Best Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2024

Best Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business in 2024

Here comes the holiday season, with plenty of opportunities for marketing and e-commerce. 2024​ is entering its final quarter. But beyond that, how can you make the most of these last months?

In this post

This post will explore core strategies you can apply whether your business is geared for B2B or B2C if you are a small or medium company. We’ve prepared a top marketing strategy. you can use to finish the year with a bang

What Is a Marketing Strategy?

Marketing strategy is an umbrella term for a long-term approach and a forward-looking general plan for an organization to achieve a competitive advantage by understanding and meeting customers’ needs.

A marketing strategy is a broad strategy that includes the company positioning, the ad creative, strategic partners, the marketing mix, the channels you use, and the tactics you implement.

The strategy is what used to be called “branding.” It also includes its value proposition, the key brand messaging, target audience and customer demographics, and other high-level elements.

Difference between a marketing strategy and marketing tactics

Marketing tactics are part of a broader marketing strategy. Marketing tactics are the specific ways you choose to use to implement your comprehensive marketing strategy. For instance, you can have a content strategy for social media and then have specific tactics for each channel.

When you are developing a marketing strategy, you should follow a top-down order, from general to specifics:

Difference between Marketing Strategy and Marketing Tactic

Tactics are precise ways to grow your business included in a marketing plan’s broad set of marketing strategies.

Marketing Strategies vs. Marketing Plans

Too often, you will hear marketers and laypeople talking about marketing strategies and plans as the same thing. To do efficient work, you need to know where you want to go and how you will get there. This is the difference between your marketing strategy and your marketing plan.

A marketing strategy is your organization’s approach to achieving your competitive advantage. The marketing plan defines the activities and steps that will help you achieve them.

The strategy answers the question, “what do we need the marketing activities to achieve and why?. The plan responds to the when and how you will reach the goals defined on the strategy.

As for the question: which one do you need as a marketing team? You need both.

Here are the main differences between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan:


You should create a marketing strategy before starting marketing work as it sets the ground for your campaigns. Since the marketing strategy is encompassing, it shouldn’t change significantly for each campaign. A quarterly evaluation can help you make the necessary adjustments.

The marketing plan is created after the marketing strategy. You can have different marketing plans for each campaign or program. The plan should include other dates and milestones to complete.


The purpose of the marketing strategy is to understand the marketing goals of your business, meaning what your product or service needs to reach the right customers. A marketing strategy keeps everybody aligned with those goals and gets the most value for your offerings.

The marketing plan aims to help the team visualize when and how you will accomplish those goals. The marketing plan sets the timelines and conducts your campaigns and programs to align them with marketing and business goals.


A marketing strategy usually consists of the following:

  • Company vision and goals
  • Marketing goals
  • Initiatives
  • Positioning
  • Brand message
  • Buyer persona
  • Competitive landscape

The marketing plan consists of the following components:

  • The campaign goals
  • A timeline with milestones
  • The channels you will use
  • The budget
  • Activities
  • Dependencies

Why does my company need a marketing strategy?

Companies that try to get by without a marketing strategy often lose track of the vision, the goals, and the pain points the product solves. When this happens, the tactics can be erratic and lose effectiveness.

So a marketing strategy is not a static document that you hang on the wall. It is a dynamic process of discovering the marketing high-level goals and objectives and how to achieve them.

Without a marketing strategy, any campaign will be like shooting in the dark.

What are The 4 “P’s” in Marketing Strategy?

The 4 Ps of marketing is a model to define the components of the marketing mix when you take a new product or service to market. The 4 Ps refer to price, product, promotion, and place. These four factors are involved in the marketing of a product or service.

When you integrate all these marketing strategies into the marketing mix, organizations can consider all essential factors.

Price refers to how much your product costs for the customer to buy. The price of your product will depend on your competitors, the demand, the production cost for the product, and what consumers want to spend for it. This factor also includes the payment models.

Product is what your business provides to the target audience. It can be a product or a service.

Promotion involves the actions to let the company’s target market know about the product or service. Promotional activities include PR campaigns, social media, and content marketing.

Place refers to where people buy your product or service. It may involve a physical location, like a store,  or a digital one, like an eCommerce or marketplace channel.

10 Marketing strategies you need for 2024

  • Optimize for Google’s Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are new metrics that form part of Google’s Page Experience Update.

The metrics will measure site load time, interactivity, and content stability and probably impact search rankings.

Besides the already known factors of a site being mobile-friendly, not having intrusive ads, providing HTTPS security, and safe browsing, Google considers anything that could annoy a user from the page.

Therefore, if you optimize your site for Core Web Vitals, you may be ahead on enhancing the user experience. 

  • Prepare for cookie-less marketing.

In 2022 a significant change is coming for marketers: the end of third-party cookies. Organizations need to start focusing on building their list and gathering first-party data. The phasing out of third-party cookies will change how we target and track digital ads

 “Organizations need to start focusing on building their list and gather first-party data to comply with the new regulations in 2024” CodeFuel. [Click to Tweet]

  • Focus on customer retention

It is known that it is cheaper to keep existing customers happy than to acquire new ones. Loyalty incentives, push notifications, and rewards can nurture an existing customer relationship and give it the impulse needed to convert. Mobile interactions, SMS, and mobile marketing are other ways to reach and remind your customers of your offers and promotions.

  • Create an omnichannel marketing strategy

Another trend is to combine multiple channels—for instance, social commerce. In 2020, Instagram and Facebook launched shoppable posts, which enable users to shop directly on the platforms.

Instagram and Facebook shoppable posts


Implementing a multiple-channel strategy that includes social media and digital ads can increase your chances of reaching the customer.

  • Build customer trust

After the pandemic, consumers became more selective of where they spent their money. Consumers buy from brands they can trust, share their values, and meet their needs. Building trust requires consistency in keeping your brand’s promise to your customers.

“Trust and integrity are fundamental to driving market momentum”(Harvard Business Review)

  • Optimize for voice search

Voice search is gaining momentum as consumers used voice-enabled devices while they were at home during the pandemic. Therefore, brands could gain a lot from optimizing for voice search.

How do you do it? Focus on understanding the long-tail keywords your customers use when asking questions or making requests to their voice devices.

  • Go Live

Video marketing and social video are the most significant trends going on now. Just look at TikTok, with over 500 million users. Since social media videos are more informal, they offer a chance to brands to let their hair down a bit, for example, with hashtag challenges.

Another part of this video trend is live streaming. According to the latest statistics (TechJury):

  • 96% of people say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
  • 79% say a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a piece of software or an app.
  • It is expected the live streaming market will reach $247 billion by 2027.
  • Social media videos generate 1200% more shares than texts and images.
  • Organizations using video have 41% more traffic from searches.
  • Video increases the chance of purchasing on mobile for 40% of consumers.

Live streaming started peaking during the pandemic as a way for businesses to keep the relationship with their customers, and it is not slowing down.

  • Use retailer media networks

Online retailers like Amazon and Walmart grew from the changes brought by the pandemic. Fueled by this growth, online retailers diversified their advertising portfolio. For instance, Amazon is adding units in video ads, display ads, and more. If your product or service is a fit for it, advertising on leading e-commerce sites can help you target your customers without relying on third-party cookies.

  • Leverage contextual advertising

If you want to widen your options and increase your targeting, consider leveraging contextual advertising.

Contextual advertising is the process where automation is used to match ads to relevant digital content.

A contextual advertising platform such as CodeFuel provides the highest level of targeting for your ads. Ads are matched according to the digital property’s content. As consumers look for something online, they find ads extremely related to what they are looking for. As a result, the enhanced user experience encourages consumers to click through the ad, creating revenue for the publisher and increasing traffic for the advertiser.

Learn more about Contextual Advertising in our complete guide here.

  • Create your community with influencer marketing

With streaming platforms getting more popular than ever, influencer marketing is growing steadily. A study by Tap Influence found that 40% of people reported they purchased a product online after seeing an influencer using it on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. Amplified by the pandemic, influencers’ impact on online sales was meaningful.

 7 Strategies to build growth fast

When defining your marketing strategy, you indeed have in mind to build growth. The problem is determining what measures to take to achieve the highest possible ROI. Here we are sharing some tips for taking into account when creating your marketing strategy.

1. Start with setting your goal and budget.

Every plan needs a goal. A marketing strategy needs to start with a purpose and a budget. That makes sense since, without a purpose and a budget, it is practically impossible to understand if the campaign was a success or not. Here are some tips for doing it right:

  • Set a realistic budget
  • Don’t over-measure. Stick to 2-5 Key Performance Indicators.
  • Once your goal is set, create a process (the marketing plan) to achieve it.

2. Build rapport with your customers through email

According to recent statistics, 59%of marketers say email is the most effective marketing channel. Building your email list has several benefits:

  • It helps you collect first-party data
  • It creates rapport with your audience
  • Supports your top-up offers and promotions.

3. Listen to your customers.

Understanding your customers is critical for your marketing strategy. Before creating your plan, you must define your audience based on demographics, interests, and other criteria.

But if you want to know what is happening with your existing audience, the good idea is to leverage surveys. To get the most out of this strategy, here are some tips:

  • Set a timeline for the survey
  • Carefully segment your audience
  • Use tools that enable you to collect and analyze data

 4. Optimize your landing pages

Your landing pages are one of the factors you can leverage for an immediate impact on conversions.

It is important to assign a dedicated landing page to each marketing campaign. Even more important is to focus each landing page on a single goal. That means directing your user to take a single action.

When you put only one link on your landing page, you can capture the full attention of your user.

5. Leverage social media advertising

Social media has revolutionized the game of advertising.  Today, small businesses don’t need large advertising budgets to achieve their business goals. Any any-sized company can promote its products through a Facebook, Instagram, Linked In ads account.

Leveraging social advertising allows organizations to reach their potential customers on their phones.

6. Prioritize retention

As we explained above, retaining customers is easier than acquiring new ones. Focusing on engaging your current audience, transforming your one-time customers into returning customers is the key to building a loyal community of users.

7. Focus on wooing your audience

Everybody loves a good story, and your audience is not the exception. Storytelling can drive conversions four times more than traditional marketing. So, if you want to engage your customers with a good story that showcase your values, here are some tips:

  • Be authentic: nothing annoys a user more than a fake story.
  • Determine the goal
  • Deliver a consistent message
  • Integrate the user to the story

Top 5  Marketing Strategies for B2B and B2C

One of the most critical factors when planning your marketing strategy is to whom your business is directed. Is your business selling to other companies? (B2B)? Or selling directly to the consumer (B2C)?. Here we bring you the best strategies for both.

Best strategies for B2B marketing

1. Inbound Marketing

Inbound consists of attracting and engaging customers by producing meaningful content. Is one of the most effective B2B marketing strategies. Why? Because the content is relevant to the customer, appearing in the right place at the right time.

Inbound marketing works for organizations of any size or type. Informs captures and directs customers in their journey. You can integrate inbound to any customer management or content management system.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is an essential strategy to capture B2B clients. As you are on social media, so are your customer’s companies. Social media shares and posts of video, images, and content influence users and impact SEO efforts. It is best to direct your efforts to a social media channel like Linked In, which is geared almost exclusively to B2B networking.

3. Search Engine Marketing / PPC

Search engine marketing is the process of growing a company’s traffic and conversions through paid online advertising. It uses tools and strategies to drive users to click on advertisements sponsored by the company. When the user searches for specific keywords, the business’s advertisement will appear on the search results page. Every time a user clicks the ad, the advertiser pays the search engine, ad network, or third-party site a fee.

PPC is broad in reach, cost-effective, and generates high visibility. It also adapts to multiple markets and audiences.

4. Content Marketing

Content marketing focuses on informing and educating the user instead of selling. This strategy focuses on creating meaningful content that closely relates to the user’s needs to answer the user queries. By emphasizing the relevancy of the information for the audience’s needs, content marketing attracts users most likely to purchase your product or service.

Content can be adapted to reflect your brand message and what your audience needs, including infographics, websites, blogs, white papers, video podcasts, and eBooks.

Content marketing is an integral part of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy. Investing in content can effectively direct customers to the sales funnel. It also grows your brand exposure by aligning information with your target market.

