Advertising can seem expensive, but it does not have to be. If you use the right strategies to maximize your budget, you can get the most out of your marketing dollars. Here are some tips to help you reach new customers without draining your budget or cutting into your profit margins.
Start With An Advertising Strategy
Let's say you have a specific fitness goal in mind. How do you intend on making progress? You are likely to change your diet and schedule time into exercise. Strategies map-out a series of steppingstones that lead to visible results. In this way, advertising is similar. When there is no strategy behind your advertising dollars, it can be hard to measure your ROI (return on investment) and make cost-effective choices.
Before you begin your advertising strategy, make sure to have a clear set of objectives for your brand, yourself, and any team members involved. To ensure that you allocate resources appropriately, start with these three elements (we will dive into these a little later):
An advertising strategy should begin with outlining what you want to promote and to which audience. This will help you decide how much your budget should be, what media channels you should use to reach your audience, and how often you will want to promote your product or service.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Identifying your target audience is one of the important first steps in any advertising campaign. When you define your target audience, you can develop messages that are relevant to their needs and desires. If you do not already have one in mind, do some research to find out who might be good candidates for your product or service.
Your target audience may be divided into multiple segments. For example, a ketchup company’s target audience may be segmented into restaurant owners buying wholesale, and everyday grocery shoppers buying bottles. Both groups are looking for ketchup, but the advertising they see may differ based on their needs. The more you can define your audiences, their interests, where they spend their time, and pain points, the stronger you can plan your advertising campaigns. A suitable place to start is by talking directly to your customers, customer-service representatives, and sales teams. The more you can learn about who buys your product or service (and why), the better.
Craft Your Message
Once you understand your target, you can begin to choose your messaging. What offers do you want to communicate to your audience? If it is a product, you may want to advertise the benefits that make it superior to others of its kind. If it is a service, you may want to promote a discount with a limited-time offer. Your message should include reasons why your audience must choose your brand over your competition.
Go where your audience spends their time. Understanding which media channels your audience is active with will give you a better idea of where to distribute your advertising dollars. It is important to understand channel distribution across all major media platforms, including search engines, social media networks, television, and on. Knowing where your target audience spends their time will help you narrow down where to advertise, who you want to reach, and how much money to invest in each media channel.
Testing messages and creative through your advertising campaign can help with reaching a stronger ROI over time. Often these tests require several optimizations to find the strongest creative and message.
Remember that hypothetical fitness goal from earlier on? What tools would you use to measure your success: a scale, or a fitness app on your smartphone? Similarly, think of the kinds of tools you could use to measure success for your advertising efforts.
There are many ways to go about it. You can use website visits, qualified leads, phone calls, or revenue as a metric. Whichever you choose, you should set up the proper tagging and tracking in the beginning to report on important key performance indicators (KPIs).
It is important to look at both hard data and soft data when collecting your KPIs. Hard data can include information such as clicks, signups, website visits, viewers, and listeners, as well as sales conversions. Soft data can be information that is susceptible to interpretation, such as audience brand-recall.
Do Not Make This Mistake
Many advertisers stop reporting and measuring KPIs after their campaigns have ended. It is important to continue reporting on campaigns for a month or more (depending upon the campaign) as continuing results can be seen after the first promotional phase. They say momentum is challenging to obtain; but once you have it, it keeps on growing! Continue to track your brand’s momentum over time to record any patterns and success stories you will discover.
Like many things, measurement tools come with a cost. It is important to allocate an area of your advertising budget to be spent on monitoring and reporting on KPIs throughout the advertising campaigns and after they have ended.
Every good advertising story has a beginning. Let yours start with us! 5Points Creative is a full-service agency with the team of advertising professionals to help jumpstart your campaign. For more information, contact us here.