Do you own a small business? Maybe you’re a marketer starting out tasked with launching an advertising strategy for a small-business client. Marketing plans across the spectrum all feature basic, fundamental steps that are taken in sequence to execute the advertising plan. Get your notepad and pen. Here are four key activities to undertake when creating an advertising plan:
1. Define the goals you hope to achieve, as well as the product/service/brand element you want to promote.
“More sales” isn’t a goal. Who doesn’t want more sales? Be specific about what you are aiming for, and use the SMART method. Goals for your advertising should be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. Some common small business goals include:
- Finding new customers
- Reinforcing brand awareness
- Launching a new product/service
- Disseminating positive company information
You should also decide what you’re going to promote. Is it a product? Perhaps you’re just trying to drum up public awareness about your new business? You don’t have to advertise everything at once, so focus on one thing at a time to start off.
2. Study your target audience in terms of their personas and where they interact online.
Think about the ideal person for your product or service. Who are they? Where do they shop? Are they tech-savvy? Write down the character traits your perfect customer possesses, and if you have a website – or social media – consult your online analytics to see who’s been visiting and interacting. This will help you shape the person you’re selling to by knowing the people you’ve already sold to.
Once you have an idea of the person your advertising will speak to, you need to establish where they are most likely to interact and pay attention to advertising. Are they avid social media users? Do they scroll through search engine-based PPC adverts looking for information? By knowing where your audience interacts, you can better decide on the ideal promotional channels to use as part of your advertising plan.