Top 5 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer Before You Start Advertising

Meredith St. Louis About The Author

March 19, 2020 at 8:30 AM

Top 5 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer Before You Start Advertising

Advertising is incredibly important to your business, but taking the time to clearly define your plan, identify your target audience, and ensure that you know what your customers are looking for before you begin advertising is equally important. Before you begin advertising it’s helpful to have an idea in mind of who you’re talking to and what you’re looking to accomplish. Working with a media company can help guide you each step of the way--and ensure that you are prepared before you begin advertising. 

Who Is Your Target Audience?

Before you start creating your advertisements, you need to know who you’re advertising to. You should gather as much information as possible about your target audience: who they are, what informs their buying decisions, and more. Here are a few questions to help you define your target audience:

  • Where does your target audience live? If you're a local business, for example, you may want to bring in local customers. Or maybe you’re trying to reach an audience at a more regional level.  
  • What do they do? Depending on your business, this could be the specific type of role your target audience holds, or it could be the leisure activities they enjoy. These factors can influence the television shows they watch or other aspects of their life as well. 
  • Where are they in the buyer's journey? Ideally, you want to produce content that speaks to each stage of the buyer's journey, which will help keep interested prospects in your sales funnel. 
  • How often are they watching TV? When producing television advertisements, you need a solid idea of what your target audience is watching and when they're watching television. You wouldn't advertise to a working professional who holds a 9-5 job during the business day, but that could be the perfect time to market to a stay-at-home parent.
  • What channels are they watching? Knowing this information not only helps to determine which channels you want to air your commercial, but it can also help when it comes to producing the commercial.  
  • Are they consuming OTT content? In addition to television advertising, OTT services have become a popular medium to reach your audience. If your audience consumes their content through streaming services, then creating advertisements that can be used across other platforms can be beneficial. 
  • What social media platforms do they use? By having insight into what platforms your target audience is active on and when they’re engaging, you are able to create ads that are optimized for those channels and the times of day when they are being presented. 

What is The Message You Want to Provide?

In order to direct your advertising efforts, you need a solid idea of what problem you're trying to solve and the message you are trying to give your target audience. Having a clear understanding of your goals and the problems you may be trying to solve for your target audience will help you make important decisions throughout the advertising process. Some advertisements may be more financially focused--such as increasing your sales--but others may be focused on other aspects, requiring different messaging in order to properly convey the necessary information. 

  • Are you running a branding campaign?  Branding campaigns and commercials can look different and air at different times than campaigns that are put together with other goals in mind.  It’s important to decide what type of campaign you are running before beginning the creative process.
  • Are you introducing a new product or service? When it comes to announcing a new product or service, it’s important to know how this will solve a problem for your target audience and benefit their lives. This information helps to determine how you will position your advertisements.
  • Are you opening or closing a store? Adding or taking away a location can affect your consumers in different ways. Either way, it’s important to provide them with the necessary information to solve the problem that it may create. Provide your audience with important dates and locations so that they are able to visit your locations at their convenience. 
  • Are you advertising a sale or promotion? When you’re promoting a sale or promotion, the messaging looks different than other advertisements. 

What Are Your Goals?

Setting clear, measurable goals can make it easier to track your success over the course of your campaign. Different goals require different key performance indicators (KPIs), and that’s why it’s important to make sure your goals are clearly defined. If you follow the SMART method to create your advertising goals: goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based, you can have a solid idea of exactly what you want to accomplish through your advertising methods. 

  • Are you trying to increase brand awareness?
  • Would you like to grow your followers on social media?
  • Are you looking to bring in more new customers?
  • Do you want to increase web traffic?
  • Are you wanting to bring more people into the store?
  • Is your goal to increase sales?

Depending on the goals that you set for your advertising campaign, your KPIs will be a reflection of those. By setting clear, measurable goals, you are able to determine which KPIs to watch for, and then create advertisements with those in mind. 

What is Your Advertising Budget?

Analyzing your advertising budget with a goal-oriented mindset allows you to make financial decisions with your desired results in mind. In other words, will the budget enable you to meet your goals? For example, when setting your budget for the production of your television commercial, are you allocating enough to deliver on the creative idea and messaging you had in mind?  Or, when scheduling, are you allocating enough to reach your target audience in a way that will produce the best results? If not, you may need to readjust your campaign goals or your budget allotment. 

Where Will You Advertise?

Once you have clearly defined your target audience and your goals and set your budget for the campaign, you can start to consider where you will advertise. 

  • What channels will you run your commercials on?
  • What times will the commercial air?
  • How often will the advertisement run?
  • Will you be integrating digital advertising into your plans?
  • What platforms will your digital ads be placed on?
  • When will those digitals ads run?

Before you start your advertising journey, it’s important that you have a solid idea of the advertisements you want to run and the goals you hope to reach with them. Whether you already know exactly what you want or you need a little help making those crucial decisions, working with an experienced media partner can make it easier to develop an advertising strategy that will help you reach all your goals. When you have a clear understanding of all of the components that go into your advertising, you will be able to make the best decisions on how to use your budget to meet your goals and ultimately set your brand up for success.

Step-by-step Visual Outline for Developing TV Ads that get results