6 Media Planning Strategies to Grow your Marketing Efforts

6 Media Planning Strategies to Grow your Marketing Efforts

You’ve probably heard it before: “The medium is the message.” But who said it? Why does it matter in the world of media planning? The declaration comes from Chapter 1 of Canadian communications scientist Marshall McLuhan’s 1964 book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McLuhan helped illuminate the power of language, images, and the mode of message delivery to influence human thought and behavior.

Marketers and professional communicators must know how to harness that power to deliver messages to the right people. No matter the nature of the message, it must be conveyed via some form of media.

And to make sure the message reaches the right people at the right time, marketers and communicators must understand media planning, which determines what, when, and how often messages are delivered in traditional forms (print, broadcast, outdoor ads, etc.) or digital forms.

The financial stakes are high in the digital advertising industry. According to research from the Winterberry Group, online media spending reached $145.3 billion in 2019, with investments increasing 19.1% over 2018. The highest growth categories included digital video, digital audio (podcasts and music streaming), and paid social ads.

Another report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reflects that online media spending has surpassed TV, radio, magazine, and newspaper ad spending, all of which are experiencing flat or declining sales. Spending on mobile ads is expected to increase from 70% to 81% of online ad sales between 2019 and 2023.

Media planners are responsible for making sure those billions of advertising dollars are not wasted. They must understand every aspect of media planning to support a messaging strategy that delivers the desired results.

It begins with understanding the definition of media planning, as well as its components, the types and purposes of different media platforms, and the factors that make up a media plan.

What Is Media Planning?Media planning is the process of determining how, when, and to what audience a branding or advertising message will be delivered. A media planner analyzes how a message is intended to support a marketing or advertising strategy and then develops tactics to share that message in the right places with the right people.

At an advertising or marketing agency, the duties of a media planner might be assigned to a content director, marketing manager, account manager, or combination of people with knowledge of media, budgeting, content creation, and other areas of expertise related to marketing.

No matter who is responsible for development, the process requires a deep understanding of the components of a media plan, the platforms that can deliver the message, and the factors that go into an effective plan.

The Components of Media PlanningBefore developing a plan, the media planner must fill in the blanks on specific components. Trying to make a media plan without first understanding its components would be like riding a bicycle blindfolded.

The component checklist serves as a foundation for the plan and should take into account:

* Audience: Whom is the message targeting? Why is the message relevant to them? How is the message serving them?

* Marketing budget: How much is available to spend on delivering the message?

* Conversion goals: What action should the message encourage the audience to take? How will that action support the strategy?

* Definition of success: What key performance indicators should be tracked? How do they support the strategy? How will they be measured and reported? What is the anticipated return on investment?

* Message frequency: How often should the message be shared? How much is too much?

* Message reach: How many people should receive the message? Where do they live? Is the message platform scalable? How reach is measured depends on the platform being used to deliver the message. It is important for media planners to understand the nature, uses, and usefulness of every available form of media.The Forms of MediaMarketing and advertising content takes the form that best conveys the message and achieves the desired action on the part of the consumer. Digital https://law.und.edu/ media includes all the assets a consumer finds on the internet: paid ads on search engines (pay per click), banner ads associated with targeted remarketing, videos and static ads on social media, website development, and more.

In 2019, for the first time, digital advertising spending surpassed traditional advertising spending. According to digital marketing publication eMarketer, digital marketing spend was estimated to account for 54.2% of total U.S. advertising spending in 2019.

In traditional and digital media, efforts to spread messaging can be categorized as:

* Owned media: Owned media consists of original assets, such as blog posts and videos, published directly on platforms owned and operated by the organization attempting to spread the message. The ultimate goal of owned media assets is to go viral — a nice-to-have but unpredictable state that should never be considered the linchpin of any media plan.

* Earned media: Earned media are assets that share the organization’s message but are created by separate parties, such as news stories or profiles in a newspaper or online news site. This typically is a function of public relations or media relations.

* Paid media: These are assets associated with ad spending, such as social media advertisements, paid search ads, paid commercials on TV or radio, or the paid placement of an asset such as a guest blog post on a news website.No type of media can be dismissed as unimportant. The type of media used could make or break a campaign, which is just one of several factors that determine a media plan’s potential effectiveness.

The Factors of Effective Media PlanningThe three pillars of an effective media plan — purpose, audience, and reach — are interconnected but must be considered separately during the early stages of plan formation. Here is an overview of the factors of effective media planning.

* Purpose: What is the goal or objective of the campaign? Is it to generate brand awareness? Encourage a user to share contact information or to fill out a form? How does the asset support the larger marketing strategy? All of these questions must be answered very early in the planning process.

* Audience: Who is the targeted consumer? Who will benefit from watching, listening, or reading the piece of content? Who is likely to buy the service or product or to develop a long-term relationship with the brand? The purpose and the audience go hand in hand.

* Reach: How many people are targeted by a particular media platform, and at what frequency? Reach and frequency — the number of times a potential customer is offered the chance to read, watch, or listen to the asset — are related. Not every potential audience member consumes media at the same rate. The more often a video or ad is shared, the more likely it is to be seen.Once the three pillars have been identified, a media planner can flesh out the plan to develop a larger strategy and supporting tactics.

Media Planning paper writing service for college StrategiesExploring media planning strategies can help marketers effectively choose the right media platforms for spreading a message to a relevant audience.

What follows is an overview of some of the primary considerations that must be addressed when preparing to develop a media plan.

1. Selecting Relevant Media Channel(s)Media planners have choices when it comes to the channel or channels they select for sharing a piece of content. Channels are platforms, digital or traditional, that serve content to users.

Traditional channels are TV, radio, and print ads. Digital channels are social media, websites, email, and other online platforms.

The channel chosen should be a platform the target audience is likely to frequent. Channels appeal to users based on age, gender, socioeconomic status, and other demographic factors.

For example, a business-to-business (B2B) audience would be more likely to be reached on LinkedIn, where businesses and employees interact on a professional level. On the other hand, a business-to-consumer (B2C) audience might be found on a channel such as YouTube or Instagram.

2. Determining the Relevant TimelineWhat determines the timeline of a media campaign? It depends on the product/service, message goals, audience, and calendar of events.

To establish the media campaign timeline, a project plan is necessary to determine what assets are necessary to support the campaign. When determining resource requirements, it can be helpful to start at the end. When is the optimal publish date (or dates)? With that in mind, the planner is free to plot the work necessary to get it done.

Every aspect of the plan must be given the right amount of time for development. For example, if the planner knows a great deal of market research will be required, multiple days should be devoted to that part of the plan.

Every stakeholder’s role must be taken into account and factored into the deadlines associated with each stage. Communication is key. Every person involved in the execution of the plan should have a means to communicate setbacks or ask relevant questions along the way.

3. Coordinating the Channel MixRarely will a media plan include only one channel. Most campaigns will incorporate at least two — and possibly several more — to ensure that as many people as possible are served the content. But companies need to make sure that the message is cohesive across all channels.

When used wisely, channels can be complementary. For example, a long-form profile of a subject can be coupled with a short-form video that features an interview with the subject. The video and long-form article might be packaged together on a blog post, or they could be served up separately on different social media platforms to increase reach.

The concept is particularly true for social media channels. If a message is relevant to multiple audiences, it is important to distribute that message on platforms those audiences frequent. For example, a smartphone app with wide appeal might be advertised on a platform such as TikTok to reach younger audiences and on LinkedIn to appeal to business-minded professionals. Marketing teams should consider the timing and tone of these ads to avoid conflicting messages across platforms.