The ABCs of Starting an Advertising Campaign (Part 1)

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Often, the very thought about running an advertising campaign on their own is so discouraging that business executives or owners prefer spending huge sums on getting professional services or, if the budget is too tight, doing nothing and relying on the good old word-of-mouth marketing.

Well, the good news is, you’ve got more options than that. TRACKLAM has been created to provide you an opportunity to cater for your own advertising needs, even if you haven’t done it before.  

Sounds interesting, but you have no idea where to start? Here’s the first post in the series, a step-by-step guide on launching your first advertising campaign.

Disclaimer. While TRACKLAM is a helpful online tool to manage all of your advertising efforts in one place, we aren’t saying it makes running ads a no-brainer. Your initial experience may turn out to be a bumpy road, but, as the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”, so why not give it a try?

Creating your Advertising Strategy

1. What do you want as the outcome?

You  should decide what is the purpose of your advertising efforts, what their result should be. Generally, the main directions are:

  • creating brand awareness – reaching as many people as possible and letting them know about your products or services
  • generating leads – in other words, attracting new customers, who have never bought from you before
  • reengaging the existing customers – stimulating purchasing activity in your loyal clients.

If possible, your goal should be measurable and specific, so that you can compare the actual results with the desired outcome at the end of the campaign.

For instance, if you are extending your product line, you may advertise with the goal to receive orders for the new produce from N% of your existing customers in X months.

Or, if your goal is creating brand awareness, the benchmark can be Y% increase in the number of followers in social media after N weeks.

2. Who are you advertising to?

To make your message relevant and able to cut through the noise, knowing your audience is essential. We aren’t talking about weeks of research, surveys and statistics (although surveying your existing customers might be helpful to better understand them). At least, you can think over who your clients are and who you are trying to reach. Group them into several categories and create “a persona” for each, including name, occupation, and other details to best represent a customer group.

With this data, your ad messages will target precisely the right group with the relevant message as opposed to being too general and ineffective.

3. Who are you as a brand?

To set yourself apart from the pack of competitors, you need to define your company’s “personality”, because it is what can make customers choose you over others, or not to choose.

Here are a couple of questions to help you:

  1. What problems does your product help to solve?
  2. What are its advantages?
  3. What is its unique feature which isn’t found somewhere else?

Work on refining and shortening the answers till you get a clear and concise message stating your value proposition. This will set the foundation of your advertising message.

4. Who are your competitors (and what are they doing)?

Research of the competition is necessary to know what other brands are up to, what are their strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, and using this intelligence to differentiate your product on the market (and not make the same mistakes).

5. Decide on which advertising channels to use

In view of the data above, analyze the available advertising types to select the most suitable ones. The most important choice would be digital or out-of-home? Then, you’ll need to be more specific, picking the right media. Check out our post on the key OOH media for more details.

This may sound easy, but taken the variety of options and the need to take into account multiple factors about each ad medium, this can be the most time-consuming step. Weigh all pros and cons, cost and expected return before choosing. For your first campaign, a couple of channels will suffice, in order to get the hang of how it works.

6. Have your ad materials ready for placement

Depending on the channels you are going to work with, have your ads created. Think over the compelling copy and visuals to resonate with your audience. Resist the temptation to include exhaustive info into your ads. Rather than that, focus on making them memorable (the secrets of successful campaigns can be found in this post).

Well… enough for today. You have plenty of tasks to attend to before we get going and actually place your ads. Our next publication will cover how to effectively launch your ad campaign, track its progress and improve. We are already working on our hometask, so you can start with yours too:-)