Creating Your First Ad Campaign

The last few articles have centered around what makes a good ad campaign, and how to move someone from a prospect to a raving fan and repeat customer. Now that you understand the theories behind what makes an ad effective, the fun part can begin–time to create an ad campaign! Creating the entire campaign upfront is important, so that everything is cohesive and works together. To keep everything cohesive and on-target, use an ad-grid. Along the top of the grid, write “avatars”, and along the side write “hooks”. You will need one ad for each square of the grid, so if you have 4 avatars and 3 hooks, you will need 12 different ads.  With this grid ready, you can follow these seven steps to create your ad campaign:

1. Identify Avatars

When filling out your grid, you want to have 2-4 different avatars, or groups of people to target your ads to.  You can certainly have more, but the more different avatars you have, the more work you’ll need to do to entice a wider group.  Think about what you’re selling, and who your ideal customer is. Be as specific as possible.

2. Identify Hooks

Now that you’ve got your avatars, it’s time to get them excited. What are some benefits to your product/service?  Why do they need it, and why from you? What will change for them after they buy? What results have tests shown, or even better, what results have other users seen?  Will the customer elevate their status in some way after purchase? How quick/easy is it to use? You don’t have to answer all of these questions, but get creative and see what you can come up with.  Put these in the first column of your grid.

3. Create Ad Copy

Now, in each cell of your graph where avatars and hooks meet, write your copy.  You can do this yourself, or because you have all the basic information all laid out nice and neat, you can outsource it to an agency specializing in copywriting.

4. Avatar Research

Now that your copy is written, time to do research on your avatars to identify authority figures.  Google each avatar and answer the following questions:

  • Who are the authority figures, thought leaders, or big brands in your niche?
  • What books/magazines/newspapers does your ideal customer read?
  • What events do they attend?
  • What websites do they frequent?
  • Where do they live?
  • What tools do they use?
  • What’s specifically unique about this group?

Also, it’s ideal to use the “no one else would” trick, which is to find an authority figure only avid fans of a particular niche would know. For example, everyone knows Superman, Batman, and Spiderman, but only avid comic fans would know who Northstar is. Using this can help you gain credibility.

5. Create or Outsource Ad Creatives

Like the copy, you can either do the creative part on your own, or you can outsource it.  Either way, to create a consistent look across all your ads, you should create a mood board with visuals that would be appealing to your target avatars.  Google images and Pinterest are fantastic resources for this.

6. Set up Ads and Compile results

Now you’re ready to put your ads out for the world to see. Congratulations! Now you just need to wait for results to come in so you can assess how well it’s going, and change things where needed.  After about a week, look at your results. What you measure is going to be different depending on what temperature you’re targeting, but it could be:

  • cost per click
  • cost per 1,000 impressions
  • cost per acquisition
  • ROI

7. Scale

After you have solid metrics, it may be time to scale.  There are two ways to scale your advertising campaign, and both are used in different ways:

  • Horizontal:  If your results are showing that your ad is doing better than average, buy more traffic on other platforms with the same ad to try and replicate the same results.
  • Vertical:  If your results show that a specific hook or avatar is doing particularly well, create more ads targeted to that group on the same platform.

Optimizing Your Process

If you’re going to spend money on advertising, you want to get the best bang for your buck.  A good rule of thumb is the 6/3/1 rule, or for every $10/day you spend on paid advertising, $6 goes toward cold traffic, $3 goes to warm traffic, and $1 goes to hot traffic.

If your ad is doing poorly, look at the offer.  Is it powerful? If no, you might need to reconsider your offer.  If it is, how old is your ad, and how often are people seeing it? Customers can begin to experience ad fatigue and it may be time to switch gears.  An example of this would be the cavemen from the Geico ads in the early 2000’s; they were very popular and effective, but people grew tired of them after a while so Geico changed their campaign.


After all the prep work, sweat, and tears has culminated in your campaign, it may have been more work than you had originally thought, but it’s well worth the effort.  Hopefully, after you’ve compiled your results for your first campaign, you have a good idea about what worked and what didn’t.  You may be working on your second campaign so it’s ready when your target audience begins to experience ad fatigue. Digital advertising is complicated, but hopefully these last few articles have shed some light on what goes into creating an ad campaign.

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Creating Your First Ad Campaign

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