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successful online ad campaign.jpgIf you're advertising for a business today, then the chances are you're doing it online. The digital marketing world has exploded in recent years, as more companies, organizations, and ideas race to the online sphere in an attempt to have their voices heard. Unfortunately, simply starting an online ad campaign iisn't enough - you need to make sure that you create the right campaign to appeal to your specific audience.

The key to building a successful online ad campaign starts with understanding that advertising on the internet requires more than just a computer and a little talent - it also requires discipline. Just because you have a creative ad doesn't mean that you're putting the right message across to your audience, along with the necessary call-to-action. You might even find that your ad generates leads to your website, but that it doesn't push those leads to convert. If you want to make sure your ad campaign is a success, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Define Your Plan of Action

plan of action.jpgFirst and foremost, your business needs to figure out a game plan for the future of your advertising efforts. Having a solid idea of the goals that you want to achieve through marketing, as well as the kind of campaigns you might want to use to meet those goals should ensure that you maintain a consistent message throughout the course of your business lifespan. After all, it's important to ensure that the language, messaging, and even colors of your adverts remain consistent so that you can build a memorable, and recognizable brand image.

If you aren't sure what you're advertising for in the first place, take the time to sit down with other major players in your business and set out some important ambitions for the future. The goals you set now will shape every aspect of your online ad campaign.

2. Do Research But Don't Be A Follower

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If you're new to the world of online advertising, one of the first things you'll need to do is get an idea of what your competitors are doing to draw in the crowds. Researching your target market and the other people in your industry should help to inspire you in creating your own campaign, but that doesn't mean that you should simply copy and paste the ideas you find elsewhere.

Use research to give you a foundation, then build on that foundation with knowledge of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as a solid understanding of what makes your brand unique.

3. Use Effective Calls To Action

effective call to action.jpgReaping the full benefits of your online marketing strategy will require the use of great calls to action. To be effective, a CTA should be:

  • Focused On Value - be sure that you show off exactly what your visitors will get if they decide to click on your ad or visit your landing page.
  • Action Oriented - set expectations and make it clear what clicking will accomplish. Don't be vague with your directions.
  • Brief - Your message should be simple, direct, and straightforward - usually less than five words long.
  • Visually Appealing - The design in your button or banner should grab the user's attention and push them to click.

Make sure that your call to action is also consistent with your brand image, as straying too far from what your customers are used to could make them suspicious.

4. Put the Audience First

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Finally, remember that although the point of your marketing campaign might be to improve sales or interaction with your business - it's not all about you. Businesses that struggle in creating effective online ad campaigns usually do so because they focus on telling their customers how great their company is, rather than showing them how their company can help them.

Make sure your message focuses on offering a solution to your customers' problems, and ensure that you offer value in every ad campaign. After all, your clients don't want to know how amazing your product is, if they can't also see why it's going to be good for them.

Smart Advertising Is Best

In the end, smart advertising is about more than simply being creative. Make sure that you do your research, plan ahead, and focus carefully on promoting every aspect of your ad campaign according to the needs of your customers.

Topics: Online Advertising, CTA, Call To Action, Audience, Ad Campaigns

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI and SouthWest Florida.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.

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