Crafting Creative Media Plans for Different Outlets

Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, you’ll run the same video creative across several different media outlets and run into wildly different results? Sure, you would probably expect different measurements across Traditional, Digital, and Social Media, but even within each of these niches, the creative media plan you put out into the market needs to fit the platform hosting it.

So, what’s the deal?

A video is a video. Just produce one for us, and we’ll run it everywhere.

For decades, television and radio established the standard of the nice, tidy advertising pod consisting of, mostly, 15-second and 30-second ads. Advertisers have always had these lengths in mind when forming ideas for TV commercials. Since, digital and social media have exploded with their fundamental lack of such neatly arranged pods. Anything goes. Without these constraints, advertisers are really only limited by their creativity.

What to keep in mind for each medium

Traditional Media

In any type of traditional media, your ads will be playing a disruptive role. That is, they’re part of several ads all stuck together in a pod between bits of content the viewer is actually trying to consume. We’re conditioned to use these as little breaks to take care of whatever 2-minute task we need to handle before our show comes back on. Who knows if people are actually seeing it?

These 15-second or 30-second ads need to focus on attention to set themselves apart. You’ll find the tricky part with traditional media is finding reliable attribution where the most widely used forms of audience tracking only track who’s watching a show, not your ads.

Digital Media

The digital media front is largely still in its Wild West phase. Many websites will still bring in advertisers to directly advertise on their respective websites, but more and more advertisers are moving in the direction of programmatic advertising. Instead of digging into a crazy number of potential website vendors, different programs work continuously to find the best deals for your media.

In most cases, your video will run directly before a bit of content. In some cases, it’ll be the only ad to run before the bit of content the user is watching. You can already see the benefit this has over the traditional model. You have a captive audience that will access content only after consuming your message. Now, just to make your creative media plan relevant.

Think about your frame of mind when consuming traditional media compared to digital media. Let’s use News as an example. If you have your local news running, they will present the news exactly how it’s scheduled. You’ll sit there and consume it as it comes. Getting news digitally is a much more hands-on experience. Most of the time, you’re in control. You search for a bit of news to read, listen, or watch about. These videos don’t need to be disruptive. You already have the audience’s attention. Focus on crafting a message for these types of audiences with your video creative.

Social Media

Most people accept age as the main difference with social media. These people fail to realize everyone’s parents and grandparents have been on Facebook now for a decade. While there is a decline as you get older, a vast majority of older folks are still social media users. With that in mind, advertisers don’t necessarily have to pigeonhole their social media content to “something that connects with the kids.”

The best practices for your creative media plan again revolve around knowing your brand. In addition, they need to be able to participate with users on a 1-to-1 basis. I’ll break video creative media plans down into paid and organic for the remainder of this portion.

Organic Social Media

Organic social media videos are only visible to fans of your page or who have had the video shared with them. Opposed to the other two examples of media, this type of video content is the actual content. You’re not disrupting or preceding anything a user is actually wanting to consume. They want to consume your content. Make it for them. Keep a familiar tone and energy, as these people don’t need to be made aware of your brand. They already are aware of you enough to follow your social media posting.

Paid Social Media

Paid social media allows advertisers to “rent and audience.” That is, advertisers will specify what type of audience they believe will benefit from their message the most, and then the social media program will serve ads to those people. It’s interruptive, but at least highly targeted. Keep in mind that you can’t be as targeted as you used to be, but it’s still pretty powerful. Your message should be form-fitting in a way that a user can understand your brand relatively quickly. Social media is where people go to waste time and pursue interests. Your message should allow them to do both.

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