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Digital Marketing Media Plan in 2024

Unlocking Success: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting an Effective Digital Marketing Media Plan in 2024

Digital Marketing Media Plan

Unlock the power of strategic marketing with effective media planning! Dive into the world where marketing objectives meet the right media platforms, creating a roadmap to your success


A Media Plan is an essential document in digital marketing. It’s a comprehensive plan that outlines the strategy for a marketing campaign, detailing the channels to be used, the investment on each platform, the targeting strategy, ad formats, and estimated deliverables.

What is a Media Plan?

A media plan is typically an Excel sheet or a PDF table that contains three types of information for any campaign:

  • Channel Mix: This includes the channels we are going to invest in for the campaign, such as Facebook, Google Ads, and YouTube, and the amount of money we are investing in each of these platforms.
  • Targeting and Ad Formats: This section details what targeting will be used for each channel and what kind of ad formats will be used.
  • Estimated Deliverables: This includes forecasts about how many impressions, clicks, views, leads, app installs, etc., we expect from each channel.

In many cases, especially when onboarding a new client, a media plan is also referred to as the financial proposal which goes to the procurement team.

Who Works on a Media Plan?

In larger agencies, there are dedicated media planners and media planning teams who work on these media plans. They are generally the campaign owners. They create a media plan based on a strategy, get it approved, and then coordinate with digital media specialists.

In smaller agencies or different setups, it’s often the digital media specialists who work on these media plans and send them to clients.

Importance of a Media Plan

Knowing how to create a media plan or at least understanding what a media plan looks like is crucial if you are associated with digital marketing in any way.

Structure of a Media Plan

A good media plan is generally divided into three tabs:

Summary Tab: This is also known as the Media Plan Executive Summary. This tab is generally used when you need to get approval on this media plan from your client.

Executive Summary of a Media Plan

The executive summary of a media plan is generally for the Chief Marketing Officer or other decision-makers who need an overview without going into detailed information. This section typically includes:

  1. Client: The name of the client for whom the media plan is being created.
  2. Project/Campaign: The specific campaign that this media plan is for.
  3. Date of Plan: The date when the media plan was created.
  4. Campaign Dates: The start and end dates of the campaign.
  5. Version: The version number of the media plan. This is important because sometimes changes are made to the plan based on client feedback, and it’s crucial to keep track of these versions.
  6. Prepared By: The name of the person or team who prepared the media plan.
  7. Agency Fees: The percentage of agency fees, which can vary based on what you agreed with your client.
  8. Currency: The currency in which the media plan is presented.
  9. VAT: The value-added tax applicable to the services.
  10. Point of Contact: The person on the client side to whom you are sending this media plan.

This summary tab also includes a table showing a cost-wise breakdown on each platform (like Facebook, Google Search, YouTube, Programmatic Display, and PG Deals), budget allocation per channel, estimated leads from each channel, and estimated cost per lead.

Financials and Schedule

The financials and schedule section contains columns for each platform (like Facebook and Instagram), market (like UAE), budget allocation (like 50% to Sharjah and 50% to Dubai), language targeting (like 100% Arabic), and theme of the keywords (like “buy house apartment townhouse villa in Dubai”).

Filling the Media Plan

Once you have your media plan structure ready, you can start filling it with the relevant information. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Billing Metrics: This is where you mention how you are buying on each platform. For example, if you are buying on a Cost-per-view (CPV) basis on YouTube, you mention it here. The billing metrics will be different for each platform based on the buying model you are choosing.
  2. Audience Size: You can get the estimated audience size from each platform based on the targeting details you provide. For example, if you go to Facebook and provide the dates, budgets, and targeting details, it will give you an estimated audience size.
  3. Frequency: This is where you mention the average frequency of ads that should be shown to the same person within a specific duration. For example, if it’s a one-month campaign and you decided with the client that on Facebook and Instagram, you will not show more than four ads to the same person within this month.
  4. Rates: The rate here is for the buying model you are choosing. For example, in terms of YouTube, it’s CPV, so 0.03 is the CPV rate (Cost Per View). Similarly, for Google Search, it is CPC (Cost Per Click), so 2.1 is the cost per click on Google Search.
  5. Clicks: You can calculate the number of clicks by dividing impressions by Click Through Rate (CTR). For example, if the general CTR you should expect for this campaign on Facebook is 0.4 percent, you put it here so you will get the clicks.
  6. CPC: This can be easily calculated because you know the budget and the number of clicks. So CPC would be the total budget divided by the number of clicks.

Once all these details are filled in your media plan, it can serve as a comprehensive guide for your digital marketing campaign.

Calculating Metrics in a Media Plan

Once you have filled in the basic information in your media plan, you can start calculating various metrics. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Impressions: You can calculate impressions by dividing the total budget by the Click Through Rate (CTR). For example, if the CTR for Facebook is 0.4 percent, you put it here so you will get the impressions.
  2. Clicks: You can calculate clicks by dividing impressions by CTR.
  3. Cost Per Click (CPC): This can be easily calculated because you know the budget and the number of clicks. So CPC would be the total budget divided by the number of clicks.
  4. Leads: Leads would be directly summed up from the above data.
  5. Cost Per Lead (CPL): Again, this can be easily calculated because you know the total budget and the total number of leads. So CPL would be the total budget divided by the total number of leads.

Additional Details in a Media Plan

A comprehensive media plan also includes additional details like:

  1. Schedule: This includes details like how much will you be spending, the budget allocation for each platform, and what is the day parting i.e., how will you schedule them during the day.
  2. Category Filtering: This includes details about what you have booked or planned for the client.
  3. Remarketing: This includes details about whether the pixels are implemented, DMP audiences, etc.
  4. Prospecting Categories: This includes details about all the Google affinity segments, Google in-market segments, etc.

Detailed Information in a Media Plan

A media plan also includes detailed information about various aspects of the campaign:

  • Pixels: This refers to whether the pixels are implemented or not. Pixels are used for tracking user behavior on the website, which is crucial for remarketing efforts.
  • Data Management Platform (DMP) Audiences: This includes details about DMP audiences. A DMP is a tool that collects and analyzes a substantial amount of cookie data to segment it into audiences.
  • Google Affinity Segments: These are used to target people based on their specific interests as they browse Google properties.
  • Google In-Market Segments: These are used to find customers who are researching products and actively considering buying a service or product like those you offer.

More on Media Plan Details

In addition to the previously mentioned aspects, a media plan also includes:

  • Oracle BlueKai: This is a data management platform that provides third-party audience data for your marketing needs. You can mention all the segments from Oracle BlueKai that you will be targeting in your campaigns.
  • CPM Rates: This refers to the cost per thousand impressions. It’s a commonly used measurement in advertising and an important aspect of your media plan.
  • Estimated Display Impressions: This is the forecasted number of times your ad will be displayed to your target audience.
  • Video Impressions: Similar to display impressions, this is the forecasted number of times your video ad will be viewed by your target audience.
  • Campaign Schedule: This includes details about when each channel will go live and what duration they will run for.


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