A solid advertising plan requires a strong foundation. You can’t simply throw one together on the fly and expect powerful results. Doing so is ineffective and has the potential to waste lots of money.
Instead, your advertising team should begin with the basics and get granular with your planning tactics.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of nine practical ways you can structure your online advertising more effectively.
1. Set Up Your Offer
As a preliminary step, you should always think about the offer that you want your ads to communicate. Too often, marketers try to run a direct conversion-based ad from the get-go. This results in cold leads and low conversions because prospects aren’t sure what to expect.
Motivational incentives can attract prospects who don’t have much knowledge of your brand or product. Try leveraging an event, whitepaper, content download, free gift card giveaway, etc.
Remember, you can advertise anything you want to. With this knowledge in mind, try to think of an offer that’s outside the box and goes beyond the standard “Click here, buy now,” style of messaging.
2. Define Your Customer
Who is your exact customer? Where do they spend time online? These are the type of questions you must ask before you start to brainstorm advertising concepts.
Demographics are also important. Consider the data you have about your customers’ age, gender, preferences, and other helpful lifestyle details. This data will help your entire team produce an ad that triggers a positive response.
3. Make a Creative Story
When you leverage a story-based advertising plan, you can often achieve more of an impact. That creative theme is going to be more effective because your messaging relates deeply and on a personal level.
One example of a creative story concept might be something like, “Take control of [pain point/problem] in 2022!” In this example, you’re hitting on a pain point and helping the customer realize that there is hope and potential.
Use story-based ads to keep your marketing centered on your customer and their lives (as opposed to only sharing about the business or product).
4. Think About Your Ad Sequencing
What sequence of ads are best for addressing cold audiences? Many individuals, including future buyers, haven’t been exposed to your brand yet. They should receive a sequence of ads that are well-planned and considered.
After you have exposed your customers to an ad, storyboard out the ad sequence to send next.
Once they’ve reached your website or after they’ve converted, develop a similar storyboard for your remarketing ads. These are the ads that will show after customers complete an action. By being diligent with these steps, you’ll be able to control the conversation much more and build urgency over time.
5. Create Multiple Landing Pages
When it comes to landing pages, you shouldn’t have just one. Develop well-designed landing pages for every step across the customer journey and for each ad that you’re running.
You should also have landing pages that are specific to the offer type. Ads and landing pages should take customers and prospects to the information they expect to see when they engage with you online.
6. Build Your Ad Placements (Network + Audiences)
For actual advertising success, think about where to run ads, including digital networks and their respective audiences.
One network option might be to run ads on LinkedIn to employees at a specific company, or to individuals who have a similar job title. In this example, you’ve narrowed down both the network (LinkedIn) and audience (C-suite executives) who will benefit from and respond to your current ad campaigns.
7. Decide Who You Are Excluding From Your Campaign
Although many people don’t take the time to think about this step, it’s critical that you consider who you want to exclude from your ad campaigns. The following are good questions to think about before you design and schedule a new set of ads.
- Are you excluding current customers?
- Should you exclude people who attended the last event you hosted?
- Are you excluding people from future campaigns based on people who have converted during a current campaign?
- Are you excluding people who are currently in the sales process?
Database management (and the ability to access clean and organized data) is critical as you establish new advertising strategies.
8. Set Your Budget by Time Period Across Networks
When structuring a new ad campaign, you should always set your budget (and expected return) by ad network over the course of:
- One week
- 30 days
- Two months
- Every quarter
Lastly, it’s a good idea to set a similar budget annually as well.
By setting reasonable budgets, you’ll develop and discover clear cost per acquisition and clear ROAS (return on ad spend) targets. This information will allow you to scale in the right direction over a period of time.
9. Pick Your KPIs
Last but not least, remember your KPIs. Key performance indicators are critical to each and every advertising campaign, no matter who your ideal customer is or which industry you are in.
What do your KPIs look like from a top-line perspective? Once you know this answer, delineate downward. Develop metrics for the ad level, the individual audience, and the landing page level.
RELATED: 8 Steps to Structure A Paid Media Pilot Campaign to Improve Your KPIs
Benefits of Paid Media Advertising
Although it’s hard work to produce effective advertising campaigns, the benefits are clear. Most companies experience significant financial and marketing advantages when they start to produce expertly crafted ads. Here are just a few of the benefits of paid advertising”
- Build awareness with a large audience.
- Discover what works with measurable outcomes.
- Offer your audience more than a simple call to action (CTA).
- Get ultra-specific about your return on ad spend.
- You can meet customers and leads where they are.
Why an Advertising Campaign Plan Matters
If you take away nothing else, remember this: an advertising campaign plan is your protection against excessive ad spend.
Whether you win or lose, you should always understand the specific actions that contribute to both results. This knowledge helps your entire advertising team make smarter, more informed decisions.
An advertising plan is also important for your target audience. Ads are often how people are compelled by new experiences, services, and products. An ad has the potential to change someone’s life in a positive way, and it all starts with a single click.
When you thoughtfully plan each piece of your advertising strategy before ads go live, you’re bound to enjoy a much better return on your digital advertising investments.
If you jump in and set up a rogue ad campaign without careful planning, you’re almost certainly going to waste money. In the fast-paced world of digital advertising, most businesses can’t afford to throw dollars away as a result of poor planning.
Before you launch your next ad campaign, take a step back and apply the nine easy and practical tips you’ve discovered here. We invite you to share your results and subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more digital marketing strategies.