Developing a Media Advertisement: Factors & Procedures

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Developing a media advertisement can be a great way to promote your business, products or services. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the factors and procedures involved in preparing a media advertisement.

Choosing a Medium

Tammy owns a small boutique that caters to teenagers and young women. In the past she has placed advertisements in her local newspaper and on the radio, but she doesn't seem to be getting much response to her advertising efforts. Maybe Tammy should consider choosing another advertising medium, but how -- and why?

How to Develop a Media Advertisement

We are bombarded with media advertisements every day and regardless of the medium - newspaper, radio, television, or magazine, offers to buy products and services are all around us! Clearly, media advertisements are still a popular choice among brands and companies trying to convert their audience into sales and life-long customers. Media advertisements are promotional messages about your company, products or services.

Businesses must take many things into account when developing a media advertisement.
Businesses must take many things into account when developing a media advertisement.

There is a science to developing a media advertisement, however. It is not as simple as throwing together some photos and text, picking a media channel and hoping for the best. There are some best practices to consider when compiling a media advertisement that will successfully achieve your business objectives. Let's take a look at a few.

To begin, you must determine not only your objectives in running a media advertisement, but the target audience you're attempting to reach. The latter, especially, will help you determine which medium is best for your advertising efforts. Are you trying to reach teenagers and young people? Selecting television and internet sources will make the most sense. What about an older crowd? You might consider using radio or newspaper.

The type of advertising medium you choose will determine the type of ad you create. For example, a television-based ad is going to be a short video, Internet ads could be videos or banner ads, newspaper and magazine ads are a visual picture of what you're trying to promote.

Lead Time

Lead time is the time it takes, from start to finish, in the production of an ad. When it comes to media advertisements, lead time can range from a few minutes or hours to several weeks, and vary based on the medium you've chosen. If you are designing a media advertisement for the internet or social media, those ads can be live for your audience in a matter of hours. Traditional media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, television and radio can take a bit longer, and incorporate everything from preparing the advertisements, to determining placement of that ad.

Print media advertisements typically take between a of couple days to a couple of weeks to produce. Copy, or text, for your ad must be written and the ad must be designed and approved. It can take a while to pick the right mix of graphics, photos and text to illustrate your concept. How frequently your selected print publication circulates also impacts the amount of lead time. If you choose a magazine that only publishes twice a year, you know that it will be a window of several months before you'll see your media advertisement take shape. Television is similar in lead time, as it typically takes time to write the copy and create a rough design of what your video will look like. Shooting the actual footage can also take several weeks, and post-shooting, editing and production time must also be accounted for. Radio spots can carry a shorter lead time, but copy must still be written and someone must record the advertisement.

Writing Copy

Speaking of copy, it is one of the most important components of your media advertisement. It's what will either draw your audience in and capture their attention, or lose their interest as well as a potential sale. The type of copy you choose will depend on your business objectives. Are you trying to create awareness of something or are you making a specific offer to illicit an action? Regardless of your goal, writing clean, concise ad copy is a must. Don't let your audience get lost in too much information or information that is off-topic. Structure your copy to appeal to the target audience you're trying to reach and tell people why you are different than your competition. Talk about the benefits of your products or services and tell your audience clearly what you want them to do next (visit your online store, stop in your retail location, sign up for a newsletter, etc.)

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