If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. - Red Adair
There is plenty of occasions in life when a do-it-yourself scenario may work just fine. Thinking of installing a tile backsplash in your kitchen? YouTube will hook you right up. Thinking of making an artsy-craftsy wreath for your front door? Pinterest is full of ideas!
Of course, the internet is also full of images of failed projects. That’s how it goes when it comes to DIY - your endeavor may work out great or it may turn out to be the stuff of nightmares. If you’re not a natural-born crafter, maybe you should just buy that wreath at the craft fair and support a small business while you’re at it. They have a particular expertise, and there’s nothing that irks a gifted crafter or artist more than someone walking by their booth at the craft fair and saying, “Shoot, I could do that.”
I think I’ve taken the craft analogy as far as it can go, but the same holds true for many aspects of marketing and advertising. You could call it an art, but it’s really more of a science. Everything we do at Leighton Interactive is backed by solid data. This includes media planning, placement, and tracking.
What is Media Planning?
Media planning involves determining the best outlets (and when and how) to engage for optimal results when it comes to a targeted marketing campaign. Although earned media does deserve a place at the table, too, paid media is where you are likely to see the biggest results. Types of paid media may include banner ads, social ads, and pay-per-click campaigns. When you walk into the grocery store, there is nothing random about which items are placed at eye-level on the shelf and which ones require you to contort yourself a bit to find them. Similarly, digital media placement is no accident. The right approach involves detailed planning and lots of know-how. There are countless ways to reach your potential clients - how do you know the right outlet, the right time, the right message? That’s where a media planner comes in. Media planning is pretty complex (lots to know!), which is why most companies do outsource it to a media planning agency.
How Do I Know I’m Getting My Money’s Worth?
You want to increase your brand awareness. You’ve got products and services to sell. And, you have some concrete goals (for example, “increasing conversions by 20%”). You also have a budget that’s not limitless. So, you need to take the ROI into account. A media planner/buyer will develop a solid understanding of your goals, your message, and your target demographic (and how best to reach them within your budget).
And, perhaps most importantly, they’ll be able to show you concrete data showing how well your paid media plan worked. Some of the data may include:
How many people you reached
The level of engagement (how many people clicked/responded)
Which outlets produced the biggest impact
Ultimately, you'll gain a level of comfort knowing that your marketing plan, via paid media, is achieving the results you want to see.
I Still Think I Could Do This Myself
Still need some convincing? An experienced agency will have access to tools and will be able to open doors that a novice would not be able to access. They’ll know the best outlets for your message and, moreover, they probably already have lots of contacts associated with those outlets. They’ll know how to negotiate pricing on your behalf.
Additionally, a seasoned media planner will be able to determine what isn’t working and tweak it accordingly (different wording, different image, etc.). They’ll make sure that you get bang for your buck.
Who Can Keep Up?
Considering the complexities of developing and executing a paid media plan, savvy companies are smart to leave it to the experts. Think about how fast social media changes. For example, Facebook has reduced the prominence of business posts in our newsfeeds. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth advertising on Facebook. Every platform has its own requirements and those can change in the blink of an eye, too. And does anyone over the age of 30 really understand Snapchat?
If you’re not comfortable dabbling in the intricate world of media planning and buying, seek out a media placement agency that can help. That way, you can focus on your business and know that you’re in good hands when it comes to your digital outreach and marketing plan.
You let a mechanic work on your car ... why not let marketing experts help with media planning, placement, and tracking?
As the Vice President, I build strong, personal relationships with each and every client that partners with Leighton Interactive. I love helping clients achieve their goals, dreams, and visions in ways they never thought possible. My daily schedule consists of meeting with clients, communicating client information to the inbound marketing team, and managing account managers. When I'm not busy with client work, I love to relax and spend time with my two amazing kids.