It certainly pays to have professional help when it comes to running advertising campaigns, but with some tips and good creatives, you should be able to run your own advertising campaigns effectively.
Running Your Own Advertising Campaigns
Follow this step-by-step guide to running your own advertising campaign to ensure success:
1. Conduct a Market Research
Identify your target market as mentioned in the article Choosing Websites to Place Ads at http://www.momtycoons.com/promotion/advertising-websites.shtml. Conduct a thorough research on where you will find your preferred customers. See where your competitors are advertising.
A simple way to see where your competitors have incoming links from is to go to [http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/] and type in your website address and 3 of your competitor’s URL’s. You will see a chart showing comparisons between your link popularity and yours. Click on each Search Engine name to see all the inbound links of the 4 websites (including yours).
For offline advertising, identify local and budget publications that reach your target market. Your goal should be to reach the people who are most likely to respond to what you offer.
2. Decide Upon Your Advertising Budget
It is important to decide beforehand how much money you want to spend on a particular advertising campaign so that you do not end up wasting your precious bucks. Deciding how much to spend depends upon your financial ability and the size of your business.
3. Plan Your Campaign
Plan your campaign in advance. For planning an effective campaign, you will need to mix-and-match various forms of advertising. An example of how to break down your budget into various forms of advertising is shown below:
Total Budget – $1000
Press Release – $100
Website Advertising – $100
Pay-Per-Click Advertising – $100
Ezine Advertising – $90
Sponsored/Text Links on Websites – $70
Classified Ads – $40
Promotional Items – $200
Print Shopping Guides – $50
Classifieds – $100
Flyers – $150
4. Prepare Excellent Advertising Material
Before you start implementing your planned campaign, aim yourself with adequate and quality advertising material. For online advertising, prepare good quality graphic banners in various sizes and compelling text ads of varying word-lengths. Write or get professionally written, an interesting press release. Your ad creatives and text ads are extremely important to your campaign. DO NOT risk designing them yourself unless you are extremely good at doing it. Saving a few dollars here may cost you your entire advertising campaign! Leave this job to the professionals.
For offline advertising, have adequate printed material on hand. This will include form mailers, brochures, flyers, signboards etc.
5. Begin Your Campaign
Send out your press release. I recommend PRWeb. This is not the place to try saving a few dollars so avoid sending only a ‘free’ press release as it will get you nowhere. Go in for their paid press release distribution programs. The extra $50 will be worth a lot more!
Book ad spots on various websites and in Ezines and Newsletters. Buy clicks on relevant keywords from ‘Pay-per-click Search Engines’. Place text ads/classifieds/directory listings etc. in various websites, directories and indexes.
For Offline Advertising, start distributing brochures and mailers, send out mailers etc.
6. Track Results and Work on Your Campaign
Once your advertising campaign gets started, you will need to track the results of each form of advertising. Allow 3 to 6 months time for advertising forms which are performing well to judge their performance accurately. If some means of advertising do not work at all or bring in results that are not at all cost-effective, discontinue them. See which text ads, banners and keywords (in pay-per-click) bring best results and use them again. Try using different keywords and monitor the results.
You must daily track all your ads actively and keep tweaking the ads to get the best performance out of them. Some banners, texts and keywords will perform very well while others won’t. Only through effective tracking will you be able to make your campaign a success.
Hiring an Agency
If you have an advertising budget of $25,000 and more, you should consider hiring an Advertising Agency to work for you. Advertising agencies have experienced staff for writing ad copies, designing compelling graphic ads etc. and they will place your ads on relevant websites and ezines and also provide you with ad tracking stats, thus making work easier for you.