Advertising drives awareness and customers to your business, which is crucial when building a brand. When you should begin advertising depends on your objectives, and timing is key. Planning your marketing efforts to align traffic with promotions and events helps to increase your revenue. To yield maximum ROI, you want to be proactive and capitalize on momentum and excitement around your brand.
Here are a few checkpoints to consider when trying to determine the right time to start advertising.
You Have Identified Your Advertising Goals
Your advertising needs to align with your marketing goals. When opening a store, you want to start advertising about a month before opening to build momentum for people visiting your location. If you want to encourage extra traffic during a promotion, ads should also start running about a month before it occurs.
The same is true if holiday shopping affects your bottom line. Keep in mind that seasonal shopping has been starting earlier due to shipping and supply chain delays, so you’ll want to build that timeline into your marketing strategy.
You Know Who Your Customers Are
Before you launch your ads, you should know who your target audience is and where they are in their customer journey. Once you understand this, you can deliver specific messages to the people receptive to them. Segmenting ads by demographic helps you spread awareness to one group while increasing sales within another.
Understanding your customers is the foundation of getting their attention through advertising.
You're Bringing In Revenue
As beneficial as advertising is, it is not something you should do at the risk of your business. The best time to advertise is when you're already bringing in revenue and can afford it. When you already have paying customers, you can strategize and expand your marketing plan. Before then, you’ll need to rely on personal sales techniques until your business begins to gain traction.
Start with a small budget that's proportional to your revenue, then invest in more extensive campaigns as you bring in more customers. An active social media presence is an economical way to advertise before implementing a paid marketing strategy. Using social channels, you can get information and incentives in front of your audience with minimal investment.
You've Differentiated Yourself From Your Competition
A competitive analysis is an investigation into your competitors’ business practices, sales, and marketing strategies to learn where their customers are and how they’re advertising to them. This insight helps you to see their successes while identifying areas where you can differentiate your brand. You shouldn't launch your ads until you have researched the competition and plan to counteract their strategy.
Check out your competitors' social media pages to learn how they are engaging with the audience. How can your brand improve upon its efforts? Once you have figured out a way to differentiate yourself, you are ready to advertise.
You're Able to Track Your Results
Your advertising strategy will grow and evolve, so you must be able to track its success from the beginning. That way, you can see what works and what doesn't to rethink your plan as needed.
Options for tracking results include:
- A/B Testing: Testing one advertisement (A) against a slightly altered version (B) lets you see what content has the most effect on your audience.
- Website Analytics: Analytics tools such as Google Analytics are free tools that anyone can use. It shows who is visiting your website, how long they are staying, and which tactics lead to engagement.
- Management Software: If the budget allows, marketing automation software does all the tracking and wraps it up into an excellent report.
- Promotional Coupons: When you add incentives to your website, you can measure how many hits occurred because of the advertisement.
Once you have settled on a method for tracking your marketing’s success, you are ready to approach advertising.
You're Ready to Grow
Effective branding makes your audience more inclined to convert when confronted with your ads. In other words, your audience is already primed for engagement because they are emotionally involved with your brand. The higher conversion rate you enjoy as you develop your brand means a lower cost per acquisition and a higher ROI.
Advertising is a huge undertaking, especially if you’re busy running your business. Working with an experienced media partner can help you get good results without taking on too much. You can leverage their experience to develop your ads and track your results to stand above the competition and grow your business.