If you’re a small or mid-size business owner, you probably know that successful ad campaigns are powerful in growing your customer base and, ultimately, your business. But a lot more goes into an ad campaign than you may realize, especially if you’re creating your first one.
So, what makes an ad campaign successful? Here are five basic elements that will set you up for success.
An Established Goal
Setting goals is just good business practice – especially for paid ad campaigns.
Whether you’re looking to grow your email contact list or sell more products/services, you need to establish a specific, clear goal for your campaign. Some examples of ad campaign goals might be:
- Increase overall brand awareness with a minimum of [X] impressions
- Increase unique website visits by [X]%
- Generate [X] new leads through unique form submissions
- Increase sales by [X]% or $[X]
Make sure your goal is SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and has a time frame.
It’s important that you establish your goal first because it’ll be the foundation for building the rest of your campaign!
A Defined Target Audience
Imagine that you’ve decided to paint your kitchen. You have your color picked out and you’re ready to get started. But instead of painting with a brush and controlling where the paint goes, you decide to sling the paint directly from the can toward the wall. Sure, some of the paint gets on the wall, but it’s messy and it didn’t cover what you wanted it to. Not the best technique for a good paint job.
Much like the paint-slinging, running an ad campaign without a clearly defined target audience is a recipe for a messy, inefficient, and costly campaign.
You’ve already established your campaign’s goal. Now you have to hone in on who you want to participate in achieving it. You wouldn’t want to show your ad nationwide if you’re a local business, so it’s important that you define your specific target audience and then get the ad right to them.
Here are a few things to consider when defining your target audience:
- Demographics: Consider age, gender, education level, income, etc.
- Location: Where is your ideal customer located? Be sure to target areas within your business’s service capabilities.
- Psychographics: What are your ideal customer’s lifestyle and beliefs?
- Customer pain points and needs: What challenges are your ideal customers facing at this point in time? How should your ad campaign showcase your offerings as the solution?
Now that you have your goal and target audience established, it’s time to move forward to building the actual campaign.
Here’s where we go from the big picture to specific details. Your ad campaign is the big picture and these next two elements are the nitty-gritty details that you need to hash out before hitting “publish”.
The first element is clear messaging. When we say clear, we mean a couple different things.
Your ad message should be easy to understand and to the point. Audiences have short attention spans (like 8 seconds). You want to get your message across in as little time as possible – and if it needs to be longer, make sure it’s engaging!
Your ad must have clear messaging that directly correlates with the goal and audience you have defined. If you want to increase brand awareness for a women’s clothing brand, you’d want to use more feminine language that the women in your target audience can resonate with. If you want to sell more gun holsters to retired military servicemen, your tone and message would look entirely different.
Since all of the elements work together in harmony, it’s important to note that your messaging will change with your goals. Let’s go back to our women’s clothing brand. If the goal is to increase brand awareness, the message might look something like this…
“You deserve clothes that are as unique as you! At Women’s Clothing Brand, we carry a wide variety of styles, sizes for all, and prices that won’t break the bank. Shop with us to experience a clothing brand like no other! Visit womensclothingbrand.com today!”
And if the campaign goal is to sell more clothes, the message might look like this…
“Looking for the perfect blazer to crush your next presentation? Girl, we got you! Shop our Work It Workwear Collection for clothes that will make you look and feel confident. Start adding to your cart now at womensclothingbrand.com!”
As you can see here, the messaging for the same business can look and sound different depending on the goal. Be sure to go back to elements one and two when creating your ad. Speaking of creation…
Now it’s time to wow ‘em with impressive graphics and/or videos! With feeds and pages full of messages, it’s important that your ad stops people from scrolling or moving on to the next search result.
How do you do that? Platforms such as Story Blocks, iStock, and Canva are all great tools to utilize to create your ad creative. If graphic design and video editing aren’t your forte, no worries! Self-contractor platforms like Fiverr and Upwork are available for you to outsource the work.
The best option (in our opinion) is to talk with an agency that has the knowledge of successful marketing creative and the design expertise to back it up. At Wax Eloquent, we have a team of talented graphic designers and video editors in the marketing space – the perfect recipe for creating graphics and videos that stop the scroll and leave your audience wanting more.
Capacity to Support Results
The last of our five elements of a successful ad campaign isn’t necessarily a quick and easy step you can make. It’s a mindset of preparation – a strategy that you need to figure out before you start an advertising campaign.
It’s summed up in this one question: What capacity for success does your business have?
Let’s go back to our first element: establishing the goal of your women’s clothing ad campaign.
Your goal is to increase overall sales. You’ve got a stunning video going out to your perfect customers. Everything’s right in the world. You’re even seeing massive success in your results!
However, you realize that your orders far outweigh your inventory. You know it’ll take a while to recoup that beautiful blazer that caught everyone’s eyes in the video. Now, you have to delay orders, put some on backorder, and if you can’t get any additional of that item, even cancel orders. What looked like a huge success has turned into a stressful situation almost instantly.
This is just a made-up scenario for a made-up business, but we hope you get our point. In order to bring your successful ad campaign full circle, you have to strategize and determine how much success your business can realistically take on.
Now more than ever, our agency has learned that a strong component of collaborative marketing must include discussions about a business’s overall strategy. It helps both us and our clients make a more well-informed decision about advertising strategy.
Crafting a successful ad campaign is no walk in the park, but understanding its foundational elements can make the journey a lot smoother. With these five pillars in place, you’re not just throwing paint at the wall; you’re creating a masterpiece of a campaign.
We’d love to keep the conversation going if you need more insight, an ad expert on your team, or someone to discuss your marketing strategy with. We help businesses grow through digital marketing – whether by targeted ad campaigns, establishing an online brand, or creating and executing a full marketing strategy.
Schedule a call with our team today.