Which Media Buying Platform is Right for You?

When it comes to placing media on social, media buyers have a choice: buy directly or through third-party software. Not sure which platform to use? The comparisons below can help you determine which buying platform is right for you.


Depending on how many campaigns you’re juggling and how much time you have, one media-buying platform may be a better fit for you. When you buy directly, the process is individualized as you’re working with different ad dashboards like Facebook and Instagram Power Editor/Ads Manager, Pinterest ads dashboard or Twitter ads dashboard. You’ll also be choosing multiple campaign set-ups and options for placement, targeting, and ad units. Learning and staying up to date on the ad offerings can be time consuming, but can lead to better-informed buying decisions. (To get a better idea of this process read our post: 3 Things to Know About Paid Media Units on Facebook and Instagram.)

With third-party software, the process is more centralized as you’re working on one dashboard with a consistent campaign set-up across different channels, which means there’s no need to learn different ways of placing media.

Each media-buying platform comes with different levels of support. When buying directly, you have access to a dedicated channel-specific representative who is well versed in the platform. Assistance can range from channel-specific troubleshooting support to updates on the latest changes to the channel. Having a representative for each channel comes with its challenges as there are more contacts and relationships to manage. Similar to buying directly, third-party platforms offer a dedicated representative, but their knowledge on individual channels may be limited as they may not be as up-to-date on the latest changes within a given channel.


The social channels are constantly rolling out new objectives, targeting and ad units to meet the needs of different marketing initiatives. Access to these new offerings may be different depending on your buying platform. When buying directly, you’re given access to these offerings and have the ability to participate in beta testing before new features are rolled out to other advertisers. Third-party software may experience a delay in access to these offerings as they first need to implement the offering on the back end.


Lastly, the cost to place media varies by buying platform. When buying directly, there is no fee for using the platform, which means that 100% of your media budget is used on your placements. With third-party software, there’s usually is a fee for using the platform, which means less budget for your buy. Depending on your time and budget, you may be willing to pay extra for the convenience of using third-party software.

Now that you know the differences between the two buying platforms, you’ll be able to select the platform that’s right for you. At Ignite, our social media-buying experts buy directly, so if you’re interested in buying directly, contact us today!

Ignite Social Media