As a business person, you might ask, “Why do I need to plan my advertising?”
Think back to your last vacation. Before you left, you probably selected the best airfare for your budget, a hotel closest to the places you wanted to visit and activities that would interest all of the people who were traveling with you. After the trip, while scrolling through your Instagram posts, you probably had some thoughts on what you might do differently and decided next time to negotiate with the hotel to include breakfast. Planning, reviewing and adjusting is something that is an important part of any process and media planning is no different.
Media planning is the process of strategizing and purchasing advertising placement. Determining the right media advertising mix that will help you achieve your marketing campaign goals. Media buying combines the tasks of purchasing the initial media and the continued optimization and performance review throughout the length of the campaign. There are six main steps to creating your successful media plan:
1) Create and establish goals of your ad campaign.
Is your company, service or product new to the market and are you are interested in brand awareness? Are you looking to increase website traffic and turn those visitors into conversions? These are important factors to keep in mind when creating your plan.
2) Establish your target audience.
Will you be running a B2B or B2C campaign? Consider the demographics your ideal customer falls into – age, sex, media habits, and their stage in the buying cycle.
3) Plan the details of your ad Campaign.
How long do you want your campaign to run – is this an annual media plan you are putting together, or a special promotion to accompany your current media plan? What is your budget, keeping in mind that advertising results do not happen overnight – do you have enough to sustain a solid testing period?
4) What media channels best represent your target audience?
Create compelling creative. What will make you stand out in the crowd? In today’s media landscape, you have about 3 seconds to grab someone’s attention – does your creative cut through the noise?
5) Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
This is what separates the good media plan from the great media plan. Pay attention not only to your cost, but your placement as well. Are you able to get added value on top of your paid schedules? Is your schedule actually running the way you planned it?
6) Measure your success.
Look at your campaign metrics and do the analysis to make sure your goals are being met and your dollars are not being wasted. Consult your engagement, click through rate, form submissions, call-tracking and lead generation information– or any additional metrics available to you. Compile your data, grade your plan and optimize along the way.
And don’t worry – if you are the type to hire a travel agent to research and plan all of the details of your trip, good news. You can hire an advertising agency that specializes in media buying to do all the heavy lifting for you as well!