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How to Make a Mediaplan For an Advertising Campaign

What is a media plan in advertising A media plan is a document that contains all the data that may

What is a media plan in advertising

A media plan is a document that contains all the data that may be needed during an advertising campaign.

This is what the media plan looks like

The structure and components of a media plan may vary depending on the needs of the advertiser and the expertise of the plan maker. But there are several cornerstone elements that must be present in a media plan for it to be considered as such:

  1. KPI of the campaign, the measurable result that should be achieved by the campaign as a whole, and its individual elements for different target audiences.
  2. A strategy that corresponds to the set KPIs (formats, targeting, method of purchasing advertising, etc.).
  3. A forecast of the main indicators of the media plan was built (prices, budgets, coverage, KPI, etc.).
  4. Description of the target audience, based on the conducted analysis, on the basis of which a specific set of targeting is proposed to achieve the set goals and reach the target audience.
  5. A selection of all messages, creatives, texts, and links that will be used in the campaign.

All these elements can be recorded in one note on the phone, and this will be an adequate media plan, if, for example, it is about the first advertising campaign of a coffee shop on Instagram. But when an advertiser aims to reach tens and hundreds of thousands of viewers, the campaign needs a thorough approach.

How to make a media plan

Preparation for creating a media plan

The media plan is a logical continuation of the marketing strategy and the strategy of the advertising campaign. Accordingly, they need to be drawn up before writing specific actions on the RC. If you apply for a media plan to an agency, you will also be asked to fill out a brief — tell about the company and specify the result you want to get. For in-house teams, the briefing is optional, but not superfluous. If you create an internal brief in the company, it will help to collect the wishes of the people involved in the task and to determine the correct vector of the team’s work from the beginning.

Input data analysis and marketing research

In newage. work on the media plan begins with the analysis of data provided by the client and own marketing research. Our analysts review previous activities in the client’s advertising cabinets, examine information in his Google Analytics, browse the site, and read information about the company’s products, etc.

After that, we collect additional information. These can be:

  • data from the State Statistics Service (or similar structures in other countries),
  • sociological reports,
  • market research from leading companies,
  • statistics of international organizations,
  • search data and trends, etc.

A person who knows statistics can easily name, for example, the number of young vegetarians in one or another country based on open data. By adding here information about the income of the population, it is possible to determine with high probability the number of potential buyers of premium segment vegan products. And information about competitors who are already working in the target market will clarify the analysis.

In this way, we explore anything that may be needed in creating an advertising campaign plan.

Formation of the concept of an advertising campaign

Based on the previous information, we create the structure of the plan. At this stage, we choose parameters that meet the set goals:

  • which formats to use
  • which geotargetings are most appropriate,
  • what will be the target audience of the campaign,
  • how to segment the target audience, etc.

We also select specific audiences and targeting in advertising cabinets that can be useful for a specific campaign.

How to segment the target audience

The approach is individual for each campaign, but mostly we use the See-Think-Do-Care approach. With it, the audience is divided into levels depending on the intention to convert. In a media campaign, it can be a division of audiences into:

  • hot — remarketing, customer match, search campaigns, custom intent, etc.;
  • warm — an audience of interested buyers, a special audience based on interests, an audience based on specific interests, etc.;
  • cold – anyone who matches the portrait by interests, life events, YouTube channels, URL, etc.

We use our targets for each segment, depending on the client’s profile. The portrait can be based on data from the brief, or on what we see in advertising accounts and web analytics. For example, if a client sees men as their target audience, but the data shows that it makes sense to show ads regardless of gender, we’ll argue our point, so the client can make an informed decision.

We usually do not change the client’s portrait, but only specify it. In the article “How to Find Your Target Audience And Not Waste Your Advertising Budget”, we described how to find your target audience and optimally use the advertising budget.

Forecast formation

This is the main stage of planning. Here we work with the main predictive parameters of the media plan:

  • budget,
  • prices,
  • frequency,
  • CTR,
  • share of watching the video to the end,
  • convertibility, etc.

These are the basic parameters that are required for any media plan of each client.

How to plan advertising costs

In order to predict how much a particular impression will cost the client, we use data from several sources. The first is the previous advertising activities of this client. If there are none, or they are irrelevant (for example, the client did not use a certain tool, or did not advertise a certain product category), a combination of methods is required.

  1. Expert evaluation. It is based on a specialist’s knowledge of the market. It can be data from other customers, cases of competitors, information about the cost of advertising similar products, etc.
  2. Predictive indicators of advertising offices. They indicate a reference point, but have certain errors; the price of real advertising in most cases differs from the forecast in the advertising office. You can take the forecast as a guide, but not trust it 100%.

Bid forecasting requires detailed study because the cost even within the same audience can change depending on geotargeting, advertising format, season, and many parameters that must be taken into account. We check them all and make an offer on what rate to set.

We use this approach not only for rates, but also for the rest of the indicators that we have to forecast.

How to plan a budget for advertising tools?

This question is individual and does not have a universal answer. Distribution depends on:

  • campaign goals,
  • general budget,
  • positions among competitors,
  • seasonality,
  • client’s wishes.

Sometimes the last criterion goes against everything else and we propose changes to the campaign.

When we analyze the wishes of the client, and his brief, we critically evaluate the realism of the desired. For example, if the client wants a performance campaign, with a result in sales, but insists on video advertising, we offer more appropriate tools that are better suited for sales (search advertising and Performance Max). And if the video clip is already ready, we recommend using it as a secondary format with optimization for conversions — for example, Video Action in Google, or a campaign with optimization for conversions in Meta, etc.

How to choose ad formats

When choosing advertising formats, we focus primarily on KPIs and the brand’s position in the market.

When choosing a platform, we focus on the goal of the campaign and the availability of a relevant audience for the client. B2B advertising is more likely to find a business owner on Linkedin than on Spotify.

Strategy Description

This point is important for us as an advertising agency, because we have to present our own work to the client in order to coordinate further implementation with him. But marketers of in-house teams should not ignore this point either.

Advertising campaigns that require a media plan usually involve many people to whom it is necessary to explain what they are going to do. Therefore, preparing to present the media plan to the team, will help.

What tools do we use to create a media plan

When collecting data about the audience, we focus on official sources of authorities and international organizations? It is desirable to check them – to compare information from different sources and, if it differs, to understand where it is true.

Since we worked a lot with Ukrainian clients until 2022, we have our own calculator of the number of audiences in Ukraine. In it, the analyst can select demographic parameters (gender, age, region of residence) and see the number of people responding to the request. Our calculator is based on data from state statistics, TNS, GDE, and FB, which we are currently refining with information about the impact of the war.

We also have a selection of all available audiences in Google, Bing, TikTok, and Meta. Thanks to such automation, our analysts can choose targeting faster than specialists who enter each office separately.

Conclusion

  1. The media plan is one of the most important documents in the preparation of an advertising campaign. And it describes the KPIs, the strategy, the target audience and the specific steps to be taken to execute the plan.
  2. Preparing a media plan is a complex process in which you need to collect a significant amount of data, analyze it and predict the effect that the planned campaign will have.
  3. The main stages of preparing a media plan at our agency are the following:
  • briefing and data collection,
  • analysis of information about the client, market, competitors, etc.,
  • formation of the concept and strategy of the advertising campaign,
  • forming a campaign effect forecast,
  • advertising cost planning and allocation of budgets between tools,
  • description of specific advertising formats.
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