3 ways to integrate TV advertising into your digital strategy
Amazon has led the seismic shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce. Customers now expect free shipping and overnight delivery with Amazon Prime, and the level of shopping convenience has never been higher.
For years, Amazon had competitors. But no one can compete with the e-commerce juggernaut anymore. About 34 percent of online sales in the U.S. come through Amazon, and by 2021, that number is expected to grow to 50 percent.
Despite this shift from physical stores to the online realm, there are no signs that digital will dominate other forms of media in the advertising world, which is why you need to integrate TV ads into your strategy. Television remains a marketer’s best bet for hitting a mainstream audience despite the assertions that TV is dead.
TV Is Still Alive and Well
Some modern marketers focus solely on the digital channels, but online marketing efforts usually come to an early plateau. Targeted ads on websites and online media only reach a specific set of customers, and the product or service only ends up in front of the people who are looking specifically for that product or its competitor.
In contrast, television reaches a much bigger audience to broaden your reach. In CBS's study of 315 brands, when looking at both TV and digital campaigns, the average target reach was 67 percent. But once you break it down by campaign, just 5 percent saw only digital ads, 9 percent saw a mix of digital and TV, and a whopping 53 percent saw television ads only.
Some marketers disparage TV advertising as a shotgun approach with zero ability to target, but with more advanced data and TV attribution models, that’s no longer true. With video on demand (VOD), over-the-top (OTT) programming, and addressable options, television has the ability to reach the masses or drill down and market one to one.
"You can't reach all the people all the time with digital alone,” chief retail strategist at Shoptalk, Sucharita Mulpuru, says. “In a crowded marketplace of sellers, sometimes traditional approaches are critical to growing word of mouth and awareness."
Combine and Conquer
The best marketing campaigns use a combination of marketing vehicles. Digital is fantastic at casting to a narrow audience. It can identify a yoga-loving mom who likes to eat organic foods; then, it can give her very specific ads. But customers don't only buy things within the box that the metrics put them in. That's why online marketing campaigns have trouble creating critical mass and expanding their message and audience.
Especially for e-commerce brands, launching a digital campaign is a good way to learn your core customer and grow through the early stages. The information gathered through online tracking is incredibly useful when combined with television.
Here are three tips for e-commerce professionals who want to use TV marketing to drive business to their online platforms:
1. Be Consistent
Consistency is key when combining TV and digital campaigns. When a viewer sees a TV spot and Googles the brand name, the website that comes up should have the same look, feel, and messaging as what they just saw in the commercial. TV is a huge driver to the web, so do not treat those new customers differently.
Offers and products should be just as consistent. Whether the customer comes from a link, Google search, or phone call, the TV customer should be treated the same as the online customer.
2. Be Direct
Don’t be shy about telling customers what to do. In a TV ad for an online brand, viewers should know where to log on, why they should want to, and what they are going to get when they do.
The ad can (and should) still be creative and memorable, but it needs to have a purpose. Viewers shouldn’t have to guess at what the brand is selling, and it is possible to create an ad that is “too cool.” A creative, eye-catching ad is useless if it leaves viewers confused.
3. Look at the Big Picture
Television ads add credibility, and they allow you to introduce and explain your message to a broad audience. In turn, TV ads will help drive social and digital campaigns as well.
Once customers find your brand through a TV ad, they're going to go to your social networks and digital spaces. Again, the website needs to be consistent with credibility built up through the TV ad. A confusing or difficult-to-navigate website will lose the impulse buyer.
The viewer is acting on an urge, so be careful not to slow down the momentum. The potential buyer can leave as fast as he came and end up not searching for the item or service. At the end of the day, well-executed TV and digital campaigns should reinforce each other.
Some marketers scoff at TV advertising, thinking it’s too “traditional” to be able to succeed in an increasingly digital world. But TV isn’t “traditional” media — it’s established media and is here to stay. Online marketing has its benefits, but it works best as part of a combined approach. After all, if your only ads are shown just outside your store, you're never going to find any new customers.