5. Referral Programs

Referral programs are any program or incentive a company implements to encourage their customers to spread their voice about their company. It may include rewards, affiliate programs, and similar initiatives. Although customer referral programs often get a bad rap, they can effectively grow your customer base.

Best 5 Marketing Strategies for B2C

You will notice that some strategies work both for B2B and do B2C, but this doesn’t mean they are implemented the same way. Social media or paid advertising, for example, are carried on different channels for different strategies.

Talking directly to the consumer requires constant monitoring and tuning to your audience’s needs. Here is our pick of strategies for B2C.

1. Social networks and viral marketing

Social media marketing is the sum of tactics, processes, and tools organizations use to reach their audience via meaningful, shareable content. It increases brand visibility and traffic. Social media advertising has the added benefit of encouraging customers to convert.

2. Paid media advertising

Similar to B2B, B2C organizations may benefit from paid advertising. An ad network can be the best option to ensure your ads get in front of the right user at the right time.

When choosing an ad network, it is important to select one that provides contextual advertising. This feature increases the chance of your ads being clicked by high intent users.

3. Email marketing

The average ROI of an email is $42 per every $1 spent. With this number, it is not surprising organizations are implementing email marketing tactics. Email marketing is the process of targeting specific prospects to encourage them towards the purchasing journey.

Email marketing offers an advantage to B2C companies because it reaches directly to customers on their mailboxes. It allows them to engage, nurture and convert customers. You can also use email marketing to push offers, promotions, and new products. The possibilities are endless.

4. Earned media/PR

Earned media is different from paid advertising in that it is created through PR efforts. It is unsolicited and can only be gained organically—for example, a social media testimonial, an editorial, or newspaper article (not sponsored).

How to Write a Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy sets the direction and goals for all your marketing efforts for the next few years. This comprehensive strategic plan describes your business, the position of your product and services in your market, profiles competitors and target audience. It provides the base to build a marketing plan. So, there’s a lot at stake when writing your marketing strategy.

Here’s how to do it in four easy steps:

1. Set your business and marketing goals

It is best to align your marketing strategy to your business goals as described in your business plan. Then you can set the marketing goals to support them. When setting goals, it is important to stay on target. A good approach is to set SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals.  By adhering to these criteria, you can measure the results of your efforts effectively measure the results of your actions.

2. Know your market

Gather information about your market. Consider the size, growth, social trends, and demographics. The information you gather in your market research can help you develop a profile of your target customers and identify their needs.

The data of your market research also allows you to profile your competitors. You can identify what products they are using what their pricing and marketing strategy are their pricing and marketing strategy. Take this information to build your competitive advantage.

3. Define your strategies

Determine what strategies can attract and retain your target audience. For example, if you want to increase your brand’s awareness, you can leverage your social media strategies by posting engaging content about your brand and product.

4. Test your model

Once you get your marketing strategy designed, you should A/B test your ideas and see what works and what isn’t. You may need to review a mix of tactics to reach the right combination that gets to your customers.

Writing your marketing strategy may seem a daunting task. If you are short on time or don’t know where to start, the next section is for you.

3 Best Free Marketing Templates

Before going forward, it is best to understand the basic sections of a defined marketing strategy.

Marketing goals
Marketing initiatives (high level)
Target market
Market analysis
SWOT Analysis
Positioning Strategy
Marketing Mix
Buyer personas
Competitor analysis
A set of SMART goals that align with your business goals
High-level efforts to achieve the marketing goals.
The segments of customers with characteristics that align with your product or service.
The research of market factors that may impact your business
Research your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the market.
Analysis of where you are positioned in your market compared to your competitors and the benchmark and the strategy to improve it.
The combination of tactics and efforts you will carry on to achieve your marketing goals.
The detailed description of an ideal target customer helps pinpoint the campaign and content.
Analysis and ranking of your competitors based on their strengths and weaknesses.

To make your life easier, we searched for the best free marketing strategy templates.  Here’s our pick:

1. Hubspot Free Marketing Plan Template

The most complete of the three options, in our opinion, this template helps you detail your marketing strategies and develop a marketing plan all in one. You can download it here for free.

Hubspot Free Marketing Plan Template

What do we like? It is comprehensive and covers all sections of a marketing strategy and the next marketing plan. It is easy to use and can give you an overview as a glance of your goals and actions. 

What are the downsides? It is not as in-depth as other templates.

2. Aha! Free Marketing Strategy Templates

Aha! Offers marketing templates for each section of the plan. They cover all the areas, from stating your marketing goals to analyzing your competitors. You can download them here for free.

Free Marketing Strategy Templates

What do we like? They are easy to use in clear spreadsheet form. Good for beginners.

What are the downsides? It could be better to have each spreadsheet into a single document.

3. Miro Free Market Strategy Template for New Products

They offer a template for new products called the go-to-market strategy template. This single template covers your marketing goals and values to the buyer personas and your action plan. It is collaborative and can be used by several team members at a time.

Miro Free Marketing Strategy Template

What do we like? That is comprehensive, with an easy-to-use interface. The collaboration option is a nice feature.

What are the downsides? It has a bit of a learning curve.

Simple 7 Practices for Building a Marketing Strategy

The steps you need to follow to build the best marketing strategy for your business can be divided into four categories:

Brand strategy
Define brand values and offering
Identify customer’s pain points and expectations
Detect market trends and competitors
Marketing strategy
Define your value proposition
Define your target audience and buyer personas
Digital marketing plan
Plan the core message, voice tone, creative ads
Decide the channels you will use
Create specific tactics that adjust to the budget
Measure customer experience, how the marketing is performing, and the results for the business.

It may seem too much, but don’t worry, we will take the approach step by step. Let’s start:

1. What’s your brand offering and value?

Define your core values that align with your potential customer needs and wants, your product, and your product. While not easy, this task ensures the rest of the marketing strategy will go smoother.

Take, for example, Patagonia,  the sustainable clothing brand. Their core values are:

  • Build the best product
  • Cause no unnecessary harm 
  • Use business to protect nature
  • Not bound by convention

All their marketing activities and PR efforts are geared to showcase those values. Look at their Instagram; their bio-caption is:We’re in business to save our home planet.

Brand Offering and Value of Patagonia

They also promote campaigns that align with their values

brand offering and value

Like this one, where you can send back used Patagonia clothes and shoes (in good condition) for store credit.

How do you find the values that define your brand?

  • Think about the problems you solve.
  • Write those using value-based language.
  • Ensure it aligns with your business goals.

2. Who are your customers? What are their pain points and expectations?

Start by defining who are your customers. Then, find out their pain points. Tap into the demographics and interests of your audience to create your buyer persona. Then, find out their pain points.

Pain points vs solutions


Many people confuse pain points with solutions. This is one of the reasons products or services fail. A pain point is an outcome the customer needs. People may have different pain points:

  • Convenience: If your product makes people’s life easier, you may have a winner. Take the classic example of how streaming services replaced video clubs because they offered convenience.

Netflix Vs. Blockbuster

You can see the full infographic and the study on “How Netflix Bankrupted Blockbuster.”

  • Service:Sometimes, value more a good user experience than price. If your product or service produces a better user experience than your competitors, it may solve your customer pain point.
  • Financial: Saving money is one of the top considerations of many customers and is one of the basic pain points. If your product helps your customers save money, it will provide value to your customers.

How do you find your customers’ pain points? Here are some ideas:

  • Run a customer survey.
  • Check customer reviews of similar products.
  • Study your competitors

3. Who are your competitors?

The next step of your marketing strategy is creating a competitive analysis. You do that by identifying and analyzing your competitors. The first step is to detect all the companies that offer similar products or services to your target audience. Then, rank them according to relevance. Look at their marketing efforts, social media, advertising, and branding.

An excellent way to understand your competitors is to conduct a site audit. This will enable you to understand their position in the market, discover opportunities and threats.

4. Who can collaborate with your business?

Collaborators and partners help your organization to reach your customer. Examples of collaboration can be online communities, forums, marketing partners, advertising networks, etc.

5. What’s the core message of your brand? How are you going to spread the voice?

This is the next step after defining your core values. Take them as a base to translate them into a consistent message. Define what you are delivering and to whom. This includes creating your value proposition.

6. What marketing channels are you going to use?

Once you know what you want to communicate and how it works, choose what media channels you’ll use. Choose the channels that reach your audience while fitting your brand and product. Here are some of the channels you may use:

  • Social media
  • Social advertising
  • Paid advertising
  • Influencer marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Push notifications
  • Messaging promotion
  • SEO
  • Content marketing

You should define a strategy and budget for each channel. To ensure you are doing it right, dig into your market research. Find out what you can achieve with each channel and how they align with your business goals.

7. Analyze your results

Now that you have your marketing strategy in place, it is time to test how it works. Carry on A/B tests so you can find the right marketing mix for your campaign.

The Most Successful Marketing Strategies Stories

Do you want to know how it is done? Here are our top three examples:

1. Nordstrom: Intelligent retargeting

Nordstrom is addressing the problem of cart abandonment with intelligent retargeting. The company uses emails and ad retargeting campaigns to remind users of items they liked or added to their cart.

2. GoPro: Leverage user-generated content

GoPro is the king of user-generated content. Their cameras are a favorite among athletes, extreme sports fans, and adventurers to record and capture images and videos that are impossible with traditional cameras.

One of GoPro’s best strategies is to share user-generated content. They encourage users to edit and create videos with frames that feature GoPro’s branding. Then the company shares the videos on social media.

Go Pro Social Media


  • Nike: Focus on your values 

Nike and its “Just do it” slogan is one of the most recognized brands in the world. The brand focused its marketing efforts on promoting its core values, such as resiliency or innovation.

Nike uses storytelling in its social media and ads to inspire positive emotions. This approach encourages Nike’s audience to share in the brand’s values and creates loyalty.


  • What is the main benefit of planning my marketing?

    Planning your marketing strategy can help target and increase the penetration into your target market. When you plan your marketing strategy, you can ensure to cover everything to achieve your business goals.

  • How often should I update my marketing plan?

    While it is helpful to review progress every month, it is better to get a more in-depth review twice a year. The marketing strategy can be reviewed every two years, but specific marketing plans may need to be checked for each campaign.

  • How do I track if my marketing methods are working?

    There are several methods to find out if your marketing plan is working. You can track KPI metrics or look at the number of new leads. Make sure to measure all your marketing efforts.

  • What are common mistakes when planning my marketing strategy?

    Don’t underestimate the timing. It is very likely the actual execution will take longer than expected. Make room for unexpected expenses.

  • What is the main benefit of planning my marketing?

    Planning your marketing strategy can help target and increase the penetration into your target market. When you plan your marketing strategy, you can ensure to cover everything to achieve your business goals.

  • How often should I update my marketing plan?

    While it is helpful to review progress every month, it is better to get a more in-depth review twice a year. The marketing strategy can be reviewed every two years, but specific marketing plans may need to be checked for each campaign.

  • How do I track if my marketing methods are working?

    There are several methods to find out if your marketing plan is working. You can track KPI metrics or look at the number of new leads. Make sure to measure all your marketing efforts.

  • What are common mistakes when planning my marketing strategy?

    Don’t underestimate the timing. It is very likely the actual execution will take longer than expected. Make room for unexpected expenses.

How CodeFuel Helps Leverage Top Marketing Strategies

Creating your marketing strategy can be a time-consuming task. However, leveraging an automated solution can take most of the hassle and provide results. CodeFuel is a complete monetization solution for digital properties.

By leveraging search and shopping ads with an intent-based approach, it provides highly targeted contextual advertising. When users get served ads with precisely what they are looking for, they are more likely to convert. Therefore, using CodeFuel enhances and improves the performance of your marketing strategy.

Learn more about CodeFuel by signing out today.

How to Create the Perfect Social Media Strategy with Social Media Statistics and Trends You Cannot Miss in 2024

How to Create the Perfect Social Media Strategy with Social Media Statistics and Trends You Cannot Miss in 2024

Creating your social media strategy is key to ensuring you will reach and engage your users. There are many factors involved in creating the perfect strategy and knowing the trends and statistics of your niche is critical for success.

If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll bring you to step by step on how to create a perfect social media strategy with the statistics and trends you need to know in 2024.

