Today, the main task of advertising is to deliver the right message at the right time. Therefore, the ability to follow this rule is very important, since marketing became a key aspect in the implementation of a particular project.
Marketers and PR specialists must be experienced professionals if they are aiming to messages the right people at the proper time. It does not matter what the nature of the message is, what you want to transmit, the only things that are important – how and when you do it.
Marketers(or communicators) need to consider media planning, which dictates what, where, and how often ads are distributed in traditional ways (print, broadcast, outdoor advertising, etc.) or digital forms, to ensure that the information reaches the right audiences at the right moment.
The financial stakes are high in the digital advertising industry. A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) suggests that online ad spending is already exceeding traditional ad spending. Nevertheless, the interesting fact is that the sales volumes remain unchanged. We can expect mobile ad spend to grow by 11% of total digital ad spend by 2023.
Not wasting millions of dollars is the primary responsibility of media planners. It is important to understand all aspects of this direction in order for the messaging strategy to bring the desired result.
What is Media Planning?
Media planning is primarily the process of determining how, when, and how often a message will be delivered to a potential audience. The key factor in media planning remains that you need to reach as many of the target audience as possible with the RIGHT message as many times as it takes to get the desired effect.
The process involves a thorough understanding of the components of a media plan, the channels that can deliver the message, and the aspects that go into an efficient plan, no matter who is responsible for growth.
Media Planning Components
Media planning includes many components that should be considered before developing a specific plan. One overlooked detail can create imbalance and not lead to the desired result.
Here is a list of the components that will serve as the basis for your media plan:
- Audience: Who do you want to get your message across? Will it be relevant to them?
- Marketing Budget: How much do you plan to spend on your ads?
- Conversion Goals: What actions do you expect your audience to take after the message they receive? Will they meet the overall strategic goals?
- Defining Success: What KPIs should you track? Will they meet the overall strategy? What is the expected ROI?
- Post Frequency: How often do you need to publish on the chosen channels?
- Message reach: What reach do you expect? What is the location of your audience? How does the way to measure your reach vary depending on the platform you use?
3 Factors for Effective Media Planning
There are three pillars of effective media planning – purpose, audience, and reach. All three are closely interconnected but are considered separately at the early stages of the formation of the media plan.
Let’s highlight the main details:
- Purpose: What is the goal of the campaign? Increasing brand awareness, conversions, generating leads? All these issues should be considered at the very early stages of media planning.
- Audience: Who is your target audience? Who will benefit from your product or service? Who will most likely establish a long-term relationship with a brand? Purpose and audience are closely related.
- Reach: How many people use a specific platform and how often? Not everyone in your chosen audience is consuming media at the same rate. The more often an ad campaign is launched, the more likely it will be seen by everyone.
What are the benefits of Media Planning?
The ability to write a media plan is an essential skill for any PR and marketing professional. There are many benefits in media planning that can help you achieve great results:
- The opportunity to better know the target audience of your product or service for more effective interaction.
- Individual choice of channels and platforms for the promotion.
- Determine when and how often the content you create will be distributed for promotion.
- Ability to learn the latest trends and technologies.
- Work with budgets by developing and publishing new and unique creatives.
- Work with analytics to analyze the success of launched advertising.
Despite the advantages of media planning, you need to know how to distinguish it from media buying. Processes are very closely intertwined with each other, but they serve different goals, therefore they are often confused.
Media Planning Strategies
A well-chosen media planning strategy can help marketers determine the most effective platform for delivering the right message.
Below are some of the main considerations to keep in mind when preparing before developing a media plan.
1. Selecting the relevant media channel
When it comes to media channels there is a huge range of choices for sharing content that can promote a product or service. Channels are platforms that can be both traditional and digital. They allow sharing different information with users.
- Traditional channels: TV, radio, and print ads.
- Digital channels: social media, websites, email, and other online platforms.
Your target audience and the selected channel have to intersect since they must visit one or another media channel. Different channels attract different audiences, it all depends on age, gender, social status, and other factors.
2. Defining a clear timeline
To establish a suitable media campaign schedule, a project plan needs to determine what assets the campaign will need to move on. We recommend starting from the end. If you set a date for the content to be published, then you can easily develop a work plan to get the job done.
There are many aspects and each should be given proper attention and time. For example, if a team member understands that a detailed study of the market will be required, then it is worthwhile to set aside a few days in order to do the job efficiently and without haste.
Remember! Communication is the key to success. Each role in the project is important and must be appreciated.
3. Channel mix coordination
It rarely happens that a media plan is designed for only one channel. Most of these include at least two or more to ensure that the content is reached by more people. But the company needs to make sure that content across all the channels is related.
If you have the right approach and use the channels wisely, then they can not only complement each other but also bring effective results.
This concept is now especially relevant for channels such as social networks. One message can be relevant to several target audiences at the same time, so it is important to distribute it on platforms where audiences are predominantly collected. For example, TikTok and LinkedIn are completely different sites, but one application with a wide reach can be advertised both here and there to reach a younger audience in the first social network and to attract professionals from the second. But it is worth considering the time of submission and the tone in which the content will be presented to avoid controversy.
4. Using audience targeting
Audience targeting is the process of identifying your target audience and how to find it. Most marketers begin this process by developing a buyer persona. And only after its development, the company will be able to determine which platform for promotion will be the most relevant.
Determining buyer persona is based on such data as age, gender, profession, hobby, social status, geography, as well as personal characteristics. Data can be collected from a template already created or using tools. For example – Google Analytics.
Do not overlook such detail as determining which media platform the buyer persona prefers. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all offer their own targeting tools to help you clearly direct you to the right users.
5. Setting reach and frequency goals
Last but not least in terms of media coverage is reach and frequency. Marketers need to understand what they want to achieve in terms of reach and frequency when creating a media plan.
Coverage and frequency are directly related to the planned budget. There may be a situation where content can go viral naturally without buying ads accordingly. So remember that the media plan should include an amount to distribute the content to the right number of users.
Media planning is a crucial part of your company development in how you streamline cross-team coordination and cooperation around the media and ensure that it is communicated in a timely manner with your audience.
So, work through the information of the media planning and elaborate on the efficient plan that will help to reach a higher audience.