Grow Your Business With Effective Media Buying This Spring

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Have you ever wondered who is behind the banner ads on the websites that you frequent most? When a brand receives a marketing budget, a segment of that budget typically goes towards paid advertising, and this is where media buying comes in. The role of media buying is to get brands in front of their target market, and is an essential step in the advertising process. When done correctly, media buys can help brands achieve optimized reach in key audiences by helping to educate them, and making it simpler for the customers to discover new products or brands.

In today's rapidly evolving digital realm, media buying holds an essential position in creating successful marketing strategies, and facilitates the interplay between advertisers and audiences. Since technology is constantly shaping how consumers access information, media buying has grown beyond the conventional limits and includes a wide spectrum of platforms and channels. Read ahead to learn how you can leverage the renewed customer engagement behaviour this spring to grow your business with effective media buying!

What Is Media Buying?

The term ‘media buying' refers to the process of buying ad space for a business's marketing campaigns, and covers paid marketing efforts in both traditional and digital media placements. Traditional marketing channels refer to offline platforms such as radio, TV, billboards, bus ads, airport ads, direct mail, and phone. Examples of digital marketing platforms are YouTube, Search, Facebook, Amazon eCommerce, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Google AdMob.  Media buying manages the full scope of purchasing and placing these diverse ad types. The purpose of media buying is to identify and acquire ad space on channels that are relevant to the target audience and attract the most exposure at the ideal time for the least amount of spend.  

A skilled media buyer can help a business determine where to place ads, enable a cost-effective and goal-oriented media mix, execute campaigns, and utilize performance data to optimize results. There are three ways in which media buying can be done:

  1. Direct Media Buying: This refers to media buying that involves purchasing advertising space from individual media companies such as publishing companies or ad sellers. For instance, a media buyer can contact a physical newspaper or website, request a media kit, and choose and purchase ad options. It is possible to secure both traditional and digital media placements with direct media buying.
  2. Programmatic Media Buying: This involves purchasing digital ads with the aid of an automated ad-buying platform, such as AI and algorithm-enabled real-time bidding on ad space that matches consumer profiles. In place of choosing a single media outlet, a media buyer will sign up with a demand-side platform (DSP) and specify campaign details. The DSP in turn purchases ad stock on an ad exchange or through an ad network using a process referred to as real-time bidding.
  3. Manual Bidding: This type of media buying utilizes bidding on ad space and managing bids directly through an ad platform.

What Is A Media Buyer In Marketing?

Media buyers handle the media buying process with feedback and data from the media planning team. The media planning team provides information on marketing goals and target audience preference, and with this information media buyers execute the actual purchase of the advertising space. A central component of the media buyer position is negotiating with the sites, networks, and other channels that they want the ads to appear on. Media buyers must also ensure they are purchasing the correct placements at the correct times and for the correct time span within decided budgets.

It is essential that media buyers utilize marketing performance tools to track key performance metrics and delivery to make sure that the ad is positioned in accordance with the agreement, and that it is meeting the campaign goals.

Media Planning Vs. Media Buying

There are a few differences between these two components of marketing. Media planning encompasses conducting media research and using your business's marketing goals, marketing budget allocation, target audience information, and central campaign messages to create a media plan for a particular marketing initiative or campaign. Your media plan will decide your campaign's media mix and distinguish key channels for paid media, owned media, and earned media tactics.

The process of media planning focuses on forming an audience, conducting market research, deciding on a budget, and building out goals. Media planners work with their clients to ascertain who the target audience is for their offering, the channels that the audience uses and at what times, and the type of messaging that the audience most likely will engage with. With such information, the media planning team then selects which channel they want to purchase ad space on and for what price it should be bought.

Once the media plan is ready, your media planner will submit it to the company's media buyer. The media buyer will be responsible for executing key elements of the paid media portion of the plan, and will focus on picking and vetting media outlets and purchasing ad space. Media buyers connect with their correspondents across the agreed-upon media sites, and these are often sales or account executives whose responsibility is to seek relevant advertisers. The media buyer and their counterparts negotiate placement, time, and cost.

In media buying, a media buyer manages campaign deadlines, negotiates with vendors, and monitors campaign performance. In some instances, companies employ separate media planning teams and media buying teams who collaborate to plan campaigns. Small businesses may also delegate both of these tasks to the same member of a marketing staff or a media team.

Selecting The Right Platforms And The Right Time Slots For Your Business

Selecting the right platforms and time slots for effective media buying involves a combination of research, analysis, and experimentation. 