What Is a Social Media Marketing Strategy?

A social media strategy is a document that details the framework, stages, and steps you will take to achieve your social media goals. It includes the tactics you will use to achieve your objectives and how you will measure progress.

What should be in your social media strategy? 

  • Your business goals
  • Your social media goals
  • The social media channels you are currently using and the ones you projected to add.
  • The goals for each channel and account.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the team and how often you will do reporting.

Why do you need a Social media Marketing Strategy?

To build a brand on social media without a strategy is at least inefficient, and at most, a loss of money. Here are some reasons you need a social media strategy:

  • Build an organic social media presence: the main goal of a social media strategy is to build an organic presence online. For your account to grow in followers and reach, stick to the golden rule of social media: post interesting content consistently.
  • Target your audience more effectively:  a social media strategy simplifies social media management and saves time. Creating a social media calendar and content bank, scheduling the posts for the next week or month will save the time you spend posting.
  • Create a brand message aligned with your business goals

When you have a social media strategy in place ensure that your efforts are more effective by aligning the strategy to your business goals.

  • Better user experience

Social media enables you to offer a personalized experience to your audience. Social media tools enable you to use analytics to create highly targeted social campaigns that influence purchase decisions with personalized offers.

  • How many social media users are in 2022? 

There are currently 4.48 billion social media users up to July 2022. That means 9 in 10 Internet users are on social media. The numbers surged as a result of the pandemic, with 520 million new users from 2020. This amounts to more than 70% of the eligible global population.

  • Most popular social media in 2024

Facebook is still the world’s most used social media platform. Still, there are five social media platforms with more than one billion monthly active users. Four of those five are owned by Facebook.

  1. Facebook = 2.8 billion monthly active users.
  2. YouTube = 2,29 billion
  3. WhatsApp = 2 billion
  4. Instagram = 1.38 billion
  5. WeChat = 1.24 billion
  • Who are the social media users? 

Most social media platform audiences overlap, as people will use more than one social media at a time.

The age distribution of social media users is as follows:

  • 84% of the 18-19-year-olds.
  • 81% of the 30-49 population.
  • 73% of the 50 -64-year-olds.
  • 45% of the 65 plus.
  • How much time do users spend on social media?

The average user spends 2.5 hours a day on social networks and messaging. (DataReportal, 2021)

Users go to social media not only for entertainment and communication with others but for information, business, and shopping. More than half of social browsers use social media to research products for shopping. That makes social media a go-to tool for many purposes.

How to create the perfect social media strategy in 9 Steps

  • What is the goal of your social media marketing strategy? 

You cannot succeed with a strategy if you don’t know what you want to achieve. Without goals in place, you won’t know if you are meeting the ROI expectations.

Decide on what you want to achieve with the social media campaigns. Do you want to have more brand exposure? Do you want to engage your audience?

A good practice is to use the S.M.A.R.T goals framework. This is an acronym that reminds you to define goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

When writing your goals, keep in mind those attributes. An example of a SMART goal would be:

“Use Facebook to send news about next promotions and increase visits to the site by 20% by the end of the quarter”

Use the right metrics

You can track the number of followers or likes, but they won’t give you an accurate idea about the impact of the campaign on your bottom line. Instead, track metrics like conversion rates, click-though, and engagement.

Not sure what you need to track? Look at the channels you are currently using. For instance, if you use Facebook to drive traffic to your site, you should measure the click-through rate.

  • Know your Audience 

If knowing who is your audience is key for marketing in general, social media is critical. Creating a strategy without knowing who your target viewer is like shooting in the dark in a game of paintball.

Learn as much as possible about your audience and what they like to see on social media. This will help you create content they will engage with, like, comment and share. How do you learn about your audience?

Start by basic demographics like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Income
  • Industry
  • Interests

If you don’t know where to start, check our guide Who Are the Social Media Users in 2024? 

Once you found out where your audience likes to hang out, collect demographic data from your potential customers’ preferred social platforms.

Look at the age variable, for example. If your product or service is geared to a younger audience, find which platform your potential customers use.

Here are some demographic statistics to get you started (source: PEW Research Center): 

  • Most popular social media platforms for under-30 yrs old users 
  • Instagram
  • Tiktok
  • Snapchat

Age Group on Social Media

Most users between 18 to 29 years old report using Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok with 18-24-year-olds using Instagram (76%) and Tiktok (55%).

  • Adults in the U.S prefer Facebook and YouTube 

Usage on Social Media

  • The use of online social media platforms varies widely in the U.S according to gender and location.

Gender and Location Social Media Statistics

Wide-content media platforms like YouTube and Facebook get the widest audiences. LinkedIn gets the most highly educated users with medium to high income.

All this data will help you create your buyer persona.  A buyer persona is a detailed description of your typical customer. Including name, profession, and interests, this profile puts a “face” to your customers and makes it easier to create content for them to use on social media.

  • Do a competitive analysis

Your competitors most likely are already on social media. So, you can look at what they are doing since they cater to a similar audience.

There are several ways you can gather useful information about your industry and target market:

  • Social media listening

This method is the process of monitoring the Internet and media for mentions of your (or your competitor’s) name, relevant keywords, and account handle. This lets you know what people are saying about them and what they are sharing.

  • Conduct a competitive analysis

This study helps you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Applying the traditional competitive analysis to social media means you can benchmark your results against the big names in your industry.

With a social media competitive analysis you can:

  • Identify your competitors for your target audience.
  • Detect which social platforms they are using and how.
  • Understand their strategies’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Compare your results to theirs and find your weaknesses.
  • Find potential strategic threats.

How do you carry on a social media competitive analysis? 

#1. Identify your competition: Use the keywords you try to rank for and find the top 10 more relevant to your business. Input them into the social media platform search bar and you’ll see who is your competition.

#2. Use social media analytics to find who your audience follows.  Both Facebook Audience and Twitter analytics have features that can give you an idea of which brands your target viewers are following. For instance, in Facebook Audience, you input your target audience demographics and you will see which pages have the most likes. If they are relevant to your industry, add them to your competitor’s list. Then narrow the list to the top three most close competitors.

#3. Map their strengths and weaknesses: Now that you know which social media platforms your competitors are on, find how much you can about their social media strategies.

  • What techniques are they using?
  • What is working and what isn’t?
  • What is their engagement rate?
  • Their post frequence
  • Their most popular hashtags.

Use the data to do a SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.


  • Metrics where you perform better than competitors


  • Metrics where you perform worse than competitors.


  • Untapped areas where you can perform better than your competitors


  • New competitors or new campaigns can threaten your posture with your audience.
  • Do a social media audit

If you already have a social media strategy in place, you should analyze how your efforts are doing so far. Your analysis should answer the following questions:

  • Who is engaging with your social media content?
  • How do your social media efforts benchmark against the competition?
  • What is working in your strategy and what not?
  • Which channels are performing well?
  • Which content is performing well?

Hootsuite has a very easy-to-use template that can help have clear visibility on your answers.

  • Decide the channels you will use

Now you will have information to make strategic decisions about where you should focus your social media strategy.

Pay attention to how each channel is aligning with your social media goals (the ones you defined at the beginning). Next, focus on the ones that are performing better. You don’t need to pull out permanently from the other channels, you might decide to take the time to improve the strategy on those.

Define your strategy for each network

This will depend on what you want to achieve for that channel. For instance, a fashion brand may benefit from Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

Defining each channel strategy should include writing the mission statement for each one and more:

  • Set up a profile for each network, complete, with high-quality images and a bio that includes a mission statement.
  • Assign responsibilities to your team, who will manage the company’s Twitter and the Facebook page, for example.

To help you select your network, here are the top platform statistics for 2024:

Biggest Platforms Statistics

Biggest Platforms Statistics

Image source


Facebook continues dominating the social media market, even more since acquiring Instagram. Facebook owns 4 of the 5 most social media apps.


  • Users spend 35 minutes a day on Facebook on average.
  • The platform has 2.5 billion monthly active users.
  • 74% of all internet users visit the site daily


  • Most Facebook users are from 18 to 49 years olds. Although most teens are now users of other platforms like TikTok, Facebook still maintains an active audience of over 100 million teens.
  • 96% of users get on to the platform via smartphones and tablets.
  • 42% of users have taken a break from the platform in the last year.

Statistics source

Trends for 2024

  • Facebook shopping: You can make your Facebook shop, group products into categories, tag products in photos you share, create collections, and enable in-app checkout to encourage purchases.
  • User-generated content: It is one of the best ways to engage your audience since it is fun for them to see their photos and videos shared by brands. Pro tips: ask permission to share the post on your page, create a unique hashtag for users to share photos of your products, and link back to the product featured in the photo.
  • Facebook Stories: Stories have become increasingly popular, especially because you can cross-post your stories to Facebook and Instagram. Pro tip: Create unique aesthetics, uploading photos, videos, and boomerangs.
  • Augmented reality: The platform enables users to create their augmented reality ads and posts. Pro tip: Create interactive ads that enable your users to try their products. Build filters for Instagram and Facebook stories.


This is the platform you need if your audience is on the younger side. With most Instagram users being under 29 years old it is perfect for marketing and building brand awareness with teens.


  • Users spend an average of 53 minutes a day on Instagram.
  • The platform has 1 billion monthly active users.
  • 42% of internet users visit the site daily.


  • 67% of Instagram users are aged 18 to 29.
  • The gender distribution is almost the same with 51% of male and 49% female users.
  • Instagram claims that 90% of its users actively follow a business account.

Trends for 2022

  • Instagram shopping: Use shoppable posts to sell to your audience. The platform’s visual style facilitates displaying products and engaging buyers. Pro tip: add purchase links in Instagram stories.
  • Influencer marketing: Collaboration between brands and influencers has been around some time and this trend will continue to grow. Pro tip: promote hashtag campaigns by using a network of influencers.
  • Instagram Live: Live streaming allows for two-way communication. They can comment and ask questions in real-time. Pro tip: Launch a product live on Instagram to create expectations and drive sales. Use a live video so you demonstrate how to use your product in different ways.
  • Interactive Content: Interacting with your audience is one of the best ways to engage them. Instagram has several ways to make your content interactive, you can ask a question, create a poll, and more. Pro tip: Create a quiz, start a countdown for an upcoming post, experiment with interactive Instagram Stories stickers.


The most downloaded platform of 2020 has a particularity, most users are on the younger side, although adults are getting on quickly on the platform.


  • Users spend 53 minutes a day on TikTok.
  • There are 1 billion monthly active users.
  • TikTok has a billion views every day.


  • 56% of TikTok users are male and 44% are female.
  • 41%  of all TikTok users are under 24 years old.


  • More brands and influencers will use TikTok for marketing purposes.
  • Generation Z watches more Tik Tok than television.
  • Brands and influencers will collaborate to create content in episodes.
  • More companies are encouraging users to make and share videos on TikTok using their products using a branded hashtag.


Twitter has a smaller number of users than Facebook and Instagram. However, the platform has a staggering 500 million non-registered users audience.


  • Users spend 3 minutes daily on Twitter.
  • There are 330 million active monthly registered users.
  • There are almost 500,000 new accounts daily.


  • The majority of Twitter users belong to the age bracket of 18-29 years old, with the next category being the 30 to 49-year-olds.
  • 66% of Twitter users are male and 34% female.


  • Twitter is still one of the main sources of news for users.
  • Video advertising has grown on Twitter, representing 67% of the platform advertising. Tweets with video attract more engagement than tweets without video.
  • Twitter is one of the main platforms for company discovery, meaning that 30 out of 50 brands’ Twitter accounts show up on the first page of Google.


This is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms, and with a very specific user base. With 1 out of 3 adults on LinkedIn, the platform has the largest demographic of users 30 to 49-year-olds.


  • Users spend 6 minutes a day on LinkedIn.
  • The platform has 303 million monthly active users.
  • There are 5.26 million new accounts monthly.


  • The age range is evenly spread from 18 to 64-year-olds, with the largest percentage of users (37%) belonging to the 30-49 age bracket.
  • There are slightly more men than women on LinkedIn (57% against 43%).
  • 40 million LinkedIn users are reportedly in “decision-making” positions.
  • 30 million companies are on LinkedIn.
  • 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content.


