There is a lot of moving parts and steps to planning any advertising campaign. Thus, it is difficult to determine how much time you should exactly allocate to plan and execute your campaign. With the power of programmatic media buying you can easily launch campaigns in real-time. But there is a delicate balance between developing creative and insightful ads, which are highly time and labor intensive, and being able to create campaigns quickly.
The first thing that you should be thinking about in terms of your campaign is the actual planning steps. Follow these key seven steps on planning your campaign:
- Identify and analyze your target audience
- Who does your product benefit? Who is the appropriate audience that you’re targeting?
- Define advertising objectives
- What is the goal of placing the advertisement? Of course, to sell your product, but are there any other results that you want to see from your ad?
- Determine budget
- How much are you willing to spent on creating the ad and where/how much you’re planning to spend on it?
- Develop media plan
- What platforms are you going to use to get your ad out there?
- What channels and sources are you going to use?
- Create advertising message
- Are you going to create your ad in house or hire a out of house designer?
- Execute campaign
- Put the plan into motion
- Evaluate effectiveness of advertisement
- Make changes as needed to make your ad even more effective
Each step of planning a digital advertising campaign is critical to its success. One of the most important aspects of this process, though, is the beginning stages. A large amount of hours will be spent on planning and shaping your campaign, but those hours are necessary because that often contains the fundamentals of the campaign. With a well-defined target audience, message, and plan, the campaign will prosper. Hence, a structured and informed approach and execution in terms of reparation, market research, and creating the design of the advertisement should be the focus of your time.
While you should invest a lot of time in the preparation of your campaign, you should be weary to do this too far in advance or spent an unnecessary or frivolous amount of in these stages. Many effective ads are still relevant and current—meaning that they are applicable to current events and present trends or themes. If your ad campaign is structured in the short term, meaning it will only last from weeks and months, you especially have to be more cognizant of what is happening in the world, and how you can apply that to your ad to make it more relatable. In terms of longer-term advertisements, there is more flexibility in terms of current events because your ad will run for a longer period of time, allowing it to be more general.
There isn’t one exact answer for how long or how far in advance you should plan a campaign. It depends on your company, your resources, and how long it takes you to execute every step in the process of a campaign. While you should allow for ample time to plan, research, and put together all working parts of the campaign, you should still be efficient and treat the process in a time-sensitive manner in order to make the most of your advertisement.