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digital media buying

You’ve probably heard the term digital disruption countless times. Or you’ve probably not heard it before.

Anyways, I’d like to talk a bit on what this concept is, as it touches on this post’s discussion.

SearchCIO defines digital disruption as the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

In simpler English, digital disruption is what happens when a new digital technology is created and it changes the way things are being done in a particular industry or aspect of life, thereby affecting negatively an existing model.

A common example is how Uber has changed the game of cab hire and negatively affected private hire taxis (still waiting at the lot for someone to come hire them).

The bigger brother of digital disruption is disruptive technology.

While digital disruption is in relation to a particular sector or industry (like cab hire and TV shows – think Netflix), a disruptive technology has a more general effect and changes how everybody does things.

Email is a disruptive technology; it totally changed the conversation game – from paper to electronic/digital. That’s one example.

Now let’s talk about how the internet and digital world has changed the media buying game. But first…

What is Media Buying?

Media Buying is the process of negotiating and purchasing audience targeted time and advertising space to convey a marketing message.

It basically involves paying a media platform for exposure in a bid to get leads and customers/clients for a business.

Media buying is common with traditional media like radio, newspaper, and TV. In other words, the adverts you hear on radio and see on TV are media buying. Businesses are “buying” the audience such media (TV station or newspaper, etc) has built over time.

Media buying nowadays is however no longer restricted to old-school (traditional) media. Digital media buying is now a concept on its own.

As you probably can already imagine, digital media buying involves buying media (or exposure or audience) from the various digital platforms available; social media, search engines, blogs, email lists, content distribution networks (like Outbrain), and so on.

In simple business terms, digital media buying is the process of leveraging digital media to grow your customer/client base.

How has “digital” disrupted the media buying industry?

The media buying industry has been hugely disrupted too. Digital media has really disrupted traditional media in a lot of ways.

Firstly, traditional media buying is relatively expensive. To buy time on radio or TV for your business would set your bank account back in some considerable amount. And you can imagine how much it costs (especially in the past) to get your ads on newspaper.

Digital media buying on the other hand is cheap, and almost affordable for every kind of business. There’s something for every size of budget. Now with just $5 you can get your business in front of thousands of people.

And that’s why it’s now the preferred choice for most businesses. In fact, the big businesses that do basically traditional media now have no choice than to include digital media in their marketing.

We can’t say traditional media buying is dead. Far from it, but digital media is a big threat to traditional media. It has leveled the playing ground.

Anyone can now build and sell media. That’s why people like Linda Ikeji (blog), @CrazeClown (Instagram), Jaime Tardy (podcast), MarkAngelComedy (YouTube), Olajide Olatunji (YouTube), Shaun McBride (SnapChat), etc, are making a fortune – some make millions of dollars annually – online.

Imagine if each of these people wanted to start the traditional version of the platforms that has made them rich celebrities, how much do you think that would cost – to start, run, and promote themselves or their businesses to celebrity status?

(Just imagine Linda Ikeji starting out with her own newspaper or magazine; or CrazeClown a TV company, or even a TV show; or Jaime Tardy starting an independent radio station. I bet they’d most likely still be struggling!)

In other words, digital media has really lowered the barrier to entry for both individuals and businesses alike. You can now advertise your business on a budget and acquire leads and customers, and you can also now easily become a celebrity in your niche.

How Do You Key Your Business Into This Media Buying Disruption?

I mean, how do you take advantage of the digital disruption in media buying – and use new media (another term for digital media) to build your business?

It’s being popularly said about today’s business: it’s either you disrupt someone or you get disrupted.

That is, you can either create a business model or take advantage of technology to disrupt existing businesses (established competitors), or your business gets disrupted by those who are digital savvy.

Note: I’d like to point out that if your budget can accommodate both digital and traditional media buying, then by all means, go for both. Just ensure you create a balance, and you’ll achieve great results for your business.

But if your resources are limited, opt for digital media buying.

Digital media buying has tons of advantages over traditional media buying.

Some are:

  1. Lower cost of acquisition

As already stated, there’s something for every budget or business size in new media. Blogging or using social media is almost free. And even when you decide to use paid ads, especially when combined with an effective and proven paid traffic system, you don’t have to break the bank before you start getting awesome results.

  1. Better targeted audience

It’s far easier to identify – almost perfectly – your ideal audience and talk directly to them via digital media than with traditional media. If I was a fashion designer, I’d rather put my ads on a fashion blog than spend on radio ads – which are blasted into the general ether.

Sure you know the fashion blog audience would me more useful to my business than the general public.

  1. Greater control and flexibility

With digital media buying, you’re in control of what happens to your message and your money, and you can enjoy flexibility with regards to scheduling and launching.

You can decide on what time to run your ads, and you can decide to pause, adjust, and resume. You can decide to stop your ads midway on some platforms. You can even test different ads with a little amount before deciding on which to optimize for better results and eventually stick to.

  1. Measurability

It’s easy to track and measure your new media marketing results, and either stop or pause to adjust for better results. It’s far easier to track your return on investment (ROI) with digital media than it is with traditional media like radio or flyers.

Now that you know the advantages digital media has over its traditional counterpart, the true way to key into this change is to start. Start buying media on the digital platform that best suits your business.

But don’t just dive in head-first. Learn the ropes and prep yourself for success before diving in – because it’s also far easier to waste money on digital media, especially if you don’t have the knowledge or a proven strategy.

Finally, make sure you test and test everything you try to do in relation to digital media buying. Don’t just throw your money at the various digital platforms; test everything in your campaign – from your messaging to choosing a platform, to your creatives (image/graphics, copy, etc), and to other little things like colour, style, and so on.

That’s one big advantage digital has over traditional media that you really should exploit.

Have you learnt anything you can use in this article? Let me know in the comments.

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Oludami Yomi-Alliyu
Oludami Yomi-Alliyu

Oludami is the founder of RenegadeCommerce. He is certified as a digital marketing professional by DigitalMarketer HQ, Texas, and as a professional copywriter by American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI).


    4 replies to "Digital Disruption: How the Internet has Changed Media Buying — and How to Key In"

    • Ndifreke Atauyo

      Great content and this is the best digital media buying content I have read this year

      • Oludami

        Glad you think so, Ndifreke. Thanks for commenting

    • Wale Adeyemo

      Very insightful post and straight to the ….. I was just wondering if you could do an article tailored for B2B business on what Digital media we can adopt to get our services out there and build a robust base of customers. Thanks , you are doing a great work I must commend

      • Oludami

        Thanks for your comment, Wale. I’ll definitely publish something in line with your request soon.

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