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How to Become a Paid Media Analyst: Skills, Requirements, and Career Guide

Reviewed by Marketing Expert and Coach
Juan Alberto Reyes
on
February 25, 2024

Paid media analysts play a critical role in helping businesses reach their target audiences and drive conversions through paid advertising campaigns.

These professionals are responsible for developing and executing strategies across a range of channels, from search and social media to display and video advertising. With digital advertising spend expected to top $400 billion in 2023, the demand for skilled paid media analysts is on the rise.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the key requirements and career paths for aspiring paid media analysts. From technical skills and industry knowledge to educational background and job outlook, we'll cover everything you need to know to launch your career in this exciting and rewarding field.

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What is a Paid Media Analyst?

Paid Media analysts manage the advertising strategy and budgets of a brand in media channels like social and display. They are in charge of developing, executing and optimizing digital campaigns to effectively manage the online advertising process of a company.

Paid media analysts measure and strategize around advertising plans for a brand or company. This can include optimization plans and recommendations for things like Paid Search (example: Google Ads), Paid Social (example: Instagram Ads), Display traffic (example: banner ads), and other Media outlets (OTT &  programmatic).

They will sometimes be responsible for defining and measuring relevant success KPIs, such as impression counts, click through rates, conversion rates, revenue, customer acquisition costs and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Paid media analysts are  be expected to report their efforts and findings to a broader team to help inform creative and overall marketing decisions. They are also expected to stay ahead of the latest trends and industry developments for advertising methods including things like keyword research, audience targeting, and advertising platforms.

Paid media analysts typically cover a broad range of platforms and campaigns as they are early in their careers and need to learn the basics. However, as they get more experience paid media analysts  tend to specialize in either social media advertising, search advertising, programmatic advertising, or influencer marketing. Each of these is unique in its own way but no matter the specialization paid media professionals need to be skilled at digging into advertising and customer data to make recommendations on how to optimize their paid media strategy.

Responsibilities of a SEO Analyst

Paid media analysts are an essential part of any marketing team, responsible for executing and implementing the strategies and budgets set by their marketing managers and directors. This involves working closely with cross-functional teams, including designers, copywriters, and other digital marketers to create compelling and effective advertising campaigns.

One of the primary goals of a paid media analyst is to ensure that advertising campaigns are set up in the most efficient way possible, typically through targeting and segmentation. By analyzing data and identifying key audience segments, paid media analysts can help to optimize their campaigns for maximum impact and drive revenue growth for their clients or organization.

In addition to managing campaigns, paid media analysts are also responsible for reporting on the results of their efforts. This includes analyzing metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and other key performance indicators to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions. Paid media analysts may also be responsible for making recommendations to marketing managers and directors on how to optimize campaigns across the channel(s) they are working on.

Overall, paid media analysts play a crucial role in helping businesses and organizations to reach their target audiences and achieve their marketing goals. By leveraging their expertise in digital advertising and marketing, paid media analysts can help to drive revenue growth and enhance brand visibility, making them an invaluable asset to any marketing team.

Paid Media Analyst Team Members

If you're unsure that paid media is right for you because of the math, or whatever issue, check out adjacent roles of a Marketing Coordinator, Digital Marketing Analyst, Project Manager, or BDR.

Education Requirements

Do I need a degree to be a Paid Media Analyst?

None required for an associate/entry level position. While this role seems more technical because of the word "analyst," Paid Media Analysts can come from all backgrounds and degree-types.

  • Data entry and receptionist professionals
  • Liberal arts degrees with a writing twist (for reporting and data storytelling)

If you're new here to bridged, we're glad to meet you! We are huge fans of alternate forms of education, and recommend specific certifications to target skills. While this job works great with degrees, you have other options. Learn more here.

Our Favorite Paid Media Analyst Certifications


Grow with Google Logo

Google Analytics

Google Sponsors a data analytics certificate program through Coursera. This is one of the more coveted certificates in the industry for Google Analytics, and as a paid media analyst we highly recommend getting familiar.

Learn More

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Paid / Owned / Earned Media

Northwestern sponsors this class through Coursera, so a certification (recommended) is included in your subscription $49/month. This class is part of the Content, Advertising & Social track of Northwestern's Social Media Specialization.

