Taking on your own advertising campaign is no easy task. You can do it on your own but get ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Your Marketing Plan
Nothing can help you identify your goals more than your marketing plan. You 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 crucial info you can use in executing your ad strategy.
Define 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 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.
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.
You can't advertise effectively if you don't hit your target audience. Know who they are before you start creating your ads. If your company sells scooters to seniors, you don't want to invest in cable ads to run on MTV.
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 print ads 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 Professionals ...like ArtfulMind.Biz
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.
Consistency is Key
If you're running TV and radio commercials, print ads and a direct mail campaign, keep them consistent. Use the same announcer and music for your commercials. Print 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.
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.
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.