What goes into a media plan

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A media plan should include all the details about upcoming activity with carefully selected publications: which channels are best for your campaign, whether it’s digital or in print, when it’s taking place, costs and key contacts. But how do you work all of this out? We’ve shared our guide to maximising return on investment from your media plan and how to select the best publishers for your message by knowing your target audiences.

Know your audience

Before you can even think about who to book with, you need to know who you’re targeting. Knowing your audience means knowing where to find them, and knowing where to find them means ROI.

Once you’ve worked out the demographics of your audience, work out which websites they visit. A publisher may come to you with an exciting offer, but do your target audience read their magazine or visit their website?

Identifying your buyer personas is key to any effective marketing activity and should include everything about your ideal target from simple demographics like age, job and location to specific hobbies, interests and pain points.

It’s a balancing act

It’s a digital player’s world – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it should own your budget. When you know your targets, you might identify a popular print magazine that dominates an important industry for you and find that a mix of the two is your sweet spot.

Perhaps print is still king for your targets – particularly if you’re targeting an older demographic, for example – but again, knowing your audience inside-out will make this decision for you.

Get your rates and get organised

Once you know who you’re targeting and where, begin contacting publishers for rates – and negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. What can they offer you? This should be a two-way partnership. If you’re a long-term customer, can you get better rates for loyalty? Is there package discount for bulk orders?

As well as organising how best to utilise your budget, you will also need to think about how best to utilise your team. For example, appointing a dedicated buyer or researcher is helpful for keeping your activity consistent and running smoothly and provides one port of call for publishers. Do you have a designer in-house? You don’t want to be providing blurry banners for websites or ill-fitting ads for print, so the right designer is important for showing your business at its best.

Your media plan should include everything that you or anybody else might want or need to know about your upcoming activity. Include deadlines, agreed activity, costs, key contacts in one master document and this will begin to form your media plan.

A key element of running a successful media plan is being super organised and knowing exactly what you’ve got happening, and when, so that you can maximise your coverage. For example, can you generate social media activity from it?

One of the most important elements to successful media buying is essentially project management – you will need to guide your whole team on what needs to be done, working with hard deadlines, and building relationships with your publishers. Include the status of each task so that both you and your team members can see, at a glance, what still needs to be done by when.

Always follow up

Most publishers will offer you performance reports detailing how many people have seen your ad, the number of clicks, or if you’re working in print, you should have received circulation figures as part of your decision-making process.

It’s always a good idea to use a UTM tracking link in digital activity so that you can see where your web visitors have come from, where they went when they reached you and how long they spent looking around. This will all help you to measure the quality of the audience you’ve captured: note, quality over quantity. You’d prefer 50 people to click on your ad and 30 send enquiries than 100 with five enquiries, right?

If you’re interested in finding out more about effective media buying strategies, give us a buzz on 02079521740 or whip over an email to info@patch.marketing: our experienced team would love a chat.

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