Media Buying Tips for 2021

The recent shifts within the media buying landscape have left many businesses wondering where they should invest their advertising dollars in 2021. For many, there is a debate on whether to stick to linear broadcasting or switch to over-the-top (OTT) exclusively.

We are sharing key considerations to implement into your media buying strategy as well as research and trends that suggest why your business should invest in multiple TV formats to increase your targeting capabilities.

  • COVID-19 Impacts: The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people consume linear programming. Without the daily commute to the office, people have switched their viewing times to later in the morning to catch up on the news. Now more than ever, users are tuning into local news programs to hear the latest on our health crises and other issues, keeping traditional broadcasts on the screens of many consumers.  
  • Addressability is Key: A recent article by Ad Exchanger explained the rising popularity of Addressable Media, which allows advertisers to deliver different ads to different households watching the same program. Instead of targeting specific programs, advertisers can target at the audience level to deliver effective, dynamic ads to households that fit your ideal audience through cable, satellite and IP systems. Businesses should leave the one-size-fits-all approach and develop a media buying strategy that gives you the ability to target audiences across all types of programming to create a sense of consistency in your audience targeting and measurement.
  • Opportunity for Optimization: The shift to OTT and streaming devices over the past few years is fueled by advertisers’ ability to optimize targeting and reach throughout their campaigns, not necessarily because there are massive shifts from linear to OTT. According to a Broadcasting + Cable article, “Buyers said the main reasons for shifting money to digital video from linear TV were targeting and efficiency, incremental reach, the opportunity to optimize creative, cost-effective CPM, proven ROI and better consumer ad experience.” OTT is also proven to be more effective when reaching a younger audience who use popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.
  • Linear & OTT Working Together: Both linear and OTT media have their own strengths within your strategy. Linear programming appeals to consumers who tune into live events, such as news and sports. While OTT is a great alternative for those looking for accessible large-scale content as well as niche content. When you bring both formats together, you are able to increase your chances of catching your target audience where they are consuming their media. For example, a person may use Hulu to catch up on the latest episodes of their favorite show before they tune into the newest live episode at 9 p.m. on cable. If you invest your entire budget into one media type, you will miss the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

The biggest takeaway for 2021 is to strike a happy medium when determining your spend amounts across multiple media formats. As much as we hear about ‘cord cutters,’ the reality is many consumers are watching TV in multiple formats. By creating a hybrid strategy of linear and OTT, you can ensure your business remains agile and can evolve with your audience’s viewing habits.

If your business is looking to develop a media strategy for 2021 and beyond, reach out to our team of experts who can determine your ideal media spend, targeting and placement. Through trend and cost per thousand (CPM) analysis, we’re able to determine the right frequency and spends to provide the most efficient media plan to reach the consumer and drive results. Give us a ring at 757-962-7375 or shoot us an email at to get started!

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