Starting a new business is incredibly exciting. In the beginning, all you want to do is tell everyone about your amazing products, and start selling as much as possible. Advertising can help you do both of those things, but before you leap into a campaign, make sure you've done these five things first.
1. Take professional photos
Humans are visual creatures -- 90% of the information sent to our brain is interpreted visually. That means that your first impression largely depends on how you display your brand and products.
Investing in advertising is a great strategy, but if you have to choose between high quality photos and an ad campaign, choose the photos first. Blurry, grainy photos don't exactly entice shoppers to make a purchase from you, and even the best advertising campaign won't be able to change that.
2. Update your website
Advertising is designed to drive shoppers to your website, but after that, it's up to you to convert them to your customers. Bright, clear photos, a user-friendly layout and informative copy are all a must.
Think of your website as your digital storefront. If you had a brick-and-mortar store, you'd need to decorate it nicely to invite shoppers to come check out your products. You need to do the same for your website. We've seen so many beautiful ad campaigns that just don't produce any results because they're driving shoppers to an outdated, unprofessional website. Don't waste your money on advertising if your website just isn't ready to handle the traffic.
3. Identify your goals
Before you book a full page advertisement in the next issue of Allure or spend $50k on an influencer, it's important to define your goals for your advertising campaigns.
What are you trying to accomplish with your ads? Do you want to drive conversions, or are you most interested in boosting brand awareness and promoting a new product or sale? The answers to these questions will largely determine the publications and placements you work with for your campaign.
4. Identify your target audience
Everyone isn't your target audience, so it's important to think about who you're trying to reach before you start booking ads. Knowing who you're trying to reach will help your ad agency pick the best placements for you to reach the right potential customers.
5. Set a budget and timing
When you want to run your ads can have a big impact on the where you run your ads.
Before you start booking away, lay out a calendar with your big events throughout the year. Are you having a Valentine's Day sale, or do you focus more on back to school products? Where do you want to spend the majority of your budget, and what are you comfortable spending?
Knowing these answers will make sure you're using your dollars wisely and driving traffic at the right time of year for you and your business.
Advertising is something every business needs, but it's important to make sure your business has a solid foundation prior to planning an ad campaign to ensure you get the results you want from your advertisements.