  • LinkedIn Stories:  These posts are visible for 24 hours and can be up to 20 minutes long. The aim is to introduce more dynamic engagement between users.
  • Personalized Ads: Dynamic ads can target segmented audiences with accuracy and impact. Pro tip: use it to scale up individualized campaigns and customize them according to your marketing objectives.
  • Video Chat Integration: This feature aims to promote better communication between companies, employers, and candidates. Accessible both on desktop and mobile apps. Pro tip: Use this feature for interviews.



  • There are 2 billion YouTube users as of June 2021.
  • The number of daily active users reaches 122 million.
  • Users spend an average of 18 minutes daily on the platform.
  • 1 billion hours are watched daily on YouTube.


  • 56% of YouTube  users are male
  • 44% of YouTube users are female
  • 37% of millennials 18-34 years old watch YouTube daily.
  • Users between 15-35 years make up 77%  of the YouTube users.


2021 was a great year for YouTube. Because of the pandemic, most users relied on video for entertainment and replacing in-person activities. The platform usage then grew exponentially. Thus, several hot trends are developing on YouTube in 2022.

  • Short format content: YouTube rolled a feature called “Chapters” which enables viewers to skip to key sections of a video. Also, YouTube Shorts are 60-sec videos optimized for the mobile experience.
  • Mobile-first: talking about mobile, it’s changed the way YouTube content is consumed. Most people consume videos on the go, and the platform is adapting the content to simplify this experience.
  • Challenge videos: these videos feature two people competing in a split-screen format. The trend is catching on as a way to engage users.
  • Branded channels: These channels are making serious money on the platform, by monetizing subscribers, selling merchandise, and featuring a branded profile photo and banner, which are easily recognizable.


This platform, although not considered one of the “big names”, boasts a surprisingly high engagement. It offers a great opportunity to run ads, but they need to be highly targeted.


  • On average, users spend 16 minutes a day on Reddit
  • The platform has 430 million monthly active users
  • The site receives  21 billion monthly screen views
  • 44% of the traffic is via the mobile app.


  • Most Reddit users are men (74%)
  • The age bracket is dominated by users under 30 years old, with the second large age group from 30 to 49 years old.


  • Reddit is great for highly targeted advertising since the platform communities are wary of traditional online advertising.
  • Use content marketing to promote a product or service on Reddit. Sponsored posts, with images and a call to action, can work wonders.
  • Promoted video allows you to play embedded videos on the feed. It can be autoplay, with a call to action and multiple aspect ratios.


The “DIY” platform has been growing for several years, with a 30% annual increase in users.


  • There are 320 million monthly active users.
  • Users spend 14 minutes a day on Pinterest.


  • Pinterest has the largest percentage of female users of all social media platforms, 70% of their users are female.
  • 93% of pins are made by female users.
  • 85% of female users use the platform to plan life events.
  • Men use it primarily to bookmark ideas and projects.


  • Stories: On Pinterest Stories you can share video, images, and text, and the viewer can expand on it by clicking on an icon in the top left of the screen.
    • Use Pinterest trends to uncover potential topics: this feature enables you to discover top searches and trending topics, helping you maximize your marketing efforts.
  • Pin-to-sales: Pinterest is promoting advertising and shopping features. You can turn a catalog into browsable product Pins that connect to Shopify and convert users.
  • Build your social media brand

Once you know the channels you will use, and how you will use them, it is important to keep in mind the strategy needs to align with your brand voice. Your brand voice is how you present your company on social media.

With every content piece, every comment, and post, your audience is creating an impression of your brand. Here are some tips on how to find it out:

Tips and strategies

  1. If your brand was a person, how would it be? What adjectives would you use to describe your brand?

In our case, it would be: Confident, Visionary, Casual, and Professional.

Step 1: Ask which adjectives would describe your brand? You can pick from this list or make your own:

Adventurous, Artistic, Bold, Bright, Calm, Caring, Casual, Cheerful, Clever, Conservative, Daring, Detailed, Dramatic, Down to Earth, Easy, Efficient, Elegant, Endearing, Energetic, Fantastic, Familiar, Fashionable, Fierce, Fun, Functional, Glamorous, Impressive, Informal, Inspiring, Liely, Majestic, Modern, Natural, Nostalgic, Organic, Pleasant, Professional, Quirky, Rustic, Sassy, Savvy, Sleek, Smart, Sophisticated, Stable, Tasteful, Tranquil, Unconventional, Unique, Upbeat, Urban, Vintage, Wishful, Youthful.

Step 2: Pick 4-5. And create every content around them.

Step 3: Avoid jargon, write as you talk. Keeping a conversational style gets to the point and engages people.

Step 4: Stay away from sensationalism. In short, avoid clickbait like the plague. A clickbait headline can make people click on your posts, but good and informative content will make them return to your company for reference, information, and purchasing. Don’t create noise, focus on the quality.

Step 5: Keep it consistent. Even if you have different people writing for different channels, keep the message and tone consistent.

  • Schedule everything with a social media calendar

Scheduling your content is critical when you want to reach your users at the right time. It also prevents misshapes, forgetting to post, and missing trends and opportunities.

How to create a social media calendar

There are a few key steps for creating the perfect social media calendar:

  •   Define your goals and your content mix.  What do you want to post? Make sure it aligns with your social media strategy and goals. For instance, you would want a percentage of the content to drive traffic to your website, while others to support lead-generation goals.
  • Set your posting schedule. Look at the channels you chose, what are the best times to post on each channel? Make sure to plan your calendar so you can reach your users when they are on the platform. Check also the ideal frequency. For instance, for LinkedIn, a post a day is enough, while Twitter requires 5-6 tweets daily to drive engagement.
  • Plan the calendar. You can use a spreadsheet or a template. Most project management applications, like Monday and Asana, have their own social media calendar templates. HootSuite has a free social media calendar template to download too. Using a template saves you time and effort.
  • Remember important events and dates.  Depending on your product or service, there can be dates that are relevant for you. For example, if your market is electronics, planning around Black Friday is important. If your market is chocolates and flowers, you should plan posts leading to Valentine’s day.
  • Measure, evaluate and adjust the strategy. Rinse and repeat

Your social media strategy is dynamic, and you may find that some strategies don’t work as you expected and others work better than you thought. That’s why tracking, measuring, and analyzing the strategy is essential. How do you do it?

Track your performance metrics: Besides analyzing each social network analytics, you can use your website performance metrics and even heatmaps to see how visitors are moving on your website.

Once you have the data, use it to evaluate how well the strategy is performing. Tracking the metrics will help you understand several factors about the performance of the social media campaign:

  • Which channel is performing well
  • Which channel is underperforming
  • What content is working and what isn’t.

Use this data to A/B test different versions of posts, campaigns, strategies, understanding what works and what doesn’t. Besides tracking metrics, you can also use surveys, polls, and even your email newsletter to find out if you are meeting their expectations and the type of content they would like to see more.

Next, adjust the strategy as needed, and repeat.

Biggest trends for social media

These social media trends can help you guide your strategy. Pay attention and follow up so you can apply them to your social media strategy:

  • TikTok will continue to grow

After the explosion of 2020 that made it the most downloaded app, TikTok has not stopped growing. Don’t think that it is only for young audiences. Many brands are understanding that sooner than later everybody will visit TikTok, not just teens, and sponsor content to promote their products and services.

An example of a great TikTok campaign is Chipotle’s annual “Boorito” challenge for Halloween. They offered a discount for customers that ordered in a Halloween costume, asking customers to post a video to TikTok showcasing their outfits and using the custom sound created for that occasion. They created a branded hashtag #Boorito and #Contest.

They even teamed up with top influences like Addison Rae to fire up the challenge.



The prize? The top 5 posts will get free burritos for a year.

The results: 3.6 billion views in TikTok.

  • Live streams help connect with customers. 

2020 was the year for live streaming, and the trend is still strong. Even now, when things start to go slowly back to normality, everybody is comfortable with streaming live and many companies are taking this as an advantage.

Live streams let you connect and engage your customers in real-time. An example of using Livestream to connect with customers is “Mr. Robot: Debt Deletion”  The creators of the show “Mr. Robot” launched the show by deleting $100,000 debt live on the Twitch site. Since the primary demographics of the show is the gaming audience, Twitch was the perfect social media platform to do it.



  • Augmented reality

Virtual and augmented reality became mainstream, taking brand messaging to a new level. Instead of telling a story, you can let your customers immerse themselves into your story. Companies are taking the opportunity and producing VR tours. An example is what the Hacienda Patron Spirits did with their Virtual Hacienda Tour. The VR tour can be experienced by using the Oculus headset, the Google Cardboard, smartphones, and tablets and guides you through tequila production from a bee’s perspective.

[Embed video 360° Video of Hacienda Patrón Tour | Patrón Tequila]

  • Artificial Intelligence

Modern social media marketing requires artificial intelligence tools to keep up with the fast pace of social media trends. An AI tool enables you to listen to social mentions, analyze sentiment drivers in your audience conversations, searches, and comments. Without AI, most marketing analytics cannot be possible these days.

  • Psychographics

We talked about demographics for each social media platform. The thing is today’s social listening goes beyond typical demographic attributes like gender, location, and income. Many social analytic solutions today understand the sentiment or psychographic data of your audience when commenting or mentioning your brand. They allow you to understand if their impressions are positive or negative.

Which Is The Fastest Growing Social Media Platform?

No, it is not TikTok

In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, while TikTok remains the most downloaded app, the social media platform that is growing the fastest is….


81% of users in the U.S (over 2 billion people!) use YouTube. Yes, it is a quarter of the world’s population. This represents an increase of 8% since 2020.

Final Thoughts

Well, this was a handle!  Creating your social media strategy is not an easy feat, and requires being on top of the latest statistics and trends. But a social media strategy needs to be aligned with your overall business and monetization goals, starting with reaching your audience at the time they are most receptive to conversion. At CodeFuel we use artificial intelligence to leverage high intent data, so your marketing efforts reach the right user at the right time. Learn more about how we help achieve results by signing up.

What Is Media Planning? Essential Guide and Best Free Templates to Download

What Is Media Planning? Essential Guide and Best Free Templates to Download

When you plan to implement an advertising campaign, one of the most important steps is to get your media plan in top shape. These days, a well-crafted media plan can be the difference between a successful campaign or a failure.

In this guide, we are going to guide you through all you need to know to create a perfect media plan including the best free templates to get you started.

What Is Media Planning? Meaning and Definition

Media planning Is the process marketers use to define how often, when, and where they will run ads to maximize conversions and ROI. Marketers prepare a media plan that includes how they will distribute the advertising budget and resources, which channels and type of ads they will use. 

These days, when marketers need to do much with less, meeting their audience at the right channel and serving the ads at the right time, planning is essential to prevent wasting time, money, and efforts.

What’s in a Media Plan?

The media plan consists of the details of the media you will create. It has your budget spending and details when and where you will publish to engage and convert your audience. Some plans support a company’s global campaign while others are individual strategies to connect with followers and/or customers.

But it is not only a budget detail. The media plan displays the steps on the advertising strategy, the channels to use, the frequency of the publishing, etc. The plan allows marketers to have a view at a glance of the advertising activities that will be carried for the advertiser.


What’s in a Media Plan?Here are the things you cannot forget to include:
Business goali .e:
increase sales to existing customers
Type of channel
Name of platform and description
Detailed spend by platform
Pricing model (CPC/CPM/CPA)
Revenue and Return on Advertising.

So what’s in a media plan?

Here are the key components of creating an effective media plan:

  1. Marketing problem: the media plan always starts with trying to solve a marketing problem.  For instance: not seeing enough conversions from their website.
  2. Marketing objectives and KPIs: this is what the organization wants to achieve, it can create brand awareness, increase sales or engagement. This becomes the marketing objective, in the form of measurable goals. This includes selecting what metrics you will use to track success.
  3. Media objectives: these are the objectives for the advertising campaign. To define the objectives the marketer needs to take into account:  the total budget, the media budget, key messages, calls to action, deliverables, timeline, specifications.
  4. Media strategies: these are the actual recommendations and implementation ideas of the media plan. Which channels to use, ad types, when and where to launch. This stage includes monitoring and measuring the advertising campaign effectiveness.

