Media Planning – Everything you need to know

Today’s digital landscape is highly competitive. Businesses today can succeed by creating and sharing multimedia content with their audience.

You increase brand awareness, engagement, conversions, and revenue by posting new media. Media content also allows you to stand out from the competition.

Over time, however, tracking, planning, organizing, distributing, and analyzing all media content can become confusing. Fortunately, media planning can help.

What is the media plan?

Media planning involves identifying and choosing the channels where advertisements will appear. A brand must also determine how, when and why specific media content should be shared with its target audience. Media plans then detail the strategy behind the content brands create, publish and share with their customers.

Regardless of size or industry, content sharing is critical to the success of any brand today. The SEMrush survey showed that 78% of companies have a team of content specialists.

Sharing content can also boost engagement, conversions, and revenue in addition to building awareness. Media content can also help you stand out from your competitors in your field.

Media planning is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of the many advertising channels available today. Media planners are usually hired by advertising agencies.

Roles of media planners

An advertising media planner develops a coordinated plan that matches an individual client’s advertising budget. These people decide when, where and how to run an ad in order to maximize its exposure.

Media planners who excel in this area can stretch a client’s advertising budget to reach a large target audience.

Media planners determine:

  • Advertisers allocate budgets to advertising media
  • Which media could reach the most people?
  • Media and ad channel of a specific ad
  • How often should an ad appear?

The goal of a media planner is to determine the most effective combination of media for a particular marketing objective. Is media planning a worthwhile investment?

(Also read: Traditional media vs. new media: which is advantageous?)

Best Media Planning Strategies

  1. Choose the right media channel

    When content is shared, media planners have multiple channels to choose from. Channels are platforms where content is shared with users.

  1. Establish a relevant schedule

    It is necessary to develop a project plan to determine what assets are needed to support a media campaign. It can be helpful to start at the end to determine resource requirements.

  1. Channel mix management

    A channel will rarely be included in a media plan. To ensure that as many people as possible receive the content, most campaigns will incorporate two or more, if not more. However, the message must be consistent across all channels.

  1. Target the right audience

    Aiming a message at a specific audience and localizing them is the goal of audience targeting. A common method of audience targeting is to develop buyer personas, which are fictional representations of the audiences you’re trying to reach.

  1. Identify reach and frequency goals

    The reach of a media plan is closely linked to its frequency. Reach is a measure of the number of viewers, readers, or listeners who receive content.

    The frequency of seeing or hearing content over time is called impressions or frequency. When choosing a media plan, marketers must decide what they hope to achieve with reach and frequency.

Media planning considerations

When crafting your media planning strategy, there are a few other things to keep in mind.

  • Budget
    You can skip this question if you are aiming for free media. You will need to sit down with your marketing management to understand what funds are available for media planning and buying.
  • Messaging
    Media content does not need to be written in advance, but main themes should be defined so that all content is on theme.

How to create a media plan

A media plan requires considering both consumer needs and business objectives as part of the planning process. When creating a media plan, marketers should take these steps and considerations into account.

Step 1: Define your media objectives and goals

It would be easy to assume the goal is to drive conversions or engagement, but that would be oversimplifying. Departmental objectives may differ or a campaign may have multiple objectives. In the case of the sales team and sales goals, revenue growth is the goal.

For marketing, however, brand awareness is a goal. The way a campaign is conducted, as well as its message, depends on knowing its main objective.

Step 2: Identify your target audience

The goal of marketing today is to create positive customer experiences. Therefore, marketers should focus on specific audience needs when crafting messages and selecting where to display them in the media mix.

To engage an audience, marketers must determine which segment to target. To understand what types of ads these users are engaging with, what creatives are performing best, and what channels these consumers are using, marketers need to look at attribution metrics and engagement analytics.

Step 3: Think about frequency and range

Reach and frequency are also important aspects of a media plan. Reach refers to the number of people exposed to the campaign over a period of time. Throughout the campaign, the consumer will be exposed to advertising several times.

Marketers select frequency in a few common ways.

  • Continuity: With this approach, ads will run on a consistent schedule during the campaign: two ads per week, for example.
  • Flight : A “flight” is an interruption of advertising followed by a break before the resumption of advertising. The strategy is ideal for seasonal products or those with a small advertising budget.
  • Heartbeat: Pulse is a combination of continuity and flight. The goal of pulsed campaigns is to combine consistent low-intensity advertising with higher-intensity ad flights when more messaging can be more effective.

Step 4: Analyze and optimize your campaigns

Monitoring, tracking and analyzing performance is one of the most important steps in developing a media planning strategy. To maximize returns on marketing campaigns, they cannot simply be set and left alone. They require ongoing management.

The hands-on approach enables teams to identify real-time opportunities to optimize performance.

Final Thoughts

Media content planning is the key to successfully creating, publishing and sharing media content. This enables communication and collaboration between teams around your media, while ensuring that it is shared quickly with your audience.

To reach and convert more audience members, you need to follow the steps in the media planning process above.

Cathy W. Howerton