Media Buying Strategy Guide

Public Relations
Media Buying Strategy Guide
Article by Jelena Relić
Last Updated: April 24, 2023

Speculating 'What is media buying' or 'What is media planning' opens the door to understanding the most potent 21st-century marketing.

Numerous people are immersed in different media types, and seemingly endless options exist. Considering the amount of time we spend online, it is no wonder that media buying and media planning are booming. Digital ad spending will exceed $330 billion worldwide soon.

This article elucidates all aspects of media buying strategy and how media buying agencies can ensure prudent decision-making while conveying their message to the target audience.

Let's start.

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What Is a Media Buying Strategy?

Media buying is primarily about procuring media space and time to run ads. It also relates to monitoring ad performance and adjusting the strategy required to optimize your ad campaign's performance. This involves extensive strategizing and negotiating to maximize the advertising budget and is referred to as the media buying strategy.

Media buying also brings us to the question of who is a media buyer or what he does. Well, a media buyer gets your message to the target audience.

The primary purposes of media buying are to take your ad creative and get them to your target audience at the right time, in the proper context, and best formats. The result is a successful ad campaign. The measurement of the campaign's success will depend on your goal, which can increase conversion rates or improve brand awareness. In each scenario, a media buying strategy will get you there.

The media buying agencies find suitable mediums for you among newspapers, radio stations, television networks, online magazines, social media sites, and so on. They help in building your brand.

5 Steps to Building an Effective Media Buying Strategy

Building an effective media buying strategy requires you to go through the following steps:

  1. Identify the Target Audience
  2. Determine Their Interests
  3. Evaluate Your Audiences' Receptivity to Your Messages
  4. Decide on the Creative
  5. Refine and Improve the Campaign Placements

Step 1 - Identify the Target Audience

The first step in setting up a PR campaign is identifying the audience. You can begin by compiling a list of your existing customers and third-party data to determine what attributes they have in common. This analysis will give you a few categories of audiences.

Step 2 – Determine Their Interests

As mentioned in the first step, the next important step is identifying the target audience's interests. This is crucial to understanding which stage of the buying process they are in.

Step 3 – Evaluate Your Audiences' Receptivity to Your Messages

In building a media buying strategy, you often find that your target audiences could intersect online with the appropriate targeting parameters. It would help if you planned the mediums and channels through which you will target prospective audiences.

You can retarget ads placed on the network to re-engage the visitors and keep your brand on top of their minds. To ensure you're getting the most out of your ads, consider hiring a PPC firm

Step 4 – Decide on the Creative

It is tempting to start with a creative when planning a marketing campaign. But experienced media buyers suggest creatives should be decided upon when researching the target audience and identifying their valid intersection points.

Also, one should target the ads most appropriately. For instance, if you are a travel company and want to target families, your ad should feature kids playing at the beach.

Even in small business public relations, ads are most effective when they can target the right people with images that capture their imagination and drive them to take the desired action.

Step 5 – Refine and Improve the Campaign Placements

Digital campaigns are ever-evolving. Your work is half done till you have bought the space and created your placements. Refinement is the key to the ultimate success of your campaign.

For this, you need to continuously optimize the campaign tactics based on what is engaging and converting your audiences the most. It would help if you also leveraged event tracking to collect data and model look-alike audiences who converted through the targeted websites.

The ongoing adjustments will make your campaigns profitable and helpful in driving the desired results.

What Are The Challenges in Digital Media Buying?

The process of digital media buying comes with several advantages over the traditional model. However, digital media buying is prone to specific challenges.

Brand safety is a prime concern. If your ad appears on a site or beside content that consumers consider inappropriate, it can damage your brand's reputation. Media buyers must stay cautious to prevent brand safety issues from affecting your brand's image.

Another significant issue with online media buying is fraud. Ads could be placed on ghost sites that do not exist. Pixel suffering, which makes your ad appear imperceptibly small or layered on another, is also a significant risk.

Lack of transparency is also a challenge in the present-day world of digital media buying. The digital media buying process is hard to trace and complex. This makes some parties involved in ad buying take undue advantage of brands.

Disjointedness is a problem affecting any media buying. It is a disconnection between the campaign's planning, ad creation, and media buying activities. You must integrate these aspects to enjoy strategic cohesion and better results.

Role of Technology in Media Buying

With technological advancements, one of the noteworthy changes to media buying is the emergence of a programmatic ecosystem. Programmatic media buying involves automating and streamlining the logistics of online advertising.

The best thing about programmatic advertising is that it focuses your ads more specifically on personal impressions than buying out ad slots, as you would in traditional advertising. Media buyers use a demand-side platform or DSP. It is a media buying software that facilitates buying ad impressions across various exchanges through a single interface.

A DSP plays a vital role in digital media buying, so choosing the proper DSP is a priority for programmatic media buying agencies. You need to consider the following points in selecting the DSP:

  • The reach of the DSP is essential. However, most of the popular DSPs have similar levels of space, so quality is as important as quantity.
  • The user-friendliness of the DSP is also essential. It should not feel confusing and clunky. You should be able to navigate it and customize it to your preferences.
  • Support is another critical factor. Consider how frequently the DSP undergoes updating or how long it takes for the platform to respond to your technical support requests.
  • DSPs can also partner with third-party data providers to allow you to reach your target audience. Find one that provides the data you need for your campaign.

What Are the Differences Between Media Buying and Media Planning?

We often hear the terms ‘media buying’ and ‘media planning’ used similarly. A single agency often conducts both tasks, which further blurs the line of distinction between the two. Media planning and buying should be closely integrated to create a successful campaign.

That said, just as there are subtle differences between PR vs. marketing, there is a distinction between media buying and media planning. Media planning is primarily a strategy element in a campaign, while media buying is a means of implementing that strategy.

Both processes are crucial to the success of an ad campaign. If you skip the media planning part and move straight into buying, you will not be able to optimize your spending on your results. Planning is just as important as putting the plan into action.

Media Buying Strategy Takeaways

Media buying is exceptionally nuanced, and a lot of emphasis is on acquiring the optimal ad placement for conversion and customer experience.

Media teams can optimize their strategy and spending by staying aware of the top media buying strategies and tactic negotiations.

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