Advertising is a common component of an overall marketing strategy. For example, the marketing strategy of a furniture retailer might target new homeowners, with advertising campaigns aimed at buyers of sofas and kitchen tables.
But advertising is expensive. A detailed plan for achieving the desired outcomes can save money and drive performance.
In this post, I’ll create an advertising template to document goals and tactics while informing stakeholders.
Advertising Plan Template
The template contains five sections.
Plan name. Consider a consistent naming convention across all of the company’s advertising efforts.
For example, the name of an ad plan promoting sofas in the third quarter of 2022 could be:
2022 Q3 Sofas Sale
For Google Ads campaigns, the name could be.
2022 Q3 July | Sofas Sale | DR | DSA | US
Notice how the campaign name is a derivative of the ad plan name. The dates and “Sofas Sale” are apparent. “DR,” “DSA,” and “US” describe a direct response, dynamic search ad campaign aimed at the U.S. market.
Description. The plan needs a short, three-paragraph-max description. It should reference supporting documents, such as the marketing strategy, a go-to-market summary, and budget authorization. It could also include links to project management tools, Slack conversations, time components, custom tracking, and dependencies.
The description is a starting point for anyone seeking to understand the plan better.
Outcomes. This part of the template describes what the campaign should accomplish. Aim for one primary performance metric and two or three secondary ones, such as:
- Primary metric. $5.5 million in sofa sales from the ads in Q3 2022.
- Secondary metric. 16,650 fabric swatch requests via the custom sofa configuration tool during Q3.
- Secondary metric. 19 million ad-driven sessions for sofa category and product detail pages.
Do not launch the campaign without a primary metric.
Audience. This section should enable an ad specialist to assemble audiences in Meta, Google, Hulu, or similar and identify contextual advertising opportunities, such as niche websites or newsletters.
Include customer personas or profiles, if applicable. Identify important details of the audience’s demographics and behavior.
Hulu’s ad platform, for example, lets advertisers target homeowners specifically.
Placements. This portion of the plan defines where ads will run. It should include:
- Placement, i.e., Google Ads or Some Great Newsletter.
- Material due dates, with links to the Trello card, Monday.com task, or similar.
- Run dates.
- Links to graphics, videos, or audio assets.
- Links to required licenses, such as the right to use a song in a commercial.
- The ad copy or transcript.
- Audience notes.
- Target outcomes related to the plan outcomes.
- The name of the person responsible.
Here is an example for a Hulu ad.
Placement #1: Hulu | Meet the King of Sofas
- Campaign creative due: Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Hulu needs at least three days to review.
- Run dates: July 5 to August 7, 2022.
- “Meet the King of Sofas,” 15 second.
- “Meet the King of Sofas,” 30 second.
- Licenses: Music bed license here.
- Transcript: “You’ve heard of a king-sized bed, well…”
- Audience notes: A/B test ownership targeting and in-market targeting.
- Outcome targets: 6,000 fabric swatch requests via in-commercial QR code with UTM tracking, generating 100,000 sessions from 500,000 impressions leading to $1.15 million in sofa sales.
- Investment: $150,000.
- Person responsible: Jane Doe.
Repeat this information for each placement in the ad plan.
At the end of the placement section, include any notes and a summary table showing all placements, with a start and end date, outcomes, and investments.
|Hulu | Meet the King of Sofas||07-05-22||08-07-22||$1.15 million in sofa sales. 100,000 Sessions. 6,000 fabric swatch requests.||$150,000|
|Hulu | Treat Your...Like a Queen||08-08-22||09-30-22||$1.15 million in sofa sales. 100,000 Sessions. 6,000 fabric swatch requests.||$150,000|
|Google Ads||07-01-22||09-30-22||$3 million in sofa sales. 19.8 million sessions. 4,500 fabric swatch requests.||$400,000|