Learn More

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Digital Marketing Foundations

We are huge advocates for using LinkedIn Learning as an affordable way to get familiar with tech concepts. This particular class was awesome because we felt it covered renegade research processes (we are the Robin Hoods of research, ok?!)

Learn More

Salary and Career Potential

What is a Paid Media Analyst's salary?

We've aggregated thousands of salaries across glassdoor and linkedin, and paid media analysts can make anywhere between 75k - 98k, depending on their location and skillsets.

Career Path of a Paid Media Analyst

  • Paid Media Analyst, or Paid Specialist: Spend about 2-4 years at either level here.
  • Senior Media Analyst: Spend about 3-5 years here. This is also a popular role to freelance.
  • Analytics Manager (or Marketing Manager): Spend about 5-10 years here.
  • Director of Marketing: This one is tricky, but most folks spend roughly 4-6 years here.

Job Requirements and Skills

Popular Job Description of a SEO Analyst

We've used AI to aggregate the top job descriptions used by hiring managers looking for paid media analysts. When putting your resume together, try to mimic these listings. To learn more about this process, check out our partner Jobscan for a comprehensive resume review.

  • Plan and execute paid media campaigns across various channels, including but not limited to Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, and LinkedIn Ads.
  • Conduct keyword research, develop ad copy, and create landing pages to improve campaign performance.
  • Monitor campaign performance and provide ongoing optimization to improve key performance indicators such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost per acquisition.
  • Analyze campaign data and provide regular reports to the marketing team, highlighting key insights and opportunities for improvement.
  • Work closely with the creative team to develop compelling ad creatives and landing pages.
  • Keep up-to-date with industry trends and best practices to ensure our campaigns are innovative and effective.

Top Technical Skills of a Paid Media Analyst

We've compiled thousands of job descriptions for paid media analysts to record the most common requirements to save you time. While preparing for interviews, keep in mind specific times you've demonstrated these skills.

  • Refine, track, and optimize paid marketing strategies.
  • Build and maintain reporting dashboards that marketing stakeholders use daily
  • Run ongoing and ad hoc analyses and reports to support the paid media team
  • Create short/long term forecasts based on current and historical performance and trends
  • Manage and pace monthly budgets on a routine basis to ensure efficient delivery of advertising spend
  • Work strategically to develop a promotional calendar to ensure revenue goals are met
  • Create, execute, and optimize innovative paid digital marketing campaigns
  • Responsible for the day-to-day strategy, execution, and analysis for sections of paid media, including search, social, display and/or app campaigns across platforms and channels (including Google AdWords, Apple Search Ads, Facebook, and others)
  • Identify and test opportunities for account growth and optimization
  • Knowledge of marketing analytics platforms like Google Analytics, Search Console & Google Trends

Top Functional Skills of a Paid Media Analyst

We recommend getting familiar with different types of customer questions if you plan to pursue a career in SEO analytics. If finding these answers seems interesting to you, read on!

  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to collaborate with editorial teams and marketing managers.  
  • Trend and promotion calendar familiarity to work strategically to develop a promotional calendar
  • Gathering and utilizing data to create strategic marketing and editorial decisions
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills

Top Tools of a Paid Media Analyst

We've also compiled the most common tools listed in job description. If you're serious about becoming a paid media analyst, get familiar with these and be ready to talk about them.

For Gathering Quantitative Data

  • Google Analytics
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Amplitude
  • Heap
  • Mixpanel

For Running Ad Accounts

  • Google Ad Manager
  • Meta Ad Manager
  • Hootsuite
  • Linkedin Ads
  • Tiktok Business Suite

Other Helpful Tools

  • Kenshoo
  • Cision
  • Marin
  • Sprout Social
  • Google Merchant Center
  • Billo