Media Plan

Figure1. How media objectives and marketing strategies interact as factors of media planning.

What Are the Top Factors That Affect Media Planning?

1. The Product

What are you going to advertise? Is it a product or service? The nature of the product influences the type of media you can use. You may want to advertise technical or software products on review pages for SaaS, for example. Social media may be a better fit for fashion and consumer products.

2. The Customers

Your audience is the most important factor. Check the demographics of potential customers, the age group, gender, income, interests, education level. Targeting the wrong crowd can be disastrous. It is critical then to learn as much as possible about the people that may buy the product or service.

3. Conversion Goals

This is a specific factor among business goals. It refers to what are your goals for that particular campaign, how many people do you expect to convert, click or make a purchase on the ad? Miscalculating the conversion goals can give you an inaccurate idea of what you expect from the campaign.

4. Frequency

This factor stems from your potential customers’ habits. You need to know when and how often they are online on the channels you want to use to reach them. Running the ad too frequently may annoy customers, running it too sparingly may fail to get their attention.

5. Is Your Goal Reach or Engagement?

Failing to answer this question can make or ruin a campaign. If the goal of your campaign is to generate brand awareness, then achieving the maximum reach should be an objective. For instance, if you are launching a new product you want everywhere to know about.

6. What Do You Consider a Successful Campaign?

You should set from the onset what is the expected outcome of the campaign. Do it in measurable terms. For instance, grow 15% of the engagement or acquire 20% more clients than last quarter. Having a measurable goal can help you make adjustments if needed.

7. What’s Your Message?

Think of what type of messaging can resonate with your target audience and drive engagement. What is the message you want to deliver with the campaign?. A good advertising campaign aligns with the core message of the company and enhances it.

8. What’s Your Budget?

This is perhaps the most complex factor. Planning a budget too tight can be a cause of expensive top-ups. On the other hand, setting a budget too high can lead to a waste of resources. Set a realistic budget that accounts for leeway so you don’t have the problem of getting overboard in the middle of the campaign.

9. What Media Are the Competitors Using?

We are not saying to copy your competitors but to keep an eye on what they are doing. Take a look at what tactics are successful. By knowing what works and what doesn’t you can focus on doing things better.

10. What’s the timeline?

How much time can you realistically dedicate to the campaign? What is the campaign timeline? The timeline needs to be precise to generate the maximum impact.

Media Planning Step by Step

Media Planning

1. Define Your Goals

Before any planning first, you need to know what you want to achieve with the plan. Therefore, evaluate the organization’s main goals and how the future campaign aligns with the company’s main goals and objectives.

Once you do that, you can define the media goals and objectives which are the goals for the campaign. To achieve it, the marketer needs to analyze the current marketing position, including the competitive environment so they can approach the present marketing problem.

When you have a complete analysis, then you can put these objectives into goals you can measure with key performance indicators (KPIs).

2. Who’s Your Target Audience?

Target Audience


Now is the time to define exactly who you are directing the campaign for. The golden rule is the more targeted the message, the better the outcome. Since different audiences react to different media, ad types, and messages. You need to consider this when creating the media plan.

Your target audience also has preferences for specific content types and platforms. That’s why it is important to market to the audience where they use to spend their time online. Without researching the target audience, the message can be too broad or scattered and it won’t be measured accurately.

Once you find your target audience, you need to gather as much information as possible. Not only the demographics but their habits, interests, and how they consume media, then define the rest of the plan around these data.

3. Consider the Budget, Frequency, and Reach

Next, it is important to determine how much and how often you will serve the ads to your audience. Marketers should take into consideration to avoid alienating the audience, serving them too many ads.

There are three main approaches to ad frequency: 

  • Continuity: this refers to running an ad on a fixed schedule so the audience is constantly exposed. This approach works well with generic consumer products and awareness campaigns.
  • Flighting:  this method involves running ads intermittently. This method works best with seasonal items.
  • Pulsing: this is a combination of both methods. Here you run a consistent stream of ads at the most convenient times and pulse reminders at other times.

Finally, you need to define the reach of the campaign. This is determined by the size of the audience. The larger the audience, the broader the reach.

4. Select the Media Channels

At this stage, you already know who is going to consume your audience and what’s the goal for your campaign. Now you need to select which channels you are going to use to reach them.  Take into account which pricing method you will use, which platform you will sign on, etc.

5. Write the Plan

Once you have all the pieces in place, it is time to write the plan. A media plan should be specific and measurable. It should include details like the specific media channels, the number of impressions,s and development specifications.

6. Monitor, Measure, Analyze and Repeat. 

Now comes the part of executing the campaign. Analyze the measurable goals by tracking the engagement, conversions, and all the rest of the KPIs. Thus you can check what is working and what it isn’t. There should be continuous optimization in a constant loop of monitoring, measuring, and analyzing.

Benefits and Challenges of Media Planning

Challenges of media planning

  • Platform preference: brands need to reach consumers in the various channels and platforms that the target audience uses while keeping the campaign within budget.
  • Too focused on the budget: campaigns that revolve too much around the budget don’t have the flexibility to allocate a bit extra to different channels that prove more successful.
  • Inaccurate measurements: because of the diversity of online and offline channels, it is difficult for marketers to compare the performance of each other and detect which are the most effective.
  • Not targeted at the consumer level: to be successful, a campaign needs to be able to reach at consumer level with in-depth marketing.

Benefits of media planning

  • A deeper knowledge of your target audience. 
  • Keep control of the budget 
  • More decision-power over which platforms and channels to share your content
  • Monitoring advertising efforts on a deep level

Best Free Media Planning Templates to download

1. Hubspot media plan template: The best solution for budget tracking

Hubspot Media

In our opinion, this is the best solution for budget tracking. The spreadsheet has all the macros you need to track and report your media spending.

What it lacks is space to add an overview of the previous stages of media planning, like objectives, strategies, and goals, (the plan itself), which can be easily added in another document or tab.

You can download it from here, and make your own copy via Google Sheets. While it can work in MSExcel, we recommend keeping it in Google Sheets for better performance.

2. Hootsuite social media strategy template: Best for social media strategies


This plan enables you to easily set the goals, objectives, and metrics of your social media campaign. You can use it to create and adjust social media profiles, create personas and overall have a view at a glance. You can download it with your business email from here.

3. Slidebean Media planning template: Best for presentations


This slide deck media planning template offers you the framework to create a presentation of your media planning. With slides that cover all aspects of your marketing and media plan, from detailing the problem to the campaign breakdown in an editable file. You can download the pdf version or register to use an editable version.

While it is good for presenting the media plan, this template does nothing to help you execute or track the results. You can download the template here.

4. New Old Stamp Media Plan for Advertising Template: Simplest of All

New Old Stamp Media

If you are just starting and don’t need much tracking and reporting, you can use this example to create your own spreadsheet and track your media plan. It is very simple and doesn’t allow for reporting, but it can be useful to jot down data for a glance.

5. AdCMO media planning template


This simple media planning template enables you to have a high-level overview of the project and the goals you want to achieve. It is another example of a simple media plan but a bit more complete, including events and other types of media. You can download the plan template here.

6. Amazon media planning template

If you are using Amazon advertising, they provide a very useful quick media plan template you can download from here.

The template is very simple, a basic checklist you can copy/paste to your own document. It will help you have a high-level view of the entire plan.

Amazon Media

We suggest combining this template with other, more in-depth templates for a complete solution.

Is Media Planning the same as Media Buying?

Media buying is the next step after the media plan is complete. The media plan sets the framework according to which you will buy the media required to achieve the goals of the campaign.

Learn more about what is media buying in Media Buying Explained

Media buying involves evaluating and selecting all advertising options within your budget and other criteria specified in the media plan. Then, buying according to the combination of ad types and media channels will produce the best campaign results.

What Is the Point of Media Planning?

Media planning aims to detect the perfect mix of media channels that fit into a present budget to advertise a product, service, or brand. The best media plans enable organizations to meet customers on the channels they are.

A well-crafted media plan allows you to create the optimal mix of paid online and offline media that will produce the results you expect from your advertising campaign, by using data, research, and lessons learned from previous campaigns

Media Planning on Social, What’s the Difference

Social media advertising revenue is soaring. Social media advertising is the second biggest market for digital advertising according to Statista research. Today’s revenue of $138.2 billion is expected to reach $182.4 billion in 2025. The largest spending in social media advertising happens in the U.S, followed by China.

Media Planning


That’s why advertising on social media platforms is critical for most companies’ growth strategies these days. It includes content and ads posted on social media platforms.

The key steps of creating a social media plan for paid advertising are similar to digital ads media planning. The difference is that every social media platform is in itself an ad network and has its own requirements and pricing scheme.


Facebook enables the creation of images, video ads, carousels, and personalized shopping ads. It works as an ad network, connecting advertisers with publishers on Facebook and mobile apps.



Linkedin uses programmatic advertising to help advertisers publish on the platform according to the goal of the campaign, be it awareness, consideration, or conversion. Advertisers can set a budget and run the campaign with several options for their bidding strategy. The platform enables users to run video, static or native conversation ads.


Instagram allows advertisers to run video ads. It also enables shoppable ads with call-to-action buttons. Instagram advertising may cost from $2 to $6.7, depending on the pricing model for the bidding. CPC can go for $2/click and CPM over $6 for a thousand impressions. Since it is owned by Facebook, it allows you to build multi-platform campaigns, turning posts into ads on Facebook and Instagram.

  • It uses programmatic advertising to manage the budget for the ad campaigns.
  • They suggest you run the ad for 7 days to let the algorithm learn about the audience.
  • They offer video ads and promoted posts.

How to craft the Perfect Media Plan for Advertising (5 Tips)



  • Define the problem well: ask questions and try to find out what the marketing problem is as accurate as possible. When creating the plan, keep going back to the problem definition so you stay on track.
  • Set clear goals: ensure the goals and objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely).
  • Invest in knowing your audience: the better you know your audience’s interests and habits, the more you can target them. The target audience should feel like an old friend you know very well how to catch their attention easily.
  • Have a distinct brand personality: your brand’s voice is what makes you recognizable from your competitors. Take time to build your brand personality and message so they will be memorable and your audience can recognize it at once.
  • Pay attention to the content journey: when creating the media plan, think about how consumers will get to your ad, what is the customer journey and at what stage in the funnel they are when they get there? It is not the same to create ads for the top of the funnel as for the bottom.

Media Planning Tips

How to Split the Budget Between Offline Media and Online Media

All the factors we analyzed as part of your media plan will help you determine what is the best channel to communicate with your target audience. This may include allocating some of your budgets to offline channels.

Media Channels

Do Offline Channels Still Have an Impact?

Depending on your audience, you may have to include some offline media alternatives. For instance, if your product demographics include older generations, advertising on TV and Cable may still get the attention of viewers.

With offline channels, you have the problem that it is difficult to measure and track the impact of such advertising. Tracking direct sales after an offline marketing campaign is one of the ways to do it. Here are some indicators that your offline campaign is successful:

  • You notice an increase in direct or indirect sales
  • There are more inquiries to partners, direct or resellers.
  • You notice your website traffic is increasing
  • Surveys show better brand awareness
  • More leads or better qualified

Online Channels

Online channels have the advantage of being easily accessible and tracked. Online channels have metrics that give you a quicker and better understanding of the impact of the campaign. Some of the indicators of success for offline campaigns are also useful to monitor for online channels.

For online advertising, you should look at a combination of:

Social media: This channel allows you to have maximum reach and highly targeted impact. Most platforms offer advertisers to publish ads and build a community.

Programmatic advertising: This highly targeted method of advertising, uses algorithms to find specific audiences and serve the right ads can save you a lot of time and effort. It uses real-time bidding to select the highest paying advertisers for the digital property.

PPC: Pay-per-click is a popular form of online advertising Publishers sign with an ad network and get served display ads and search ads targeted to the visitor’s intent.

Simplify your Media Planning with CodeFuel

Defining, planning, and executing your media plan can be a lot of effort and take a lot of your budget. By serving highly targeted intent-based search and display ads, CodeFuel makes sure your advertising campaign hits the target every time. Publishers can monetize digital properties by leveraging search, shopping ads, and news to enhance user experience.

