MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ADVERTISING BUDGET
When it comes to marketing, compatibility and timing are both essential! Your business may have a great message, but it won’t count for much if it can’t reach the right people. And if it does reach them but at the wrong place and time, you could be out of luck too.
If you want your ad campaigns to increase brand awareness and drive traffic, your media purchases have to be smart. The good news is, our media buying and management specialists have more than a little success with that!
Acquire advertising space in top quality media environments, and you can keep your business top of mind with current and potential customers. By maximizing the effect of every media dollar spent, you can drive more revenue than ever.
How do you navigate an increasingly complex media landscape, and how do you know which media platform is best for delivering your message? Stream Companies’ fully integrated media buying strategy was designed for doing just that.
Media Services Include:
Digital Video Advertising
Integrated Media Strategy
What Is Media Buying?
There’s more to successful marketing than simply blasting a catchy slogan on repeat in front of your audience. Your business needs precise messaging that resonates with your audience. And you will need to reach that audience at the right time, in the right place, and for the right price.
That’s a lot to juggle at once, you may say! And that’s true, but it’s also why you need a robust team of media buying experts working for you. It will find the sweet spot for your business, a way to balance all the concerns above to build campaigns that deliver marketing ROI.
Media Buying 101: What Do Media Buyers Do?
A media buyer is responsible for the placements and price negotiations for paid advertising efforts.
With an integrated agency like Stream, your media buyer bridges the gap between more traditional marketing channels (television, radio, and print) and digital marketing channels (websites, social media, and streaming). Obviously, buying media space is relevant in both spheres!
The goal is simple: Expose more of your target audience to marketing campaigns that are relevant to them—all for the least amount of ad spend. As you might expect, there isn’t an easy formula you can settle into. This process requires constant experimentation and continual optimization.
Media Buying with Stream
The expert media buyers at Stream Companies have built strong professional relationships with media vendors in virtually every market. We’ve built partnerships across the country in:
Those partnerships translate into purchasing power for your business, which could mean up to 20%, 30%, or even 50% of added value to your media buy or leverage for reduced pricing and priority access to promotional opportunities.
When deciding where to purchase media, we’re completely data driven. We perform extensive research on the market you’re in, the audience you’re targeting, the product you’re selling, and the media options available, so we can find the most effective time and place to deliver your message.
By positioning your business in the best environment for success, we can optimize your media budget and maximize the reach and frequency of your message.
Valuable Relationships with Media Vendors
We’re also in constant communication with the markets we work in. We talk to media vendors, their media and research teams, and digital teams to pull research and data for us to use when determining your media buy. After the campaign is launched, we’ll also follow up and track its success, even performing our own research to measure business growth.
The Proof Is in the Profits
There’s nothing simpler or more satisfying than seeing a clear and distinct spike in revenue following your media purchase. That’s exactly the kind of success we love to see happen with your business.
We can help you measure that success by reporting on month-to-date, year-to-date, month-over-month, and year-over-year performance data. We’ll even use Google Analytics to watch how your new offline campaign is increasing traffic to your website.
If there’s some other metric you’d like us to use to measure the performance of your media buy, just let us know. We understand that not all marketing campaigns are alike, so we create custom solutions to meet the needs of your business and drive revenue to your bottom line.
In-House vs Agency Media Buying
Right now, you’re asking yourself what your next media buying move should be. Should you keep your efforts in-house or work with an external agency? Or maybe you currently work with an agency and want to make a change. In that case, should you return to in-house media buying or try another agency, like Stream?
In-house media buying certainly carries appeal. It offers companies complete control over their strategy. But take heed and remember that media buying is not easy! For these reasons and more, your company may be overwhelmed when you try to go it alone:
- Media buying isn’t your sole area of expertise. It may not even be in your top 10! If you want to maximize your ROI, you need a team that can track your ad spend, placements, and results.
- There may be cultural differences you’re unaware of. Does your business serve a Spanish-language market, for instance? You may not be prepared to buy and create media that appeals to this market.
- Media buying can be time consuming. You have a business to run, and it takes a lot of expertise and manpower to execute a successful media buying strategy.
Efficiently Maximize Results with Agency Media Buying
There are numerous benefits to trusting an agency like Stream Companies for your media buying. To begin with, we live and breathe this work, so we are experts at maximizing a campaign’s ROI. Every cent you spend will be fully planned and accounted for—and, later, analyzed to understand how effective it was.
In fact, we have an entire team dedicated to your media planning and buying efforts! In-house, it wouldn’t be unusual to have just one media buyer. With us, you benefit from the combined experience and knowledge of a vast and varied team.
