Devote Digital

Sears Bids Farewell To TV Advertising, Says Hello to Digital Marketing!


How Does The Shift Away From Traditional Media Affect The Cost Of Digital Advertising?

While TV advertising expenditure has been steadily declining over the last couple of years, it’s still quite unusual for massive consumer brands such as Sears to abandon TV advertising entirely, particularly during such a crucial time of the year - or is it? In December, Sears Holdings redistributed their $8.5m monthly marketing budget; moving away from traditional marketing avenues like TV, and turned their attention to the digital realm.  "This ongoing evaluation has meant we have made significant shifts over the past few years in where we've allocated our resources, including less traditional print and television, and more digital and social channels," - Eddie Lampert, CEO of sears holding said in a recent statement to the Wall Street Journal. There’s no questions that large consumer brands will eventually be reallocating most of their marketing budgets into Digital Advertising but what does this all mean for the brands that already leverage these digital channels? Consider this as exercise in supply and demand. Facebook & Instagram work off a bidding system. If you’re willing to pay more, your ads are likely to be shown more. What makes things even more challenging is the fact that there’s only ONE news feed (for now) which essentially means that ANYONE who's willing to pay to reach your target market is a competitor, regardless of the industry they operate in. You’re no longer competing with just the other businesses in your area - you’re now up against the likes Coca Cola, Toyota & Nike who’re all vying for attention in the very same news feed. When Sears & Kmart begin to roll out their multi-million dollar digital campaigns, they’ll come out with guns blazing because well... they can afford it! With larger campaign budgets come higher bids, and higher bids mean an even more competitive space. When the likes of Walmart, Target, Macy’s and other large consumer brands inevitably begin redistributing even more of their advertising budget, we’re going to see an all-out war for advertising space and a steep climb in the cost of digital advertising - ultimately driving up costs for the little guys! So what now? That’s it? That’s the end of my business’ digital marketing journey?, you ask. Not quite - there’s actually plenty you can do to counter these rising costs, and we've put together a couple of recommendations for you below but you’ll need to act soon!

Building Your Brand Value and Trust

Focus on building out content that’s educational & entertaining to your audience. Let them get to know you and your team through video, podcasts, blogs, social media posts and more. Let Facebook know that their users are getting great value and genuinely enjoying the work you produce and Facebook will reward you by ensuring that your content is prioritised in the News Feed beyond that of your competitors at least, who may only be posting hard-sell content that doesn’t provide much value. There are two deciding factors when it comes to determining the level of organic reach your content gets: • Intent – If people are actively searching for your content, Facebook will see this as ‘high-intent’ and will allow your content greater organic reach. • Repeat Engagement – Facebook considers your content entertaining & valuable to viewers if your audience is consistently engaged with your content. As a result, they’ll consider it worthwhile to share your content with new audiences.

Leverage Brand Partnerships

Engage influencers and build strong partnerships so that you can maintain your presence through public figures with established followings. It’s not always free, but starting to form these relationships now will ensure that your reach in the market is effective and far cheaper than the high advertising costs that Facebook will eventually being charging. Find people in your niche that already have great engagement and a solid following; build a relationship then leverage their reach to promote your brand. Get in touch if you’re interested in seeing our Ambassador Guidelines to help you manage influencer relationships!

Improve Your SEO & Organic Ranking

Pay more attention to your organic Google search rankings by improving your SEO. While paid AdWords are important to ensure you’re remaining at the top of the page, organic will ultimately help you to maintain long-term inbound traffic. This isn’t necessarily ‘free’ - there’s a lot of work that has to go into an organic strategy as well but it certainly pays off

Build Your ‘Owned’ Assets

‘Owned’ assets refer to digital assets that wholly belong to you. This includes your email database or client list, and your website. ‘Rented’ assets, on the other hand, are things like your brand’s Facebook & Instagram page. You don’t actually own or have substantial control and you’re at the mercy of every Facebook and Instagram algorithm change. That’s why we work tirelessly to build captivating email campaigns that not only capture an audience but nurtures them by continuously serving valuable content. By doing all of the above, you’ll ensure that no matter what digital advertising changes come around (and trust us, they’re coming up by the hour!) your business will remain ahead of the curve, and top-of-mind, especially to those who matter