Running a campaign online seems to be as easy as a click of a button, however, it requires a development of a detailed planning, implementation and measurement strategy. To help you understand each part of the campaign plan I created this brief step by step guide.
#1. Define your audience
In this stage you may think that if you started a business you have already identified your audience in your marketing plan but creating a campaign is a different process and here your target audience may be divided into different categories because the aim of the particular ad campaign is to attract a specific target audience.
For instance if your audience are mothers living in Canada, the campaign on which you are working for may target only mothers who speak French and living in Montreal.
Create a clear image of a person belonging to a certain segment you want to target. Bring together some demographic data including the age, race, family size, income and education. This will help you to make your campaign more accurate and effective.
#2. Identify advertising goals
To move forward you need to understand the purpose of the campaign. Unless the goal is unclear you can create neither advertising materials nor KPIs for monitoring and analysis. Goals can be different. Usually online campaigns have following goals:
- Collecting leads
- Generating sales
- Encourage trials
- Increase traffic
Some of these goals may be set together as a main goal for your ad campaign. For instance, collecting leads and encouraging trials can be combined in one goal funnel. However, in such cases make sure you provide high quality user experience which will prevent users abandon any of goal funnels.
#3. Choose an advertising platform
Now when you know your audience and the goal of your campaign it is time to find a suitable advertising channel based on these two vital criteria. For instance, if your goal is to generate sales or encourage trials you may choose search advertising tools such as AdWords or Yahoo Ads as on these platforms people may search for a particular product or a service.
Here some popular advertising platforms you can choose for your campaign:
- Twitter Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Google AdWords
- LinkedIn ads
- Bing Ads
- Yahoo Ads
#4. Create advertising materials
After choosing the advertising platform and advertising type it is time to work on ad materials. Advertising materials consist of several components; advertising text/image/video, landing page and functional support of a particular action you want your visitors to accomplish.
Here are some resources which will help to create killer text ads, banner ads, video ads and well optimized landing page:
Best Practices for Designing Effective Banner Ads – tutsplus.com
Tips for creating effective video ads – AdWords
11 steps to create a perfect Landing Page – aydinyans.com
Besides this make sure your landing page provides high quality user experience which will help visitors convert and increase your Conversion Rate.
#5. Setup your ads correctly
Selecting a right ad platform is not enough to have a successful campaign as every platform offers different types of advertising. To be maximum effective you have to set up the campaign appropriately, suitable to your goals.
Let’s take the AdWords as an example and assume that you are running a local business and want to increase your brand awareness.
If you want to increase your brand/product awareness display advertising will be more relevant than search or ecommerce ads.
Set up your targeting carefully. Take into consideration every detail the platform offers you. All targeting options including gender, age, interests, particular location and any other advanced targeting options may increase your CTR.
Advertising model and bidding
There are several ad models you can choose to deliver you message to the targeted audience.
CPC (Cost Per Click)
CPM (Cost Per Mille)
CPV (Cost Per View)
CPA (Cost Per Action)
CPH (Cost Per Hour)
As we already took a local business which tries to increase its brand awareness as an example the most suitable ad model would be CPM and/or if you have video materials CPV.
Also, every type of platform will offer you either to organize the bidding itself or ask you to bid for an ad auction. To choose one of these options you need to get back to your goals. Also, you need to keep testing and understanding the bidding rates for a particular keyword, region or audience. Best way to keep your budget secure is to bid yourself but this requires more attention as bidding lower than auction requires may prevent your ad from reaching to the audience properly.
#6. Create a tracking system
To measure the performance of your campaign you need to identify your Key Performance Indicators (KPI). These indicators will later help you to take advantage of ad tracking tools provided by advertising platforms and set up a right tracking system.
You must understand every action your visitors take while visiting your website in order to continuously improve your advertising performance. This will help to have better Return on Investment.
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