Digital media have given advertisers new levels of precision and relevancy and created the potential for deep customer engagement. The Internet is an exciting convergence of classic and new media formats that offer a wealth of channels to choose from and a change in the tracking and accountability of marketing. Today’s advertisers can harness the power of this digital media landscape and drive massive business growth in a way previously unseen. But to do so, a solid and cohesive plan must be developed before any campaign is launched.
Here are five strategies for effective digital media planning:
Start with Traditional Market Research
That’s right. Although the technology – all those digital bells and whistles – continues to change and evolve, the truth is every campaign’s success depends on the data derived from good ol’ market research. Only by uncovering data sets and understanding your customer can you possibly plan on how, when and where you will reach them.
Starting with customer insights allows you to create an image of your ideal consumer. From there you can examine where they go on the web, what they do there and how they behave. Next, consider what your goals are for customer engagement and determine the experience they should have interacting with your brand.
Know What Metrics You’ll Use
The good news is digital media offers you a plethora of metrics to track your campaigns. The bad news is digital media offers you a plethora of metrics to track your campaigns, and figuring out which ones to use can be a bit daunting. Should you gauge your success or failure on impressions and clicks, an array of brand engagement metrics, or some new model that unlocks the specific effect of each media channel?
The selection of metrics should really be developed from your business’s goals of the campaign. Sure, click-throughs will tell you how many people are seeing your ads, but what are they really doing and thinking after they see them? Just because you can literally count something doesn’t mean it should be counted for anything. Focus on your goals and select a set of metrics that may combine data about new leads, visitors and actual sales.
Set Your Campaign Objectives and Make them SMART
The more you focus on your true marketing objectives, the more effectively you can develop the right campaign strategy and select the right formats. Marketing objectives will most likely fall into one of three categories: retention, acquisition and brand objectives. Being clear about your objectives will allow you to craft the right message. But let’s be clear about setting objectives – they need to be strong and tangible – which means they need to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. An example of a SMART objective is, “Our goal is to reach 50,000 of our target audience and introduce our new product line in the first week after launch.
Choose the Right Format
Remember how daunting it was to select the right metrics? Well, be prepared to be potentially bewildered by the array of formats that make up the new digital media mix. You may decide to go with banner ads, sponsorships, email marketing or social media marketing, to name a few. Each format has its own strengths and weaknesses so you will want to evaluate each with a focus on the relationship between media owner sites, the brand site and other channels.
Integration means much more than just making sure your online ads match your offline ads in messaging and design; it means going further in delivering greater interaction with audiences and looking for ways technology can give your messages greater impact. Savvy advertisers take advantage of the Internet’s power and constantly look for ways the audience can interact with their message.
Digital media provides a rich choice of formats, targeting and messaging. Harnessing this potential means building on the principles of traditional media planning and using new tools, metrics and properties which can deliver your message with greater speed and relevancy. Use the strategies outlined above to increase the effectiveness of the digital media planning process.