. There are not many better incentives for success than that.

In addition to these benefits, there are some perks to working with a paid media buyer as an affiliate, rather than relying on one from an agency.

For example, agencies may charge monthly fees, and their success isn’t always directly tied to their performance on your campaign. They also spend your money to place ads, so when a campaign doesn’t work, you’re still the one paying for it.

Achieving Growth Through Affiliate Marketing for DTC Brands

There have been a number of brands that have found more success than they had even hoped for through media buying for DTC brands on Squaredance.

Little Passports, one of Squaredance’s educational children’s brands, has been able to find incredible success through the use of paid media buyers.

They were struggling to find a way to reach new subscribers at a profitable rate, and after exploring their growth opportunities, Little Passports realized they needed to expand into new marketing channels.

With the help of Squaredance, in just their first quarter using paid media buyers, Little Passports was able to acquire 2,370 new subscribers at a lifetime value of almost $1,000,000, which was 270% above their customer acquisition goal for that affiliate channel.

Year-over-year, Little Passports has seen a 46% growth in their affiliate channel because of the partners they’ve been able to access on Squaredance. Learn more about their journey with Squaredance here.


How Do Paid Media Buyers Earn Money?

Paid media buyers make their money when you make money.

When you begin a partnership with a media buyer, you'll agree to a Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA). This means that each time that their ads generate a sale for your business, they get paid.

This also means when their ads don't generate sales, you don't pay for that wasted ad spend. 

Paid media buyers spend their own money promoting your campaign, so it also means that when they’re able to generate sales for a lower spend than the CPA you agreed on, they can benefit from heavily promoting your campaign.

You'll still pay the same predetermined CPA, so it's a win-win. You get more sales, because the media buyer is focusing on those ads, and they have the opportunity to improve their profit margin on that campaign.

Will Media Buying for DTC Brands Cannibalize Our Other Ads?

This is a common misconception, but no, they won't.

Media Buying for DTC Brands is designed to support your other marketing efforts, not overshadow them.

Paid media buyers will want to know what other marketing efforts your team is managing on your end, so that they can target new markets and audiences that your existing campaigns aren't reaching.

Fighting for the same market space is counterproductive to what paid media buyers are trying to achieve. If they're competing against your other ads, they will immediately lose a portion of the potential revenue, because consumers may not choose to click their links. Using the same keywords and audiences also causes cannibalization, which reduces the effect of each campaign.

Instead, it's more effective for them to focus on reaching new markets and expanding upon your existing consumer base, so that they can drive new traffic that brings in revenue for both you and them.

Galen Schneider, founder of Affiliate Management agency, Partnerality, talks about how some channels are less likely to have this issue, while others are more likely to cause cannibalization.


“Paid social, for example, is a channel where I see it being less susceptible to cannibalization. Paid search, however, is a channel that is more likely to be cannibalized.”


Galen recommends two strategies to prevent cannibalization with more susceptible channels such as paid search. 

  1. Providing affiliate partners with a list of keywords that you’re bidding on so they know what they cannot bid on. Alternatively, provide them with a list of acceptable keywords that they can use. 
  2. Provide a list of acceptable and prohibited channels. For example, if you want to own paid search on Google, then your partners can bid on other channels that you’re not active on such as Yahoo or Bing. 


Ensuring that you have clear controls in place and good ongoing communication with your paid media buyers is the best way to ensure these types of issues don’t arise during your affiliate campaigns.

For instance, your brand can easily specify which channels and traffic types that affiliates can and cannot run ads against.

Brands can create landing pages with unique offers, which are solely for affiliates (i.e., bundles, discounts, etc.), so that you can ensure there’s no competition against those campaigns.

Also, there’s a built-in asset approval section, which makes sure that you and your partners are always in agreement on which creative assets are being used.

Squaredance is Host to Some of the World's Best Affiliate Partners

Learning How to Use Paid Media Buyers Requires the Right Partner Marketing Platform

If you're ready to start utilizing paid media buyers to expand your paid advertising campaigns, Squaredance is the partner marketing platform you can use to get rolling right away.

Maximize your growth potential, while exploring a whole new world of partners. Set up a Shopify store in minutes. Run ads on 20+ unique channels. Connect with other high-quality brands instantly.

With real-time performance results and invaluable creative approvals, you can always ensure that your brand is being represented accurately and effectively.

Are you ready to find your perfect partner, so you can start creating customer experiences that grow your sales?

Get Partnered Up.


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