A focused media planning strategy provides brands with clear milestones for the fiscal year and empowers marketers to maximize their budget. Without a plan, marketing teams can get lost. They may panic, and make decisions incongruent with their brand’s identity, that don’t propel their brand forward in a meaningful way.

Thoughtful media planning allows marketing teams to balance ad campaigns throughout the brand ecosystem, accurately monitor and measure each campaign’s impact and success, and make smart decisions about a brand’s trajectory.

To ensure your brand stays on task this year, start with a media plan.

What Is Media Planning?

Media planning is a complex process that, when done well, leads to clear and measurable goals and results. Successful media planning naturally leads brands to broaden their consumer base, increase their market share, and build a trusted, recognized reputation within their industry. Not to be confused with media buying, which involves identifying and purchasing ad space on relevant digital channels, media planning is the process of strategizing, evaluating, and adjusting advertisements. This includes determining when, where and how specific ads and messaging should be displayed to optimize audience engagement and conversions, all factors which are determined through data collection and analysis of audiences, channels, and ad performance.

Effective media planning requires more than great ad content or on-trend campaigns—it means considering your company’s brand identity and target audience, and then using that data to communicate the right messaging to those consumers at the right time. Careful thought must be put into media planning for it to be successful. Creating a well-rounded media plan also means exploring how all types of media will factor into your overall strategy. The three primary types of media are paid, owned, and earned. Paid media is the direct result of PPC advertising, display ads, and branded content. Owned media is content that belongs to your brand, like social media posts and published blog content on your website, and earned media is content generated by customer reviews and testimonials or outside media coverage. Likely a mix of all three types of media will work best for most brands and delving into how each type will factor into your overall strategy will give you the best omni-channel presence possible.

Successful 2023 Media Planning

A media plan will save your marketing team valuable time overall and make the transition to 2023 even smoother. Media planning enables your brand to track, organize, distribute, analyze, and adjust content within a highly competitive digital landscape.

If your brand is also in media planning mode and preparing to tackle the new year with creative new media strategies, LEAP Amp has curated a helpful outline of seven crucial questions to ask to guide you through the process.

1. What are your goals for 2023? Goals and objectives should be clear, measurable and account for the needs and demands of all the departments of the company. Objectives might include strengthening collaboration between internal teams or streamlining and automating content sharing.

2. Who is your target audience? Identify, understand, and segment your target audience through extensive market research and engagement analytics to determine where and when consumers engage most with your content, as well as what types of content they find most engaging.

3. How far do you want to reach? Decide how many viewers you need to see your content each day, week, and month, as well as which media platforms cater to your target audiences. Consider growth goals and how many new consumers or demographics you are trying to connect with in 2023.

4. How often do you want to be seen? Determine how frequently your ads should run, if they should run continuously or with intentional or seasonal pauses, or if a combination of the two methods works best. Implementing an automated media calendar may be a great way to easily plan for and adjust ad frequency.

5. How will you monitor your success? Campaigns require continual monitoring and adjustment to flourish, so be sure to monitor, track, and analyze campaign insights to make informed, data-driven decisions and optimize ads. Return to your original objectives to be sure you are reaching both your short- and long-term goals.

6. What is your budget? While we certainly do not recommend exceeding your planned media budget, remember that media planning requires flexibility so that money can easily shift toward top-performing channels and ads. Remember to factor in your media buying budget as well so that you can allocate funds accordingly.

7. How does your 2023 plan grow from past work? Review previous media plans from recent years and consider how you can expand upon elements that made a substantial impact and rework elements that did not. Analyzing historical performance data will allow you to know where you’ve been and where you can go in the future.

A professional media agency like LEAP Amp can develop a data-driven media plan for your brand that will optimize campaigns and messaging, as well as streamline the campaign review process. If you’re in need of support as you design your 2023 media plan, or if your marketing team needs assistance with implementing and evaluating your new strategies, the LEAP Amp team is here to help. We are experts at planning and optimizing your media without ever losing sight of your audience or objectives.