How to Create Your Own Media Strategy and Why It Matters
When trying to capture the attention of a niche audience, it's important to know the exact demographic you want to attract and what will grab them in the most effective way. A media strategy is a plan of action that helps your business reach its target audience and to improve the overall customer conversion rate.
The conversion rate is the percentage of people who take a desired action after engaging with your website, or any other form of media that makes a call to action. For example, one goal might be to get direct sales. So the rate would be the number of people who visit your website based on your media strategy, divided by the number who make a purchase. Sometimes goals are longer term—say, lead generation or getting subscriptions to a company newsletter.
Purpose of a Media Strategy
The reason for a media strategy depends on what the company hopes to achieve with it. Improving public relations requires a different approach than increasing profits. However, both can be achieved using a thorough and specific media plan with distinct timelines and distinct forms of media—TV, radio, print, podcast, website, social, etc.—to reach certain business objectives.
All media strategies take the same approach during creation. They must all have specific goals and a specific demographic in mind. However, a strategy implemented to raise awareness of a certain issue or condition is typically different than a strategy used to promote the upcoming release of a product or movie. While a public service advertisement for an issue might appear onscreen at a theater during a new release, promotion of the movie requires a media strategy that will draw the audience to the show.
Increasingly, some combination of media is needed to increase the frequency with which the message is received. This is sometimes called an integrated media plan. For the movie example, it might mean radio, billboard, website, social, or an in-store promotion with some form of incentive to spur the desired behavior of getting people to the theater.
Media Strategy Components
These are the steps involved in creating your media plan:
Research and Identify Your Target Market: Take the demographics of your target audience into consideration. The more you know about your target market, the more effective your overall marketing strategy will be. Identify your market, where and how they spend their time, and the media and messaging to most effectively reach them. For example, marketing through mobile apps and social media would be more effective to reach the teenage demographic than advertising in print and traditional media.
Set Measurable Objectives and Goals: Keep in mind your overall marketing objective and goals during the strategy creation process. These must be measurable and specific. Use the SMART method, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based. The simple goal to "Make more money" can be measured, but "Increase profits by 20% by Q3" is a much more specific goal—and it offers a way to create a timeline that keeps you on track.
Determine Your Marketing Budget: The marketing budget is also part of your media strategy. Without a budget, it is possible to throw thousands of dollars at a problem and get no clear solution. Having a set budget encourages you to think each tactic through and be more creative in your problem-solving. It protects you from overspending or spending money you do not have.
Craft Your Message: The marketing proposition is the customer problem your business will solve and how it will do it. The message is based on your research into what will appeal to the target audience. You can have different messages for different objectives, all tying into one theme. Remember to include a call-to-action.
Learn From Your Results: The most effective media strategies evolve over time. If you launch one strategy that doesn't have the expected business results, your company can learn from where it went wrong and improve subsequent launches.
This is why knowing what you're going for and measuring results is so important. That data feeds future media strategy improvements.