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Media Planning: Definition, Components, Stages & Strategies

Last updated: Nov 28, 2023

Media Planning: Definition, Components, Stages & Strategies
Cover image: Illustration of media planning to to ensure a smooth media buying process.

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Media planning is a strategic process that needs to be carried out before entering the core purchasing stage in media buying, which is the marketing process with the assistance of authoritative media. 

This planning stage is essential to ensure a smooth media buying process and provide a positive and significant impact on the brand, especially in terms of brand awareness and domain authority.

In order to understand the stages of planning, the necessary components, and its strategies, make sure to carefully read the information below until the end.

What is Media Planning?

Illustration of the Marketing Team Crafting Media Planning
Figure 1: Illustration of the Marketing Team Making Media Planning

Before delving further into the planning strategy, it is advisable to grasp the concept of what media buying is first.

Media buying is one of the digital marketing efforts to enhance trust and awareness by mentioning the brand on authoritative media platforms or news portals.

In the realm of search engines, the activity of purchasing media space can be done by placing high-quality backlinks and SEO-optimized articles.

However, before engaging in media space purchases, the sales and marketing team must go through the planning stage so that all marketing objectives can be optimally achieved.

The party responsible for this planning stage is called a media planner. Their task is to explore authoritative media or news portals suitable for enhancing the performance of the digital campaign to be conducted.

Difference Between Media Planning and Media Buying

Although they may sound similar, they have different meanings. Media planning is the primary stage of planning everything related to media buying, starting from the selection process, arrangement, and the strategies within it.

On the other hand, media buying is the subsequent stage after the planning is completed. In this process, the company/brand begins to collaborate with a media buying agency to receive content and backlinks from specifically selected authoritative media.

6 Components of Media Planning

Within this planning process, there are several crucial components that need to be considered. Here is an explanation:

1.  Target Audience

The brand must have a database containing general information or detailed segmentation of the target audience. 

By narrowing down the target, the brand can more easily convey relevant and beneficial messages to the readers. 

After determining the target audience, the sales marketing team also needs to identify media that aligns with the audience's niche to increase reach and impressions.

2. Conversion Rate

The next component involves planning conversion goals or conversion rates and determining the appropriate strategies to achieve them. 

This conversion rate can be measured by comparing the number of successful conversions and the number of visitors or prospects involved in media purchasing activities. 

Planning conversion goals and conversion rates is essential to ensure that every interaction with the target audience generates the desired value for the business.

3. Message Frequency

This component functions to plan the period, quantity, and how often messages should be conveyed to the target audience. 

This frequency can ensure that the message is delivered often enough to capture the audience's attention without being perceived as spam.

4. Message Reach

The next component includes analysis and projections to determine the reach of content on that media. In this context, reach also encompasses variations in the audience reached, whether they belong to a new or existing audience segmentation. 

5. Marketing Budget

Before executing media buying, conduct an analysis to review how much budget needs to be allocated throughout the process. 

This budget may include several factors, including media costs, agency fees, and other marketing-related expenses.

Having a clear budget limit allows the company to make smarter and more focused decisions in media selection and resource allocation.

6. Media Buying Agency

Another equally important component is the media buying agency. In this planning process, the marketing team must determine a suitable agency. 

A media buying agency acts as an intermediary connecting the brand with specific media to ensure a smooth process. If you find it challenging to determine this component, you can try the Media Buying Services by cmlabs.

Media Planning Example

Here is a simple media planning example created by a sports apparel and equipment provider:

A. Media Buying Placement Objectives

Increase brand awareness and "SportFit" sports apparel product sales by 35% within an 8-month period.

B. Target Audience Analysis

  • Age: 18-35 years
  • Gender: Male and Female
  • Interests: Physical activity, fitness, healthy lifestyle
  • Location: Metropolitan and suburban areas

C. Creative Strategy

Utilize visual and narrative campaigns emphasizing an active and comfortable lifestyle wearing "SportFit" sports apparel.

D. Media Selection

  • Social Media > Platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Online News Portals > Platforms: ABCNews, BCCNews, and CJGNews.

E. Budget

  • Social Media: $150,000
  • Online News Portals: $190,000

F. Implementation Schedule

  • Months 1-2: Prepare advertising materials and contracts with the media buying agency.
  • Month 3: Launch the campaign.
  • Months 3-4: Monitor performance and adjust the campaign.
  • Month 5: Final evaluation and performance analysis.

Media Planning Stages

Illustration of Media Planning Stages by Determining Business Objectives
Gambar 2: Illustration of Media Planning Stages by Determining Business Objectives

If you are already familiar with the components it is also crucial to understand the media planning stages that need to be carried out. Here is the complete overview:

1. Conduct Market Research

Market research is the primary key for businesses to gather relevant data and information about competitors, target markets, and the types of content that can potentially generate high reach and impressions. 

To initiate market research, you can create buyer personas to segment your target audience. Additionally, find out the platforms they frequently use and the frequency of their usage on each of these platforms. 

2. Set Goals or Marketing Objectives

The next stage of media planning is to determine the goals you want to achieve. These goals should be clearly written, complete with respective KPI metrics. 

Having clear direction and objectives makes it easier to assess the effectiveness of the marketing strategy through this media.

3. Choose a Suitable Template

This step can simplify your planning process to make it more structured and efficient. You can use templates such as an editorial calendar or a social media strategy to organize all steps and plans effectively.

4. Budget Allocating

After finding a suitable planning template, you need to plan a budget specifically for this type of marketing. 

Allocating a budget before collaborating with a media buying agency or a backlink services provider can help you consider key resources, especially the financial resources of the business.

5. Execute the Strategy

After the media planning stage has been implemented, the next step is to execute it. To ensure the smooth running of the process, effective communication is required between the three parties: the brand, the media buying agency, and the media and news platform. 

Make sure that every person in charge (PIC) involved can carry out their responsibilities well until the collaboration period ends, and the marketing objectives have been achieved.

Media buying is a common marketing strategy used by companies across various niches to enhance their visibility and authority through website pages, news portals, or other authoritative media.

If you require professional assistance in placing backlinks for media buying, you can rely on Backlink and Media Buying Services by cmlabs. Our services ensure that you receive:

  • High-quality and SEO-friendly content.
  • Relevant backlinks from leading media sites in your niche.
  • Rigorous domain checks to ensure acquired domains meet high standards.
  • Alignment of procedures with Google Spam Policies to avoid spam practices that could adversely impact your site's traffic and ranking.

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