One of the huge slices in a company’s financial pie almost always goes to product advertisements. Because what better way to drive in customers and sales but by raising brand awareness, right? However, advertising continues to be one of the riskiest fiscal moves of a company; it comes in as very expensive and yet it does not always guarantee an appreciable return of investment.
But saying it pays to be prepared is a mantra highly applicable to advertising. With the use of the so-called media schedules, a company will be able to mitigate risks as it gives them a powerful tool on effectively running an advertisement.
Elements of a Good Media Schedule
A media schedule sample is a program or plan of a company seeking to advertise its brand in various media agencies. It provides information regarding the advertising campaign, such as the broadcast runs, positions, and duration of the advertisement. Essentially, a media schedule is a schedule planner showing the following elements:
1. Type of publication: This determines where your advertisement will be placed. It can either be aired through radio, published in newspapers or broadcasted on television.
2. Advertising cost: This shows how much is your company will be spending on your advertisement. The advertising cost depends on the type of advertisement you are running and its time period.
3. Time period: The most relevant element in a media schedule, the time period refers to the block of time that an advertisement gets to be shown, published, or aired in different media outlets. Various factors are taken into account to determine the time period, but the most important factor is to show the advertisement closest to the purchase point of a consumer.
4. Duration: The duration refers to the length of time that the advertisement runs. This element directly affects the cost to advertise. The longer the ad, the more expensive the advertiser pays to the media company.
5. Frequency: This refers to how often the advertisement is shown at a specific time period. Usually, media schedules are made on a monthly schedule or a four-week period and the frequency that an advertisement is shown depends on the type of media scheduling approach that an advertiser employs.
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Media Schedule Sample for Advertising
Steps to Make a Great Media Schedule
1. Identify your target media: Reaping the maximum benefit of advertising relies on the strategic placement of your advertisement. Determine what kind of product you are promoting and its target market to help you identify your target media. For example, if you are promoting a supplement that targets middle-aged people, then going with radio advertising or newspaper campaigning might be your best choice since they are the media that your market highly interacts with.
2. Estimate your cost: Contact the media agencies you have chosen to run your ad and ask for their rate sheets. Remember that the pricing on the company’s rate sheets are not their real asking rate and you can always ask for a discount deal. Gather all the prices and you already have a rough cost on how much you will be spending.
3. Build your media schedule: Using a spreadsheet, establish your media schedule by listing all the media agencies you have employed in the left most vertical column, and the time period they will be running your ad on the top most horizontal column. Enter the various prices on their respective dates. This is also the part where you determine when you will be running your ad in every media. This decision depends on your strategy in advertising and the amount that it will cost you.
4. Set and wait: The making of your media schedule does not end after you have submitted your run dates to the media agencies for advertising. After notifying them with your planned run dates, ask them with data regarding the number of impressions your ad has gathered. The impressions will determine if your method of advertising is effective and will help you decide on wise changes on your media schedule for an optimized advertising.
Tips for a Great Media Schedule
- Always negotiate with your advertising cost: As mentioned before, the rate cards, especially of print publications, don’t always tell the actual prices of advertising and can always be negotiated. In magazines, for example, one approach of an advertiser to lower the cost is to negotiate the magazine position and page position as some spaces are sold cheaper than the others. Familiarize yourself with the various negotiable terms to help you out in your cost.
- Invest in social media: There’s a reason that almost all companies nowadays advertise in social media, and that is because they are cheap and very effective marketing tools. When creating your media schedule, include the costs you will be incurring especially the cost of availing the premium advertising features of a social media site. The data you can gather in social media advertising is very measurable, and this type of advertising offers a great return of investment.
Types of Media Schedules
Media scheduling has two general types: macro-scheduling and micro-scheduling. Macro-scheduling is a type of approach where the company allocates a budget for an advertisement according to the seasonal trends of the year. As the demand for a product fluctuates according to the season, macro-scheduling helps a company plan its advertising expenses efficiently throughout the year or business cycle.
Micro-scheduling, on the other hand, is a more popular approach where the company allocates a budget to make an advertisement that will create a strong impact, regardless of the trend and fluctuation of demand on that season. Various sub-types of micro-scheduling have been developed, and these are the following:
- Continuous Advertising: This is a type of micro-scheduling where the advertisement is uniformly shown throughout a given time period. Say, if an advertiser bought 20 television spots for a month, then its advertisement will be shown 5 times a week.
- Concentrated Advertising: This refers to the advertisement that is shown more frequently because the budget is “concentrated” at a short period of time. Concentrated advertising is most often employed when a company shows an advertisement that is specific for an event or holiday. For example, a beverage company wants to advertise its music festival event in 5 days and it has bought an ad space from a daily newspaper, so their ad will be published for 5 consecutive days on that newspaper until their event is held.
- Fighting Advertising: An advertisement under this type of media scheduling is shown at periodic intervals, meaning, there will be consecutive days when it will be shown followed by another set of days when it is not. It is cyclic in nature and is employed by companies with limited funds.
- Pulsing Advertising: This type of media scheduling is a combination of continuous advertising and fighting advertising. The company prepares two variations of their product advertisement. One is a detailed advertisement that will be shown at a regular period of time, and the other one is a brief, shortened version that will be shown at an interval of days.
Media Schedule FAQs
What is the 411 rule in media scheduling?
Although 411 means an entirely different thing when used as a street cred, the 411 rule in media scheduling refers to the ratio of the kind of advertisement that a company must run to gain the maximum clout. This rule states that an advertiser needs to have a total of 6 ads in their advertising catalog: 4 entertaining ads, 1 light commercial, and 1 hard commercial for every time period.
What is the ideal frequency to post on social media?
Various studies have shown that the best frequency to post in the top social media sites is the following:
- Facebook: 2 posts per day
- Twitter: 5 to 20 posts per day
- Instagram: 1 to 2 posts per day
Plot this frequency in your media schedule to better keep track on your posts.
What are some great tools available to create my media schedule?
Aside from the media schedule templates in the above section, various tools exist to ease the process of media scheduling, and some of them are Google Spreadsheets, Buffer, Wunderlist, Trello, and Todoist.
The key to an effective media schedule is to plan it ahead of time. If you are working on a one-week media schedule, then work on it one week ahead; if you are planning a one-month media schedule, then write it down one month before; and so on. Reaping a bountiful harvest from the seeds you sowed in advertising is possible when you are equipped with the right strategies on your media schedule.