In order for your media buying strategy to be successful, you need to identify your target demographic, and then place the right ad in the right place at the right time. Seems simple on paper, right? In practice, it’s not that straightforward. Of course, what works for one company isn’t always ideal for another, so some specific, nuanced planning should be undertaken. Here is a basic outline to help you plan a successful media buying strategy.
1. Identify Your Target Market
Before a media buying company can buy appropriate media, it must know who it’s shopping for. Some products and services have universal appeal, but many are made for a very specific niche. In order to provide effective ads, it’s critical that you identify the people you want to convert into an audience. Here are some questions to ask that can help you to prioritize your marketing needs:
- What is the age and gender of the consumer?
- What is the average income?
- Where does the consumer live?
- What are the consumers’ other interests and hobbies?
- What is the typical consumer’s home situation like (married, family, etc.)
Forbes recommends using data to help you to answer these questions. You can gather survey data and use existing studies to determine who is most likely to respond positively to your product or service. Your goal is to make it easy for your consumers to connect the dots between their needs and wants and whatever you offer.
2. Determine Your Goals
It may seem obvious—your goal is to increase your company’s ROI. However, there are steps you need to take in-between to get you there. Is this advertising campaign going to be used to drive and solidify brand awareness, or are you trying to grow your audience? Are you trying to convert views into immediate sales, or are you just hoping got long-term leads? When you pinpoint exactly what you hope to accomplish, it becomes much easier to find the right steps to get there.
3. Plan the Media Purchase
Now you’re confident that you’ve identified who you need to reach and what you hope to accomplish. The next step is to find the media that will link the two together. If you don’t have any media outlets already in mind, you’re going to need to spend some time shopping around. You may want to watch your competitor’s ads for inspiration, but make sure you keep your approach original.
4. Put Your Plan to Work
Your budget is going to play a major role in your media purchasing, but don’t let it control your approach entirely. Some negotiation can go a long way in keeping rates affordable. You may also be able to keep costs down by using a media advertising agency that offers a risk-sharing program. Call (don’t email) the agencies you’re most interested in. Make sure you ask about bonuses, add-ons, and other specials. After this initial research, write down all of your options, pros, and cons.
5. Make the Right Choice
Eventually, you’re going to need to make a definitive choice. This will involve crunching some numbers and weighing some advantages and disadvantages. Spend some time researching the past campaigns of potential agencies. Some metrics that Forbes uses to determine the success of a media buying strategy include social media, ROI, and movement of product. While that information isn’t always immediately available, you may be able to gauge the general success of a campaign based on some online research.
Don’t Rush Your Decision
Your advertising defines your brand. If you’re not completely confident in your decision, keep looking. Spend some time doing some homework and watching an agency’s past productions. There are no guarantees in marketing, but there are definitely ways to improve your chances of success. Cast a wide net and then spend some time picking through your options. In the long run, the time and effort are going to be well worth it.
Author: Frankie Little is a marketing consultant at TVA Media Group, a media advertising agency based in Los Angeles, CA. He is passionate about helping companies of all sizes to succeed. When he’s not writing or consulting, Frankie enjoys bicycling, traveling, and art.