Introduction to Media Planning

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If your recent online marketing campaigns are leaving much to be desired, the chances are high that you might not be leveraging the concept of media planning to its fullest extent.

Virtual advertising has advanced in leaps and bounds, so it only makes sense that creating a clear-cut strategy from the beginning is the best way to ensure viable results and a higher return on investment.

Still, we should first look at this concept in greater detail before moving on to examine the exact process and the associated benefits. Similar to any marketing approach, a bit of understanding will go a long way.

What Exactly is Media Planning?

Thankfully, the idea behind media planning is rather straightforward. It can be defined as determining how, where and when a specific online marketing campaign will be run. Here is another way of posing these three questions:

  • How will the content be presented?
  • Where will this material be shared?
  • When (how often) will it need to be published and/or updated?

Although these may seem like clear questions at first glance, many businesses encounter problems during the actual implementation process. This is why it is critical to delve into the different strategies which will be used to achieve the desired outcome.

How is This Type of Planning Carried Out?

To clarify things a bit further, planning to publish media will involve a handful of discrete steps:

  • Performing market research and analytics.
  • Defining the overall objective of the media.
  • Choosing the most appropriate templates.
  • Carrying out the plan in question.
  • Evaluating the results to determine if any changes need to be made.

Of course, it is only logical that a fair amount of market research should represent the first step. This will enable you to better determine the target audience and specific buyer personas. This is also an excellent way to better understand which online platforms may be the most appropriate (such as social media campaigns and email marketing.

What is your overall objective?

Is it to attract more inbound hits to your website, to introduce a new product, to gain client feedback, or to increase profit margins? Answering these questions will provide you with the ability to create relevant and engaging content.

Planning templates are efficient software bundles that will help you to create a clear schedule, to monitor when new posts need to be made and even to appreciate which channels are garnering the most interest. As the architecture may differ slightly with each, it is wise to briefly examine some of these examples highlighted by Hootsuite to learn more.

The next logical step involves carrying out the media plan. Implementation is the only true way to gauge the efficacy of your efforts and naturally, adjustments could be required on occasion. Therefore it is wise to include all stakeholders within the templates mentioned above so that they can be kept aware of any changes as they occur.

Finally, evaluate the outcome of the plan. This is just as important for long-term goals as it refers to one-off campaigns such as a series of Instagram posts. Did the strategies employed meet your expectations? Do you believe that the right templates were chosen or were they less than helpful? Were all stakeholders kept up to date? How did the viewers themselves respond to the media content? Answering these and similar questions will provide you with the clarity required to further hone your planning approaches. 

What are the Benefits of Media Planning?

We have now fully defined this approach while highlighting some of the most important steps to address during the project itself. Let’s now move on by discussing some unique advantages that can be leveraged in order to further appreciate such a fundamental marketing strategy.

Becoming Familiar With Your Target Audience

70 percent of all businesses are now employing cutting-edge media marketing solutions. However, these efforts will fall upon deaf ears if they are not directed towards the right audience. Planning when and how to post media will help you to identify the correct demographic.

Making the Most Out of Online Media Platforms

Some marketing channels are better than others. This often depends upon the audience as well as the niche market that your business is catering to. Planning media campaigns is an excellent way to understand which portals are the most useful. 

Appreciating How Often the Content Should be Posted

How much is too much? This is a common question within the world of online marketing. Based upon client and viewer responses (as well as other metrics such as website clickthrough rates), you will be able to find the proverbial “goldilocks” zone. In other words, you can now proactively create posts at the right times without devoting unnecessary effort and resources. 

Adhering to Tight Budgetary Concerns

Planning your media content in advance is arguably the best way to remain within tight budgetary guidelines. When we take into account that marketing may comprise more than 11 percent of an existing budget, it becomes clear that adopting a fiscally sensible approach is a wise decision. 

Staying One Step Ahead of Modern Technology

Finally, media planning allows you to appreciate all the latest digital and technological trends. Examples which are applicable throughout the remainder of 2021 include the growth of voice-powered searches, the presence of artificial intelligence, an increased use of long-tail keywords, and the undeniable fact that videos should represent the lion’s share of viral media content. Businesses which are cognizant of these and other paradigm shifts will be much more likely to remain one step ahead of the competition. 

Media Planning: A Powerful Tool Within Your Arsenal

The notion of digital content marketing seems to be changing and evolving on a monthly basis. We are also now living within an increasingly visual society. So, it makes perfect sense that media will continue to play a dominant role. Therefore, planning is so important.

Thankfully, there is a fair amount of flexibility in this type of methodology. You can choose from a host of different templates and the steps can be slightly modified to resonate with the needs of your organization. The ultimate intention is nonetheless to provide you with the digital momentum to rise to the next level and well beyond.

Ray Brosnan is the co-owner of Brosnan Property Solutions, a Facility Management company based in Ireland. Ray understands the importance of marketing, especially digital marketing for SMEs. Media planning is key to BPS online marketing campaigns. 

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