Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Ads, Free Online Marketing Tips
Making ads seems like an easy thing to do, until you don’t get a return on your investment. There are many ways to make ads, whether it’s free ads, or setting a budget for a marketing campaign. As long as you know your audience, your platforms, your message, and your sources, you should be able to launch successful ads online.
Advertising is changing -- in fact, in 2020, companies will spend more than $250 billion on media advertising for the first time in U.S. history.
Choose your audience
No matter what industry you’re in, you have to know exactly who is interested in your business and who is willing to pay. These can be two separate things. For example: A kid would be interested in a game, but the parent will be buying.
You have to be clever when making ads. By using the example: The ad could show off how the game is cool and fun while showing the parent the price or discount. The kid and parent will have different perspectives of the same ad.
It’s important to know the age, activities, and location of your audience. People see up to 10,000 ads in a day, so your advertisement may end up being white noise if not targeted correctly. But it’s 2020, and knowing which social media platforms your audience most likely uses is just as important as anything else.
Choosing a platform...NO!!
DO NOT limit your ads to one platform. Ideally, you want your ads on every platform possible! There’s going to be one or two platforms that your target audience is mostly likely using. These are where you’re going to focus on the content of the ads; for example: ads on Tik Tok are super short, targeted for teenagers or younger, and made vertically. Ads on Facebook will be 20-30 seconds, targeted to a more middle aged demographic, and horizontal.
Know where your audience lives online, what they’re scrolling by, trending/viral topics, and try to relate to them in the ads. But you want your brand to be everywhere online and on all platforms. Advertising works best when most people are reached, and posting is virtually free online.
Choose a message, stay CREATIVE
Now you know who you’re targeting and where their attention is. It’s time to create the message you want them to take from the ads. Do you want to teach them something about your business?
Do you want to entertain them with something colorful, funny, or touching? Get creative! It’s about capturing their attention, not giving them an infomercial about your business. This isn’t television, this is a small screen with an abundance of media and messages. Your ads have to stand out by entertaining the audience, not just giving them information.
The content of the ads don’t have to do anything about your business, as long as there’s a clear call to action. Do you want them to go on your website, social media, and/or store? Do you want them to call you? Maybe book you through an app? Figure out exactly what you’d like the audience to do after or while watching the ad. Advertising is a mind game, and that’s when creativity comes into play.
Budget and go!
This is the tricky part, but if done properly, is the most rewarding. Here’s how it works: the ads won’t make it without some paid promotion. Promoting an ad is virtually easy to do nowadays, and is much cheaper (and more valuable) than TV and or printed ads, or posting for free online without promotion. Your return on investment (ROI) is the key to successful advertising.
Example: You create ads for your consulting firm. You pay $1000 to advertise on LinkedIn and get 30,000 impressions. Out of those 30,000, 8,000 watched the ad. Out of those 8,000, 100 clicked on the link or call to action. Out of those 100, 50 end up getting your service. Now jumping from 30,000 potential customers to 50 might seem extreme, but that’s the way advertising works. Your job is to make sure that those 50 customers make you more than $1000, which is how much you spent on the ad. Let’s say each customer pays you $100, that makes your revenue $5000. So in simple terms, you invested $1000 and received $5000 from new clients, making $4000 profit. It’s a great way to boost your business, new clients can get you even more clients through word of mouth.
This is tricky because it doesn’t always work. A lot of businesses turn away from it after their first time running an ad, blaming the clusters and traffic of social media. They’re wrong..their ads just sucked! The new method has worked for many businesses and is a goldmine compared to traditional forms of advertising.
So now you have a brief overall explanation of how to make an ad. It will take some trial and error, but you’ll eventually have the right formula: the right content on the right platform for the right audience, with a proper ROI for your definition of successful ads. This formula can’t be found online and shouldn’t be given for free. Your path will be different than others, but the same rules apply to advertising any business. Make sure you know who you’re selling to and what captures their attention.
Don’t Stop The Campaign!
Once you have your formula, don’t stop advertising! You should adapt to your audience, create new and relevant content, and keep the advertisement engine going. Not only will you get new customers, but you’ll start building a following on social media and online. This is when brand awareness comes in, and some of your ads should be targeted towards branding instead of getting customers (like Geico does with their random ads). Branding works in the long run; there are many different ways to keep going. The bigger you grow, the bigger you know!
What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you’ve primed yourself to start marketing ads, it’s time to DO IT. Your competition is most likely already doing it, the businesses you look up to are doing it, and fellow colleagues might be also doing it (if not, be the first!). Make ads, don’t do it for free if you’re serious, learn how to get better at marketing through experience, and keep tracking your results on all platforms and campaigns.
For inspiration, take a look at The 18 Best Advertisements of All Time.
If you’re in the Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland area, visit our BRAND page for more information on how to get the BEST content possible. We not only professionally convey your message, but also interpret your vision without steering away from the goal: getting more customers!