Learn more about how CodeFuel can simplify your media planning by contacting us.

Programmatic Media Buying & Media Trading – All You Need to Know Today

Programmatic Media Buying & Media Trading – All You Need to Know Today

What is Programmatic Media Trading?

Definition: Programmatic media buying is an automated method of buying and selling digital advertising according to the decisions on a per-impression basis by supply and demand parties and in accordance with the rules of the exchange platform.

Put it simply, programmatic media trading is the buying of digital advertising space in real-time via an automated auction (real-time bidding). Sites that want to sell advertising space through this type of auction typically offer the inventory through a marketplace or ad exchange.

This method allows advertisers to reach the audiences they want, based on the value of the impression. On the supply side, it allows publishers to get higher-paying advertisers, since the higher the demand for your site audience, the higher the price for the impression.

Programmatic Media Trading

Source: Google

Programmatic mechanics 101

Programmatic media trading uses automated platforms to simplify the buying/selling process according to a predefined budget. Advertisers connect to an ad exchange placing offers using their set budget. The ad exchange connects to ad networks which then choose ad spaces that meet the target market, size, and budget of the advertiser.

Programmatic trading offers advertisers better targeting for their campaigns. It also improves the quality of advertisers publishers may get on their sites. The automated technology uses data management and algorithms to select the right ad to serve the right user at the right time and price.

To understand programmatic media buying, you first need to know key concepts related to this process.

There are three categories of programmatic media buying:

Real-time bidding (RTB)

In this method, inventory prices are decided through a real-time auction. Any advertiser or publisher can access it. Ad exchanges and supply-side platforms often provide the framework for this auction.

How does it work? Ad exchanges collect information about the page and the user viewing it every time an ad impression appears in a user’s web browser. The ad exchange auctions the impression off to the advertiser that is willing to pay the highest price for it.

Private marketplace (PMP)

These auctions have restrictions on who can participate. Often they select advertisers on an invite-only basis. In other cases, publishers may have an interview and selection process so advertisers can apply to enter the PMP.

Programmatic direct

In this case, a publisher sells media inventory directly at a fixed cost per mille (CPM – cost per impression) to advertisers.

Programmatic advertisements have three components: the supplier side, the demand side, and the exchange platform (more about this below)

What is the role of a programmatic media trader?

A media trader is the professional that spends the assigned digital budget within the RTB environments. A media trader needs to know where is best to buy inventory for an advertiser, meeting the campaign goals and ROI.

Media traders maximize the advertiser’s digital budgets aligning them with the business goals. They create real-time bidding and paid search strategies, implementing this in digital media buying platforms, to ensure the advertiser’s goals are met.

A media trader has four key responsibilities when executing an RTB campaign:

  • Know the market: media traders need to understand the market in which the impressions are happening. They define the strategy they will use, retargeting, prospecting, contextual targeting, and more.
  • Oversee ad operations: this is the technical side of launching ads, including the restrictions on the placement of the ads and managing attribution.
  • Trading: this involves managing a campaign, purchasing the ads, checking the reports, and making changes to the targeting. Is the responsibility of the trader to ensure the best possible outcome, achieving the highest possible ROI from the ad campaign.
  • Reporting: the media trader pulls all the reporting from the platform analytics and provides insights on the key drivers of that performance.

How does a media trading desk work?

A media trading desk can be a service provided by an agency or a software solution. The service or solution provides planning, management, and optimization of programmatic advertising campaigns. 

Advertisers benefit from an agency trading desk (ATD) that enables them to buy media for less than managing a campaign in-house. At first, you may think that ATD is similar to a demand-side platform (DSP). However, an agency trading desk offers the added value of programmatic advertising professionals on top.

ATDs provide the expertise of software developers, account managers, and data analysts that optimize the media buying for the agency’s campaign. ATDs work between the advertiser and the supply and demand platforms, and networks to purchase media. In this sense, they work similarly to AdTech platforms. They provide added services that regular demand or supply platforms don’t give to their clients like:

  • Planning
  • Campaign launching and optimization
  • Reporting and analytics

The State of Programmatic Advertising in 2021 ( Statistics)

Digital advertising has been changing in the last years driven by automation and innovative solutions that benefit both publishers and advertisers. Here are top statistics you need to know about the state of programmatic advertising in 2021:

Global programmatic ad spend will reach 155 billion in 2021

Global Programmatic Ad Spend

Global ad spending 2017 to 2021 (Statista)

Programmatic ad spending is projected to grow 20% in 2021. 

The percentage of growth is also seeing a rising trend. Companies are expected to spend 20% more on programmatic advertising in 2021 than in 2020.

And the rising trend will grow well into 2023, according to a study by an e-marketer.

In fact, programmatic display ad spending is growing more than non-programmatic display ads. 

Programmatic Display Ad Spending


More statistics

  • The average cost per action (CPA) is $49 for paid search and $75 for display ads.
  • The US social media ad spends reached $43 billion in 2020. This was a 20% increase from 2019. (Source: eMarketer)
  • Marketers use ineffective strategies: Only 61% of marketers believe their marketing strategy is effective.
  • 40% of marketers consider that proving the ROI of the marketing efforts is a challenge.

Programmatic Advertising Trends

The pandemic affected programmatic advertising, but as was reported by MediaRadar in September, the numbers were bouncing back. There was a 36% growth in July 2021 from 2020 levels, which puts the market at pre-pandemic levels.

What’s next for programmatic advertising? Here are some trends to look for:

  • Avoiding “heavy ads” 

In August 2020, Google implemented a feature on Chrome that blocks “heavy ads” to improve the user experience. Any ad that Google considers as heavy is removed and replaced with a label that says: “ad removed”

What’s a heavy ad?

  • It has more than 4MB of network data usage
  • Uses the main thread for 60 seconds in total
  • Uses 15 seconds of CPU in a 30 seconds window

This means companies will need to optimize video ads to prevent being labeled as heavy ads.

  • Planning for Post Third Party Cookies (P3PC)

Third-party cookies are being phased out on Chrome by 2022 and are going to change the way companies carry programmatic advertising. Organizations need to prepare for 2022 when they can no longer use 3PC. That means they need to take a multi-layered approach to advertise.

  • Programmatic advertising spending will continue rising

The 2020 IAB Europe reports that companies will keep raising their budgets for programmatic advertising. Here are some of the reasons:

  • The number of companies investing more than 41% of their display budget into programmatic advertising grew to 70% in 2020.
  • 54% of advertising agencies buy almost half of their video ads programmatically.
  • Publishers report they are selling 81% of their inventory.
  • Adoption of emerging formats

New formats like connected TV (CTV) and Digital out-of-home media are slowly taking off. CTV in particular offers an opportunity for programmatic advertising. It allows advertisers to reach two different audience types at the same time. The people that want to watch TV on their timeframe and people that avoid linear TV.

What about Digital Media Trading Platforms? How do they work?

Technology is changing the way companies buy and sell digital advertising space. What once was done by human buyers, and advertising salespeople now is done through technology trading platforms.

How do they work? The media trading ecosystem consists of three key actors: demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms, and the ad exchange where they interact. Let’s explore how each one works:

Demand Side Platforms (DSP)

Demand-side platforms enable advertisers to buy impressions from publisher sites, targeted to their audience.  Publishers put their ad impressions for sale on ad exchanges. The DSP selects the right impressions for the advertiser in a real-time auction through real-time bidding.

How does this work?

The advertiser inputs the target audience preference and budget into the DSP. Then, the platform places programmatic bids using artificial intelligence (AI). The auctions take place in seconds and the highest bid ad is the one that appears on the page. The entire process happens automatically, without human intervention.

Best demand-side platforms

Some of the most popular demand-side platforms are well-known digital giants, others act independently of the media channel they run.

  • Facebook Ads Manager: they provide the buying platform and the biddable ad space. The ads manager enables advertisers to create, edit, manage, track and analyze campaigns from one place.
  • Rocket Fuel: is a self-service DSP, allowing companies to bring programmatic marketing in-house. The platform uses predictive AI to serve real-time ads relevant to the customer profile.
  • Amazon: Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP) uses the amazon algorithm to serve ads in real-time, leveraging precisely targeted campaigns for relevant customers. The downside is that users (advertisers/publishers) don’t get much information about conversion rates or click-through rates.
  • MediaMath: is an independent programmatic company for advertisers. One of its advantages, MediaMath can have full access to their data.

Supply-side platforms

A supply-side platform is a software solution geared to help online publishers sell their display, video, or mobile ad impressions. It works as the publisher-side of a demand-side platform. SSPs are designed to maximize the prices of impressions for publishers.

How does it work?

It allows publishers to connect their inventory to several ad exchanges, DSPs, and ad networks. Thus expanding the range of potential buyers for ad space. Real-time bidding helps publishers to get the highest possible rates. The SSP inputs impressions into ad exchanges, where a DSP analyzes and purchases them. The process, although looking complicated, happens in real-time in the time a page takes to load.

Best supply-side platforms

  • MoPub: is a hosted ad serving solution built specifically for mobile publishers.
  • Google Ad Manager: formerly Double Click for Publishers, works as an ad revenue engine that connects with the Google Ad Exchange. The downside is that it is locked to Google products.
  • Sharethrough:  is an omnichannel supply-side platform for programmatic advertising, geared to publishers, content creators, and app developers.
  • AppNexus: this is an independent programmatic marketplace, with the advantage of accessing data and managing the advertising offerings.

What are Ad exchanges?

Is a digital marketplace that connects advertisers and publishers to buy and sell advertising space through real-time auctions. They are used to sell display, video, and mobile ad inventory.

Best ad exchanges

PubMatic: it offers an easy-to-use interface and advanced advertising features like open-source header bidding.

Verizon Media: the company offers a large range of advertisers, serving over 2 billion ad impressions daily. Provides header bidding, programmatic direct selling, and management tools.

Google Adx: uses both open-auction and private-auction bidding models. The downside is that it has a high barrier of entry

Ad exchange vs ad network

Ad network

What’s an ad network?: is an intermediary that collects inventory from publishers and sells it to advertisers.

How does it work? Ad networks are organizations that collect, curate and sell publisher’s ad inventories. They charge a commission for the intervention, and the inventories are sold in bulk.

Ad exchange

What’s an ad exchange?: is a digital marketplace where advertisers and publishers buy and sell ad inventory directly.

 How does it work?

An ad exchange is a platform that gives an environment for advertisers, agencies, DSP, publishers, and SSP, to buy and sell media in a transparent way, in real-time.

Ad Network Ad Exchange
Type Company services Technological platform
Target Users Agencies, advertisers, and publishers Agencies, Advertisers, DSP, SSP, publishers
Optimization speed Takes time to change Changes in real-time
Transparency Advertisers don’t know where the ads are served. Publishers don’t have information about the buyer Both parties have information on the transaction
Inventory Offers a premium inventory to advertisers Offers remaining inventory.
Pricing Depends on negotiation According to the bids placed
Pros Publishers can sell at a premium price because they set the price. The price is set automatically according to the bidding process.
Cons There is little transparency about where the ad is served and who is the buyer. Publishers may not get a premium price for their inventory.

Tips to Increase your Ad Revenue

Publishers need to develop a programmatic ad strategy that aligns with the overall sales strategy. The most important point is ensuring the quality of the inventory so it doesn’t get categorized as remnant inventory.

Publishers can follow some tips to increase the advertising revenue of a website. Let’s review a couple of them:

CPM advertising

In Cost-Per-Mille advertising, you get paid per thousand impressions of an ad. Publishers can use this method to set the prices they want to get for their ad impressions. This method works best when you have high traffic and a targeted audience.

PPC Advertising

Another popular method is Pay-Per-Click. With PPC ads, you get paid every time a user clicks on an ad served on your site. You can increase your revenue as a publisher with PPC by using an ad network like CodeFuel. An ad network will give you the control and information to maximize the revenue for the ads on your website.

Join affiliate marketing

You can also advertise and promote products for third parties on your website. You get paid every time a customer clicks on the link or makes a purchase through your site. This method can be combined with other advertising methods.

If you want to know more about ad revenue, check Ad Revenue: What Is and How to Increase it?  

