Things to Keep in Mind BEFORE Buying Ads

Advertising your small business or nonprofit organization can be an expensive undertaking. When done properly, your brand can reap the benefits – including increased exposure and more sales – from a successful ad campaign.

Advertising can be beneficial, but requires a bit of planning.
Advertising can be beneficial, but requires a bit of planning.

To get the most bang for your ad buck, you have to keep a few key things in mind.

  1. Know the audience

In the simplest terms: Who will see your ad? Is it millennials surfing the ‘Net, boomers reading the newspaper, a combination or something altogether different? Knowing who your ad could potentially reach on each advertising platform will help in deciding which is best for your target audience. Tip: It’s also helpful to know who is your customer or potential customer before compiling advertising data. Knowing who you want to reach is priority #1.

  1. Understand deadlines – yours and theirs

Publications generally have deadlines for advertising materials, regardless if the ad in question is to be included in a print publication or online. Before committing to a publication, be sure that the deadlines jive with your ability to produce an ad for the intended purpose. Tip: If the goal of the ad is to gain greater attendance at a workshop, for example, make sure the ad will be published in enough time to allow people to sign up.

  1. Circulation, impressions and pay per clicks 

    What should come first - your advertisement or the plan for where it should go?
    Chicken is to ad planning … Like egg is to successfully engaging with your audience.

Print publications, including newspapers and magazines, all have circulation data which is available to potential advertisers. This will tell you the number of subscribers. Digital advertising can be pinpointed more precisely, oftentimes allowing reach based on ZIP code, gender, age or other specific demographics. Online sites (i.e. digital advertising hubs), including various social media platforms like Facebook, generally use a guaranteed number of views, commonly called impressions, for an ad campaign. Digital ads can also be purchased via pay-per-click format. Tip: Impressions and clicks are not the same. If your goal is to drive people to a registration page, for instance, a pay-per-click campaign may be the better option.

  1. Check and double check

This might seem obvious, but review your advertisement for accuracy before submitting it. Adding the wrong Website address or an incorrect phone number is a small mistake which could cost you in terms of lost customers and potential new business. You would be surprised how often ads are published promoting events that have already happened or including the wrong date, time or contact information. Tip: Have someone else review the ad for accuracy before finalizing it.

For more free marketing and public relations tips for your small business or nonprofit organization sign up for our free email newsletter. To learn more about how Katalinas Communications can help guide your advertising efforts contact Theresa Katalinas at 215-519-8833 or email

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