Digital might be a go-to medium for your ads, but many may not be utilising the platform well enough to extract a better bang for their buck
The continued rise of digital and social media has given an unparalleled voice to users. Advertisers are now looking to sculpt advertising experiences catering to individual tastes and preferences, utilising the information collected by big data and analytics. I believe that digital advertising can be utilised very effectively and this is the reason that in the last 20 years, digital advertising budgets have increased from 1-2% of the total advertising budget to 15-20% in many countries today. I am confident that this number will continue to go up because people are spending a considerable amount of their time online.
Some of the ways through which digital advertisers can optimise their efforts include:
*Granular analysis/effective performance management
Digital advertisers have access to numerous tests and tools to measure the effectiveness of their digital campaigns across keywords, digital ads, sponsored posts, etc. In such a data-rich environment, only considering average figures may not help identify ‘rotten apples’ or non-performing marketing initiatives. Marketers today have various weapons in their digital arsenals, each with individual performance information. If you need marketing budgets to be aligned closely with the business performance, then digital can be used more effectively. In order to optimise marketing costs, it is necessary for marketers to carry out an in-depth pre- and post-analysis of their various marketing strategies.
Rather than being influenced only by grand totals and averages, a meticulous understanding of the contribution of each and every element towards the end result helps in formulating optimisable alternatives. This is possible in the case of digital advertising. In case of digital, the entire data is trackable, scannable, traceable and analysable. If you can empower digital ads with analysis, you can use them more effectively.
*Choose an ideal marketing mix
In case of traditional advertising, a brand had no option but to deploy huge amounts of marketing budgets to TVCs aired across channels to get some sort of results. However, digital works on a ‘pay per use’ model, wherein one can deploy small amounts of budgets on different digital campaigns and analyse if the campaign is successful or not.
Developing an ideal mix of digital advertising tactics helps to offset losses suffered from less traction in one medium with gains in others. SEO, sponsored posts, social media page ads and video blogs are some of the major methods of digital advertising.
Marketers need to evaluate the product category, target audience type, market size, audience demography, communication style, etc and then adopt a marketing structure that offers an optimum combination of these elements. Brands cannot be built by forming a uni-dimensional approach today; they require a holistic framework to grab the attention of the user.
*Better targeting and more effective use of capital
In the past, marketers could use demographics and geo-targeting to reach out to their target audiences using traditional marketing methods. Digital offers psychographic and behavioural targeting. Marketers are also able to utilise demographic and geo-targeting more effectively with digital campaigns. Additionally, with tools like A/B Testing, one can compare two or more versions of a webpage or an app and determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal, using statistical analysis.
* Influencer marketing
Influencers, online celebrities and digital leaders — the digital generation has rapidly expanded the development of fan groups around individuals whose content has been liked by millions across the globe. These influencers and their choices, observations, comments and opinions, have a massive effect on users. Thus, modern-day marketers are constantly tapping into this resource to drive positive reception on the product market. In fact, according to an international survey by Linqia, 86% of marketers used influencer-led marketing in 2017 and 92% of them found it effective. With the rise of follower-based social media platforms such as Instagram gaining ground, the desire to seek approval and be praised on social media platforms has had an impact on most of the population. The continued widespread adoption of influencer marketing shows that it is becoming an integral part of the marketing mix.
Highlight distinguishing elements
Businesses undertaking digital advertising need to stress upon the distinguishing features that make them easily identifiable for viewers. For instance, while conventional TV communication had jingles, animations or specific characters which were constant elements of brand campaigns, modern-day digital marketing achieves the same through familiar logos, design, concepts, brand ambassadors and mascots. These elements need to be given focussed attention, particularly in today’s times of highly individualised, audience-oriented marketing efforts, as they help to develop a retention factor in the mind of the user. With offerings and services being almost identical for businesses in most industries, differentiated branding plays an essential role in developing an intimate relationship with the consumer. Such branding efforts are required more for start-ups working in domains that have moderate to high competition.
The author is founder & CEO, Droom