Tips to Create an Advertising Plan
Advertising is a marketing activity that uses sponsored, non-personal messages to reach potential or existing customers. It is used by businesses to boost sales of products or services. They are paid for by companies and sell an idea or product/service. An Ad plan is a blueprint for how you will use advertising to promote your business and reach new customers. When you have a plan, it ensures that your advertising reaches the right audience. The advertising plan establishes the benchmark that can be used to assess whether your strategy is effective at reaching customers within the constraints of your marketing budget.
- Planning your Advertising strategy
When planning your advertising strategy, a comprehensive business plan is important as it allows you to craft an advertising plan that reaches the right target audience and also stay within your budget, using effective marketing messages.
Any advertising methods that you choose will be dependent on your available funding and where you can best reach your target audience.
In order to create your advertising plan, you should consider the following:
1. The Medium:
When considering a medium, you should select places your audience are already consuming information. It will ensure that your advertising reaches your potential customers.
2. Budget Plan:
You should have a clear plan for where you spend your advertising funds and how much you can afford. It will help you stay within your marketing budget and ensure that you bring in more revenue than you spend on advertising.
3. Develop a Message:
Develop a marketing language that communicates the benefits that your goods or services can provide when used by your customers. It ensures that your marketing is primed to resonate with your audience and entice them to learn more or make a purchase.
4. Create Benchmarks:
You must set goals that re measurable for the number of customers you want to bring in and how much revenue you want to generate. Create a system to track how successful your advertising is. This can be achieved by having dedicated phone numbers that customers can call, discounts for in-store promotions or unique links that are placed on other websites. It will enable you track the effectiveness of your ads.
Advertise through more than one channel to ensure that if one strategy fails to bring in new customers, other channels will reach your audience to and rake in revenue.
- Advertising Medium
Many media abound with which to advertise products and services. Whichever medium is chosen will largely depend on the type of business, the type of products or services, the customers targeted, the budget available, the locality or region targeted, and of course the business goals.
1. Print Advertising
This form of advertising is on paper. They could be in form of flyers, pamphlets, catalogs, magazines and newspapers. Often seen as more effective in reaching an older audience or one that is highly stable and unlikely to move around. Also considered useful because it stands out from competitors who use basically online advertising.
2. Radio and TV Advertising
Radio and television ads have a broad reach and can be useful for getting in front of many customers at the same time. Television advertisements are expensive and include both the cost of the advertising slot and the cost of creating the advert itself. On the other hand, advertising with radio is cost-effective.
Advertising through emails directly reaches potential and existing customers. There is an average open rate of 17% for email marketing but this can vary between industries or businesses depending on how engaged your email subscribers are. Little Businesses have higher open rates than larger ones. Bigger businesses have the budget to purchase mailing lists from advertising marketing firms.
4. Digital Advertising
Online advertising includes a variety of websites, search engines, blogs and social media advertising. This type of advertising traditionally embeds a link that goes directly to a company’s website o product page. It also relies on the relationship that a partnering website already has on their readers or followers.
These ads allow you to reach highly targeted segments of customers and are often accompanied with offers that are tailored to their interest and needs. For search engine advertising, most times it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
- Analyzing your Advertising Strategy
The work is not over when you have created and implemented an advertising plan. You have to consistently measure and reassess it because marketing is an ongoing process. Create your advertising plan such that you can track the results of each strategy; analyze the results to see which types of marketing are most effective for your business based on different metrics.
- Reach and Effectiveness
The advertising strategy needs to reach customers in order to generate estimated revenue. The following questions need to be asked to truly assess its effectiveness.
- The number of new customers that each marketing tactic brought in.
- Were the customers able to make any purchase? Are they following you on social media?
- Were they able to return to make additional purchase?
- Which methods were successful at retaining existing customers?
- The type of marketing that attracted the most customers and which attracted the least?
- Were the goals of the advertising achieved?
In an event where your advertising fails to achieve the intended or stipulated goal then you should consider tweaking those strategies or better still, replacing them with new marketing tactics.
- Return on Investment
For every advert put out, money is been spent. The costs need to stay within the budget and the results should be worth every spending. In order to assess the return on investment, certain questions such as these should be asked:
- The total amount of money and time spent on each marketing strategy
- Was the cost of advertising covered by the increase in sales?
- Which method of adverting brought in the most revenue?
- Will you be able to afford any of the advertising in the future?
You have to know which form of advertising provides the best return on your investment in order to allow you decide where to channel your marketing budget in the nearest future.
New Forms of Media
Advertising media are continuously evolving. We are beginning to have new websites and podcasts. Media such as newspaper, magazines and radio channels have started offering new rates to entice advertisers. Online platforms are created then changed to accommodate new models and then they lose popularity, or reach different demographics.
When assessing the effectiveness of your advertising plan and return on investment, pay attention to where you can reach your customers and advertise your products. It will help you create a strong advertising plan and stay one step ahead of you competitors.
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