How Does Media Buying Work? Complete Guide
Marketing & Advertising

How Does Media Buying Work? Complete Guide

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For a company to be visible, it must broadcast its messages on the right communication channels. This is where media buying and media planning come into play. Indeed, what is the use of creating advertising if nobody sees or hears it?

Of course, creativity has a huge role to play in the success of an ad, but the visibility of the ad is just as essential.

This visibility depends on the media in which you broadcast your messages: newspapers, TV spots, magazines, radio spots, online banners, Pre-Roll and Mid-Roll on YouTube, partnerships with podcasts, etc. In other words: you need to do media planning to deliver advertising effectively.

To help you with media planning, this article explains how media buying and space buying on the web works. We present you all the steps to follow in order to buy advertising space.

And to go further, check out our complete guide on media planning.

Step One: Know Your Audience

The first step in media buying is to know who you want to reach. A good way to do this is to create a profile that reflects the personality of your potential customers. Ask yourself:

  • How old are they?
  • Are you targeting women, men, or both?
  • What is their average income?
  • Etc.

Knowing your target audience will help you start your media planning and determine the best advertising spaces to use to deliver your messages.

Step Two: Research Your Audience

Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to do some market research. This step will allow you to better understand your audience and their consumption habits:

  • Do they watch television?
  • Read magazines?
  • Listen to podcasts?
  • Spend time on YouTube?
  • Etc.

Understanding your audience will allow you to know where to broadcast your messages and therefore buy the right advertising spaces to establish your media planning.

Step Three: Set Your Goals

What is the objective you want to achieve by buying advertising space? Do you want to improve your brand awareness? Increase your sales?

Setting your objectives is even more important if you decide to work with a media agency. We can put you in touch with a communication agency in the United Kingdom.

These objectives will allow the agency to propose to you a relevant media planning. Indeed, some advertising spaces are more adapted than others to reach certain objectives.

Step Four: Plan Your Strategy

Once you have defined your objectives, you can establish a strategy, i.e. have a global view of your media planning.

Your media plan should contain information about the channel where you want to buy media space. Also, think about the media you will use and the budget you have.

Indeed, publishing an advertisement on a media has a cost independent of the creation of the advertisement as such.

This is what we call the media buying part. In addition to investing in the creation of your ad, you will also have to invest in its distribution. Don’t forget to take this into account in your budget and in your media planning.

Also, make sure you choose your media well. This will help you create a strategy that contains all the necessary details and enough information to build an effective media plan.

Keep this information to create a media buying history that you can refer to. This will save you research time for future media buys.

These documents will also help you execute your media strategy and plan throughout the year.

Step Five: Putting Your Plan Into Action

Now that you have a detailed plan, it’s time to put it into action.

First, contact the media outlets you’ve identified and negotiate the price of your media buy. Keep a timeline and budget in front of you during negotiations.

Make sure you get the best rates and ask for any bonuses or add-ons they are willing to give you if you choose to work with them.

Again, keep an eye on your budget and media planning. As your media buys are executed, be sure to track the results and evaluate how your plan is working.

If you find that you are not meeting your goals, don’t be afraid to adjust your plan if necessary.

Step Six: Prepare for Launch

This step is perhaps the most exciting because this is where your media planning comes into play. But the work isn’t over.

A good digital media buying agency will monitor the execution of your plan to make sure it meets your expectations and delivers the results you want.

Final Step: Measure Results

How is your ad running? Did it meet the objectives you defined in your media plan? This is the time to follow up with your media agency.

If things are working as expected, you may want to consider strengthening your campaign by buying more ad space. If things aren’t working, now is a good time to evaluate the flaws and find new solutions.

Either way, if you’re looking to buy ad space or web space, Sortlist can help you find the right agency.


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