Review Media Plan

It is essential to review your media plan keeping in mind the campaign's target audiences, marketing goals, ad spend allocation, key performance indicators (KPIs), and target media mix. You won't finalize the ad creative until later in the process, however, it is important to start considering the types of ads that you prefer to run. For instance, if your plan involves running video ads, focus on targeting online publications that allow the format.

Build Target List

Develop a list including media outlets, ad agencies, and ad vendors. If your media plan consists of direct and programmatic ad placements, it is useful to list media buying platforms and note the pricing.

Develop And Transfer RFPs

A request for proposal, or RFP, can help simplify the ad-purchasing process by delegating some of the work to media outlets and ad agencies. Your RFP will include advertising campaign details such as your business goals, target audiences, estimated budget, KPIs, and a response closing date. Vendors will then reply with a tailored campaign proposal centered on these particular goals.

Assess Options And Buy Media

Compile and review the RFP replies, and organize data values such as tactic, audience, cost, and estimated KPI performance into a spreadsheet. Including these vendors in your target inventory can help you compare the cost of these options to guide placements or agency contracts. Once the data is organized, compare the options, choose a cost-effective set of ad placements, and ensure that your selected media mix aligns with the specifications included in your media plan.

Dispatch Insertion Orders

An insertion order (IO) refers to the legal agreement between the ad vendor and the organization that is placing an ad. It includes the cost, run dates, ad specifications, and data on KPIs. 

Build Creative

Work with your account managers and creative team to develop the creative assets and position your ads with vendors in accordance to the deadlines included in your IO.

Track Results

Oversee campaign performance data such as click-through rates and conversions. Ensure to make any adjustments to your creative assets to maximize the results. If your vendor confirms certain performance metrics, double-check that your campaigns are completed on the promise, and if they don't, contact your vendor to negotiate a make-good.

Why Is Media Buying Important?

Successful media buying works beyond the actual transaction of money for ad space, in which buying teams can create significant relationships with media owners that lead to improved reach with less investment. This allows marketing teams to increase conversions and exhibit high ROI to clients and stakeholders. The following are some key benefits associated with using an experienced media buying team and process:

Land The Best Deal

Media buying professionals have a vast network of relationships, which they can use to their advantage to maximize the value of your investment. They are well-versed in negotiation techniques and common industry standards, for example, what the average cost of leads is or what brand exposure should cost. They can also extend the benefits of an agreement, and in advertising, the terms “value-added” or “added value” refer to ad space or impressions added to an agreement without charge. Seasoned media buyers can negotiate prices to increase reach or frequency, and can get value added at media channels they have done work with in the past.

Procure The Best Slots

Media buyers stay educated on trends and world events that may potentially influence ad availability, and negotiate ad placements into the contract to make sure that the ads are delivered as agreed upon.

Plan Campaigns With Best Practices

Media buyers know which strategies will effectively lead to conversions, and have the experience working across various publishers and channels. They have the experience to bring the best practices that they learned in previous campaigns, and can use them in negotiating ad placements for increased returns.

Tips For Effective Media Buying

Media buying doesn't have to be complicated when you know how to properly plan, use data and insights, and the right tools to make it manageable. The following are some tips for successful media buying:

Strategize Around KPIs

Tracking ad performance and comparing it can be tricky. To simplify the process, select advertising placements where you can accurately monitor the specified KPIs outlined in your media strategy, and establish clarity on how and when ad vendors will deliver performance metrics. After, schedule calendar alerts to align with the reporting schedules of every ad vendor.

Harness The Power Of RFPs

A Request For Proposal (RFP) helps to narrow down the media buyer's options for the best possible fit. You can also think of an RFP as another means of vendor vetting. Depending on the structure of the RFP you submit, vendors will offer standardized responses to specific questions, which helps put all the vendors on a level playing field. A well-planned RFP can simplify the media buying process, where setting RFP parameters can fast-track things.

Weigh Media Buying Agencies

Media buying agencies can help with media plan strategy, vendor selection, performance tracking, and offer insights on ad creative regarding ineffective campaigns. Since media buying agencies purchase significant volumes of ads, they can have more leverage in negotiating media buys when compared to an individual media buyer.

At CAYK Marketing, our media buying team will deliver relevant and targeted ads that meet your campaign goals, whether the goal is to increase conversion rates, bolster sales, improve brand awareness, or all of these! Contact us today to learn more about our media buying strategies.

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