Ways to Run Your Own Advertising Campaign

Ready to Create Your Own Ad Campaign? Start Here.

Running An Ad Campaign
Running An Ad Campaign. Getty Images

A word of warning: taking on your own advertising campaign is no easy task. There is a reason there are thousands of advertising agencies all around the world, full of people who have spent their lives devoted to the skill and science of advertising. 

Having said that, when funds are very tight, and you are just starting out, it can be daunting to hire an agency - even a small shop, or one freelancer.

But if you are truly invested in your product or service, and are passionate about getting the word out, there are steps you can follow to do it yourself. Just remember, you'll have to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Establish Your Marketing Plan

Nothing can help you identify your goals more than your marketing plan. You will learn a lot about your company, your competitors, and your long-term goals by creating and following your marketing plan. This is crucial to knowing what type of advertising is best for you.

Create a Plan of Action

Once you have your marketing plan, you must create a plan of action. This model shows you how freelancers and agencies put their own plan of action in place. Your plan of action also gives you the crucial info you can use in executing your ad strategy.

Decide On Your Advertising Budget

How you advertise depends on your ad budget. You need to strategically use your advertising money.

If you're only allowing a small portion of the money to advertising, you wouldn't want to throw it all into the production of one commercial that runs at 2 a.m. Know exactly how much you will spend on your advertising first so you can make wise decisions in the creation and placement of all ad mediums.

Hunt Down Affordable Advertising Options

Obviously, money is tight if you are doing your advertising yourself. Running your own ad campaign means you have to be your own media director. You've got to find the best ad placement and the most affordable opportunities to fit into your budget. If you're limited to a very small budget, you can find many ways to bypass high advertising costs.

Know Your Target Audience

You can't advertise effectively if you don't hit your target audience. You need to know just who they are before you start creating your ads, to take full advantage of every dollar you spend on media. For example, if your company sells scooters to seniors, you don't want to invest heavily in social media. Seniors prefer more traditional options, like local TV, newspapers, and even ads in local stores. 

Advertise With Appropriate Mediums

Of all the different advertising mediums you can use, you have to be able to use these mediums to your benefit. Spending all of your money on a direct mail campaign when your ad dollars would be better spent on social media and viral videos is going to limit how many customers you could've gained. Take a look at each medium, think about your target audience, take a look at your marketing plan and your plan of action and decide which medium(s) will be best for your ad dollars.

Don't Be Afraid to Hire Freelancers

If you can't turn your advertising over to an agency, still consider hiring a freelance copywriter and/or graphic designer. These professionals know what makes a good advertisement. Many freelancers have worked in advertising agencies so you get the benefit of their expertise. Plus, freelancers can give you professional copy and materials at an affordable cost.

A Consistent Message is Key

If you're running online ads, TV and radio commercials, print ads and a direct mail campaign, keep them consistent. Use the same announcer and music for your commercials. Other materials should use the same colors and fonts.

Use the same tag line. You want to keep everything consistent so your potential customers start identifying your tag line, your colors, your font, your announcer, jingle - everything - that relates to your company's ad campaign. 

Repetition Works Wonders

Buying space for one radio commercial that airs once at 4:30 in the morning isn't going to get much of a response. You want commercials to have a larger frequency so you can increase your chances of hitting that target audience. If you're running a direct mail campaign, decide the frequency of your materials up front. Once you send your initial materials out, how many times will you send out follow up materials? Know the answers before you begin to help maximize your strategy's success.

If In Doubt, Get The Books Out

There is no shame in admitting that you don't know what you're doing at any point in the process. When all else fails and you still run into questions, there are plenty of books you can use to give you guidance. Also be on the lookout for titles that have just been released so you can keep on top of current advertising trends.