Maximize your ad revenue with CodeFuel

Codefuel is a complete monetization platform that enables publishers to maximize their ad revenue through intent-based ads.

CodeFuel ad network enables publishers to generate higher revenue with text, display, and search ads. Tap into the broad reach of. premium search vendors while enriching the user experience. The CodeFuel Hub enables publishers to manage and optimize traffic with real-time data enhancing the value of their impressions. Learn more about how to increase your ad revenue with CodeFuel by contacting us. 

What is The Future of Media Trading

In its beginnings, media trading was conducted almost entirely on a managed basis. Later, vendors implemented self-serving platforms. The issue with programmatic advertising tools is that in reality, the user needs to choose their target audience, the budget, and other aspects of ad campaign optimization. With marketers using over 30 tools regularly, this can be a hassle and lead to inefficiencies.

New media platforms need to address several challenges:

User experience is king: Enhancing the user experience is key for a successful interaction between publishers and advertisers.

Mobile friendly: users need to manage the media platform across devices.

Transparency and clear information: buyers and suppliers need clear information about what is happening with the real-time bidding.  Buyers need to know where the ads will appear to optimize the campaign.

More Business Intelligence: new platforms use AI to target the audiences at the end-user level. The software will understand the target user’s intent, behavior, and preferences.

Final Thoughts

Publishers and advertisers cannot go blind when using media trading platforms. Programmatic platforms must provide a high-targeted user experience while maximizing revenue through transparency.

How to Start a Website that Makes Money – 4 Ways

How to Start a Website that Makes Money – 4 Ways

If you are looking for ways to monetize your website, selling ads is a convenient and potentially profitable way to do it. You surely have questions about how to start, requirements. Also, should you sell the ads directly or join an ad network?

Don’t worry, the CodeFuel team prepared this guide to answer all questions you may have for selling advertisements the right way.

What to Do Before Starting Selling Ads?

Before you sell ads on digital property, you need to be sure your website is attractive for high-paying advertisers. Whether you plan on selling directly from your website or sign up for an ad platform, there are some common requirements.

1. Basic Requirements for Selling Ads

Each ad platform has its own requirements, but  there are three basic factors that determine your quality as a publisher for advertisers:


For Google AdSense for example, your site must be active for at least six months, attract 250 unique visitors a day and the majority of the traffic must come from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Europe. Traffic that goes against Google policies (fake impressions, invalid click activity) are prohibited.


The content of your website needs to be unique, relevant, and provide value to users. The more niche the content, the better for advertisers because it means the website is highly targeted to their audience. Your site needs to have enough pages for a reasonable dwell time (20 to 30 pages) and allow visitors to browse, with rich, value-based content.

Design and Usability

Look at your site design. Is it clean? Entices the visitors to learn more about your content? It should be professionally designed and visually attractive. To attract conversions, it needs to be easy to navigate, with a simple structure, and fast to lead to provide a great user experience. Make sure the page is mobile-friendly so visitors can reach your site (and its ads) from any device.

What Are the Requirements for Selling Ads on Your Properties?

Two of the major programs are Google AdSense and Bing Network Contextual Ads Program.  If you want to expand your site’s reach, you are not limited to AdSense. Let’s review both networks characteristics:

Google AdSense
  • Unique, interesting, and helpful.
  • Comply with Google guidelines

    • Own site.
    • If using Blogger, different eligibility requirements apply.

      • Accessible, easy-to-use Readability
      • Functionality
      • Bing Network
        • Premium, high-quality original content.
        • English as the primary language.

          • Own site with a reasonable volume of traffic.
          • Most traffic from U.S/ Canada/ UK.

            • Good navigation
            • Readability
            • Functionality
            • 2. Understand the Current Site Audience

              Before going on searching for advertisers first you need to understand who your visitor is. Look into your website analytics: what are the demographics? Check from where the traffic is coming. Do you have peak traffic times?

              It is important that your audience is targeted, comprising visitors that are heavily interested in what your advertisers may offer. For instance, if you have a website about video games, while teenage gamers don’t have a high income as a collective, the audience is very attractive for game console companies and game developers.

              3. Make Your Online Property Attractive

              How to make your online property attractive to advertisers? We already mentioned some factors above but let’s explore this a bit more. The golden rule is that if your site is appealing and engaging to visitors, it will catch the attention of advertisers trying to reach those visitors.

              A clean, engaging website design creates trust and enhances the user experience. So, here are 8  tips to create an engaging website design:

              • Keep the layout simple
              • Make navigation intuitive
              • Design clear calls to action
              • Minimal and impactful content
              • Whitespace is your friend
              • Use eye-catching colors in your brand palette
              • Attractive and easy-to-read fonts draw attention
              • Add media and images but keep tabs on the load speed.

              4. Check How Much You Can Get For Ads In Your Niche

              Including ads on your website is one of the most popular ways of monetization. Online advertising is a cost-effective advertising method for companies, compared to traditional advertising. While the average cost to reach 1000 people with online ads is $3.45, offline ads cost $22 and up to reach the same number of people.

              The key to success monetizing with ads is to set your prices right. How much should you charge for ads? Your rates (Cost per Mille – or per thousand impressions) will depend also on your niche. You also need to take into account how much the ad network will pay you for every click on the ad (Cost per Click).

              Related content: What is it, and How to Increase Your Page RPM?

              So how much do you charge? We researched industry benchmarks for the highest and lowest cost per click:

              Highest and lowest cost per click

              The average cost per click for most verticals is $2 to $4, but top industries like lawyers, insurance, and loans can go by $6 per click.

              The platform you choose to monetize your impressions is also important, with a significant difference in costs between search and display ads. Check the below table for average CPC and CPM costs per platform (including social media):

              Platform Average CPC Average CPM
              Google Search Ads $2.32 $38.40
              Google Display Ads $0.67 $3.12
              Social Media Ads
              Facebook  $1.35 $8.60
              Instagram $3.56 $8.96
              Twitter $0.38 $6.46
              LinkedIn $5.26 $6.59

              How do you price advertising space?

              Your rate should attract high-paying advertisers and at the same time help you meet your monetization goals. Here are some questions you should ask to find out your ideal rate:

              1. How much is your minimum rate?Define how much you need to charge for your ads to cover costs and make a profit. Take into account your business expenses and how much income you expect to make from sales. The remaining amount is how much sales you’ll need to cover from selling ads.

              2. How much can you sell from ads on your page?On the other side, you should find out how much you can actually sell from ads on your website. This will depend on your layout and how many ads you can fit on your pages without cluttering them.

              Look at the ad placement and format. Will you include video or interactive ads? Banners? Check the size of the potential ads and the position on the page.

              Here are the banner ad sizes that perform better in 2021:

              Dimension Name Maximum size CTR FREQUENCY
              300 x 250 Medium rectangle 150 KB 0.13% 40%
              336 x 280 Large rectangle 150 KB 0.33% 1%
              728 x 90 Leaderboard 150 KB 0.08% 25%
              300 x 600 Half-page or large skyscraper 150 KB 0.23% 5%
              320 x 50 Mobile leaderboard 150 KB 1.2% 12%

              3. How much are your competitors charging?Finally, it is good to know the market for ads in your niche. Look at how much your competitors charge for ads on their sites, the types of ads they display, their placement, and their frequency.

              Selling Ad Space: 4 Top Ways for Selling Ads

              Selling ads on your website is a great way to monetize your site’s traffic. Still, it is not that easy to achieve a reasonable income from it.

              Sell directly

              This model doesn’t require an intermediary (ad networks, ad exchanges, affiliates) and potentially enables a publisher to earn more by being in direct contact with media buyers. However, this method requires a lot of time and effort.


                  • Publishers retain 100% of the advertising revenue.
                  • You can set your own rate and control who advertises on your site, and how they will pay.
                  • By choosing the brands to work with, you establish unique and potentially long-term business relations.
                  • It is simple without hassling over clicks, conversions, and impressions.


                  • It’s a ton of work finding advertisers manually and negotiating terms with them.
                  • It requires you have an established website, with lots of traffic, good conversions, and a community of visitors that regularly browse on your pages.
                  • Requires manually controlling your ad sales and performance.

              Affiliate advertising

              This is one of the fastest ways to earn money with your website. This method involves promoting a product or service in exchange for a commission.

              Usually, publishers place affiliate links, text ads, or banners on their sites. When a visitor takes the desired action through the affiliate link (making a purchase, opting into a newsletter, etc) you get paid.


                  • Easy to enter. Most affiliate networks have minimal requirements: your own domain, an email account linked to it, and a website layout that supports different ad formats.
                  • Free for publishers
                  • High commissions per purchase. The average purchase commission for a user clicking on the affiliate link and purchasing through it can range from 30 to 50%.


                  • Generally, you only get paid when the visitor completes a purchase from the link. Very few affiliate networks will work on CPA (pay-per-action) or CPC (cost-per-click). Learn more about pricing models: CPC vs CPM Explained: What’s the Difference in 2021?
                  • You need to promote your site and the products to encourage sales. That means investing time and effort in social media posts and posting content on your site to drive visitors to click on that link or ad.

              The 80/20 rule for Affiliate Marketing

              Most affiliate publishers (80%) are paid on a PPS basis—pay per sale—, 18 percent on CPA (pay per action), and only the remaining 2% use CPM and CPC models as compensation methods. 

              That being said, affiliate marketing can make a website really profitable. Commissions can be around 30 to 50 percent.

              Ad Networks

              The easiest option is to join an ad network that takes care of selling your impressions, track your earnings, and arrange placement on your site for a commission. Most ad networks set minimum monthly traffic you need to meet. CodeFuel is an example of a complete platform that leverages data management and artificial intelligence to maximize revenue from ads for publishers.


                  • Once you sign on to the network, the platform takes care of everything, dealing with the impressions via real-time bidding (learn what is real-time bidding).
                  • Niche or premium networks can offer more revenue for ads since they attract higher-intent customers, which in turn attracts higher-paying advertisers.


                  • Large ad networks have strict requirements for publishers to join their networks.
                  • The traffic minimum can be high for some publishers.

              Native advertising

              With this method, you create ads that blend with the surrounding content. Sponsored posts, content, and reviews are examples of native ads. Native advertising can be more effective than display ads since they integrate with the content. For instance, native ads can have 18% more purchase intent than display ads.

              Native Ad Click Through Rates

              Source: eMarketer


                  • Builds brand awareness because
                  • They integrate into the customer experience, enhancing it.
                  • Can be used to target specific audience segments.
                  • Increase click-through rates


                  • Time-consuming. Requires creating content, like articles, reviews, social media posts.
                  • It is complex to measure performance. You need to combine measuring impressions, clicks, and CTR with website metrics like time on site, engagement rate, views, and cost per action.

              Programmatic Advertising

              Programmatic advertising is the group of technologies, tools, and processes that publishers and advertisers use to automate the media buying process. Publishers can leverage their available ad inventory by using a Supply Side Platform (SSP).

              A supply-side platform is an advertising technology tool that coordinates and manages the sale of ad space. The platform sends the ad offerings and requests for bids to the ad network. On the buyer’s side, the demand side platform sends the bids. Check our guide if you want to know more about how a supply-side platform works.


              • Reaching a much larger pool of advertisers
              • Automating the ad space sales, saving money and effort
              • Maximizing the yield by encouraging competition amongst bidders


              • Most supply-side platforms have high traffic requirements.

              What’s Better – Sell Directly or Through an Ad Network

              Selling ads directly can be tempting. It may produce a high revenue but it comes with a few caveats:

              • You need to have a top-performing website. That means, from the traffic to the design, it should be optimized to generate maximum conversions.
              • It is also extremely time-consuming. You’ll be handling all the advertising sales and negotiation yourself.

              So if you are not ready or you want to save time, it is better you join an ad network.

              Still not sure? Let’s do a quick test.

              Should I sell ads directly on my site? Checklist 

              • Do you have significant traffic? If your site gets over 50,000 unique visits a month it may be worth it to target direct advertisers.
              • Is your audience highly targeted? Advertisers want their ads to go as directly as possible to people who will buy their products. So, if you have a high-intent, interested audience it may be valuable for advertisers.
              • Can you find active advertisers in your market? Your success will depend on clients that will actively (frequently) place ads on your website. If your website is suitable for a dynamic market that releases updates and new products all the time, check this item.
              • Do you already have direct relationships with companies? If you are an expert on your niche and already have relationships with companies it will give you the advantage to get them to place adverts on your site.

