Running Your First Advertising Campaign for Your Business

Running your first advertising campaign can be overwhelming with the many factors required. There are multiple ad campaign options, but choosing the right one requires a lot of research. Determining a budget also depends on your research as well as understanding your goals. This article will list and define some of the most common types of ad campaigns, explain how to identify the best option for your business and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.


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Common types of ad campaigns

The following list contains some of the most common types of ad campaigns:

  • Print media
  • Billboards
  • Radio
  • Direct mail
  • Digital


Print media

Print media ad campaigns primarily use space in magazines and newspapers to reach their target audience. Advertisers have a wide range of options such as local, regional and national as well as both consumer and trade media. The price range depends on the magazine and the size of the space. Common space options include spread, full-page, half-page, one-third page, quarter page and one-sixth page.



Billboards are large outdoor advertisements often seen in areas of high traffic. This type of advertising falls into the print media category as well and allows for many creative possibilities as embellishments often stretch beyond the given advertising space and garner more attention. Because they’re designed for drivers, their design must be easily read and understood within a short amount of time. There are various billboard options such as painted, digital, mobile and multi-purpose. Each type is more suited to certain ad campaigns and designs.



Radio advertising is one of the oldest, modern methods chosen by advertisers. During a station’s runtime, they allow space for local advertisers to provide an audio ad. Advertisers either pay for their space or sponsor the station in some other way. The most common radio ads, spot commercials, last no longer than one minute.


Direct mail

Direct mail advertising is another option within print media. Options include brochures, catalogs and newsletters. This type of advertising is a popular choice as its one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching new and existing customers. Direct mail advertising allows advertisers to send a personal message to individual customer mailboxes. Marketers control who sees their advertising, when and how they receive it and what it includes.



Digital or online advertising uses email, social media, search engines and other online platforms to deliver marketing messages. This form of advertising rises in popularity every year due to the ease of some of the online campaign development options and the popularity of the internet. Digital advertising focuses on data-driven techniques that get messages to specific demographics based on their interests. One of the advantages of digital advertising is that ads fit naturally within news feeds, looking like normal posts and encouraging users to read and engage.

Related: Social Media Recruiting Tips and Strategies


Know which is right for your business

The only way of determining which advertising campaign type is best for your business is to research. Your first goal is to understand and define what you want to achieve with your advertising. For example, you might want to build brand awareness, highlight a current offer or just sell products and services. You also need a clear budget before looking at your options as some methods are more affordable than others and certain services sell better with particular advertising methods. Study competitors and their ad choices as well. Find out what they use most and try it for yourself.

Related: How to Grow Your Business


Tips for success

The following list outlines tips for advertising campaign success:


Know your target audience

Your products or services are only needed by certain groups of people. As a manager of a small business, you must often be your own marketer, thinking like one and identifying what types of ads your audience sees most. Find out who they are, where they’re at, if they use the internet frequently and how great their need for your goods is.


Measure and track ads

Marketers and business owners adapt fast to quickly changing trends and conditions in the marketing space. Studying ad performance is an important part of keeping your marketing efforts relevant and effective. Methods that worked last year might not be as effective this year. When you notice a downward trend in your marketing performance, it’s time for a change.


Advertise in the right places

Knowing your audience is a critical component of advertising. Your specific audience finds themselves in particular places on the internet or in the world, exposing themselves to certain advertising methods more than others. For your campaign to be a success, you need to advertise where your audience is.


Ad campaign frequently asked questions

The following list outlines many frequently asked questions about ad campaigns:


How much should I spend on advertising?

Answering this question often requires research into your particular industry. If you want to match your competitors, it’s best to look at industry averages in your area. However, you can also plan your budget as a fixed percentage of sales. For example, most businesses set 2-5% of their annual revenue aside for advertising. If you made $100,000 in revenue last year, and you allot 3% to your advertising budget, you have around $3,000 to work with.


Should I choose social media as my platform for a local ad campaign?

Social media is a great way of connecting with local consumers for a small business. It’s a great way to reach interested locals and you can choose to make your ad look like a regular post. This makes the ad look less forced and encourages users to click. However, the social media platform you choose is dependent upon your audience. Finding out which media platform they use best determines where to focus your efforts.


How do I identify the proper tone for my marketing?

The answer to this question lies within audience research. It remains one of the most important factors in an advertising campaign. You have to know and understand certain types of people along with their habits and needs. You can create audience profiles to better define your target demographic for yourself and your marketing team. It becomes a valuable tool for reference when needed.


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