Creating an advertising plan can be a headache.
On the surface it can seem pretty cut and dry, but once you delve into the process it can quickly become a process that can exhaust you with almost too many options. What option presents the best ROI? What options is more likely to increase sales? Which one has the best chance of bringing in more foot traffic? How can you reach the most people? Choice paralysis is real and if you don’t have a clear picture in your head of what you want and how you want to accomplish it, you may fall victim to it.
But it doesn’t have to be hard. If you know what your goals and priorities are then it can become a simple process for both you and the firm you hire to create and place the advertising. To help, we’ve created a guide to help identify what kind of advertising is best suited for you.
What is my budget?
This is the most important question you can ask, as it is the least variable. Your budget is your budget, and you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford to. Staying in business and within your means takes precedent over any advertising campaign.
The good news is that there is a higher degree of variance in advertising than there used to be and you are not hamstrung by limited avenues of reaching consumers.
For example, social media advertising and pay-per-click advertising can cost significantly less than the more traditional print or broadcast advertising, especially pay-per-click where you are not charged unless somebody actually clicks through your ad.
In a sense we live in the golden age of advertising because of all of these options that can fit a variety of different needs and costs. In the past your options were limited and you had to make do with the means provided to you. Now, you have a say no matter what your bottom line is.
What is my audience and where can I reach them?
Knowing your audience is immensely important for your messaging and branding, but it also helps out in determining your advertising strategy.
If you are marketing to millennials or Gen Z, it would make less sense to advertise in print or direct mailers than it would to advertise on social media or mobile applications, but maybe print or direct mailers would be viable options for Gen X or boomers.
Of course, there are some methods that provide considerable overlap. For example, broadcast and out-of-home advertising are less sensitive to differences in demographics because it reaches such a large group of people. Many people, regardless of age, race, income level, gender, or political affiliation watch TV and use public roadways or public transportation. The catch with these methods of advertising is that they tend to be more expensive than other methods listed above.
What is my goal?
Finally, the reason you decided to spend on advertising in the first place has to be considered. What are you trying to accomplish with this campaign? Advertising a temporary sale has to be treated differently than trying to permanently increase foot traffic or awareness.
In a situation where you’re trying to boost online sales quickly, it might make more sense to use pay-per-click advertising to keep your costs down while directing people to your store, where they can make their purchase quickly from their couch or while they wait for their coffee.
If you’re trying to build a more established consumer base with an increase in foot traffic, maybe an out-of-home advertisement disclosing where you are in relation to the ad could be more effective. This is a practice you have likely noticed used by restaurants on roadways, particularly interstates.
Each situation is fluid and unique, requiring discretion of both you and any parties you may hire to create and place the advertisement, but nobody knows what you want to accomplish better than you. Hopefully this guide can make the decisions that wait ahead easier for you.