What you’ll learn about developing a media strategy:
- A media strategy is an indispensable part of your media plan
- Here are four considerations to keep top of mind when setting your strategy
- Your goals
- Your target audience
- Your budget
- Your key messages
In a recent post, we talked about the value of media planning and how getting it right requires a robust strategy that identifies goals, objectives, and a target audience. It’s a foundational element that really shouldn’t be ignored as you map out how, when, and through which channels you’ll be reaching your target audience. For starters, it’s key to helping you obtain more measurable results and gather deeper insights, making it easier to iterate on and optimize your campaign.
Today, we’re exploring what that strategy should look like, and giving you the tools you need to get started. Here are the top four considerations you should keep in mind.
#1 What Do You Want to Accomplish?
The first step you’ll need to take is to set measurable goals that outline what you want your media plan to achieve. Are you looking to grow your brand awareness in a particular region? Do you need a media boost for your content marketing efforts (e.g. to boost the performance of an annual report)? Are you evaluating which marketing tactics are most effective for a particular campaign? These are all viable goals that can set the stage for your media plan—and writing them down in a strategy is key.
One way media strategists set their goals is using the SMART approach, ensuring their goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. This can transform a goal such as “make more money” to “increase product-driven revenue by 23% within the next fiscal year.” The latter is much clearer and makes it easier for your team to map their progress.
In addition to these SMART goals, you should also set clear KPIs such as target number of impressions, click-through rate, and number of leads. This will give you a clearer picture of what’s working and what isn’t, so that you can invest your dollars in the methods that generate the most return from your audience.
As you start setting your SMART goals, consider the following:
- Qualitative data is also important—you shouldn’t just rely on the numbers.
- Iteration is key. Setting a time-based parameter to your goal gives you the opportunity to evaluate your performance and iterate on that goal at your next planning interval.
- Stay ambitious—and realistic. Setting an achievable goal doesn’t mean you should be conservative. Reach for goals that will push your business forward.
#2 Who Do You Want to Reach?
The next step is to identify and get to know your target audience. At a surface level, you’ll want to know their demographic traits, such as their age, economic background, etc. But what you know shouldn’t stop there.
- Where does your audience spend their time?
- What do they like doing?
- What media channels do they use?
- Where do they go when they need help making a decision?
- What resources do they use to research products?
These are all questions that will help you create detailed personas that in turn help you craft personalized messages that are delivered on the right channels. It will also help you and your team remember that there are real people at the other end of your campaigns—people that are passionate about a number of different things that may (or may not) relate to your brand.
#3 How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
Your budget is a big part of what will make your goals achievable, so you need to be sure that you have the right amount of spend available for what you want to achieve. The best way to figure this out is to establish how much money you have to spend, and then map out each of your goals with a projected dollar amount and amount of hours required. Do the totals align? If they don’t, you may have to scale back on some of your goals and move them out to the following quarter or year.
Staying nimble and strategic with your spend is important, as your budget will determine what steps and approaches you can take to deploy your campaign effectively. And, if you want to iterate on a campaign or test out a different approach, you should have some money available to do that. This is why we recommend giving yourself some wiggle room with your budget. Put aside 5-10% of your budget so that your team can dip into those funds when they want to try out a new idea. This way, you and your team won’t be penalized for breaking ground and uncovering paths that might lead to even better results than you imagined.
#4 What Do You Want to Say?
Setting up your key messages is an important last step of the media strategy. The truth is, knowing what you want to say makes it a lot easier to then choose how you want to say it—and what channels you should use to say it. For example, if you’re trying to feature a new product to a younger audience, you’d want to prioritize social media platforms versus print media or television.
You will most likely need to craft several messages either tailored to each target audience or to various stages of the funnel. Keep in mind what you want your audience to do when they come across your messages as well. Do you want them to convert? Are you hoping they buy your product? This should be clear and can be crafted into engaging calls to action once you get into the media planning phase.
As marketers, so much of the work we do has to be intentional. To stand out in the massive crowd of content that people scroll through every day, every message we send out into the world has to be as impactful (and cost effective) as possible. Spending the time on a detailed marketing strategy is a great way to do just that.
If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch. We’d love to help you map out the strategy behind your media plan.