When you invest in content, you want the most people to see it. So publish it where it has the best chance of being seen by the greatest number of the right people in the shortest amount of time.
Unfortunately, this means that your content has to fight for attention with everyone else’s. Does it make more sense to publish your content in a quiet environment or try to stand out in a noisy one? The art of deciding where to place your content most effectively is called media planning. And it is at the heart of any good digital marketing strategy.
You may be wondering why I am explaining media planning to content marketers. Is it someone else’s job? There are entire functions and agencies that deal with digital marketing. But if you do not understand the concepts of digital marketing, you’ll have a hard time convincing these media planners to include your own media channels – the digital marketing you invest hours and money in – in their media plans. And they absolutely should.
Traditional digital marketing is evolving to include modern, cross-channel social media and content marketing. Now that so many content marketers are running their own media channels, digital marketing planning needs to consider owned content strategies alongside paid media options.
In this post, you’ll find some key insights on how marketers need to rebalance the distribution of their messages across paid, earned, owned and shared channels. You also need to ask yourself these questions when planning your digital marketing strategy:
- How planning led to the creation of modern advertising agencies
- Why agencies used to offer content creation for free (and why they no longer do so)
- How digital marketing is changing in real time and what you can expect in the future?
- What does it mean to strategically plan your digital marketing?
Digital marketing is about making decisions about where, when and how often to deliver a message to an audience. The idea is to reach the largest possible number of the right audience with the right message, only as many times as it takes to achieve the desired effect (brand awareness, leads, sales or another business goal).
In the history of marketing, digital marketing was mostly limited to paid placements in media channels (print, radio and television). However, since the advent of the internet, it has become much more complicated.
When print, radio and television were the main channels for content placement, media planners had relatively few options to choose from. Sure, they had options for targeting their desired audience (which shows, at what time, and so on), but it was all about reaching a mass audience.
However, as hundreds of cable channels TV emerged with smaller niche audiences, marketing began to change. Then came websites, email, search engine results pages, mobile apps and social media. Media placement decisions became exponentially more complex.
And because the requirements and characteristics of each media channel were so different, the number and types of creative elements needed also exploded.
The more marketing changes, the more it stays the same. Yet the core concept of traditional marketing has not changed. Even in 2023, good marketing is about understanding which media channels give you the best opportunities:
- Getting the right message across
- To the right person
- At the right time
- So that enough people take the action you want
- At a price that fits your budget and goals.
It’s still about finding a balance between getting attention in nowhere and trying to get noticed in a crowded media channel.
To find the right balance, you need to understand how the basics of traditional media planning have changed to modern media planning, social media marketing and the use of owned media as part of the strategy.
Marketing has not changed drastically. It is still the process by which marketers determine through experience, research and (in many cases) gut instinct where, when and how often content should be placed on selected media channels to create sufficient value for the business.
You are probably familiar with the concept of marketing and much of the vocabulary associated with it. But this show is in part to answer all the questions people with content have about marketing that they are afraid to ask. I offer these definitions for anyone who needs an introduction or refresher course.
To reach your target audience, you can buy access to them (like advertising). You can try to get their attention (as with public relations and organic social media). Or you can try to attract them to your own media properties (content hub, website, digital publication, etc.).
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