Digital marketing is the most revolutionary, and possibly most powerful advertising tools to emerge in a generation. A marketer can only tap into that power, however, if they understand how to approach and execute a digital campaign correctly. These tips will position you to see results from your digital advertising dollars.
1. Agree on and Set a Clear Goal
Whether you’re advertising for digital transformation consulting or fishing rods, you’re throwing your money away if you aren’t clear about your desired results. This is especially true with digital marketing. Get key decision-makers together and decide if you’re seeking increased traffic, direct online sales, or awareness through reach and frequency.
2. Pinpoint Your Target Audience
The power of digital lies in the ability it gives you to pinpoint incredibly specific audiences. Hopefully, you understand what demographics make up your core and target audiences. If not, make that a priority. If so, schedule your ads with demographic information like income level, geography, age, and gender in mind.
3. Select Your Platforms
Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish and who you want to reach, the next step is deciding where to place your ads. Your target audience should be the biggest determining factor here. Select websites (or suites of sites), social media channels, or apps that share audiences with your customer base.
4. Determine Your Budget and Schedule
Budgeting and scheduling are, of course, essential and elementary steps in any ad campaign. However, far too many marketers start with them and then try to make their goals, audience, and platforms fit the budget and schedule. Of course, you don’t have an unlimited budget, but considering the other factors first will give you a more strategic approach to how you schedule and a lot of your dollars.
5. Decide on Messaging
The next step is developing the one, singular message you want to convey with your ads. Digital is short-form advertising, so it must be simple, succinct, and specific.
6. Write Effective Copy
Let’s say your message is “We sell the same quality product as our competitors at half the price.” That’s a great message, but it’s a bit wordy and lacking in a call to action for advertising copy. Converting messaging to copy is where the art of advertising comes into play, but simple and bold is often best. “Save HALF! Click here,” maybe a good way to go.
7. Design Banners for Short Attention Spans
Messaging, copy, and design are the components of static digital banner ads. Approach them as you would an out-of-home roadside billboard. Assume people are only half paying attention and moving past them quickly. You want no more than six words in the text, a single striking image, and your logo. You may also include a “button” that says “click here” or “learn more” as a call to action.
8. Create “Mobile-First” Videos
If your campaign includes videos like pre-rolls or paid social ads, always assume customers will be watching them on the smallest conceivable screen (usually a smartphone.) Design and produce them with that in mind. While it may seem time-consuming, for maximum efficacy, you should produce both full quality, widescreen HD videos, and square videos with captioning or text to play on smartphones or in social feeds. Recognize that most users have sound turned off for these, so make sure the captions and images tell the story without audio (though you should always include both.)
9. Place Your Ads
You’ve strategized, written and produced your ads. Now it’s time to pull the trigger and place them. Easy, right? It is in theory, but because of the specific parameters used to serve digital ads with precision, it’s important to pay close attention to details in the various platforms’ ad manager interfaces. A second set of eyes is always a good idea.
10. Monitor the Analytics
Finally, use the power of digital advertising’s back-end analytics. You can monitor your ads’ performances during or after the campaign. If something isn’t working as you go along, tweak the demos, scheduling, or budget.
If used properly, digital advertising can take your business to the next level. Use these tips as a checklist when you start your next campaign!