Expert media buying agencies execute strategies with precision. They cut the “fluff” out to ensure you’re maximizing all those ad dollars and are using them to the fullest.
The extra manpower and experience we provide allows us to look beyond the campaign at hand. We’ll work out a strong long-term media buying strategy that positions you to reach more of your target audience over time. This might be the most compelling reason of all to choose an external agency over an in-house team.
Understanding Media Buying: A 3-Step Process
So, your goal is simple: Find the right place, time, and context to deliver relevant ads to your targeted audience and increase conversions and/or brand awareness as you do so.
Your media buyer will need to be something of a plate spinner—able to keep many concerns in the air at all times! At Stream, we like to consider media buying as a multi-step process. When you break it down into steps, it becomes easier to understand and execute.
Step 1: The Pre-Launch
Advertising decisions should not be made overnight. Any agency that tells you otherwise isn’t doing their homework to continuously optimize your ad spend! Our media planners take time to prepare and make media choices that are relevant to your marketing goals. We will:
- Identify Your Target Audience and Determine How to Reach Them
If you want to know your target audience, start by getting to know your existing customers! We’ll break down the shoppers who have already bought from you by demographics and geolocations to understand the similarities between them.
This helps us begin to form a target audience and think about the best way to reach those people. Where do they go, for instance? What media do they engage with? Do they tend to shop online or at brick-and-mortar showrooms? The answers to these questions are crucial.
- “Buy Media”: Choose Outlets and Negotiate the Price
Before you make your media buy, negotiate the price of the media beforehand. Whether you plan to place ads with radio stations or in the digital space, your business should know the costs up front.
You want media buyers who will fight to get you the best deals and take advantage of discounts and bonuses available. At Stream, we can help you compare offers from multiple publishers and choose the media vendors that will deliver the most value for your dollar.
- Allocate Your Budget—and Be Clear About the Results You Want
That means setting measurable goals, from clicks and conversions to signups and sales. Our media planners will put these return-on-investment targets in place, so we can track campaign effectiveness in the ways that matter.
We’ll estimate expenditures for a specific period—your daily, monthly, or quarterly budget. And we’ll consider how to best distribute your marketing budget across online and offline channels. Every dollar you spend will be planned and accounted for.
This no-waste strategy is crucial to media buying success. Some agencies may throw a few extra dollars at different channels, assuming that a little bit here and there won’t hurt. However, these little extras add up over time. We keep things tight and effective.
Step 2: Campaign Launch
Three… two… one… liftoff! Welcome to the launch of your ad campaign. During this step, Stream’s media buyers will closely monitor the campaign performance and analyze what seems to be working and what isn’t. Our team will use those insights to make further decisions, so we can optimize as we go. There’s no “set it and forget it” mentality here—we’re always optimizing!
We’ll make sure your ads appear where they will be seen by your audience—in the right place, at the right time, and in the right context. We use a combination of data and creativity to ensure that your message is highly relevant to your audience. And yes, we track campaign progress and customer engagement too.
Step 3: The Post-Launch
Your ad campaign may seem like a success, but you won’t know how much of a success—or why—until you reflect on it. Stream’s media planners will dive into the data and analyze just how effective your campaign and your media buys were.
We collect data throughout your campaigns via our always-on connection platform. Then we review it to explore the strong and weak points of the campaign and re-optimize—during your current campaign and for future ones.
To Succeed, Buy Digital Media
When you think advertising, you may think late-night TV ads, radio jingles in the car, and big billboards looming over you on the highways. Fair enough! All these may be important—essential, even—to getting the retail traffic that makes your business thrive.
At the same time, the media buying process consumes a lot of time. And you don’t want to blow your entire marketing budget on advertising that doesn’t bring results. As we’ve already mentioned, success depends in large part on placement of the ad in question. Where will you reach more of your audience?
Increasingly for many businesses, the answer seems to be online. Consumers spend more and more of their time online, and online is likely where your audience hangs out. If you want to reach them, you need media buyers who know the digital ad buying landscape—and that sounds like Stream!
Media Buying Terms You Should Know
When you collaborate with an agency like Stream for media planning and buying, it helps to know the lingo. No matter the channel, understanding these terms will help you understand what your team of experts means when they talk about media buying!
Cost Per Thousand (CPM) – The price of 1,000 ad impressions on one web page.
Flight Dates – The start and end dates of a particular marketing campaign.
Frequency – The average number of times a household or individual views a given program, station, or advertisement over a certain period (for example, a week or a month).
