Advertising Plan

Preparing your advertising plan is an important part of your marketing strategy.

Advertising a must for any small business, as it helps bring in new clients and keep your brand relevant.

The primary objective of advertising is to get the word out that you have something exciting to offer.

It can be anything from an upcoming entertainment event you’re promoting, a new product line you’re selling, a political campaign you’re managing, the expansion of an existing platform of services or officially hanging out a shingle for your first business.

Whether your promotion takes the form of digital marketing, social media posts, print ads, commercials, billboards or handbills, the content adheres to the rules of journalism by identifying who, what, when, where and why.

Creating an Advertising Plan

Step 1 – Set your advertising goals

Review your business plan and make sure that your advertising is a part of your marketing plan and budget, and is in sync with overall company goals.


Step 2 – Review your marketing plan

Your marketing plan should be part of your business strategy to increase sales, referral and repeat business.  Advertising is a subheading of the marketing plan, along with a website.


Step 3 – Write down your advertising goals

Write down 1 to 5 things that you want to accomplish from advertising.

These will be the marketing objectives that advertising will target, such as branding, increased awareness, customer acquisition, sales, etc


Step 4 – Set goals

The best way to see if you advertising has been a success is to set SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relative, Time-Bound).  You can check off, measure during and at the end of a campaign.


Step 5 – Select your audience

An important part of your campaign is that it reaches the right audience.

The right message to the right intended audience will equate into high conversions.  You need to know exactly who you are trying to attract.

Don’t try to please everyone, be clear on who you are advertising too.


Step 6 – Identify your advertising location

Where does your audience hang out?  You want to make sure that your message is in the place where you audience will see it.  This can be anything from social media, newspapers, flyers, sponsorships to radio.


Step 7 – Timing or length of campaign

Even when you get everything else right, you still need to advertise at a time when your customers are thinking about buying.  Look at your previous year’s sales, or industry benchmarks, and try to advertise in anticipation of peak sales months or weeks.  Develop a schedule that hits your consumer base at the right time of year.


Step 8 – Advertising frequency

Advertising once is not an effective strategy, as your customers may miss your ad the first few times.  It’s generally better to have regular ads for a longer length of time.


Step 9 – Your message or ‘call to action’

What do you want your customers to do?  Be clear on your message as this should be in line with your advertising goals in Step 3, branding, sales, promotion etc.  Whatever your message is, make sure it is ‘crystal clear’


Step 10 – Keep it simple

Always the most simple is the most effective.  Too much information or images will crowd your ad and your message will get lost.  Be specific, simple and good visual content and have a clear ‘call to action’


Step 11 – Create a budget

This should list all your advertising options, their cost, who you will pay and any other expenses.  Be careful not to overspend, as this is very easy to do.


Step 12 – Market research

Research what your competitors are advertising and other business in your industry are doing.  Analyse their ads and the good/bad of each of these ads. See how you can make yours better and stand out more.  Also check where else they are advertising, so you can find other places to promote your business more easily.


Step 13 – Create evaluation procedures

It is important to create reports of your sales that come from your current advertising activities.  Establish metrics that will evaluate the new strategies, so that you can provide the return-on-investment (ROI) at the end of your advertising campaign.  The easiest way to do this is set up a Maralytics account as we do everything for you.

Advertising Plan template – Click this link as we have made it easy for you by providing a template that has been used in our restaurants.

This template has all the basic requirements for advertising, and is a good way to keep track of all information.