Alex runs a trendy online dress shop targeted at teenagers and young women.
She’s created personas for each type of target customer and knows that the
overall preferred social network is Instagram.
She wants to increase sales and has decided to run an ad campaign testing
out two versions of ads. One features a promotional message “don’t miss our
50% off sale” and highlights the discounted price of the dress featured on
the photo. The other ad features the new Spring collection with a message
of “shop our newest Spring styles.”
Alex focused on measuring the click-through rate and then the resulting
conversions on her website. Her testing revealed that the promo ad received
60% more click-throughs and had a high conversion rate. This testing will
save her time and money down the line since she has pinpointed what types
of ads work well with her audiences.
Steps to Creating an Ad
1 Choose your target audience. Trying to appeal to all users of the
internet doesn’t work. If you’ve been doing your marketing
diligently, you should have created buyer personas that describe
your ideal customers. Some important characteristics to note
include age, interests, preferred social media platform, and
geographic location. Target your ads to these people using images
and language that will attract them.
2 Do your research. Start with what you’re selling. Even though you
should know your own product or service like the back of your hand,
it’s always good to go back to square one and think about an
outsider’s perspective. What are the features and benefits of your
product? Is there anything notably special about it?
And, of course, research your competitors. Learn what types of ads are
standard in your industry and see what you can use for your own and what
you can change in order to stand out.
3 Determine a platform and budget. Step one revealed what social
networks your target audience prefers. Now figure out the costs
associated with each, return on investment, the benefits and
drawbacks, and a total budget. Based on these findings, choose a
social network or multiple ones!
4 Craft your message and image. Identify the goal of your campaign.
Is it to make sales, inspire downloads, gather emails, etc? With
that goal in mind, determine the big idea, or theme, of your ad.
This is that creative catch that will draw people in.
Your theme can be visually represented by any of the following:
Graphic with a clear call-to-action
Click-bait (an image that doesn’t have anything to do with the
Native (looks like you took the photo yourself, but could also be a
natural looking stock photo)
Image with quote overlay
5 Determine what you are measuring. Ask yourself what outcome you
need to see for the ad to be considered successful and which
performance indicators will tell you this information. Whatever
platform you advertise on, you will have built-in ad management and
tracking. If you’re running ads on multiple platforms, consider
using a third-party tracking software to compare the multiple
campaigns. It’s also a good idea to use tracking tokens on the
links placed in your ads to measure engagement and conversions on
your website as a result of an ad.
6 Release, track, analyze. As you let your ad out into the world,
keep track of performance and note what changes you can make next
time around. If you find that a particular ad is doing really well,
recycle and reuse as much as you can. There’s no need to fix what