How to plan and start a digital advertising campaign

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It is not possible to open a laptop or turn on a phone without the provision of various forms of digital advertising. From Google AdWords and Facebook retargeting to programmatic, pre-roll, native and sponsored content. Options, terms and methods can be tricky. Despite these obstacles, digital advertising continues to evolve only as a powerful marketing tool.

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Marnie Grumbach is the founder of Fluent IMC, an integrated marketing communications agency.

You may feel compelled to jump into digital advertising because your peers and competitors have already embraced it. Before you take the plunge, identify why you are investing this time and resources.

Start by asking a question, why?

  • Are you ready to increase your brand awareness alongside your already advertised competitors?
  • Need greater visibility as you expand into new geographies or industry sectors?
  • Need to launch a new product, service or event to drive traffic to your landing page?

This helps to clarify the rationale in advance.

Digital channel

Once you have identified your target audience, you will be notified on your channel. Ticket and product sales can be suitable for social media which can target audiences based on location, interests, age or profession. Brand awareness campaigns targeting specific industries or types of decision makers may be best placed on a corporate media platform or on LinkedIn.

You can test your campaign on just one or two channels against your target audience. Test, learn and adjust as you go.

Run the program

Even with a basic understanding of how digital advertising works, how to create and launch a campaign can be overwhelming. Some advertising platforms are self-service, others only have agency or media access, and everyone who sells digital advertising services seems to use their own jargon.

These are the basic options for delivering digital ads to your audience.

  • Manage digital advertising internally. The most profitable methods are the Google Display Network and social media advertising platforms. While there is a learning curve, the Google and Facebook / Instagram advertising platforms are self-service and are usually the starting point for advertisers.
  • Work with an agency to manage programmatic ad purchases. Programmatic advertising is a methodology of buying from inventory in the ad space on various websites, leveraging geofence and audience targeting to generate large numbers of impressions. Programmatic extends reach if you want to increase brand awareness across different channels in front of a particular type of user.
  • Directly use media or online platforms. If your organization has a very specific target audience in mind, you can buy it directly from your media publisher or website. In this case, we are negotiating to purchase a certain number of prints that are guaranteed to display.

Track your success

One of the benefits of digital advertising is the ability to create reports that provide data and metrics on the success of your campaign. Before placing your ad, configure Google Analytics to track traffic to websites that support your campaign. If you’re an agency or media affiliate, request a report that includes CTR, impressions delivered, cost per click, and other stats.

Prepare to adjust your channel, budget, message, or creation. For lead generation campaigns, adjust your landing page. Tracking success can reduce unnecessary spend on campaigns that aren’t targeted or require creative improvement.


Marnie granbach Is the founder of Fluent IMC, an integrated marketing communications agency. She can reach to [email protected]


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