You’ve just sold a digital ad campaign! Congrats on doing a great job pitching and listening to your customers. While a lot of hard work goes into the selling, there’s more to do. Several additional steps occur after the sale, and we’re going to review them in this post.

Step 1: Defining the Targeting

Any digital ad tactic has targeting associated with it. Depending on the type, that can include:

  • Geography
  • Demographics
  • Behaviors and interests
  • Previous online activity
  • Geofence areas

You’ll determine targeting criteria by working with the advertisers on their ideal customer profile and where those people are. If you use a guided proposal tool, you can choose most of this in the sales process. If not, you’ll have to do it separately. Once you lock this in, it’s time to focus on the content.

Step 2: Developing the Creative

Every ad type has some kind of creative — images, copy and video. You will often need to assist advertisers with this. They likely have some good assets that showcase their products, services or locations. If they are a product retailer, brands may provide them with these. They can get the assets from the parent company if the business is a franchise. Stock photography is also usable.

Copy should be clear and concise and should end with an impactful CTA (call to action). The message should convey value and the offer. The language should be in the same voice as those it’s targeting so it’s genuine and effective.

If the advertiser has purchased any kind of video ads, there are many options here as well, and they don’t require a significant budget. For tips on this, read our post on helping advertisers with video ads.

A final note on creative is to ensure the ads comply with state or federal regulations if they fall into restricted categories like cannabis, CBD, gambling, alcohol or political.

Step 3: Ad Execution

Once targeting and creative are ready, it’s time to execute. Ad trafficking looks different depending on the tactic.

  • Programmatic: Trafficking can be manual or automated. In an automated framework, ads run through a DSP (demand-side platform) via a bidding process for available inventory. It’s simple and fast, but you don’t get to pick the inventory. Manual trafficking involves working with one or more publishers that relay what inventory they have that matches the targeting. It can be a time-consuming process that requires specialized knowledge.
  • Social media and SEM (search engine marketing): These ads are executed directly on platforms (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Google).
  • OTT/CTV: These video buys occur through an SSP (supply-side platform).

How the actual execution occurs depends on your ad operations framework.

The typical options are:

  • Using a third-party digital platform where execution is simple and easy, as your provider does the ad ops for you
  • Having in-house digital specialists who traffic the ads directly to some platforms like social media sites and Google, or through a DSP in the case of programmatic
  • Outsourcing all execution to an agency

Ideally, you’ll have processes and workflows in place for execution. They must be consistent and repeatable so they don’t slow down getting ads into the digital world.

Step 4: Reporting and Analytics

After launch, you’ll be monitoring campaign performance with your analytics engine. Providing outcomes of the ad spend is critical for your post-campaign performance. You’ll have data on the common metrics, including:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Site names
  • Locations
  • Video completions
  • Click-through rates (CTRs)

In addition, you’ll want to have available reports that offer information on:

  • The pacing of the campaign for viewed impressions vs. ordered ones
  • Creative performance for details on which creative performed the best
  • Geofencing reports that reveal the results of these targeted areas
  • Location insights for performance by cities or ZIP codes
  • Website and app lists that note all the digital spaces where ads were served
  • Device reporting on the type of technology on which consumers saw the ad

Having transparent and detailed campaign reporting provides clarity for your customers and helps build future ads. Address what went well and what didn’t, looking for revelations on why for each.

Step 5: Billing

The last part of the workflow is billing the client for services. Ideally, you can do this within your ad ops solution. Most solutions enable some aspects of automation to reduce manual work. Additionally, having the means to send electronic invoices and receive online payments will streamline the process and could decrease your days outstanding.

Digital Ad Campaigns After the Sale

Selling digital ad campaigns requires understanding tactics and correlating them to advertisers’ needs. After the sale, you’ll want to continue this approach of education and support. With consistent communication and delivery of insights, your advertisers will trust and value you even more.

Find more helpful content on this topic below.

Making the Case: How to Demonstrate Digital Advertising ROI
4 Strategies to Capture More Renewals
Third-Party Digital Analytics: Why Detailed Reporting Is a Competitive Advantage for Local Media Sellers