Best Digital Advertising Platform Step 1: Goals

Best Digital Advertising Platform: A Guide

“Where is the best place for my nonprofit to be advertising?”

This is a common question for most clients. Our answer…it depends.

There are four factors to understand the most effective media to invest your organization’s budget. The guide below walks you through Media Cause’s basic process to determine the best digital advertising platform/s for each of our client’s goals.

Step 1: What is your goal?

Are you looking to acquire new leads, donations, advocacy actions, or create brand awareness? Is it a mixture based on a phased approach? Identifying a measurable goal is the most important factor before creating and launching your campaigns. Without measurable goals there is no quantitative way to show the return on investment on the money spent, so it is important to make sure you have a data measurement plan in place before the campaign starts.

Step 2: Who is your audience?

Hint: the answer is not everyone. Before we get started on a campaign we go through some persona development and messaging exercises to make sure even before the dollar is spent we know what ad copy, imagery, call-to-action, etc. is going to work. When we think about audiences, we want to look beyond the standard demographic information like age/sex/location. Digital advertising tools are powerful, and utilizing them to the fullest will help your ROI. They allow us to target in much more precise ways and we should take advantage of these capabilities. For example, you can target previous visitors to your website, individuals who have given previously to your nonprofit, those with similar interests to your cause, income level, etc. Depending on how many audiences you want to target, you can run ads on different platforms to hit specific audiences where they can be reached. 

Step 3: What is your budget?

Social advertising platforms like Facebook and TikTok are self-service platforms. This means that you don’t need to be working with someone directly at one of those companies to run an ad campaign. These types of platforms tend to have a lower buy-in to get started. If your budget is $500 or $500,000, you are treated the same.

More traditional publishers offering programmatic ads tend to have higher thresholds to advertise on their platforms. These programmatic campaigns have unique and researched targeting capabilities and can show your ads on strong, premium channels and placements, too. 

Step 4: What assets do you have available for advertising?

Not all ad platforms are created equal. Some platforms are great at driving awareness through video (YouTube), while others allow you to take that same video and drive more actions (Facebook). Either way, you need high-quality video assets to even get in the game. Therefore, it is smart to do an inventory of your assets before you get started. Do you have a great collection of images, stories, and video assets? Not having the correct assets for the platform that is most relevant to your audiences won’t preclude you from advertising there, but it does mean that you need to budget additional resources to create those assets.

The best digital advertising platform is always going to be the one that gives you the best return on investment. This means being able to effectively measure results over time and testing to determine results. Don’t be scared of testing budgets across a couple of platforms and letting the data decide for you.

If you are looking for expertise on running your next campaign or setting your organization up with a strategic media plan that creates measurable impact, then reach out to us. We have a proven track record of selecting the best digital advertising platforms for any number of goals.

Check out our free download below for even more tips:

A Quick Guide to Diversifying Your Advertising Channels



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