An integral part of your advertising campaign is choosing where you are going to advertise. Which marketing and advertising channels can give you the best results for your campaign investment? The right media channels help you reach high intent consumers, encouraging conversions. Choosing the wrong channels can waste your time and money.

But, how do you choose among so many channels available? Should you advertise on social media? Should you run display ads? There are many “experts” out there claiming this or that is the right channel to do. In reality, the best media channel is the best for your strategy.

This post will give you an overview of advertising media channels and tips on choosing the right mix for your campaign. Let’s get started.

What do you mean by advertising media?

Definition of  Media Channel

Advertising media consist of the media channels you use for communicating a promotional message.

Examples of advertising media can include online banners, billboards, print media. When media planners and marketers create their marketing campaigns, they weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type of advertising media.

The role of the advertising media channels

Marketers leverage different types of advertising media, creating a media mix. The media mix allows them to engage with different audiences in different ways. In online marketing, advertisers use advertising media on digital properties or in email marketing campaigns. Advertising media aims to catch the customer’s attention and encourage them to move down the purchasing funnel.

Some media channels are more expensive than others. Television, for example, is the most expensive. Even among online advertising, some advertising models are more expensive than others. That is why you should be very careful and evaluate which ones make the greatest impact for the least cost. More importantly, you should choose them based on the campaign’s goals and the channel’s capability to reach your target audience.

What is a media planner?

Media planners specialize in identifying which media platforms will advertise the client’s brand to the target audience. They work with media planning or advertising audience. A media planner chooses the media channels and creates a media plan to maximize the impact of the advertising.

Media planners work in advertising and marketing agencies and publishing houses. These marketing specialists know how to make the most return from the media plan. Their specific responsibilities include creating the media mix, coordinating ads, and monitoring the success of advertising campaigns.

How to get the most impact per exposure by media planning?

It all starts by designing the right media plan. Before you can choose the advertising channels, you need to know your goals and how you will achieve them. That includes knowing who your audience is, what budget you count on. Then you can choose what is the best media mix to achieve your objectives.

Here is a quick step-by-step from our article: What Is Media Planning? Essential Guide and Best Free Templates to Download

1. Define your goals

Write down what do you want to achieve with your media plan. To find out, look at the organization’s business goals and check how the campaign will align with them. Doing this will help you define the media goals for the campaign. Analyze your organization’s positioning in the market and the marketing problem your campaign will try to solve.

Remember to create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely), so you can track them with KPIs.

2. Define your target audience

Now that you know the What, it is time to define the Who. Who are you creating this campaign for? Gather as much information as you can about your target audience, their demographics, habits, and interests. Then craft the plan around your ideal buyer persona. The more you fine-tune your message, the better the results.

3. Think about your budget, frequency, and reach

At this stage, you have the perfect media plan idea, so it is time to know how much you can spend on your campaign. To determine a budget, start by considering how often you need to run ads for your audience to respond.

Finding the perfect frequency is critical. You want to hit that spot where your ad is repeated enough for the viewer to remember it without falling in the “oh no, that ad again.” At least ten exposures are needed to encourage action from a customer. But be careful; one too many repetitions and your engagement plummet.

4. Select the media channels

Now is the time to choose carefully where you are going to advertise. Consider which platforms you will use, methods, and their pricing models. Use the information you already know about your consumers and your campaign goals to select which channels can have the most impact with less cost.

5. Write the plan

Put everything into writing. A media plan should be as detailed as possible and measurable. Details like the number of impressions you need, the frequency, specific channels,  everything should be in your media plan. But don’t worry, you don’t need to write it from scratch. In the article, we mention that you can have a selection of free templates to download.

6. Monitor, measure, analyze. 

When running the campaign, analyze the goals and track engagement, conversions, and clicks you set in your media plan.

How to measure the impact of your campaign?

A lot of research and planning goes into your media buying strategy. The more refined your media plan, the better. However, without proper measurement, your efforts can be like shooting in the dark. How to measure the success of your media mix will depend largely on what you want to achieve with it. Here is our pick of the metrics you can’t miss:

Impressions

How many times are your ads served (how many people saw your ads)? Most publishers rate their ad space by thousand impressions (CPM). Cost per Mille (per 1000 impressions) is calculated by dividing the campaign’s cost by a thousand.

Cost per Mille: 1000 * cost/impressions

Clicks

The number of users that clicked your ad after seeing it. If you want to know how many times people click on your ad related to the number of times it is served, you need to measure click-through rate The click-through rate is calculated by dividing the number of impressions between the number of clicks.

