Every day I work with organizations to help reach their target audiences through a variety of marketing and public relations initiatives. From strategic planning to pitching story ideas to the media and from heading up a website redesign project to media buying, the goal is to get my clients in front of the right audiences at the right time.
Today, more than ever, we are faced with what seems like a million different ways in which we receive information. Think about it. We hear breaking news and learn about special deals from our favorite stores via text messages, social media, Google, radio, television, email (and we all probably have more than one account), news websites and much more. With this seemingly never-ending list of ways for organizations to advertise, it may feel a bit daunting to determine how to push out your own news or special deals. Don’t let it be.
If you know your advertising budget, what you want to promote, the locations you want to target and the demographics you want to reach (gender, age, household income, etc.), then the rest should fall into place. It will just take some initial work to research what advertising options are best for you. Here are some tips to build a solid foundation for your next big advertising campaign:
Know the advertising landscape.
Get online, pick up the phone and research advertising and media outlets. Research all television, radio, billboards, newspapers, magazines, and community sponsorships and events that are located within your target market. Collect contact information, the expected number of people reached and demographics. Do the demographics line up with your target audience? If the answer is no, cross it off the list.
Make sure you have a good digital partner: one that acts as an extension of your own team; offers graphic design services and monthly progress reports; is transparent; is a Premier Google Partner; and has excellent online reviews.
Put your advertising dollars to good use.
Once the research is done and you know what vehicles can effectively reach your target audience, determine how you want to allocate your dollars. Digital is highly targeted, so we are seeing most of our clients spending more on digital. It’s trackable and can be adjusted at any time, optimizing for better campaign performance at nearly the flip of a switch.
Most television, print and radio should have the capability to also provide you with digital ads. Make sure you extend your reach by also choosing that add–on, if it’s offered. Look for print and online opportunities that also give you the option to provide editorial content along with your advertisement. Along with your radio spots, ask to be invited to the morning shows to be interviewed on a timely topic that is relevant to their audience (and yours, too).
On a side note, it’s important for every organization to be aware of major events that will affect advertising. For example, politics, the 2020 presidential election, the Super Bowl and other major sporting events will affect the cost and placement of advertisements, so it’s essential to plan ahead to ensure your advertising dollars are put to good use.
Track your progress.
Before your advertising plan is in place, make sure you have an internal process established that will keep track of your referral sources and if you are seeing a spike in overall business. The goal of this internal process is to measure the impact that your advertising plan has on your bottom line. You want it to generate new business, so if you don’t track referrals and your bottom line, then how do you measure its success? One of the great things about advertising is you can adjust your spend and reallocate more dollars to those outlets that are giving you the best ROI.
Advertising plans should be monitored regularly, on a quarterly basis, to determine their effectiveness and adjust, if necessary. If you need help with your advertising, contact Chartwell Agency. We can develop an ad buy plan that will help you reach more customers and increase your bottom line.