How to Create an Advertising Plan: A Step by Step Guide


It can be difficult to turn an idea into an advertising campaign. But with a concrete, detailed advertising plan you can confidently go from concept to execution.

A campaign plan that is clear and concise will allow you to present a path for return on your investment (ROI), gain buy-in from leaders, and share your proposal among relevant stakeholders.

This post will explain what an advertisement plan is. We’ll also highlight the main sections that You should include these items in your advertising plan to ensure your next campaign is a success.

What is an advertisement plan?

An advertising plan is a strategy that outlines how you will reach your target audience to achieve your advertising goals. It will include a summary of the channels that you will use, key messaging, and the budget required. All the information and elements you need to implement your advertising strategy.

Advertising Plan Template

Pro Tip HubSpot has created the advertisement plan template that you can download to help you organize your advertising campaign. It’s broken down into sections so you can share it with your stakeholders once it’s complete.

The Advertising Plan Template covers:

  • Plan of an advertising campaign
  • Timeline for an advertising campaign
  • Advertising budget template

Also read: 25 Best and Amazing Free Advertising Ideas

How to Create an advertising plan

Before you start thinking about your advertising plan, it is important to give your audience a high-level overview.

1. Provide a Detail of your advertising plan.

If you include the following elements in your plan, everyone who reads it will be able to understand what your campaign is all about and what you are trying to achieve.

    • Campaign Name: Make the campaign name memorable, unique, and easily identifiable so that your team can support it.
    • Campaign Description: What is your campaign’s purpose? Describe in 2-3 paragraphs the inspiration behind the campaign, how it aligns with your company initiatives, what customer problems you’re solving, and what the final deliverables of the campaign will be.
    • Target Audience: Ideally, who is the recipient of these ads? You can specify age, sex, region, or any number of demographics, or even name the buyer personas that you are targeting.
    • Advertising Platforms: How will you get your message across? This section will help you identify the advertising platform that you’ll use. You’ll see more details about the ads in the next section.
  • Objectives and Return on Investment: Detail the purpose of your campaign. Advertising campaigns are designed to generate a return on investment or direct profit, so if that’s your goal, identify that number. Your campaign goal may be something other than event sign-ups or product awareness. It is important to quantify and identify it.

2. Select your platform.

This is where you will provide more information about the ads and which platforms will be promoted. This information should be provided for each ad that you plan to run in the campaign.

  • Name of the platform
  • Type of advertisement
  • Description of the advertisement
  • Timeline
  • Budget

3. Develop your timeline.

It takes time and effort to create an advertisement campaign. Each person involved in a campaign will need to know their responsibilities, when they are due and how long it takes to complete them. It is essential that you create a timeline for all team members.

Here is an example timeline for a campaign. Your timeline will depend on the depth and breadth of your project, but you can expect to use some steps.

  • Research and Preparation: This is the first stage of your campaign. This stage may last between one and two weeks. Here you will conduct research to identify your target audience, create messaging, and establish the goals for your campaign. Meetings with stakeholders will be conducted to increase awareness and get buy-in for the campaign amongst all necessary parties.
  • Creation and edits: After you have determined your goals and the type and style of assets that you wish to create, you can start to bring in the creative team. While copywriters work on emails and landing pages, creative directors and designers create concepts and visual assets. This can take anywhere from two to three weeks depending on the goals and scope of work. To ensure everyone is happy with the creative assets, you will need to allow for multiple rounds.
  • Distribution: Once all assets have been sorted, the launch is possible. Social media posts and blogs should be scheduled for distribution in the future. Headers and pages on websites must be updated and PR materials distributed. You must be available for any questions or last-minute updates during the final distribution stage of your campaign. This can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to several weeks depending on how large your campaign is.
  • Analysis: The final stretch! Your campaign’s final step is to analyze the results and report them to improve future campaigns. This is the most important stage of a campaign. You can gain valuable insights based on performance. Take away the lessons learned and take them with you to increase your chances of success with future campaigns.

Also read: 8 Types of Marketing Campaigns You Should Know

4. Outline your budget.

The budget is often the hardest part of any advertising project. Because ROI isn’t always guaranteed, it can prove to be difficult for your project to be approved. To get everyone to agree, it is important to break down your requests into line items and present them in your plan.

Instead of simply saying, “We need $65,000 to complete this project,” organize your budget into a visual like the one below.

You can and should expect to receive questions and feedback on specific line items.

For example, You may be asked to find another designer a video freelance team that can do the job for less. Come to meetings ready to defend Which costs are essential for the campaign’s success? What costs can you reconsider?

5. Describe your DACI framework.

DACI describes the decision-making framework. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of key contributors to a project. DACI stands for Driver, Approver, and Contributors, as well as Informed.

Here are the steps to dismantle a DACI framework.

  • Driver: This is the main driver of the project or the directly responsible person. You or your manager could be the driver. The driver coordinates all aspects of the project and oversees its completion from conception to close.
  • Approver: This person approves a project. This will typically be a director or VP. They will provide feedback and recommendations as well as final approval of the deliverables.
  • Contributors: Contributors refer to the people responsible for creating one or several deliverables for the project. This can include art directors, copywriters, video producers, animators, and designers.
  • Informed: These team members should be informed throughout the duration of the project. These people can be department heads, managers, or account leads. They do not have any project-related responsibilities, but they benefit from being informed about the status of the project.

The DACI framework should contain the names of all stakeholders, contact information (email address, phone number, Slack handle), and their responsibilities or deliverables.

This framework makes it easy for all parties to delegate projects.

6. Provide additional resources.

Your advertising plan will include an additional resource section. You can share this ad campaign with your readers, link the product page that you will be promoting with this initiative, and link to your company’s style guide. This way designers and writers are able to refresh their knowledge on creating externally-facing content.

7. Host a campaign kickoff meeting.

Once you have completed the outline, call your team to discuss the campaign concept, timeline, and deliverables. Next, you will need to compile them. Finally, you will have to present your advertising plan. Then, ask for suggestions and questions from other project contributors.

Advertising plan example

It is always helpful to have examples to refer to; we will go over one below.

In this plan, a business outlines the different channels it will use to reach its advertising goals: YouTube, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads. It outlines the type of ad for each channel, a summary of what each ad will be, a target timeline, and an allocated budget. While it is simply an overview, it has the key elements it will execute in its advertising strategy.

This is an excellent example of a template, but it is only one example. This template can be customized to suit your business goals. Simply enter the information that works best for you.

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