Before spending your advertising budget, you need to properly allocate it. For this, there is media planning – the foundation for the success of an advertising campaign. Choosing the right ad platforms is half the battle, the second part is publishing ads at the right time. SMMplanner explains what a media plan is and how to create one for social networks.

The goal of the media plan is to choose the optimal advertising channels. What is included in the media plan? This document specifies the timing of the advertising campaign, channels used, basic settings and recommended placement formats. The media plan also includes information about the campaign budget, the cost of placement on sites and the forecast of the result.

Forming a media plan: 4 steps

Before you start developing a media plan, you need to get the initial data – from the customer or independently collect and analyze the information.

Step 1. Select target audience

The search for a segment of promising buyers is at the heart of the media plan. When planning, you should always refer to the portrait of the buyer. The target audience for products of the same brand can vary greatly.

For example, Sberbank issues cards for young people, businessmen, pensioners and other groups of the population. Accordingly, a separate advertising campaign is configured for each segment, taking into account the specifics of the audience.

Describe the buyer in as much detail as possible: what he reads, where he walks, lives, what he eats, where he studies, how much he earns. We have already talked in detail about how to compose a portrait of the target audience: what it is, why you need it, and where to look for information.

Use a simple diagram to draw up a portrait of a buyer, describe one real person:

  • social characteristics: gender, age, marital status, income, profession;
  • information about the pastime: forums, thematic sites, online stores, social resources;
  • what customer problems your product solves;
  • how your product makes you feel;
  • why a customer should buy your product.

The purpose of a portrait is to get a face and character. Working with numbers is more difficult than working with ideal buyers.

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An example of a portrait of a target audience for a psychotherapist
An example of a portrait of a target audience for a psychotherapist

To find Rodion and tell about your product, you can advertise for subscribers of the Melancholy, Law Faculty of St. Petersburg State University, Overheard, Not Like Everybody, and so on.

Step 2. Determine the site

The effectiveness of advertising largely depends on the relevance to the audience. Therefore, in order to choose the right site, you need to research the audience of the site. The statistics can be found in the Brand Analytics study.

Statistics of monthly published content and the number of active authors in social networks for 2020 from Brand Analytics
Statistics of monthly published content and the number of active authors in social networks for 2020 from Brand Analytics

VKontakte is the most popular social network in Russia. Previously, it was considered a place for schoolchildren, but now the average age of a user of this site is 20-30 years. Attendance of about 70 million unique users per day. This social network is more suitable for promoting products from an affordable price segment. Or for image advertising. To achieve maximum results, you need to constantly communicate with subscribers and build their loyalty: ask questions, run contests and share interesting content.

A typical Instagram user is a girl from 20 to 35 years old with an average income. The focus of this social network is on visual content. Therefore, first of all, advertising here should be beautiful and interesting. The daily traffic is about 500 million users. You can promote products from any price category on Instagram, because it is not difficult to find a buyer with the help of properly configured advertising. The main thing is to customize the ad delivery as accurately as possible. However, as in any other social network.

Facebook’s advantage is its international audience and traffic of about 1.5 billion users per day. In Russia, active users of the social network are specialists and representatives of large companies. Facebook is suitable for selling goods from the middle and premium segment. It is also convenient to promote educational events on the site: conferences, webinars and online courses.

Read also:

  • Where the applications came from: analyzing a personal on VK using a parser
  • How to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising on Instagram: metrics and tools
  • How to choose an advertising target on Facebook

Step 3. Distribute the terms of the advertising campaign

It is not enough to choose the duration of an advertising campaign (week, month, year). It is necessary to distribute the release time of each ad. Therefore, you must again take into account the characteristics of the target audience:

  1. Morning. 7:30 am to 11:00 am… During this period, students, schoolchildren and office workers are most active – everyone who goes somewhere in the morning. Users read community posts, stick to pictures and try in every possible way to stay awake on the way. They don’t want to think and make complex movements. Therefore, the maximum that you can count on in the morning is likes and reposts.
  2. Dinner. From 13:00 to 15:00… At this time, the office employees start lunch. They leaf through the tape and are ready to do something. And remember that the advance comes on the 10th, and the salary on the 25th. That is, these days users have money, which means they can buy something. The rest of the time, it is better to ask to leave a request or place a preliminary order.
  3. Evening. From 18:00 to 23:00… At this time, social networks show maximum activity. Therefore, even publications put the best publications at this time. In the evening, you need to maximize your advertising coverage and use “heavy artillery” if necessary.
  4. Night. from 23:00 to 02:00… Users flip through the feed before going to bed, they are ready to read long posts, but the desire to do something is the same as in the morning. Just wish good dreams to your subscribers.
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The Popsters analytics service team annually conducts research on the activity of the audience of social networks. At the end of 2020, at almost all sites, audience activity increased during working hours compared to last year. Surely this was facilitated by the change of the usual mode of study / work to a remote one due to the pandemic. For most people, in conditions of social isolation, social networks have become the main way of communication.

Based on information from the study, you can choose the time and date for advertising in the community.

Popsters research: audience activity by time of day, average across all social networks
Popsters research: audience activity by time of day, average across all social networks
Popsters research: audience activity by days of the week, average across all social networks
Popsters research: audience activity by days of the week, average across all social networks

A good smm-specialist understands that few people are interested in general activity in social networks. It is necessary to consider individual groups, which is what the authors of the study did.

Audience activity on VKontakte by days of the week
Audience activity on VKontakte by days of the week
Audience activity on VKontakte by time of day
Audience activity on VKontakte by time of day

If you need to understand in detail how SMM works, how to create selling content and make profit from social networks, master the profession of an SMM manager from

Step 4. Create a budget

The budget needs to be allocated wisely. To avoid wasting all your money on ineffective ads, run a few test campaigns. Run them at once on all sites and set the maximum price – 100 rubles.

After a week, if your budget doesn’t run out early, analyze your campaigns. See which ones brought more results. If everyone was equally bad, create new test campaigns. Analyze what the users didn’t like, what factors could have influenced the low rates. Keep only the best.

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Be sure to consider which site has more of your audience. It is logical that more funds should be invested in the social network that will bring more new customers.

Draw up all the steps taken in one document, summarize the data in tables, visualize them, the DataFan service will help with this, which allows you to create an unlimited number of dynamic reports on the work of social networks. Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. Create a media plan for your ad campaign to save money.

Che is so difficult …

Believe it or not, a media plan is an integral part of an advertising campaign. Don’t rely on intuition. Conduct your own research, study platforms and audience interests. This knowledge will help you to influence her as much as possible. And remember that the task of the media plan is to optimally plan the advertising budget and choose the right advertising sites. After launch, analyze the results and, if necessary, adjust the advertising media plan to improve the quality of promotion in social networks.

The article has been updated. First published August 1, 2017