We have paid media strategy down to a science. While we do recommend partnering with a digital media agency such as Anvil to support building a strategic media plan for your marketing, we want to share our expertise on building a simplified but effective paid media strategy. Below is a guiding overview of how a sample outline could help define an impactful go-to-market activation.
- Goals & Objectives
Might be an obvious start, but having a clear focus of what the resulting outcome needs to be will define the rest of the plan. What is the big picture purpose (goal), and specific objectives that the plan will be tackling as a measure of success? Can be both quantitative and qualitative. For example, is the intent to increase awareness of your business in a new market, grow sales and immediate return on investment, lead generation…etc.?
- Landscape and opportunity assessment
- Competitive Activity
Having an eye on competition and understanding where they are active within the media landscape will help outline the opportunity. Running an assessment, it could not only help with differentiation tactics in the media strategy, but more importantly define how aggressive you may need to consider for impactful share of voice and budgeting. Ultimately, finding a potential white space opportunity in ad platforms and placements where high audience and low competition meet are ideal.
- Trends & Forecasting
Leverage industry knowledge to understand any key factors to consider for targeting, best practices to consider such as what other competitive strategies are being used, and benchmarking KPI (key performance indicator) expectations. Plan for seasonality, always on, or a hybrid media schedule to capture the when and how audiences would be most engaged to your ads.
Per the objectives and campaign type, defining who the core audience to focus your ads on need to be aligned. This could be broad (less refined targeting and open to mass reach) vs. highly segmented with persona and interest-based attributes if a product or service is specific to a niche market.
*Available CRM, custom audience lists and lookalike audiences are recommended for amplified similar targeted reach.
- Platforms & Tactical Formats
The “where”! Matching the audience to where they connect across digital is an important step. It is crucial to understand what platforms cater to the most opportunity in on-target reach and engagement. You wouldn’t want to waste valuable budget and hurt goals by placing ads in spaces that perhaps are low to convert or have minimum KPI returns. In addition, certain platforms perform best for various objective types considering the formats that they serve and how engaged audiences are. A few examples of many are social media, Display advertising within Google Display Network / programmatic DMPs / or various online publications, video platforms such as YouTube and streaming platforms, Search ads on Google & Bing.
Now that you have selected where, the formats need to match to convey the best available communication or action you’re looking to achieve. Video ads have a certain impact or limitation on engagement vs promoted image ad on social or display advertising for example, so depending on the ability to create and what platform format types are available think through how to best serve the message or call to action.
- Creative needs
This may adjust the tactical format consideration based on the ability to create various ad types. Not all advertisers have access to video production for example, and would need to then consider how to maximize only image ads to spec of each platform format.
Audience targeting has a large impact as well. Creative visuals and copy should reflect not only the type of audience the ads will be serving towards but also what the intended outcome is determined to be needed. These could be generating an awareness build to increase brand lift with general branding messaging (think top to mid funnel), or immediate conversions such as an eCommerce brand and shopping campaign with a call-to-action incentive.
A/B ad testing is a common practice to consider when evaluating what ultimately performs best with your campaigns and could help further refine creative to be most efficient and effective on objectives.
- Budget allocation
Break down the budget allocation by assessing the opportunity to effectively complete the objectives, reach and frequency goals, and overall cost and/or pricing models of each platform. Pricing models range from CPM (cost per thousand) impressions, cost per views, PPC (pay per click) such as in Google Search ads, CPA (cost per acquisition), and others creating an importance in evaluating how each would tie together for efficiency and threshold of price per objective.
For more information on paid media strategy and how to reach your audience even better, contact Anvil today.