Impressions – The number of households or individuals who see a specific advertisement or group of ads.
Media Mix – How your time and money is allocated to advertisements across platforms, from TV and radio to print and digital.
Media Planning – The process of choosing the optimal mixture of media outlets for a particular marketing campaign.
Net Reach – The number of individuals an advertisement serves to at least once.
Rotation – The distribution of spots or ads across certain hours and days within the flight period.
Digital Media Buying Terms
Banner Ad – Also known as a Display Ad, this is an ad shown on websites that consists of a static image or animated visual in a boxed space.
Click Through Rate (CTR) – A way to measure an advertisement’s success at getting a user to click back to the website. It’s a ratio of number of clicks per number of impressions.
Cost Per Click (CPC) – In paid search advertising, the cost you pay for each user click on a particular ad.
TV and Radio Media Buying Terms
Audience Turnover – A radio station’s cumulative audience compared to the average quarter-hour audience.
Cost Per Point (CPP) – The price of reaching an average quarter-hour audience that is equal to about 1% of the people in a demographic group.
Daypart – The time segments radio and television advertisements are divided into when they are scheduled out. They include primetime, daytime, late night, early morning, and total day.
End Rate – The price you pay for a set TV commercial time after all negotiations and discounts.
Run of Schedule or Run of Site (ROS) – In TV and radio, ROS means scheduling ads to run across multiple dayparts and days. In digital marketing, it means running a website with no preference to specific pages and times.
Spot Television – All the commercial advertising time available for sale from a local TV station.
It may not be important that you understand every one of these terms, but you want an agency partner that does! The measurements in particular are essential to ensuring that you’re getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to traditional and digital ad placements.
Looking Ahead: New Media Buying Trends
Like other key areas of digital and traditional marketing, media buying never stays static. Year after year, it changes and evolves, and you want to partner with a dynamic advertising agency that understands that.
Fortunately, Stream has been adapting to all the latest media buying trends. We strive for the cutting edge, so we can put every dollar to good use for your business! We see these trends on the horizon, and our team will help you stay ahead of them as they begin (or continue) to unfold in the near future.
- In-House vs. Agency Debate: It All Comes Down to Value
Companies’ marketing departments have been evaluating whether to continue working with media agencies or to take on more of that work themselves. The debate is valid—but do we really need to frame it in either-or terms? We suggest a more subtle approach. More shades of gray.
In the years ahead, the most successful in-house teams will be those that turn to trusted partners to set strategy for their media investments. Yes, in-house media buying will continue to exist. But brands often find it difficult to build their entire media ecosystem in the most cost-optimal way.
Especially as digital marketing gains steam, businesses will need the know-how of an agency partner. Not only can a savvy media buyer optimize the effectiveness of your budget, but they can ensure a seamless, non-fragmented buyer’s journey across and between media.
- The Rise of E-Commerce
Digital commerce hasn’t taken over the world—not by a long shot. But by some accounts, e-commerce now accounts for $1 out of every $5 spent in retail. That’s one hefty slice of the pie! And it may be even larger in your industry. Are you in a position to leverage the coming boom in digital platforms?
As brands and retailers build relationships that include shelf space, online sales, and media advertising opportunities, you should position your business to successfully advertise and sell online.
Stream has the tools you need to compete on modern e-commerce platforms. Our Live Metal offering puts the power to reach your Amazon audience with a three-pronged digital advertising approach! We use Connected TV, digital display, and digital video to drive retail traffic for your business.
- A Post-Cookie Future: Self-Sufficient Data Gathering
Recently, Google announced that it would phase out support for third-party cookies by 2022. The reason is simple: Cookie-based data is generally collected without customers’ explicit consent. This practice has raised privacy concerns, and understandably so. But a post-cookie future poses challenges for marketers.
The end of cookies doesn’t need to be an advertising vacuum for your business. You can still find ways to collect the customer data to make informed media buying decisions. The solution? Be more self-sufficient and inspire customers to share more information with you directly.
The integrated advertising specialists at Stream can make sure your data-gathering operations don’t go hungry in a cookie-less world! Our customer connection platform by FullThrottle watches digital trends like these to offer robust data-gathering products for your business.
Learn More About Our Next-Level Media Buying
The strongest media strategy incorporates traditional media, digital media, and omni-channel solutions all in one. Our fully integrated agency is ready to prepare a tailor-made plan just for your business or service.
We always start with a full audit of where you are in the market, who is buying from you, and who has the ability to buy from you next. Check out our interview with Stream Companies’ VP Media Director and learn how to leverage media buying to reach your customers!