How to Use Integrated Media Planning in Your Marketing
Learn what integrated media planning is and why you can’t afford to ignore its potential to change how you do your marketing campaigns.
As a marketer, you’re already well aware of the power of repeated messaging. Often it’s something like ads for those shoes you almost bought follow you around the internet. But this strategy is usually reserved for e-Commerce.
But with integrated media planning, potential customers and existing fans can encounter your product or service through social media like a YouTube video, an Instagram post, a chart on Facebook, a blog post on LinkedIn, etc. Each one can touch on a different aspect of what you do, increasing the chances that one will resonate with a potential customer. Think of it as content marketing on steroids. That’s why any kind of company can vastly improve their marketing by utilizing integrated media planning.
What is integrated media planning?
Put simply, it’s when your product or service is being advertised in many different media such that a potential customer will encounter it over and over in different ways. The problem with this comes with companies taking it to mean they should run the same ad on TV, billboards, YouTube, Facebook, Google Display, etc.
However, seeing the same ad in different places often just trains us to ignore it. This is often the case with traditional content marketing or digital advertising. What we’re going to talk about is combining integrated media planning with large amounts of varied organic content. The result is that potential customers will encounter your product or service in a variety of media and contexts over time, creating new interactions and a deeper understanding of and appreciation for it each time.
How you can use integrated media planning in your digital marketing and SEO
If this sounds intriguing, here are the steps needed to ramp up your marketing ROI with integrated media planning.
- Create a strategy
- Develop a system for producing content for various media platforms
- Gather data and feedback from your platforms
- Get serious about attribution
Like with almost any marketing strategy, you want to begin with buyer personas, specific goals, coordination between the relevant teams, an idea of your SEO goals, etc. Because attribution is one of the biggest challenges of using integrated media planning (more on that in a moment), you must begin by taking into account how this is going to affect other campaigns you might be running.
While you could try this as a limited experiment, an integrated media strategy will be more effective when it’s got more resources. This is because it’s difficult to produce the media required to be out there on many different platforms on a small scale.
Here’s where the rubber hits the road. To have an effective integrated media strategy you need quality content for it. In our experience, the best approach is to begin with video content. This is because using video as a base gives you the most flexibility to create other videos, audio, blog posts, and images to put out on various media platforms.
If you’re wondering what kind of video series might make sense for you, check out these ideas.
The idea here is to follow the GaryVee content model by beginning with a large piece of quality video content like a webinar, documentary, analysis video, etc. Then, you repurpose tha by turning it into many pieces of microcontent designed to be put out on different media platforms. This should be done intentionally, with an eye on honing in on what type of content performs best on each platform.
Fortunately, many aspects of this process can now be automated, so it’s easier than ever to employ this strategy. But overall, you need to have a system in place for breaking down this content and distributing it for it to be effective. It’s not going to be an effective integrated media strategy if you’re limiting yourself to 2-3 platforms and sticking to one media type.
This step is crucial because it’s one that’s too often neglected. Instead of treating this content as “fire and forget” you need to be actively collecting data, testing hypotheses, making adjustments, and then re-testing variants. The reason is that the second main benefit of this integrated media planning approach beyond putting out a lot of compelling content on various platforms is the ability to gather high quality data from that content.
So, when one piece of microcontent performs well, try a variation to hone in on what caused that success. Another approach is to simply ask your audiences what they liked about a specific video (always ask them to include timestamps, you’ll thank us later). Getting potential customers into a habit of interacting with your content and collecting quality data about their likes (which you can then test with more content) creates a nice feedback loop.
If you’re creating blog posts as a part of your integrated media strategy, you’ll also want to be testing SEO ideas to see what performs well on Google. But understanding just what value you’re getting is still tricky.
As mentioned, this is one of the biggest challenges of this approach. When you’re putting out so much content on so many different platforms, understanding the role any single piece of content played in converting a customer is extremely difficult.
While there are a lot of great attribution tips out there, there’s no silver bullet for the challenge of quality attribution across channels. In some ways, you may have to accept sacrificing more precise attribution for better overall results.
Why integrated media planning boosts ROI
With skepticism towards online advertising a major issue, the value of using quality organic content to fill your marketing funnel and push users through it is greater than ever. Instead of bombarding potential customers with ads, you can engage, educate, and delight them with episodic content which reaches them on every platform where they spend time.
While this approach requires greater initial investment, the value it brings to your brand in the long-run simply outpaces what you can expect from traditional advertising. Or, you can pair this approach with advertising to help push more eyeballs to the content you’re developing to get the ball rolling. Either way, integrated media planning lets you get the best from a quality and quantity focus, boosting ROI and delivering results.