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5 Steps to a Successful Ad Campaign

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Without successful ad campaigns, many small local companies struggle to increase their reach and brand awareness. Although making an advertisement may seem simple, ample research and strategic planning is necessary before the fun, creative process is able to begin.


When it comes to creating an ad campaign, it is important to note the various types of advertising, including paid search advertising, social media advertising, print advertising and native advertising.


According to Marketing Dive, U.S. advertising revenues are forecast to increase 6.4% to $240 billion in 2021.


Keep reading to learn SparkIt’s 5-step process for making an ad.


1. Determine Your Goals and Objectives


Before all else, you must identify the purpose of the ad campaign. There are two types of goals to consider: sales goals and brand goals.


According to Homepage, sales goals account for “the conversion of leads into customers, which takes place upon someone purchasing a product.”


Brand goals, on the other hand, account for “the awareness people have of your business, what you do promotion-wise and the values you uphold.”


When developing both types of goals, we must think “SMART not hard. The acronym suggests that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.


Additionally, it is important for brands to establish a sales funnel (see below) incorporating identifiable key performance indicators (KPIs), including cost per acquisition (CPA), return on investment (ROI) and cost per lead (CPL). At the top of the sales funnel lies brand awareness, followed by engagement, then action and finally sale.


To learn more about the intricacies of sales funnels, click here.



2. Identify Your Target Audience


Identifying a specific target audience for your campaign is important. Depending on the product, consumers aren’t quick to make buying decisions, so brands must consider who is on the receiving end of their message.


According to Homepage, the narrower your target audience, the better the advertising results you can achieve. This is referred to as the basic rule that brands should not lose sight of.


To effectively identify a target audience for your campaign, analyzing algorithmic data is important. Algorithms work to identify people (platform users) with interests that align with those of your brand’s current audience. Brands use algorithms to yield quantifiable results, and to determine where to invest, or what to purchase, during the decision-making and planning process.


3. Conduct Market Research


It is in your company’s best interest to revisit past ad campaigns and conduct split tests (also known as A/B tests). Split tests compare two versions of the same ad side by side, and KPIs are used to determine which of the two ads performed better. The information gathered helps decide the best path to take for future campaigns.


When it comes to an ad campaign, companies must ensure they’re investing their money effectively. After KPI analysis conducted during split tests, brands are able to make decisions moving forward based on the goals they set for the campaign.


4. Develop Your Campaign


Now it’s time for the fun part — executing the campaign. There are three different aspects of a media plan that must be considered: customer experience, ad deployment and dissemination of messages.


According to HomePage, concrete, non-ambiguous messages always do better, considering the average internet user is exposed to 100,000 words daily. In other words, simpler is better.


In terms of content marketing, developing a “big idea” is crucial. The acronym B-I-G simplifies a process used by brands to identify big ideas.


According to Convince&Convert, the acronym stands for:


B: Buzzworthy

Does the idea capture people’s attention?


I: Incompatibility

Does your product or service solve a problem?


G: Gargantuan Goal

What is the biggest problem you’re trying to solve for your audience?

5. Measure Results


In many circumstances, this is the most important step of the campaign process. Identifying a means of measuring success should be done early on so companies can gauge whether or not their money was well spent. Moreover, it will provide guidance for future campaigns.


“By correctly defining and measuring the success of an advertising campaign, companies can see the relationships between various touchpoints and determine the value of their advertising efforts” (Stukdent, 2020).


Once again, KPIs are used during this step. It is common for ad campaigns to measure return on investment (the number of sales gained as a result of an investment).

Additionally, it is up to the advertiser to conduct attribution.

According to Stukdent.com, attribution can be defined as “the process of assigning a value to each touchpoint a consumer has with a brand in terms of its ability to contribute to the final sale of a product,” in other words, the evaluation of consumer actions contributing to a campaign’s desired outcome.


Attribution provides advertisers with insight regarding which methods of advertising and which techniques used are most effective.


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