For Task Management

  • ASANA
  • Clickup
  • Notion

Key Traits of a Successful Paid Media Analyst

Trend Spotting - In addition to staying up to date on current advertising and social media trends, successful Paid Media Analysts are skilled at predicting emerging trends and incorporating them into their marketing strategies. This requires a deep understanding of consumer behavior and an ability to analyze data to identify patterns and opportunities.
Organization - Effective Paid Media Analysts are highly organized and can juggle multiple campaigns, strategies, keywords, and budgets simultaneously. They must be able to prioritize tasks and manage their time efficiently to meet tight deadlines.
Basic Mathematics & Statistics - While a background in math and statistics is not mandatory, a basic understanding of these concepts is essential for Paid Media Analysts. This knowledge helps them accurately report on key metrics such as click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates, and make data-driven decisions to optimize campaigns for better results.
Research - Successful Paid Media Analysts are constantly researching and staying up to date on new media trends and emerging technologies. This helps them stay competitive and deliver cutting-edge marketing strategies to their companies and clients.
Advertising - Paid media analysts need to love, or at least like, the concept of advertisements since this is the primary function of their role.Paid Media Analysts must have a passion for advertising and marketing since this is the primary function of their role. They should be creative and have an eye for design to develop visually appealing ads that capture the attention of their target audience.
Budgeting Proficiency - Paid Media Analysts must be proficient in budgeting and be able to manage spend effectively. They must understand the math required to allocate resources and make data-driven decisions that maximize ROI.

Get Paid Media Analytics Experience

Get Paid Media Analytics Experience

Learning on the job is one of the fastest ways to get familiar with new topics, and showing is much better than telling.

Use a website creator to write about something you're passionate about, and use Youtube to learn how to implement free Google Analytics. Then get a free Meta Ads account and try and set up an ad-- maybe put $5 a day for it for a few days. Play around with keywords and audiences. Try learning adjustments, making tweaks, and learning headlines to have a mini "portfolio" to talk about on interviews.

Some popular paid media thought-processes:

  • Is this content or advertisement right for my audience in this channel?
  • How does the landing page of my site correlate to the ad I've created?
  • What are the most popular touch points a user has before reaching my site?

Difference between Data Analyst, Marketing Analyst & Paid Media Analyst

"Data analyst" is a very broad category of jobs, which includes product, marketing, business and operations. Marketing is a specialization within data analytics. So while all marketing analysts are data analysts, NOT all data analysts are marketing analysts.

The same situation follows with paid media analysts. Paid media analysts are a specialization within marketing analytics. So while all paid media analysts are marketing analysts, NOT all marketing analysts are paid media analysts. And all paid media analysts are also data analysts!

To recap: Paid Media Analyst is a specialization within marketing analytics, and marketing analytics is a specialization within data analytics.

Get Started with a Bridged Recommendation

Northwestern University Presents

Review: Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern

Northwestern hosts a brilliant program on marketing tactics, including things like content strategy, influencer relations, and budgeting design.
Read Full Guide

Conclusion

Paid Media Analysts are responsible for managing and optimizing the performance of a brand's paid advertising campaigns across various marketing channels, including social media, display, search, and programmatic advertising. They utilize data analysis tools to track and measure the effectiveness of these campaigns, making data-driven decisions to improve ROI and achieve business goals.

To succeed as a Paid Media Analyst, candidates need to be proficient in data analysis and have a strong understanding of digital marketing concepts and techniques. Additionally, they need to be proficient in using various analytics tools, such as Google Analytics and Excel. Strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail are also essential.

Overall, Paid Media Analytics is a fulfilling career path for individuals who enjoy working with data, have a knack for trend-spotting, and want to make an impact on business goals through digital advertising campaigns.

Here at Bridged we are huge fans of stacking micro-certifications to achieve desired career results. We're building a product to make your career planning fun and affordable, and we'd love to talk to YOU! Was this article helpful? Did you land an interview for a paid media analytics role?

Let us know at hello@getbridged.co

Check out our sources!

Glassdoor Team. “Salary: Paid Media Analyst (February, 2023) | Glassdoor.” Glassdoor, Glassdoor, 1 Feb. 2023, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,15.html

WRITTEN BY
Juan Alberto Reyes
Bridged co-founder Juan Reyes is head of product at a popular wellness company and knows all things growth & marketing. He's probably working right now.

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Learn about affordable and reputable certifications that won't break your bank. No expensive bootcamps or schooling required.

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