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What is digital media placement? and five steps to build a successful media placement strategy.

Digital media placement is a vital piece of the media buying process. Learn how to build a successful digital media placement strategy in five steps. 

December 17, 2020

In the age of digital media and online advertising, opportunities for media placements are broader and more complex than ever. There’s no denying that digital media placements play a hugely important role in creating a successful ad campaign. 

Here's what you need to know about digital media placements, including five steps to create your best-ever media placement strategy. 

First things first: what is digital media placement?

In a nutshell, digital media placement is the process of choosing and purchasing placements for ads on digital channels, such as websites and apps. And, media placement is a key part of the media planning and media buying process. 

Digital media channels can include:

  • Video ads
  • Mobile app ads
  • Digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Display and pay-per-click (PPC) ads
  • Social media adsWhen it comes to digital media placement, there are two types of bidding: real-time bidding (RTB) and programmatic buying. So, what’s the difference?

With RTB, media buyers bid on impressions one at a time based on demographic targeting. If they win, their ad is displayed immediately. RTB involves the publisher providing the inventory (ad space), the advertisers purchasing the ad, and sometimes the demand-side platform (DSP) to help automate purchasing.

Whereas, programmatic buying is the automated buying and selling of digital ad space based on data and audience targeting. It includes the use of DSPs, supply-side platforms (SSPs), and data management platforms (DMPs):

  • DSPs facilitate the process of buying ad placements on the open market.
  • SSPs help publishers manage their ad space inventory.
  • DMPs use cookie data to help you reach your target audience. 

Whether you use RTB, programmatic buying, or a mixture of the two, strategic digital media planning and placement helps brands get their ads in front of the right audiences at the right time. Keep reading for five steps to do just that.

5 steps to build a successful media placement strategy

Here's how to build the most effective digital media placement strategy for your brand or clients.

Step 1: Define your campaign goals

First and foremost, digital media buyers need to define the goals and objectives for the campaign. Just like you would with any project! 

Goals for digital ad campaigns might include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Boosting conversions or sales
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Bringing back repeat customers
  • Generating new leads

One proven way to set clear, relevant goals is through the SMART framework. Your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For example, "increase repeat customers by 25% by the end of next quarter" is a SMART-er goal than just "increase customer retention" because it's more specific, time-bound, and measurable.

Your campaign goals will inform every piece of your media placement strategy, from your choice of channel to the key performance indicators (KPIs) you use to measure your campaign's success. So, take the time to really think about what you’re trying to achieve, it’ll save you a heap of time in the long-run. 

Remember to use this time, in the beginning, to decide on your campaign budget too. Putting time aside to map out your figures will help you set realistic goals and benchmarks.

Step 2: Identify your target audience

To figure out which digital media placements to buy, you need to identify your target audience. So, who are you trying to reach with these ads? 

Media planners work closely with clients to define the campaign's target audience. By figuring out who your ideal customer is, you’ll have a better idea of where to place your ads.

Media planners also carry out competitor and industry research to identify potential gaps to reach new or untapped audiences. 

Once you know who your target audience is, start by asking yourself (and any colleagues who have a good understanding of your audience) the following questions:

  • What websites does your target audience visit?
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • What messages resonate best with them?
  • What pain points do they have?
  • Where do your current loyal customers spend time online?
  • Where do your competitors' top customers spend time online?

Answering these questions helps you figure out where to place your ads to maximize reach and ROI. It’ll set you up well for the next step too: choosing the right digital media placements. 

Step 3: Select your media placements

Different ad placements make sense for different campaign objectives and audiences. 

Use the market research from the previous step to help you choose the right media placements. To maximize ROI, you'll want to choose ad space that not only gets the most eyes on your campaign, but the right eyes. 

Digital advertising channels cover a much broader range of ad placements than traditional media, from display and social media ads to mobile apps and digital out-of-home (DOOH).

This last type of ad — DOOH — offers really exciting opportunities for digital media placements. DOOH advertising lets advertisers create immersive, memorable, and even interactive campaigns

Vertical Impression offers advertisers unique digital ad placements through a network of elevator screens across Canada. These digital placements use the power of AI and machine learning to target specific audiences in a way that is often only achievable online. 

For media buyers, DOOH like elevator advertising helps combine the reach of traditional OOH advertising with the targeting and technology of digital advertising.

Overall, the right digital media placements for your campaign will depend on your goals, budget, and audience. 

Step 4: Purchase ad placements and launch your campaign

As soon as media placements have been selected, media buyers work with digital publishers to negotiate for ad time and space. 

It goes without saying that media buyers need to purchase placements that fit their campaign strategy and goals. And, the best media buyers build ongoing relationships with different channels, which gives them stronger negotiating power.

With digital media buying, programmatic bidding can help you automate the bidding process. However, buyers should still keep an eye on budgets and bids throughout the placement process and adjust as necessary to maximize ROI.

Once your placements have been purchased, your ad campaign is ready to launch! 

Make sure to work closely with the client, the media publisher, and any third-party platforms to set up a successful campaign launch. Keep everyone in the loop on when the campaign will go live and when the client can expect to see results.

Step 5: Measure results and optimize 

After you launch your campaign, keep an eye on each ad's performance. It's important to look at how each ad performs against the metrics and KPIs you set in the first step of the media placement process. 

If your campaign performs well early on, it may make sense to purchase additional ad placements, increase bidding, or extend the campaign. If your early results are less than ideal, you can adjust accordingly, whether that means tweaking the creative, shortening the campaign, or adjusting spend on different channels.

What makes a truly successful digital media placement strategy?

All in all, the most important part of your media placement strategy is knowing your audience. 

When you know your audience, you can meet them where they are — whether that's on their favourite website, in their social media feeds, or even in the elevator. 

Here's a quick recap of the five steps to a successful media placement strategy:

  • Define your campaign goals, objectives, and KPIs
  • Identify your target market and conduct research on your audience, competitors, and industry
  • Select the best media placements for you campaign goals and audience
  • Purchase ad placements and launch your campaign
  • Measure campaign results and optimize accordingly

Now, you're ready to create a digital media placement strategy that reaches the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. 

And, if you’re interested in reaching the right audience in a captivating way, get in touch with Vertical Impression today to learn more about our elevator advertising platform.  

Start planning a smarter campaign today.