CTR: (Impressions / clicks) * 100

For example, if your ad was served 20,000 times, and of those, 450 people clicked on it, your CTR is (20,000 /450) = 4.44%

CPC

This metric measures how much it costs each click on a campaign. It is calculated by dividing the total advertising cost of the campaign/ the total number of clicks. This will give you the average cost per click. To calculate the actual CPC, you need to factor in your competitor’s ad rank and your quality score in GoogleAds.

Average CPC: Total advertising cost of the campaign/ total number of clicks

Adwords quality score

Google uses this measure to assess the relevance of the keywords you target. They consider factors like the click-through rate, the quality of your landing page, and the keywords related to the ad.

Campaign Engagement

Campaign engagement consists of the sum of the total engagement taking place in an ad campaign. This metric considers a combination of interactions, not only clicks but shares, comments, and reactions.

Campaign Engagement Formula

Sum (total posts interactions) + (Sum (Campaign Clicks))

We can understand it better with an example. Your campaign consists of two ads, ad “A and ad “B.”

  • Ad “A” receives 300 reactions, 15 comments, and 100 clicks to the landing page.
  • Ad “B” receives 200 reactions, ten comments, and 50 clicks to your landing page.

The campaign engagement for this ad campaign will be the sum of this interaction for both ads: Sum (300+200+25) + (150) = 675

Conversions

Regardless of the platform you are using, conversion tracking is essential. Without it, you cannot understand how your channels are faring. You get the conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions between clicks on the ad.

Conversion rate = Total clicks/ conversions

For example, let’s say your ad got 450 clicks in a set time, and from these clicks, only 45 people finalized the action intended with the ad. Your conversion rate is 10%.

Types of advertising media channels

As we saw before, media planners should clarify the overall objectives behind their media campaign. Then they should consider which channel is the most appropriate for the type of advertisement they will run and the target audience. Here are the three most popular

Video advertising: pros and cons

The popularity of video advertising is growing. It is expected that 82% of internet traffic will be video. Not only do more people online watch videos but the amount of video content is increasing too.

Source

Video ads expanded to include website video ads, app video ads, and social media. As a result, media planners can serve their advertisements in an array of digital properties. Here are the pros and cons of online video advertising:

Pros

  • It is cheaper:  An online ad is cheaper than traditional media like television. A TV 30s ad prime time slot can cost over $100,000. A short video that can be skipped after the same 30s on YouTube can cost you $0.030, per view, with an average cost of reaching 100,000 viewers of $2000.
  • You have instant results: with online advertising, you can track the performance of your ad in real-time and can take action immediately.
  • Multiple formats: rich media ads come in several formats. You have reels, stories, and short shoppable videos besides video ads if you use social media.
  • Across devices and screens: online video ads are always with the consumer, on their phone and desktop. The ad can show everywhere there is a screen.
  • Global reach: online video gives you the possibility to expand your reach. You are not limited to local engagement (unless you want to).

Cons

  • Option to skip ad: this option significantly reduces the chances your user will view your ad twice. At least, you can set non-skippable or skip-after-30s ads.
  • Ads can be placed in the wrong slot: or next to the wrong content. Sometimes this happens. That’s why it is important to choose the right platform that will give you contextual targeting.

Audio – podcasts: pros and cons

Pros

The podcast is a newer form of audio medium that has been gaining momentum in recent years. It has an advantage over visual ads— the consumer doesn’t have to see the ad —. That gives an extra level of convenience for users. 54% of users will consider a product mentioned in a podcast. As 1 in 4 Americans listen to podcasts, the field has much to offer.

Cons

The other side of the coin with podcasts is that the listener is often occupied with other things, like driving, working, shopping. Additionally, it is difficult for an audio channel to illustrate a product.

Digital content – digital ads pros and cons

Digital ads have different formats, banner ads, interstitials, pop-ups, the list is long. In our guide, Ad Revenue: What Is and How to Increase it? You’ll find a detailed explanation of the different ad types. Here are the pros and cons of digital ads:

Pros

  • You can target specific segments: you can focus your ad in detail over a particular market segment, according to their location, gender, age, interests, and past purchases.
  • It is cheaper than offline advertising: digital ads are more cost-effective and offer a wider reach than traditional media like TV and print magazines.
  • You get accurate result statistics: ad networks and monetization platforms offer real-time tracking of the success of your ads.
  • Provides improved customer experience: the convenience of having an ad the consumer can click and buy instantly cannot be compared to traditional one-way advertising.
  • Features a wide range of formats: banners, half page, interstitial, in-app, the list is endless. There is an ad format for every marketing need.

