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Advertising Media Plan : What is it and how to create it correctly In this article we propose to create a media plan advertising for your company defining basic concepts and some phases through which we must go for its elaboration.

Although the process is more complex, we will outline the essential protocol to outline a system or starting point.

What is an advertising media plan?

A media plan is one of the most important parts in the dissemination of an advertising campaign carried out by a marketing agency, with which they will be in charge of conceive, analyze and select the channels through which they will transmit the information targeted to the right audience at the right time.
Why make a media plan?
Because the success of a product depends on several factors such as the presentation of brilliant ideas to sell the product, the budget available when creating the product presentation, the launch time, etc.

It is very important to know how to make a media plan, since it will result in a good or bad campaign and the benefits would be affected in turn by the decisions we have made during the development of our media campaign.

Normally, the media you want to use for your strategy are not entirely at your disposal, so it is important to have a media plan to integrate correctly into your programming. In addition, a good media plan will allow you to;

Efficiently manage your budget.
Set interesting dates for your posts.
You can negotiate prices according to your budget.
Thanks to the measurement of results, you will be able to improve your strategy adapting it to your needs.
It allows you to plan your content so that the bull does not catch you.
By anticipating the key dates of the year (Christmas, Easter, etc.), you will be able to get much cheaper prices since when these dates approach, prices will rise.

Own media
They are those created by the brands themselves in which they are governed by their own rules. Using them usually does not require additional investment because they have already made the initial investment in their development or creation. Websites, corporate blogs, ebooks , newsletters and infographics fall into this category , although the variants are multiple. The great advantage of own media? That brands have total control over them . Profiles on social networks and platforms could be seen as their own media. However, in most of them the rules are set by a third party: the owner of the social network. For example, your fan page on Facebook it is a means of its own. But, its operation depends on the rules of Facebook .
paid media
They are those that we buy and take multiple forms, from an advertisement on a web page to a radio spot through a television spot . The paid media we have not earned by ourselves, so regardless of the quality of our products and services, the audience we aspire to connect with will read, see or listen to commercial messages about them. The paid media formula is the most used by advertisers. Although the newsletter (its content and design) are a means of its own, email marketing or mass mailing is a means of payment . SMS campaigns and paid advertising on social networks also come in here. Digital ads are also a paid medium.
earned media
These means are linked to what we traditionally know as public relations . A company hires a public relations agency, the agency creates a campaign to promote a product or service, broadcasts it, and hopes that the media, both traditional and digital, will pick up on the story. Media coverage of that story would fall under the category of earned media because the company did not pay to have a presence in it, at least directly . Conversations, interactions, communities and added value gained in social networks also fall into the category : word of mouth . These media are often shared with the audience.
means of exchange
The means of exchange are the fruit of collaboration . How do they work? Two or more companies agree to collaborate on their respective corporate blogs, to create a series of videos, to share the same space at a fair or to share a microphone at a conference . The variants of this form of collaboration are endless.

Media plan example: 12 keys to creating the ideal one for your business

What should you keep in mind when preparing your media plan?
1. Keep the objectives clear in your media plan
Make it clear what you intend to achieve with your media plan:

Make your brand known
Win followers
web traffic
Sell ​​more
Customer loyalty
Promote a certain product
Position your brand in a certain way

2. Defined target audiences
If you have several key audiences, develop a specialized media plan for each one:

Potential customers
Government or non-governmental institutions

3. Know your audience
Email marketing could be a great tool to get information from your subscribers . Knowing your audience will give you the keys. Above all, you should ask yourself when setting out your media plan: through which channels does your audience usually connect the most? What preferences do they have when connecting? What are their preferred means to search for information related to your business?

Get hold of demographic data of your audiences but also with their interests, tastes and hobbies . The more information you have about them, the better you can focus your plan.
4. Structured messages
Think carefully about what you want to communicate to each of these audiences : the what, the bottom line.
5. Strategic planning of the means to be used and how to use them
Once you have defined why (objectives), to whom (audiences), and what, it is time to define how you will communicate those messages. Develop a strategy for each goal. If you also test the effectiveness of each medium before launching, much better.
6. Effective means
Clarify yourself and based on your objectives, audiences, message and strategy, define the media you will use . You can guide yourself with the media classification that we have outlined before (above). Always think about which are the most effective means to communicate your message , the most similar to your audience and your strategy. Here you answer the last question: where you will expose your message.

Also make sure that they are means that add to the construction of your brand and that you can easily measure. Digital media have the advantage that they can offer you minute-by-minute reports , in real time, on how your actions are going.

Dare to combine traditional and digital channels ; paid, earned, trade, and owned. There are many possibilities that can be adapted to your times and budget.
7. Clear channels
Within each medium, there are many channel options that you should compare and assess. To do this, you can ask them to send you basic data about their audience, dissemination, editorial calendar, rates, formats, conditions, etc.

In this sense, it is convenient for each type of media or category (press, radio, TV, cinema, online, magazines...) to take into account the classification that we want to give it internally . Assign 3 criteria (according to the company's advertising strategy) that channels in that category must meet:

Selection: aspects to specify such as the penetration of the medium, coverage levels, geographic segmentation, commercial possibilities (inserts, supplements, specials).
Periodicity: if we want to impact at specific moments or not, content media or daily, monthly, biweekly, bimonthly circulation.
Formats: depending on the budget item and the type of campaign, if conventional formats or special formats are going to be marked, if notoriety or budget adjustment is sought.

8. Defined formats
Look for the formats that best suit your goals and budget . Generally, the most visible and complex ad formats are the most expensive. Often the position and creativity of the ad is more important than its size.

Think about how you are going to communicate your message : texts, video, ads... There are many possibilities and types of content that you can share.
9. Budget optimized
You must make a closed budget that includes all the media that you will use for your media plan. Set a budget and an amount for each means of communication , so you will make sure you have everything under control. Negotiate with each medium and get the best rates, they can give you a discount for early contracting, or for the long duration of the campaign.
10. Realistic times
Now that you know the channels, media and formats, decide the dates and frequency of the insertions.

It is important to analyze and take into account the duration of the campaign, in which months it will take place, whether or not there are local or national holidays…. if there are special periods such as sales, if it is high, medium or low season; if it is a season of high sales turnover or low turnover.

These variables, added to the variables specific to the sector in which we operate and the variables specific to the company -linked to the characteristics of the target and the selection of media- will help us define the optimal days on which we will launch the impacts of the different means to achieve the maximum coverage, affinity, number of impacts and possible return .
11. Design a measurable media plan
One of the most important points of the media plan is to know if the efforts have paid off . You must analyze the results, at the end of the campaign and during it , to be able to change and rectify things that are not working. Follow up on each of the contracted channels to find out the effectiveness of each format. In the event that they do not work or do not reach the set objective, you should try to optimize and make decisions to improve the set results.
12. Diversity and integration
On the one hand, it is key that your actions in different media are in tune. Through whatever channel it is, your audiences can access the message you want to communicate effectively. A well-planned media plan supports a 360-degree communication campaign that covers all fronts.

And, on the other, the diversity of channels is essential to achieve success. Each new channel is a new possibility to reach more people. Don't waste them. Just as essential is not to be repetitive and adapt your content to what each medium has to offer you. Each medium has specific characteristics and a potential that you can take advantage of.
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