You don’t need to have a degree in marketing to have heard the term “media buying” being bandied around these days. The term describes one of the most common and fastest growing forms of marketing and advertising in the world right now, one that is intricately linked to the digital world and the social media ecosystem in particular.
It’s a multi-billion dollar industry involving various different sectors, employees and companies, and chances are the place you work is involved in media buying in some shape or form. Here’s everything you need to know about what media buying is, and how it works.
In a nutshell, media buying is when a person or entity purchases a share of media on behalf of another company or individual. This can be in the form of a blog post, a magazine article, a social media post, TV advertisement, billboard, and pretty much any other type of media you can think of.
The person who is doing the media buying will typically belong to a dedicated department, usually within the marketing section of a company. Anyone can buy media from a media organization. It could be a hotel chain, an online casino business, a restaurant, a celebrity or a non-profit organization – you name it.
A media buyer’s job is to purchase exposure and advertising on behalf of someone else, ideally looking at trends to see how maximum exposure can be obtained for the best value.
Most modern companies engage in some form of media buying, and there are tons of examples to demonstrate how it works in practice.
A recent real-world example can be found in the popular world of online casino gaming. Global casino platform Mr Green recently entered into a media buying partnership with marketing tech business Ve Global and casino game developer NetEnt. The purpose of a partnership like this is for Ve to maximize Mr Green’s exposure and therefore their revenues by finding the best ways to buy media that potential customers will see. Considering how competitive the online casino sector is, with hundreds of operators trying to grab players’ attention, such brands often have very clear media buying strategies.
An experienced media buyer will be keeping track of influential figures on social media, also known as influencers, with one of the most famous examples being reality TV star Kylie Jenner. When a brand wants some exposure, the media buyer will get in touch with Jenner’s team to negotiate the price of a post from Jenner’s Instagram account promoting that company’s products. This way the brand gets exposure to millions of followers while Jenner’s account gets some quality content.
In a more traditional sense, that Coca-Cola billboard you drove past recently will have been the result of a concentrated media buying strategy, with countless hours of research going into where best to place a billboard that will appeal to potential Coca-Cola consumers. Simple.
Why it Works
Media buying is so successful because it outsources the difficult task of targeted advertising to the experts. For a fee, companies can know that their message is reaching the right people at the right time and that their products and services are receiving maximum exposure.