The pandemic has undeniably accelerated the growth and transition to digital across many industries and sectors, and it is not surprising that those businesses that have been agile enough to adopt new ways of working digitally and virtually have fared better than those that haven’t.
And yet, with so many businesses quick to adopt digital transformation, coupled with the surge in time spent online as people have increasingly turned to digital platforms during the pandemic, digital ad spend decreased 5% at a time ripe for reaching and engaging with audiences.
Advertising can be one of the best and most efficient ways to reach audiences at scale and to maintain a consistent drumbeat with customers. It also creates a strong share of mind, share of voice, and share of market – without this, it is nearly impossible to position your business for recovery.
But where do businesses looking to upscale their advertising strategy in the best, most efficient and cost effective way start?
- Align vision to advertising: Make sure your business vision is aligned to and communicated within your advertising – this promotes interest, trust, and audience engagement and helps increase return on investment. For example, soft drinks giant Coke, initially ‘turned off’ its digital advertising in response to the global pandemic but used that time to realign their business goals to their digital advertising strategy before turning back on. As a result, the company was able to communicate market position, vision and messaging very clearly to their target audience in a contextually-focused environment that aligned to their brand and business values.
- Spread the digital love: While traditional advertising can be costly and hard to justify ROI, digital advertising can be a more customised, targeted, and cost efficient way of engaging with customers in an environment they know and trust and are open to being presented with new information. Aligning your advertising content to the right place at the right time increases potential engagement and we have estimated that when done right, it can deliver up to 50% greater brand awareness recall than other advertising targeting methods.
- Ensure ad relevance: Your advertising strategy must be conducted within safe and suitable, and contextually relevant environments. People associate a connection between an ad and the content it is adjacent to – advertising synced to the content it surrounds performs better in terms of ad recall, brand awareness, and call to action. According to a TAG/BSI survey, up to 93% of consumers will reduce their spending on brands appearing against unsuitable content.
- Bring diversity and inclusion: In our global society today, your advertising should include multiple languages to help you target audiences more effectively. In the UK, for example, Bengali has been officially named as the second most-spoken language followed by Polish and Turkish. These nuances can make or break your ad performance.
- Choose platforms wisely: Do your due diligence and choose platforms that not only align to your target audience, but that can also prove content is safe and suitable. Take platforms like YouTube, for example. YouTube has spent years putting brand safety, verification and suitability metrics in place to ensure safe environments where advertising is placed in a safe, secure and suitable way for each particular audience.
Digital advertising has numerous advantages and as we move into the brave new world of 2021, there is little doubt that those businesses that adopt an agile and adaptable digital strategy will be the ones set up for recovery in a sustainable way, and that will ultimately survive in our ‘sink or swim’ economy.