Buy Media Like a Pro!
It’s 2017 and to help you get the year started off right, we have summarized a few of the benefits of working with a media buying professional to minimize the risks in your advertising investments.
If you have been working with us for a while this may be a recap for you but it doesn’t hurt to review as a reminder of how we achieve the results that we do for you.
Reason #1: Unbiased Insights
Buying media is a lot like buying a house. It requires more than just knowing what you like and what you want. You have to be strategic and ask a lot of relevant questions to make sure the investment you make meets your needs as well as your preferences. Much like a real estate agent, a media buyer can guide you in the process. They will analyze how well the schedule, audience and creative strategy will help you reach your target. They will also evaluate pricing based on the market value of the media outlet and competitive landscape.
If you are going to buy any media yourself you should be prepared to do a lot of research. If you do not have a lot of time or don’t enjoy data analysis, you are better off having someone do it for you. You may pay a little extra for an agent (in many cases you will actually pay less) to do it for you BUT you will be less likely to overpay or to be the wrong campaign, in the wrong media, with weak messaging.
Many seasoned sales executives at media outlets can help guide you in but remember that their primary job is to sell advertising and they can’t afford to take too much time away from selling in order to consult with you about every detail of your campaign. A good media sales executive or broker will try to stay neutral in their recommendations and help you throughout your campaign but understandably, their primary agenda will be to earn commissions by selling you as much advertising as possible for the longest amount of time. By default, they are not likely to be neutral or 100% unbiased.
Fun Fact: Did you know that one of the first things that Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs did after launching his company was consult with a media agency to develop the marketing strategy? True story!
Reason #2: Get Consistent Support
When you buy media, event sponsorships or promotional items through a media agency (instead of a broker or sales agent) you can count on consistent support before and after the campaign has launched. A media agency will track your campaign results and audit them to make sure that you receive what you were promised. They will also negotiate any make goods that you could be entitled to if the media outlet does not run your campaign as promised or if the event promotions were not on point etc.
When you invest in a event sponsorship or promotional item give-aways you can also count on your agency to support you with brand ambassadors that know how to engage your brand with prospects more effectively. Trained brand ambassadors can leverage promotional items and work grassroots crowds to help you increase the amount of positive interactions at events.
In fact, an agency who works for you can’t afford NOT to be involved in every detail of your campaign. We would be happy to be your agent but if you decide to go with another company or person, make sure that they are experienced and have chemistry with you and your team. If they don’t “get you,” keep searching until you find an agent who does. It makes for more effective collaboration and a lot more fun! You should also make sure that they are unbiased and that their recommendations are not based on any personal incentives they may achieve from the opportunities they present you with.
Reason #3: Stick to a Budget
Once you start to research opportunities to advertise, you will find that there are many options out there. There are radio stations, tv stations, newspapers, social media, grassroots opportunities, large events, small events, digital opportunities and more!
An agency can help you set a reasonable budget and then prioritize opportunities based on relevance and cost. We usually recommend setting a reasonable budget of about 25% of your profits from the previous year to reinvest in marketing for your business. Once you have identified what your budget is, we recommend spreading it over the course of the year. Marketing requires consistency and it is better to spend a little each month than to burn through your budget on a big campaign.
We also recommend spreading that budget across different media each month, if possible. Setting up a digital presence before you do anything is a must. Get a strong SEO optimized website, make sure your business is listed in google and other relevant directories online and set up at least one social media account. Once you are visible online, people will be able to find you after they learn about you through whatever advertising you do.
As you review media outlets, consider how well they can reach your target audience and look at the strength of the campaign they are offering you. Are you getting enough reach? Is the campaign giving you enough frequency? Hint, if a media outlet is offering you one or two spots per week, you may not get the frequency you need for a strong campaign. If increasing the number of spots per day puts them too far out of your budget, your budget may simply be too small to be effective with that particular media outlet.
We also recommend leaving room in your budget to have strong campaigns in multiple media, not just one. Why? Because audiences are distracted and fragmented so the best way to stay in front of them is to be present in different spaces.
However we caution you not to make the mistake of shopping media outlets solely based on price. Inexpensive is not always the best deal if it has a weak or irrelevant audience.
Need a little help figuring out which media outlets are within your budget? We shop them all and can give you a quick overview. Schedule a free media buying consultation and we would be happy to give you the insights you need to make the most out of your budget.