              Results: If you checked all the items on the checklist above there might be a chance for you to generate money from direct ad sales.

              Still, remember you need to invest time and effort. First, putting your site in shape to attract advertisers, then investing time in contacting potential clients.

              Using an ad network takes all the hassle of chasing advertisers. The right ad network increases the value of your website by placing contextual ads that enhance your user experience. Thus, you gain for the performance of the ads and you also make your online property more valuable.

              How much can you make on selling ad space on your website?

              This will depend on the pricing model you choose. If you sell by Cost per Mille (cost per thousand impressions). If your CPM is $2 and your site generates 200,000 impressions per month, you can expect to make $400 a month.

              If you sell by Cost-Per-Click (CPC), you will get paid according to the number of people that actually click on the ad.

              Can you sell ad space with low traffic?

              The short answer is yes. It will depend on the level of engagement of your audience. If your site boasts a highly engaged audience it may be a valuable asset for advertisers.

              Think about it. If you were an advertiser, would you prefer to present ads massively to an audience that may or not convert? Or get your message directly in front of a group of highly engaged potential customers? The answer is clear. While traffic is a basic requirement, having an engaged audience is a good asset to attract advertisers.

              Where to start?

              As a publisher, you have a great opportunity to generate revenue and earn passive income from placing ads on your website. The easiest and most effective way is to sign with an ad network.

              CodeFuel combines the advantages of a large reach with the enhancing of the user experience through contextual ads. You can leverage search, shopping, and text ads in a single monetization platform to maximize revenue and increase engagement.

              Start monetizing your website today with CodeFuel

              Free Marketing Tools you Must Have in 2024

              Free Marketing Tools you Must Have in 2024

              Marketers in small companies or startups feel they need to spend a small fortune on the right tools to get work done. But can you get the same results with free tools?

              Your marketing stack should include tools for a range of uses, from content writing, social media, SEO, and website analysis.

              So, can you build your marketing stack without spending a dime? 

              We took this challenge and researched the top 24 free marketing tools that can help you build your stack without going over budget.

              Short on time? Here you have the list.

              Top Free Digital Tools for Marketers

              Let’s start with four essentials for writing content, designing, testing, and research.

              1. Landing Pages – WordPress


              WordPress is one of the most popular content management and editing software out there. With an estimated 64 million websites and over 400 million visitors, it is a very versatile tool.

              You can build your website, create, edit and publish your content. It features also many add ons and extensions that make creating and tracking metrics for landing pages easier.

              2. Design – Canva


              This design tool helps you create images and visuals for everything imaginable. From infographics, blog posts, ecards, prints, and whatever you need.

              The site features free and paid templates for every type of content. Here at CodeFuel, we use it to prepare visuals and infographics for our content. The built-in templates make it easy to create different types of images for different social media channels.

              3. Testing – UserPeek


              UserPeek is a clever tool that allows you to test your product or website with real users. You can detect usability issues and get audience insights. You can set the test scenarios and tasks, or choose from test templates. The solution lets you test websites, apps, copy, images, and ads.

              4. Google Alerts

              Google Alerts

              This tool can help you track trends and monitor the web for topics that interest you. You can check search results for a given query. Setting a Google Alert can save time since you can set keywords and get an alert every time there is new content related to it.

              Social Media Free Tools

              Investing in solid social media is a key strategy to drive engagement and grow your consumer base. Being consistent and covering your channels is at the base of every social media strategy. Social Media Management and scheduling tools make your life easier.

              5. Social media scheduling – Buffer


              Scheduling your social media posts has several advantages:

              1. Create your posts in one go and publish them at the best time over the week or even month.
              2. Plan your entire weekly or monthly strategy and see it through. It gives you a bird’s eye over the entire strategy.

              Buffer’s forever free plan allows you to connect one profile from each channel (Twitter, Facebook, and so on). You can schedule up to 10 posts for each network.

              6. Manage your Twitter – TweetDeck


              You can manage your Twitter profile from the platform but if you have something more professional you can try TweetDeck’s free plan.

              TweetDeck is a free tool that allows you to manage easily multiple (unlimited) Twitter accounts. It provides a single dashboard and unified interface. You can monitor lists, searches, and hashtags.

              7. Facebook analytics tools – Agorapulse


              With Agorapulse you have two different free Facebook analytics tools. The first tool allows you to compare your page according to the market benchmark. You can monitor then how your content is performing regarding the market average and which metrics you need to optimize. The second tool is for competitor analysis.

              The reports can be done at the page level or timeline level, according to paid, organic, or viral reach. You can even calculate the ROI of your Facebook marketing.

              Marketing Research Free Tools

              Every successful marketing strategy starts with great research. Good research tools don’t need to be costly.  Here are some options to do great research.

              8. Trend research – Google Trends

              If you’re looking to quickly search if a keyword or topic is trending, you should have a go with Google Trends.

              See what the world is searching for right now and over time. For instance, I wanted to know the interest in “website monetization”, “monetizing with ads” and “monetization platform” search terms.

              Google Trends

              So, I imputed those terms into Google Trends and it looks like there is an interest in those concepts.

              9. Research – Google Scholar

              Google Scholar

              Contrary to what you may think, this tool is not only for researching heavy science papers and reports. You can search online studies from universities, thesis, books, professional societies papers, on a wide variety of topics. If you add a Google Alert to it, you can get instant insights right to your email.

              10. Blog Topics search – Answer the Public 

              Answer the Public

              This tool is a great starting point for question queries. Basically, you can input keywords and the platform will tell you what are the most common questions asked about that topic. The tool takes autocomplete data from search engines and presents the phrases and questions people are asking around your keyword.

              Content Writing Free Tools

              At the core of a successful website is great content. That’s why “Content is King” is heard by marketers everywhere. To write well, you’ll need to produce something interesting and unique, take care of your grammar and spelling, and be easy to read. Here are free tools you can use to improve your writing.

              11. Write well – Grammarly


              The free Grammarly is more than a grammar and spell checker. It gives you suggestions on clarity, synonyms, and other basic issues. While the premium package acts almost like a writing tutor, you can have great results with the free version.

              They have an online editor and a plugin for Google Docs, that checks your writing while you are producing it.

              12. Check for plagiarism –


              To be effective, content should be unique. With millions of articles, blog posts, and copy it is difficult to sure whatever you write is 100% original. Checking for plagiarism is key for producing original content that doesn’t get you flagged in search engines.

              Plagiarism report is free and checks the uniqueness of your content against millions of online pieces. It analyzes the text not only based on words but also lexical frequency. To use it: upload a file, copy/paste the text into the tool’s editor or the URL.

              13. Readability – Hemingway


              Your content should be easy to read so you don’t bore or annoy your readers. Hemingway app helps you to grade your text for readability. It checks adverbs, passive voice, and complicated sentences.

              Website Analysis Free Tools

              To ensure your marketing efforts are successful you should track your website metrics. Here you have some free tools that can help you.

              14. Keyword research – Ubersuggest


              Having the right keywords is critical for connecting with your audience. One of the best free tools out there is UberSuggest, by Neil Patel. This tool gives you long-tail keyword suggestions and content topic ideas. The paid tier also includes competitor analysis and other features.

              15. SEO – Open Site Explorer

              Open Site Explorer

              Open Site Explorer was developed by Moz to track the links that lead to your website. This optimization tool works as a search engine for links. While some of the filtering and comparison metrics are free, you’ll need an account for more advanced reports.

              You can discover which links are pointing to your website and increase the authority. This, in turn, will increase your ranking in search engines.

              16. Analytics – Google Analytics

              Google Analytics


              Google Analytics tracks the traffic to your website. It is free and gives you a ton of info. You can see traffic from different networks, look at the engagement with Time on Page rates. Google Analytics gives you real-time statistics of who is looking at your website.

              17. Heatmap – HotJar


              You know that users are visiting your website, how long they stay, and the pages they visit. But do you know exactly where do they look? Where they click? How far do they scroll?

              Hotjar is a free tool that shows you in a heatmap how users are experiencing your website. You can see where they click, where they scroll. It is extremely valuable to see how someone interacts with your blog posts.

              18. Analyze your headlines – IsItWP headline analyzer 

              IsItWP headline analyzer

              Having strong headlines is key to drive traffic and shares. A clickable SEO headline means your site will rank better in search results. IsitWP SEO Headline Analyzer gives an overall score to your headline, taking into account word balance, word count, power words, and other factors.

              You should aim for a score of over 70 to be effective in terms of SEO. The tool also gives you tips to improve your headline. Unlike other paid tools, you can try as many headlines as you want until you find the perfect one, for free.

              19. Website analysis tool – HubSpot Website Grader

              HubSpot Website Grader

              Website Grader is a website audit tool that also lets you analyze your site as a comprehensive all-in-one tool for free, so what more do you need? It gives you an overall score in terms of performance, SEO, speed, and mobile responsiveness. You also get tips on how to improve your website.

              Relationship Management Free Tools

              To be productive, your staff needs to have visibility over your projects. Staying on top of content production and distribution, deliver timely email campaigns, and relating with clients require tools to be effective. Here are our top relationship tools picks:

              20. Project management – Asana 


              Asana is a simple but powerful project management tool. It allows you to have visibility over the entire project cycle, add and assign tasks, get comments, share documents, all in a simple central dashboard.

              You can group projects in a portfolio, manage multiple teams and projects. We use Asana to collaborate in your content production and other tasks.

              21. Email marketing – Mail Chimp

              Mail Chimp

              MailChimp, one of the most used email marketing solutions, has a free plan you can use if you have less than 2000 people on our mailing lists. With this free plan, you can send up to 10,000 emails a month to up to 2,000 subscribers. Small businesses and personal accounts can benefit from this free account. The free plan also includes an in-built CRM.

              22. CRM – HubSpot CRM

              HubSpot CRM

              HubSpot CRM is a free complete software for contact management and productivity. It gives you visibility into the sales pipeline in real-time in a centralized dashboard. You can also get detailed reports on productivity, sales, and individual performance.

              This tool is free with unlimited users and up to a million contacts. So, in our opinion, it has nothing to envy from paid CRM software.

              Monetization Free Tools

              Creating great content and having a high-performance website or app is just the first step. The goal of every company is ultimately to make money from their online properties. That’s why choosing the right monetization method and platform is critical.

              23. Monetization platform – CodeFuel


              There are many monetization options for applications or websites available. You can use a different solution for every goal but it can be time-consuming having to track all the monetization methods you use. Instead, use a monetization platform that covers all your digital properties.

              Codefuel is a complete free monetization platform that allows you to leverage user intent to display search and shopping ads to monetize a website, application, or extension.

              24. Google AdSense 

              Google AdSense

              AdSense is one of the most popular free monetization options that works by displaying ads on your website. To qualify for Google AdSense your site needs to meet certain conditions. While widely popular and offering a huge reach, the earnings of using AdSense can be on the lower side. It may also not be suitable for niche sites.

              Paid vs Free

              Should you use a free tool? Or maybe your company needs to upgrade to a paid version? While this will depend on your company’s size and goals here you have some pointers to help you decide.

              Who may use free tools

              Most free tools have a limit on the number of users, contacts, or other factors. Therefore, free tools are best suited to small and medium businesses or solopreneurs. That being said, these will really depend on the company’s activity. For instance, a large company that doesn’t have yet a big email list can use free email marketing tools.

              An exception may be monetization platforms since they are best suited to companies that generate a sizeable amount of traffic.

              Who may need a paid tool 

              Large enterprises that go over the limit of customers or users may need to upgrade their marketing stack to include paid tools. In many cases, upgrading to a paid version implies substituting the tool. Other companies invest in paid tools because of extra features.

              That’s a Wrap!

              Well, that was a handful, but we hope you can benefit from our complete list of free tools. In that list, you can have a free tool for every need in your stack. Building a successful marketing stack doesn’t mean you need to invest a fortune beforehand. From content creation to website analysis and monetization, you can find the tool you need, for free.