Cons

  • Ad space is limited: the ad format requires your message to be short, bold, and catchy. Visuals are everything when it comes to catching the viewer’s attention.
  • The number of clicks decreases with the number of impressions: click-through rates are decreasing. At the beginning of digital advertising, it was fairly easy to entice users to click. Now you have to overcome ad blockers and users ignoring your hard work. Some ads are unpopular because they disrupt the user experience. The secret: make the ad enhance the user experience instead. 

How to Choose the Right Advertising Media?

A successful media plan requires creating a calculated strategy that enables you to reach the right user with the right message at the right time and via the right channel —within your budget—. While there isn’t a magic formula to know exactly which channel will give you the best result, you can increase your accuracy by thorough research.

Start by looking at your competitors.

Where does your competitor advertise? By conducting a competitive analysis, you can learn where you may get the best results. Look at the channels they are using, their ad formats, and their types. Do they rely most on video or display ads? Do they use social media? Since you share the same audience, you can get helpful insights into your brand by looking at their strategy.

Do you know your audience?

This is the most important step. You should know where your audience is, where they shop. Most importantly, pay attention to what they value most, what they are looking for from your product or service, and align your message to them.

The importance of the buyer persona

A buyer persona is a construction of your ideal customer. It has a name, an occupation, interests, and expectations. Buyer personas enable you to understand better the needs of your customers. You can tailor your marketing efforts towards the right user when you write for a specific person instead of a generic customer base.

Buyer personas help marketers understand how buyers go through the customer journey. They help you attract and retain more targeted users.

Know your budget

You should budget carefully. Use your media plan to fine-tune yourself as much as possible. Figure out how much money you have for your campaign. This will save you much hassle and heartache when choosing your channels. Then you can prioritize the channels that will give you the best results.

Keep in mind that spending a lot of money on your campaign doesn’t guarantee the best results. To avoid wasting money, craft your message carefully, so your ads get through to the right user.

Set SMART goals and measure them

It is worthwhile to say it again, knowing what you want to achieve is critical for success. To achieve that, ensure your goals are as SMART as possible:

Instead of stating “increasing our sales”, try: “ increasing our sales in the X segment by 30% in the next quarter”. The more realistic and attainable your goals, the better results.

How to Mix the Advertising Media Channels Right

You cannot give all advertising channels the same weight in your budget. Prioritizing your channels isn’t easy. Here is an easy score system that can help you:

  • Find out the impact of your digital marketing channel

This metric will tell you what kind of results you can expect from this channel. When you implement a campaign or strategy, you want to make the most impact. High impact channels bring results quickly. Assign a number from 1 to 10 for the possible results of a campaign based on case studies.

  • What is your channel’s confidence?

The next metric you need to measure is the channel’s confidence. Taking risks with a channel you haven’t used can have its rewards, but investing in channels you trust is best. Again, assign a score from 1 to 10 to the confidence of each channel.

  • Understand how easy your channel is.

This metric will tell you what kind of results you can expect from this channel.

An easy channel is one where you can quickly and efficiently implement your campaign with your resources. A difficult channel requires you to acquire skills, add staff or resources. Again, give a score to each of your channels.

Once you have all scores assigned, add them to find your final score. Then prioritize the channels based on the score. The channels with the highest scores will be the ones you should give more of your investment.

Pro-tip: use search and programmatic advertising

According to a study, by the end of 2021, 88% of digital display marketing in the US will be done via programmatic advertising. Programmatic advertising can simplify advertising and target prospects more effectively.

Programmatic advertising overview

Programmatic advertising is the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to buy and sell advertising in real-time. 

Instead of negotiating ads directly between publishers and advertisers, ad networks were created. These are platforms that gather unsold inventory from inventories and sell it to advertisers at a discount rate.

Ad networks and other monetization platforms use real-time bidding (RTB) to make transactions in real-time when it gets to load a web page. When a visitor enters a website, a request is sent to an ad exchange with information about the website. This information is matched against available advertisers, and a real-time auction happens between the advertisers. The highest bidder gets the ad space instantly.

Programmatic advertising, especially if including contextual marketing, enables you better target your users. That means only visitors who are in your target audience can be served the ad.

How CodeFuel simplifies the media mix management

CodeFuel is a complete monetization platform that leverages the power of contextual advertising to reach the maximum impact on your campaigns. The platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver intent-based ads.

You won’t need to endlessly pour over statistics to find the perfect channels to deliver the best results. CodeFuel platform does it for you. Start monetizing today.