It’s that time of year for most of our customers: media research, scheduling and buying. Our clients buy media different ways: some through us, some buy it directly and some buy it through media placement firms. No matter how you buy it, make sure you look for the following:

  1. Start with a good media study.

    Measure all the magazines in your markets – even the ones you do not currently use. Things are changing rapidly in the market, and one publication may experience a surge, especially on the web. Make sure you study the cost-per-thousand impressions (CPMs) both online and in print.

  2. Know your media reps.

    Do you know your media reps? These people are your best allies when it comes to buying media, but not for the reason that they want your money. Great media reps help you align your ads with the appropriate segment of their target audience and editorial content. They can also help you pick from full menus of digital and print options.

  3. Build a schedule for the year

    Even if you are not buying everything all at one time, it’s still important to plan out your entire year. Carefully consider frequency and reach in the schedule. Balance your schedule technologically (Yes, you still need print, but digital is increasingly important.), geographically, by service/product and by target audience to ensure you aren’t under-covering one group within the allotted budget.

  4. Build quality links.

    Work with your media rep and follow-through to build links from other sites. One of the most important search engine optimization (SEO) factors involves building a healthy list of links to and from other sites.

  5. Create a robust list of directory listings.

    While you have a lull in work during December, build out as many quality directory listings as you can. Utilize extra pieces of materials, such as product showcases, to take full advantage of everything a publication can offer your business.

  6. Create strong calls-to-action.

    Check all your materials for varied and strong calls-to-action. What or where do you want your audience to go for the next piece of your story? Measure the results regularly and adjust if needed.

We wish you good fortune as you plan for 2016.