Media Campaign 101: How It Works and Why You Should Advertise
When the conversation is about having a media campaign as part of your marketing strategy, know that it’s worth the spend. Advertising works — on a lot of levels. The deciding factor for what type of media campaign makes sense for your brand and how to do it successfully is your marketing goals. This is true whether your brand is in healthcare, education or a nonprofit.
As your partner in this process, AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising starts by asking what success looks like. Is it:
- Lead generation?
- Establishing brand recognition?
- Building brand reputation?
Depending on your goals, success may look like more patient appointments, more students enrolled or more public support for your nonprofit capital campaign.
Let’s look, along with Senior Account Manager Stephanie Bresnahan, at the why and what of media campaigns. At AMPERAGE, we talk about “media campaigns,” because we take a comprehensive view of advertising strategies, from traditional offline media to cutting-edge digital media as well.
Is a Media Campaign Worth It?
When done well, yes! We frequently recommend a media campaign be part of a client’s total marketing strategy.
3 reasons to advertise:
- Targeting – Through messaging as well as digital tools, advertising allows you to reach the specific audience you want to connect with and move to action.
- Control – With paid advertising, you have control of the message for the most part. That includes the tone, the language and even the timing of those messages. It should be noted, however, that social media platforms do have rules that may apply to your industry and limit what can be addressed in ads.
- Building Trust – Advertising amplifies your brand, your business and even the content marketing you do because it can help customers find the educational or thought leadership content you create. Elevated awareness builds trust in your brand.
And because people forget —by nearly 50% within 20 minutes! — it’s a good idea to KEEP advertising. Frequency keeps your brand, your services or your products top of mind.
Strategic Approach to Media Campaigns
“We start with the basics,” says Stephanie. “We want to get a handle not only on your goals but your messaging. What’s your value proposition? What makes you unique in the competitive market? We’re looking for that hook that makes for attention-grabbing advertising content.”
For your convenience, here’s a checklist of questions to work through before you launch a media campaign:
- What is your goal? What do you need to achieve? Think of the examples above: lead generation, brand awareness, reputation and trust building. Your goals may be more specific in nature: more appointments, increase in enrollment, higher sales.
- Who is your target audience? Define and refine the persona by gender, age demographics, location, role, etc.
- What is the call to action? Examples might be buying a product, making an appointment, watching a video, filling out a form, etc.
- What is your budget?
Let’s talk more about that last one. In an ideal world, you could spend as much as you need, but the reality is you may have a limited amount to work with and you need to maximize what you have. So the answers to these questions help us shape a strategy that meets your budget and moves the needle for your brand.
“Let us take a look at your budget and see where that can take us,” Stephanie says. “You have to start somewhere. We can show you what that can do.”
Your Media Campaign Dollars at Work
Keep in mind that your media campaign budget will be spent on both the preparation of the assets and the placement of the ads. Our media team will recommend the best platforms for your goals and your budget.
Those options include:
- Traditional offline media like TV, print, radio and billboards
- Digital online media like search ads, social media ads, streaming ads and video ads
Note that it does take time to develop fresh messaging and copy, images, video and ads. So it’s wise to plan for a media campaign early on, well before you need to be in the market.
If your media campaign includes digital ads, you’ll need multiple assets for Google, Facebook and Instagram because the platforms will do a lot of A-B-plus testing. Using algorithms, they test myriad combinations of copy and creative to find the most effective pairings — maximizing your dollars in the process.
“I will always recommend video,” Stephanie adds. “It should be a priority because people want to watch. It’s why YouTube is the No. 2 social networking platform. Plus, video is an opportunity to deliver information AND engage your audience. Video triggers emotion, which is an excellent way to connect audiences with your brand and message.”
And with digital media, regular monitoring and reporting from the media team help you track results and the outcomes of ongoing optimization.
So, is traditional media advertising still viable in today’s world?
“Absolutely!” Stephanie says. “It depends on your industry, what you’re doing for promotion and where your audiences are.”
For our rural healthcare clients, for example, print ads and billboards remain an effective way to reach the small communities they serve, she says. And not everyone has cut the cord; people are still watching broadcast and cable TV. Think of the people watching live weekend sports or awards shows.
If you’re ready for a media campaign or want to explore what’s possible for your brand and budget, talk to AMPERAGE’s advertising experts in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. And for more tips and insights, sign up for our newsletter.