How to Create an Online Advertising Plan for Content Marketing

Online advertising is a critical part of any content marketing plan. After all, without the traffic generated from online ads, there would be no content to promote in the first place!

Whether you are just starting out or you are an established content marketer, creating an advertising plan is a fundamental part of your job. But how exactly do you go about doing this? What are the key considerations? Is one approach better than the other?

In this article, we will discuss the various considerations and aspects that you need to take into account when creating your online advertising plan. Specifically, we will cover the following topics:

Choosing Your Online Audience

One of the first decisions that you need to make when creating your online advertising plan is who you are trying to reach with your content. After all, you can’t tailor your content to suit every possible audience you might encounter on the web. Your content needs to be relevant and catered to a certain group of users. This brings us to our next point.

Segmentation And Targeting

You need to understand the difference between marketing to a specific audience and marketing to a general pool of individuals. When you market to a specific audience, you are advertising primarily to people who have a shared characteristic. For example, if you are an e-commerce site and you decide to target male consumers who live in the UK, you would be creating ads specifically for this group of people.

If, on the other hand, you are selecting a general pool of individuals to target, you are advertising to everyone regardless of shared characteristics. The advantage of targeting a general audience is that the chances of your ad being relevant to someone is higher. For example, if you are an e-commerce site and you decide to target anyone who is British, you are greatly increasing the chance of your ad being seen by someone who is interested in buying UK-made products. In this case, you want to create ads that will appeal to as many people as possible.

Conversion And Cost Analysis

You need to understand the importance of tracking the performance of your ads in order to know which ones are bringing in the revenue and which ones are losing money. This is where conversion analysis comes in. While it is extremely useful to know the gender and age of your audience, what is even more important is whether or not they have performed a desired action (i.e., made a purchase) as a result of viewing your ad.

Establishing a conversion goal is one of the most crucial parts of your plan. This goal should be defined in terms of an immediate action that the viewer can take (e.g., make a purchase, fill out a form, etc.). Setting a longer term goal (e.g., increase awareness of your brand or product) is just as important but can sometimes be complicated.

Tracking the performance of your ads is extremely important, especially as you are getting started. As a new content marketer, you don’t have any money to waste so it is imperative that you are aware of which ads are performing well and which ones need to be adjusted. Once you are gaining some experience, you will be able to set longer term goals and will have a better idea of how various campaigns are performing. This, in turn, will help you create more effective ad campaigns in the future.

Campaign Ideas And Creative

When coming up with ideas for your online advertising campaign, you need to bear in mind that the concepts that appeal to one audience might not be as effective in attracting another group. For example, if you are running an e-commerce store and you want to target individuals in the UK who love eating meat, you might come up with the following ideas:

  • An ad campaign focused on the beauty of animals
  • An online store with free delivery
  • A survey about shopping online
  • A contest where consumers can enter to win a luxury trip to the UK
  • An ad campaign for children’s books featuring puppets
  • A blog roll with reviews of products geared to people in the UK
  • A competition were consumers can win an iPad Mini

Depending on your experience and the effectiveness of these ideas in the past, you might decide to go with one of them or come up with your own. When choosing creative, it is a good idea to think about what will make your ad stand out from the rest. Do you want to use cartoon characters or funny memes? Is there a particular style of art or animation that you prefer? What colors do you want to use?

These are just some of the questions that you need to ask yourself when selecting creative for your campaign. Once you have a clear idea of what you are looking for, it is much easier to find the right piece of work.


You need to decide what channels you are going to use to run your ad campaign and how much you are going to spend on each one. This is where things like PPC, display ads, and social media come in. With PPC, you are paying per click. As the name would suggest, display ads are shown on websites and social media platforms and you are charged per impression (i.e., viewed).

Channels are extremely important because you cannot measure the success (or failure) of an ad campaign in terms of immediate actions alone. Even if you are getting a positive response from your ad and the viewer takes the desired action, this does not necessarily mean that your strategy was successful. You also need to check how effectively your ad was positioned in terms of reaching your target audience. For example, if you ran an Instagram ad campaign for a pizza chain and the only users who saw it were people who already liked pizza, this could mean that your strategy was not very effective and you should consider switching gears.

The above points should have made it clear how crucial it is to set a goal when creating your online advertising plan. Without a clear goal, it is very difficult to determine if your plan is working or not. Setting specific, measurable goals makes all the difference and gives you something to measure your campaign against. In order to reach your goal, you will need to track the performance of your ads over time and adjust them as needed. In the next section, we will discuss how to set these goals in more detail.

Goals And Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Once you have set your goal, it is time to establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure the success of your ad campaign. These are the specific tasks and/or metrics that you will use to determine whether or not your goal has been reached. Typically, these are things like the number of sales that you expect to generate, the amount of website traffic, and so on. Some advertisers use these KPIs to determine whether or not their ads were effective. If you are looking to get started with content marketing, it is a good idea to use these KPIs as a basis for your plan and to track the success of your campaign. This will help you determine if or when you should change gears or try a new approach.

Pay-per-click (PPC):

PPC is an online advertising strategy where you pay per click. This could be both in the form of currency or a combination of money and units (e.g., ‘eyeballs’). With PPC, you are paying for each click on your ad with no guarantee of how many people will actually click on it. These ads usually appear at the top of search results on search engines like Google and Bing. However, they could also show up as sponsored results on social media platforms. Regardless of the channel, when someone clicks on your ad, they are taken to a web page or an app that you have approved. PPC allows you to target a larger audience than usual, as long as you have the money to pay for each click. There is also a wide array of PPC tools and platforms that you can use to get the best possible results from this strategy. Some of the most popular PPC software includes Google AdWords (for Google searches) and Facebook’s ad manager (for Facebook and Instagram ads).

Pay-per-impression (PPI):

PPI is an online advertising strategy where you pay per impression. With this strategy, you are paying for each time that someone sees or ‘opens’ your ad. These ads usually appear at the top of lists on websites and social media platforms. A good example of an effective PPI ad is the Coca-Cola ad where the brand serves up refreshing drinks for users surfing the web on hot summer days. Since this is an appealing strategy to those concerned with their weight, it is not surprising that it has become so popular.