Have you ever heard of media buying?
It’s a strategy that ensures your target market actually sees your ad by purchasing desirable spaces and time slots. These outlets can include newspapers, television slots, magazines, radio, and online banner ads.
Media buying falls into the paid media category, where you pay to display ad creatives. The goal is to find the right place, time and the context to deliver the relevant ads to the target audience. Safaricom, for example, pushes most of its blaze promotion on social media because that is where the majority of youth spend most of their time. This increases their conversion rates, sales and brand awareness. Media buying is time-sensitive; the buyer is “renting” all possible placements.
Advertising decisions are not made overnight.
In fact, the stage prior to launch is the most time-consuming, requiring in-depth research and careful planning. The core focus is to ensure that chosen media outlets fit advertising objectives.
- Identify Your Target Audience and Decide How to Reach Them
First, get a clear picture of the existing customers and who they are. Distribute your audience into segments such as demographics (age, gender, social and marital status), location (area, city, country) and behavior (interests, hobbies). This will help you understand who you are dealing with.
After getting to know your audience, try to find similarities and patterns among them. This may also help you discover other people who are interested in your product or service. After identifying the target group, think about ways to reach them. Where do they go? How do they shop? Do they buy online or come directly to the venue? If you plan to advertise online, think carefully about the channels: social network platforms, search engine ads, website or blog advertisements. Make sure you know what platforms and devices your target group uses.
- Research The Competition
Investigate your competition and get a feel for their media buying strategy. Where do they advertise? Who do they target? While you’re at it, find out what works and what doesn’t work for them. Learning from rivals’ experiences will save time and allow you to create smart advertising campaigns from the start.
- Design Your Media Buying Strategy
Choose forms of advertising that correspond your campaign goals: print ads in newspapers and magazines; video commercials on TV, online and movie theaters; indoor posters and outdoor billboards; radio advertising; banner and text digital media; mobile advertising and so on. Media buyers may choose to concentrate on one channel or buy media from different media owners and advertise simultaneously online, through radio and on TV. You must personally tailor messages to fit every channel.
- Choose Media Outlets and Negotiate the Price
Whether you collaborate with online or offline publishers, it is important to negotiate the price of the media beforehand. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Compare offers from multiple publishers. Look for the best deals, and ask for discounts or bonuses that media vendors are ready to give.
- Allocate the Budget and Plan the Campaign Execution
After identifying where, how and whom to advertise to, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Set a target return on investment (ROI). Allocate a campaign budget according to the results you expect to achieve (clicks, conversions, sales completes, sign-ups, etc.). Estimate expenditures for a specific period, such as day, month or quarter budget. Think about how to distribute your marketing budget across channels — offline and online. Plan every cash you spend and don’t forget to account for unforeseen expenses.
Always bear these pointers in mind before kick-starting any media buying process.
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By Felix Ondullah
Editor: Barbara Moi