Ways to Run Your Own Advertising Campaign
Ready to Create Your Own Ad Campaign? Start Here.
Creating and implementing an advertising campaign is no easy task. There is a reason there are thousands of advertising agencies all around the world, full of people who have spent their lives devoted to the skill and science of advertising.
Having said that, when funds are very tight, and you are just starting out, it can be daunting to hire an agency - even a small shop, or one freelancer. But if you are truly invested in your product or service, and are passionate about getting the word out, there are steps you can follow to do it yourself.
Establish Your Marketing Strategy and Goals
Nothing can help you identify your goals more than your marketing plan. You'll have to identify your unique value proposition, or what makes you different from the competition. Are you offering a product or service? For example, if you're selling consulting services, you'll need to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise int he particular area that makes your offering unique. By sitting down and writing out a plan, you will learn a lot about your company, your competitors, and your long-term goals by creating and following your marketing plan.
Create a Plan of Action
Once you have your marketing plan and the goals of your marketing strategy, you must create a plan of action. Your plan of action also gives you the crucial info you can use in executing your ad strategy. Within the overall advertising campaign, you want to have a written plan of actionable steps for achieving your goals.
Decide On Your Advertising Budget
How you advertise depends on your ad budget. You need to use your advertising money strategically. If you're only allowing a small portion of the money to advertising, you wouldn't want to throw it all into the production of one commercial that runs at 2 a.m. Know exactly how much you will spend on your advertising first so you can make wise decisions in the creation and placement of all ad mediums.
Hunt Down Affordable Advertising Options
Running your own ad campaign means you have to be your own media director. You've got to find the best ad placement and the most affordable opportunities to fit into your budget. If you're limited to a very small budget, you can find many ways to bypass high advertising costs.
Know Your Target Audience
You can't advertise effectively if you don't hit your target audience. You need to know just who they are before you start creating your ads, to take full advantage of every dollar you spend on media. For example, if your company sells scooters to seniors, you don't want to invest heavily in social media. Seniors prefer more traditional options, like local TV, newspapers, and even ads in local stores. Do your customers live in a specific region of the country? What are their interests? Are they mostly men or women? What social media sites would they likely visit?
Advertise With Appropriate Mediums
Of all the different advertising mediums you can use, you have to be able to use these mediums to your benefit. Spending all of your money on a direct mail campaign when your ad dollars would be better spent on social media and viral videos are going to limit how many customers you could've gained.
Take a look at each medium, think about your target audience, take a look at your marketing plan and your plan of action and decide which medium(s) will be best for your ad dollars. For example, LinkedIn might be a good option if you're targeting professionals. Facebook might be an option for targeting families.
It's also important to test your marketing plan by advertising with multiple mediums and multiple groups of people within the same medium to gauge the success of the campaign. Start small and take out small ads on social media sites to test out whether it'll work for a larger campaign. By doing multiple tests, you'll gain valuable research and data about your audience and what works and what doesn't in your marketing pitch. Once you have a successful pitch and a site or media channel that works for you, you can then increase your investment to create a larger campaign. Each business is different, and it's crucial to know what type of advertising is best for you.
Don't Be Afraid to Hire Freelancers
If you can't turn your advertising over to an agency, still consider hiring a freelance copywriter and or graphic designer. These professionals know what makes a good advertisement. Many freelancers have worked in advertising agencies, so you get the benefit of their expertise. Plus, freelancers can give you professional copy and materials at an affordable cost.
A Consistent Message is Key
If you're running online ads, TV and radio commercials, print ads and a direct mail campaign, keep them consistent. Use the same announcer and music for your commercials. Other materials should use the same colors and fonts. Use the same tagline. You want to keep everything consistent, so your potential customers start identifying your tagline, your colors, your font, your announcer, jingle - everything - that relates to your company's ad campaign.
Repurpose your content and use it for multiple formats and websites. For example, if you created an informational video, use the content in the video and repurpose it to be downloaded from your website as a special report or white paper. Or you can break up the information from the video and post portions of it in a series of articles on your website, LinkedIn groups, or Facebook. In each posting, you can include a link back to your website to download the entire report or watch the video. By repurposing your content, you'll be driving traffic to your product, service, or newsletter sign up sheet and in the process build an email list of prospects.
Repetition Works Wonders
It typically takes anywhere from three to five times for a prospect to view your work, product or service before committing to buy it. Buying space for one radio commercial that airs once at 4:30 in the morning isn't going to get much of a response. You want commercials to have a larger frequency so you can increase your chances of hitting that target audience. If you're running a direct mail campaign, decide the frequency of your materials up front. Once you send your initial materials out, how many times will you send out follow up materials? Know the answers before you begin to help maximize your strategy's success.
If In Doubt, Get The Books Out
There is no shame in admitting that you don't know what you're doing at any point in the process, which is why testing your audience and getting feedback from customers is critical to your success. There are plenty of books that are available and be sure to watch out for newly released titles since they'll likely have the most current advertising trends.