When it comes to social media ads, most businesses find that the idea is much more exciting than the actual process. You might decide that ads are warranted on three different platforms, and this is where the confusion begins. You need to think about the logistics, managing these accounts, planning ads for each, considering the target market and what they want on each platform, and control who does what in the team.
Marketing ad planning has the potential to overwhelm even the most experienced marketers. Luckily, some effective management tools exist to help in this area. In this guide, you’re going to learn how marketers deal with the planning process, the steps required to achieve goals, and some of the best tools for the job (especially for cross-platform planning).
First, what does the process entail? When staring at a blank page, it’s difficult to know where to begin. For us, it all starts with some objectives.
With anything in marketing, you can’t expect to reach your goals if you haven’t decided what they are. Too many businesses neglect this step and then are forced into making all sorts of adjustments and maneuvering later in the process. Before you do any planning, ask yourself the following questions:
This might seem simple, but there’s a big difference between creating ads for exposure and creating ads to generate leads. Do you want to create ads that generate sales directly? Or do you want to gain brand awareness and exposure from campaigns? The strategy might differ for each placement, and the ads will need to reflect this.
Now that you have some goals, which platforms will allow you to achieve them most effectively? During this stage, it’s all about the research. As a business, we assume you have a buyer persona (if not, this is something you’ll need in order to create ads that resonate with your target audience). It’s natural to attach yourself to Facebook because this is a platform with billions of monthly active users and most target markets. However, investigate all options because you might find more effective campaign opportunities from the following:
At this stage, we start to require assistance from external tools (something we’ll discuss in the next section of the guide). How will you approach each platform? How will you create ads that resonate with the audience on each? Rather than creating one ad for several platforms, we recommend thinking about what the audience on each platform needs. What do they want to see?
Let’s not forget, the opportunities on YouTube are very different from those on Facebook. While you might produce image-based ads for Facebook, YouTube requires video ads to achieve progress towards the goals you’ve laid out in the first step.
In this guide, we’re focusing on the planning phase, so we won’t go into too much detail for the next few steps. Essentially, marketers use the plan to develop creative ads, they set up campaigns, and then they work relentlessly to ensure success for campaigns. This means reviewing the analytics, comparing ads against one another, performing A/B testing (for creatives, targeting, bidding, and other areas), and constantly improving the campaign.
During the planning stage, it’s easy to feel alone (don’t worry, many marketers and business owners have been in the same position and struggled with the same things!). These days, more marketers are implementing advanced tools to help with the whole process, and we’re going to uncover three of the biggest names now.
Using software and other automation-driven tools normally has one initial goal - to make life easier. ClickUp has the advantage of doing this from the very start since you can manage everything on one platform rather than several. In addition to OneDrive and Google Drive, you’ll integrate Gantt charts, Kanban boards, Calendars, and several other spreadsheets, conversations, and docs. Most marketers can add everything they need with ClickUp and this means an end to flipping between numerous apps.
Another reason to choose ClickUp is that it has a sleek, beautiful interface and plenty of customization opportunities. For example, one of the biggest features is the ability to track workflows and assign specific tasks to different members of the team.
However, the way that the information is presented is completely up to the marketer. While some choose the Gantt View, others choose the Box View, Calendar View, List View, or Board View. Teams choose the best option for the way they work and it’s easier than ever to keep track of workloads. If somebody falls behind, you’ll have full visibility and be able to quickly make necessary adjustments to stay on track.
ClickUp claims that it saves a business one day per week, and it’s hard to disagree with all the fantastic features it offers. For ad teams, it’s simple to keep track of all activity. Those switching from another app can easily transfer everything across whether this is from Excel, Monday.com, Basecamp, or another tool.
With thousands of integrations, roadmaps and calendars, simple task designation, and a user-friendly interface, it’s hard not to like ClickUp.
Though ClickUp is an effective productivity tool, it doesn’t necessarily help a marketing team any more than the sales or accounting team. If you’re looking for something marketing-specific, we could have the answer with Paragone. With this tool, you connect all ad accounts and manage everything from one dashboard.
There are three parts to the product:
In addition to the marketing tools described, marketers favor Paragone’s in-platform chat and dashboard sharing. When planning, both at the start of the process and ongoing throughout campaign implementation, these features save time and eliminate the risk of communication silos.
Finally, we want to talk about Wrike, another platform that’s popular with marketers during the ad planning phase. With this one, the central theme is all about working as one, and their advanced features facilitate this nicely. For example, customization provides tailored workflows, dashboards, request forms, and other features. In addition, collaboration is encouraged with the ability to share reports, files, and other tasks. You’ll also enjoy the automated approval and visual proofing features.
Like ClickUp, marketers love using the Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and other templates to streamline ad planning. With shared team calendars, everybody knows their job and you’re less likely to encounter confusion. Here you can clearly define roles for all team members and highlight important dates (especially key milestones for ad campaigns).
In total, Wrike has over 400 integrations for those who want to use a single app instead of clicking between multiple ones. You don’t need to worry about coding, data is synced automatically. Here’s just a few of the great solutions that you can integrate:
Like the two platforms we’ve already seen, Wrike is another way to simplify workflows, improve communication in the marketing team, and better manage the planning stage of ad development.
When planning ads as a business or marketer, it all starts by selecting goals. As always, you need to make these goals SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-specific. Ultimately, it will ask the question of what you want to achieve from advertising. After this, choose the pertinent platforms, consider a strategy for each, and get started.
An effective planning tool, like those mentioned above, helps to keep marketing teams working in synergy at all times - something required if an ad campaign is to generate a positive ROI!